Vicki Noratuk, a forty-five-year-old blind woman, was just one of more than thirty people Dr. Kenneth Ring and Sharon Cooper interviewed in detail during a two-year study of the clinical experience of the blind. The results of this study were recently published.
Vicki was born blind, her optic nerve was completely destroyed at birth due to the excess oxygen she received in the incubator. However, she was able to see during the NDE.
Vicki told Dr. Ring that after a car accident she found herself hovering over her body in a hospital emergency room. She felt like she was at the ceiling and watched the male doctor and nurse working on her body, which she was looking at from her elevated position.
Vicki clearly remembers how she came to the realization that it was her own body under her.
"I looked at the body lying below from above. At first I did not understand that it was me. I saw a rather tall and slender woman. It was very, very unusual to see. It was even frightening. Then I realized that this body is me."
It was so weird. Then I realized that I was somewhere under the ceiling of that room. And I thought, "Is it so weird what I'm doing here?" I guess I'm already dead?
It is clear that I was lying below, since I was hanging from the ceiling without a body … I began to examine this body. On the ring finger of his right hand was wearing a simple gold ring - a wedding ring. It was my ring, it was unusual for me. It has orange blossom ornaments in the corners.
In addition, there was another ring nearby, my father's engagement ring. yes, I wore two rings as a memory of my father. So it was me - down there.
It was the only time I could understand what it is to see and what is light, because I experienced it. You may not understand, but I have never seen. Seeing this was more strange for me than surprising."
She then said that after an out-of-body episode, which was very fast and fleeting, she found herself climbing through the ceiling of the ward, and then the hospital building, until she was above the roof of the building itself. At this point, she stopped and for a short time could see all the surroundings from a height.
During this ascension, she felt very excited and immensely enjoyed the freedom of movement she experienced. She also began to hear sublimely beautiful and exquisitely harmonious music, similar to the sound of bells.
Then she seemed to have passed through an invisible wall. It was like a jerk and she was literally sucked into a pipe with her head, and she felt that she was being pulled into it. Vicki said it was dark inside, but she knew she was moving towards the light.
When she reached the exit of this pipe, the music she had heard earlier seemed to turn into hymns, and then she "rolled out" and found herself lying on the grass.
She was surrounded by trees and flowers and a huge number of people. She was in a place of incredible light, and this light, according to Vicki, could not only be seen, but also felt. Even the people she saw were bright.
“Everyone there was made of light. And I was created from light. What the light transmitted was love. Love was everywhere. As if love came from grass, love came from birds, love came from trees."
Then Vicki saw people she knew in real life who welcomed her to this place. There are five of them. Debbie and Diane were Vicki's blind classmates who died many years ago, aged 11 and 6, respectively.
During their lifetime they were both deeply backward and blind, but here they seemed bright and beautiful, healthy and vitally alive. And they are no longer children, as Vicki put it, "in their prime."
In addition, Vicki saw two caregivers from her childhood, a couple named Mr. and Mrs. Zielk, both of whom had also died earlier. Finally, there was Vicki's grandmother, who essentially raised Vicki and died just two years before this incident. According to Vicki, during these meetings there was no exchange of words, but only feelings - feelings of love and hospitality.
In the midst of this delight, Vicki is suddenly overcome with a sense of complete knowledge.
“I had the feeling that I knew everything … and everything made sense. I just knew that it was here … this is the place where I will find answers to all questions about life, about the planets, about God and everything … As if this place was knowledge."
Then a figure appeared next to her, whose radiance was much greater than the illumination of any of the people she had encountered so far. She does not know whether she understood it herself or whether she was prompted that it was Jesus. He greeted her affectionately as she expressed her excitement about her newfound omniscience and the joy of being around him. They communicated without words - telepathically.
“Isn't it wonderful? Everything here is beautiful and combined with each other. But you cannot stay here now. It's not time for you to be here yet, and you need to return."
Vicki was very disappointed and began to protest, she really wanted to stay here, and not go back to her body.
Jesus or the creature - this figure did not call himself Jesus. Vicki realized that it was him, but the creature of light did not tell her about it. Therefore, further in the text we will call it simply - a creature. In her understanding, it was a divine essence.
But this being of light assured her that she would return, but now she "needs to come back and learn more about love and learn to forgive."
Vicki insisted that she did not want to return, and then the creature told her that she must return not only to know love and forgiveness, but to know them in a deeper sense, since she will have children. For the sake of becoming a mother, she must come back.
Vicki, who was then childless (she could not have children) but "desperately wanted" to have children (and who has since given birth to three), wanted to return and agreed.
However, before Vicki left, the creature told her, "But look at this first."
Vicki then saw “everything from my birth” in a full panoramic view of her life, and as she watched her whole life like a movie, the creature commented on what was happening to help her understand the meaning of her actions and their consequences.
The last thing Vicki remembers after completing the life review is the words: "You have to leave."
She then experienced a "nauseating blow," like a roller coaster rolling backwards, and was back in her body.
Such reports, full of visual images, were the rule, not the exception, among the blind respondents surveyed by Drs. Ring and Cooper.
Overall, 80% of all respondents reported visual perception during near-death or out-of-body contact.
Sometimes the initial manifestation of visual perception of the physical world is disorienting and even disturbing for the blind. This was the case, for example, with Vicki, who said:
“It was difficult for me to see. It was very difficult for me to deal with it because I have never experienced it. And that was something very foreign to me …
It was like hearing words and not understanding them, but knowing they were words. You haven't heard anything before. But it was something new that you could not attach any importance to before."
As one of the participants in this study, Helen Keller, who also could not see from birth, but was able to see during clinical death, said:
"Death is nothing more than a passage from one room to another. But you know, for me there is a difference. Because in that other room I can see."