The vast expanse of nothingness - A not so nice NDE

#1
Paranormal investigator, author and radio-host John E.L. Tenney had a not so nice NDE when he was 17, which set him upon his path for his adult life.
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"Please understand that some of the words I use and the descriptions of my experience will fail to accurately explain what I remember. The memories I have of the event do not have words or descriptions which is part of why the experience was so horrific./../

The meat and potatoes of the experience itself, the biological component, is secondary and plays little part in what I experienced when I died so let’s get right to what people want – the experience itself.


I could simply write, “Awareness inside of nothing …forever” and I would be fine with that description but you, the reader probably would not be satisfied.


A “traditional” NDE is usually talked about as “bright lights, a white tunnel, relatives who have passed away beckoning you into the light, warmth, happiness and eternal love”. My was very much the opposite of that.





At some point I became aware that I was aware.


It was dark, I felt blind, I tried to reach my hand up in front of my eyes and realized I didn’t have a hand, or an arm or eyes. I tried to scream but found I had no mouth. Indeed I was only awareness without physical form. My body no longer existed I was only a mind.


I was there forever. As strange as that sounds it’s true. There was no time where I was and therefore I was there forever, trapped in infinity, unable to scream, move, and also unable to be unaware of my awareness. I couldn’t shut it out because I was it. There was only me, my mind, alone inside of infinity.


Although aware that I could not scream I still tried, I tried for millions of years to scream and when it didn’t work, I tried for a million more, knowing that it would never work.
I wanted to cry, but again there can be no tears when your have no body to produce them. I knew who I had been but at some point realized this was now who I was.
No one - nothing in the middle of nothing - forever.


I wanted anything, hope, happiness, sadness, pain, something that would let me feel because I knew if I could feel something it would mean that there was something other than nothing. Fear became a friend because it was something, still though it was fear.


Every now and then the fear would return. It was the only thing I knew. Since time doesn’t exist when the fear returned it returned constantly and forever and I would try screaming again, and again and again and again.


At some point, after forever an idea became me. The idea was, “stay nothing forever or become everything.”


I knew from being inside the nothing for infinity I had to choose “everything”


and I opened my eyes.


There it was - everything.


People, smells, sights, sounds, happiness, pain, fear, life. And it was beautiful.



The day I died was the most horrific part of my life, and it was the greatest thing that ever happened to me."
 
#2
A good argument against those who insist that people who claim that mind != brain do so only because they find that idea comforting. This horrific scenario only exists in the mind != brain camp, and the mind == brain camp can avoid even thinking about it, with great relief.

Cheers,
Bill
 
#3
I think the horrific part of this experience is the subjective sense that it was eternal. Even though that cannot be literally true (in fact he still had a brain capable of recovery and he did recover) it seems awfully close to the John Wren-Lewis sense of the "shining dark" (except here not so shiny). And also very close to the idea of Pure Potential. I still think the awareness that he felt was an artifact of being human, and if he had truly ceased to be human, he would have lapsed back to a state of merely potential being, rather than a horrified state of actual being. And I don't think it implies mind exists brainlessly.

Just my 0.02.
 
#4
Your 0.02 cents adds up what I stated--if mind == brain then their is nothing to fear once you stop "being human" and it would not be a state of potential being, but one of not being. And nothing about his experience or what was stated was meant to imply that mind exists brainlessly--so I don't know what the "it" could possibly refer to.

Cheers,
Bill
 
#5
Your 0.02 cents adds up what I stated--if mind == brain then their is nothing to fear once you stop "being human" and it would not be a state of potential being, but one of not being. And nothing about his experience or what was stated was meant to imply that mind exists brainlessly--so I don't know what the "it" could possibly refer to.

Cheers,
Bill
Well Bill, I'm not sure that (subjectively) it only exists in the mind != brain camp. Subjectively, this person believed this experience went on for eternity, despite the fact that outside of that experience, we observe that in fact its causal forces were only in existence for a few minutes. Whether that is mind == brain, or mind !=brain, it still felt like an eternity to this person.
 
#7
Paranormal investigator, author and radio-host John E.L. Tenney had a not so nice NDE when he was 17, which set him upon his path for his adult life.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------


"Please understand that some of the words I use and the descriptions of my experience will fail to accurately explain what I remember. The memories I have of the event do not have words or descriptions which is part of why the experience was so horrific./../

The meat and potatoes of the experience itself, the biological component, is secondary and plays little part in what I experienced when I died so let’s get right to what people want – the experience itself.

I could simply write, “Awareness inside of nothing …forever” and I would be fine with that description but you, the reader probably would not be satisfied.

A “traditional” NDE is usually talked about as “bright lights, a white tunnel, relatives who have passed away beckoning you into the light, warmth, happiness and eternal love”. My was very much the opposite of that.



