One NDE Survivor’s Amazing Recall (from The Real You Is Immortal)
This must be the most “Believe-It-Or-Not” near-death sudden cardiac arrest ever experienced. It was orthopedic surgeon Anthony Cicoria’s 1994 “out-of-body” experience after being struck by lightning at an outdoor park during a family birthday gathering. The following is excerpted from his article in the July/August 2014 issue of Missouri Medicine, The Journal of the Missouri State Medical Association, with their kind permission:
“I ambled around the building to the pay phone and dialed my mother’s familiar number, but there was no answer. With my left hand I pulled the phone hand piece away from my face to hang it up. When it was about a foot away from my face, I heard a deafening crack. Simultaneously I saw a brilliant flash of light exit the phone hand piece I was holding. A powerful bolt of lightning had struck the pavilion, traversed through the phone striking me in the face, as its massive electrical charge raced to ground.
“The force of the lightning blast threw my body backwards like a rag doll. Despite the stunning physical trauma, I realized something strange and inexplicable was happening. As my body was blown backwards, I felt ‘me’ move forward instead. Yet I seemed also to stand motionless and bewildered staring at the phone dangling in front of me. Nothing made sense.
“Suddenly, I realized what was going on. A motionless body was lying on the ground some ten feet behind me. To appearances the person was dead. To inspection the person resembled me. To my astonishment another look confirmed it was me! I watched as a woman who had been waiting to use the phone dropped to her knees and began CPR. I spoke to the people around my body but they could not see or hear me; but I could see and hear everything they did and said. It suddenly occurred to me that I was thinking normal thoughts, in the same mental vernacular I had always possessed. At that moment I suddenly had one simple, ineloquent and rude thought, ‘Holy shit, I’m dead.’
“This cosmic realization of consciousness meant that my self-awareness was no longer in the lifeless body on the ground. I, whatever I was now, was capable of thought and reason. Interestingly there was no strong emotion accompanying my apparent death. I was shocked, certainly, but otherwise I felt no reaction to what should have been the most emotional of life’s events. I saw no point in staying with my body, so my thoughts then moved to walk away. I turned and started to climb the stairs to where I knew my family still was.
“As I started to climb I looked down at the stairs like I would normally do. I saw that as I reached the third stair, my legs began to dissolve. I remember being disconcerted that, by the time I reached the top of the stairs, I had lost all form entirely and instead was just a ball of energy and thought. My mind was racing frantically trying to record and make sense of what was happening. Instead of bothering with the stairs, I passed through the wall into the room where everyone was. I went over to my wife who was painting children’s faces. I had a clear realization that my family would be fine. Dispassionately, I departed from the building.
“Once outside, I was immersed in a bluish white light that had a shimmering appearance as if I were swimming underwater in a crystal clear stream. The sunlight was penetrating through it. The visual was accompanied by a feeling of absolute love and peace. What does the term ‘absolute love and peace’ mean? For example, scientists use the term absolute zero to describe a temperature at which no molecular motion exists — a singular and pure state. That was what I felt; I had fallen into a pure positive flow of energy. I could see the flow of this energy. I could see it flow through the fabric of everything. I reasoned that this energy was quantifiable. It was something measurable and palpable. As I flowed in the current of this stream, which seemed to have both velocity and direction, I saw some of the high points and low points in my life pass by, but nothing in depth. I became ecstatic at the possibility of where I was going. I was aware of every moment of this experience, conscious of every millisecond, even though I could feel that time did not exist. I remember thinking, ‘This is the greatest thing that can ever happen to anyone.’
“Suddenly, I was back in my body. It was so painful. My mouth burned and my left foot felt like someone had stuck a red-hot poker through my ankle. I was still unconscious, but I could feel the woman who was doing CPR stop and kneel beside me. It seemed like minutes before I could open my eyes. I wanted to say to her, ‘Thank you for helping me.’ Nonsensically, all that came out was, ‘It’s okay, I’m a doctor.’”
No doubt you read Anthony Cicoria’s experience either with your jaw dropped or in denial of its validity. Yet, he holds both MD and PhD degrees and specialty board certifications, and therefore is both a surgeon and a scientist. Moreover, he prepared his full-length article “My Near-Death Experience: A Telephone Call From God” to be a part of the July/August 2014 issue of Missouri Medicine, The Journal of the Missouri State Medical Association. It therefore was not intended for layman audiences, but is accessible online in the Bibliography.
His full-length article (http://www.omagdigital.com/article/Gettin g+Comfortable+With+Near-Death+Experiences/1783389/0/article.html) later acknowledges the multitude of such reports from around the world, as well as unsuccessful efforts from the scientific community to replicate core NDE experiences. Yet, Cicoria concluded, “What is clear to me is that my consciousness survived death, and I was able to verify details of my near-death and out-of-body experience that I would have no conceivable way of knowing except through conscious travel of my spiritual self outside of my body.”