George Eager, male

Was 17 years old when the NDE occurred

Cause of a clinical death: illness

Puerto Rico  

George Eager’s NDE

I was working on a construction job in Puerto Rico. It was 1967. I was 17 years old. I contracted a severe case of gastroenteritis and was unable to afford proper medical care. I went to a clinic, got a bottle of pills, and went back to the room where I lived. To put it mildly, I had the most severe diarrhea you can imagine. I was extremely ill, suffering from painful cramps and was losing water at a fantastic rate, just going to the bathroom all the time. The woman who ran the rooming house was good enough to bring me water, but basically I ate nothing. I was getting weaker and weaker.

On the eighth day of this misery, I seemed to just float right up out of my body. I saw my body from above. I'm looking down at my body lying in the bed, still as a corpse, and I said, "I've died!!" I was basically unnerved by this. But in the next second, I thought to myself, "Hey, if I'm dead, who is thinking these thoughts??"

So, then I felt calm and very good, thinking, "Well this sure beats being sick as a dog. This is quite okay."

I'm floating in the room, now feeling elated, and I decided to float out the window. The windows in this rooming house where I lived were just a series of louvers. You could stick your hand right outside the building if you wanted to. I had a strong urge to go check out what was outside so I floated out of the window.

Outside it was blindingly bright, with the light everywhere, not coming from any particular source, but as if the light were a liquid and I was in a sea of light.

At this point I'm feeling very exhilarated, completely euphoric. I'm moving around free of my body. And one thing really hit me at that moment - that the body isn't ME. It's just a body.

At last though, some part of me got lonely for my body and I went back inside. I thought it was better not to just leave my body there, though it was purely joyful in the sea of light. I went back in the room and I sort of lay down in my body to rest. The next thing I knew, the illness had broken and I was recovering, and I was not dead. I had thought that after taking a little rest in the body, now that I knew that being dead was okay, I’d be able to go back to the sea of light. This was not to be, though. Not right then anyway.

I did not tell anyone about this experience for many years, because it seemed both too strange and too personal. I had never heard of such a thing. Much later, I heard other stories very similar to mine.

As a result of this experience, I came to think that the spirit endures and we just float off peacefully, and there is nothing to fear. This idea I have had ever since.

People might wonder about my religious background. I attended church schools for eight out of twelve years before university, including all of high school. High school was an Episcopal boys school, with daily chapel and required Sacred Studies, which I very much enjoyed. Nevertheless, looking back on it, I cannot say I was much of a Christian believer at the time, though I certainly considered myself as firmly within the Anglican communion and later considered joining an Anglican monastic order and also won a scholarship to seminary, but did not attend. So I did have a religious disposition then (as now), but must say that nothing in my experience that day in Puerto Rico seemed connected with conventional religious ideas.

I do accept the idea it could be a hallucination of some sort; but the experience had all the aspects of being wide awake, not at all like a dream or hallucination. It was 100% real and vivid and I remember it completely. On the real significance of near-death experiences, I just don't know. But I've not feared death during my life for which I am very grateful.

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