At some point I became aware that I was aware.


It was dark, I felt blind, I tried to reach my hand up in front of my eyes and realized I didn’t have a hand, or an arm or eyes. I tried to scream but found I had no mouth. Indeed I was only awareness without physical form. My body no longer existed I was only a mind.

I was there forever. As strange as that sounds it’s true. There was no time where I was and therefore I was there forever, trapped in infinity, unable to scream, move, and also unable to be unaware of my awareness. I couldn’t shut it out because I was it. There was only me, my mind, alone inside of infinity.

Although aware that I could not scream I still tried, I tried for millions of years to scream and when it didn’t work, I tried for a million more, knowing that it would never work.
I wanted to cry, but again there can be no tears when your have no body to produce them. I knew who I had been but at some point realized this was now who I was.
No one - nothing in the middle of nothing - forever.

I wanted anything, hope, happiness, sadness, pain, something that would let me feel because I knew if I could feel something it would mean that there was something other than nothing. Fear became a friend because it was something, still though it was fear.

Every now and then the fear would return. It was the only thing I knew. Since time doesn’t exist when the fear returned it returned constantly and forever and I would try screaming again, and again and again and again.

At some point, after forever an idea became me. The idea was, “stay nothing forever or become everything.”

I knew from being inside the nothing for infinity I had to choose “everything”

and I opened my eyes.

There it was - everything.

People, smells, sights, sounds, happiness, pain, fear, life. And it was beautiful.


The day I died was the most horrific part of my life, and it was the greatest thing that ever happened to me."

Shit, what can I say? this is deep ( I mean it honestly ).
 
#8
A couple years ago a woman I knew described having a very similar experience to this story. Indescribable timeless infinite nothingness. Only the experience for her was the most beyond-peaceful no-fear thing she had ever experienced and, as such, did not want to "return". She has since passed though (cancer).
 
#9
Paranormal investigator, author and radio-host John E.L. Tenney had a not so nice NDE when he was 17, which set him upon his path for his adult life.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------


"Please understand that some of the words I use and the descriptions of my experience will fail to accurately explain what I remember. The memories I have of the event do not have words or descriptions which is part of why the experience was so horrific./../

The meat and potatoes of the experience itself, the biological component, is secondary and plays little part in what I experienced when I died so let’s get right to what people want – the experience itself.

I could simply write, “Awareness inside of nothing …forever” and I would be fine with that description but you, the reader probably would not be satisfied.

A “traditional” NDE is usually talked about as “bright lights, a white tunnel, relatives who have passed away beckoning you into the light, warmth, happiness and eternal love”. My was very much the opposite of that.



At some point I became aware that I was aware.


It was dark, I felt blind, I tried to reach my hand up in front of my eyes and realized I didn’t have a hand, or an arm or eyes. I tried to scream but found I had no mouth. Indeed I was only awareness without physical form. My body no longer existed I was only a mind.

I was there forever. As strange as that sounds it’s true. There was no time where I was and therefore I was there forever, trapped in infinity, unable to scream, move, and also unable to be unaware of my awareness. I couldn’t shut it out because I was it. There was only me, my mind, alone inside of infinity.

Although aware that I could not scream I still tried, I tried for millions of years to scream and when it didn’t work, I tried for a million more, knowing that it would never work.
I wanted to cry, but again there can be no tears when your have no body to produce them. I knew who I had been but at some point realized this was now who I was.
No one - nothing in the middle of nothing - forever.

I wanted anything, hope, happiness, sadness, pain, something that would let me feel because I knew if I could feel something it would mean that there was something other than nothing. Fear became a friend because it was something, still though it was fear.

Every now and then the fear would return. It was the only thing I knew. Since time doesn’t exist when the fear returned it returned constantly and forever and I would try screaming again, and again and again and again.

At some point, after forever an idea became me. The idea was, “stay nothing forever or become everything.”

I knew from being inside the nothing for infinity I had to choose “everything”

and I opened my eyes.

There it was - everything.

People, smells, sights, sounds, happiness, pain, fear, life. And it was beautiful.


The day I died was the most horrific part of my life, and it was the greatest thing that ever happened to me."
*shudders*
 
#10
I have read a lot of NDEs about the "void" because I find it unsettling, and because (and take this however you like) I had a glimpse of it myself. No, I didn't have an NDE, but I did have an experience where I was unconscious (oxygen-deprivation) and had a glimpse of it. I really dislike talking about the experience and haven't told that many people about it.

I will just say, when I woke up I sobbed uncontrollably, but not because of my circumstances (being choked), but because of the void experience I had. What was weird is that I also felt while in the "void" that something, I don't know what, was talking to me. From what I remember (this happened 20 years ago), I cried because a) the experience was profound and b) the void was terrifying and c) the "voice" tried to tell me something really, really important that I could not remember upon wakening.

That experience has bothered me for years.
 
#11
c) the "voice" tried to tell me something really, really important that I could not remember upon wakening.
This part seems to be a common factor in many positive NDE experiences too. During the experience they have access to some knowledge or understanding, but it is not something which they can recall afterwards. Even in some cases the person is told beforehand, that on their return they will not be able to remember the information. It almost seems like part of the human condition is that there must remain a mystery. Perhaps one reason for that is that if we knew too much, it would interfere with our natural reactions and reduce the value of our human experience.
 
#12
I have read a lot of NDEs about the "void" because I find it unsettling, and because (and take this however you like) I had a glimpse of it myself. No, I didn't have an NDE, but I did have an experience where I was unconscious (oxygen-deprivation) and had a glimpse of it. I really dislike talking about the experience and haven't told that many people about it.

I will just say, when I woke up I sobbed uncontrollably, but not because of my circumstances (being choked), but because of the void experience I had. What was weird is that I also felt while in the "void" that something, I don't know what, was talking to me. From what I remember (this happened 20 years ago), I cried because a) the experience was profound and b) the void was terrifying and c) the "voice" tried to tell me something really, really important that I could not remember upon wakening.

That experience has bothered me for years.
Yeah, I can imagine it was quite unsettling. A giant void that one are fully conscious in, and that lasts forever - the horror. But it also feels like it could be some sort of "way station" were you are put for "evaluation" of some sort, because "they" dont know what to do with you directly. You get "placed on hold" here, and they check back on you later. Let you sweat there for a small "eternity", before they begin "evaluation", or "third degree" - and before they resolve if they gonna kick you upstairs...or down the "basement".
 
#13
Lol, Pollux!

I have had years to reflect on the experience and have speculated on it again and again. And, not to sound too crazy, but I often wonder if the void is just, I dunno, storage. But I have read too much scifi, perhaps. In my optimistic moments, I think this whole idea of "waking up" might extend to the so-called afterlife. Like there is always an elite in control, even after death, and we just have to collectively say, "F--- off " to all the turtles, all the way up or all the way down.
 
#14
This part seems to be a common factor in many positive NDE experiences too. During the experience they have access to some knowledge or understanding, but it is not something which they can recall afterwards. Even in some cases the person is told beforehand, that on their return they will not be able to remember the information. It almost seems like part of the human condition is that there must remain a mystery. Perhaps one reason for that is that if we knew too much, it would interfere with our natural reactions and reduce the value of our human experience.
Hi Typoz,

Thanks for commenting. I have read all kinds of NDEs and I do realize that knowledge access is a part of positive ones. I guess I am just dealing with what I got (again, not saying what I had was an NDE). My sister had an NDE as a child (she drowned) and I have talked to her about it a lot. Her experience was different, of course, but more peaceful.
 
#15
Hi Typoz,

Thanks for commenting. I have read all kinds of NDEs and I do realize that knowledge access is a part of positive ones. I guess I am just dealing with what I got (again, not saying what I had was an NDE). My sister had an NDE as a child (she drowned) and I have talked to her about it a lot. Her experience was different, of course, but more peaceful.
As to whether what you had was an NDE or not, from the physical circumstances you mentioned, it sounds like an NDE. Although there are attempts to classify such experiences, for example by the Greyson Scale, I think this area is still too little understood to be absolutely precise in such categorisation. I'd tend to broaden the scope and include your experience, while others might argue the opposite point of view.
 
#16
Hi Typoz,

I hesitate to call my experience an NDE, though I know it has aspects of it. Like I said, my sis experienced something different and I hesitate to call my own an NDE. Yet the experience was profound and I cannot replicate it (I did try, unfortunately).

But that voice in my head... Very hard to forget. Thanks for your comment and will check out your link.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#17
Hi Typoz,

I hesitate to call my experience an NDE, though I know it has aspects of it. Like I said, my sis experienced something different and I hesitate to call my own an NDE. Yet the experience was profound and I cannot replicate it (I did try, unfortunately).

But that voice in my head... Very hard to forget. Thanks for your comment and will check out your link.
There's some interesting parallels between your experience and Max_B's gnostic dream.
 
#19
Interesting. More accurate than most NDEs which seem to be more about alternate versions of human physical reality. The aspect of himself that was still human found it scary and to our human minds in many ways it is. To conceive of being non-physical consciousness is almost impossible for the human mind.
 
#20
I suppose the really scary thing is that humankind wants to replicate the horror of the void, without a mouth to scream, with... AI.

But we humans love our torture, I guess!

PS if you accept the reality of AI.
 
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