360 Degree Vision

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On Sunday June 19, 1977 at 1:20 in the morning I was unconscious in the back of a police car with my nose nearly torn from my face and my right ear bleeding. I was being charged with seven crimes, including leaving the roadway, reckless driving, fleeing or attempting to elude police, DUI, homicide by vehicle... Heading down the straight away, looking in my mirror, the police officer went straight through the stop sign where I had taken a left. Hitting third gear down the straightaway, the car was doing about 80 mph. My friend could not find the place to buckle his seat belt, so I looked down to grab the connector so he could buckle up. When I looked back up at the road, there was gravel in the middle of the road. When the car hit the gravel at 80 mph, the car slid quickly to the left. We were now facing the trees. Trying to counter steer, I looked ahead saw a driveway and tried my best to lock the car up so that we could pull into the driveway.

Thinking that we had made the driveway and sitting in the dark I said, "We made it." Looking around all I could see was pitch black darkness. I asked my friend, "Where are you?" There was no response. Suddenly, I was walking down the middle of the road toward an old lady. I was saying, "I am a mess. I am a mess. I am a mess." As I walked closer toward her, I reached up to feel my face that was tingling and warm. My finger went up inside my sinus.

At that moment, I started to walk away from myself. My vision was clear. My person, my body was moving away from me. I reached out and tried to grab myself. My hand swept through me as if there was nothing there. I was about three feet behind myself when I watched my body falling to the street. For an instant, my vision was back from the perspective of my body. I saw the pavement in my face back and then darkness, the pitch of black.

As if looking down through the branches of a tree, there was an image fuzzy and dark. I thought, "What is that?" My friend answered, "I do not know, what is that?" Focusing all my concentration, the images were distorted like the sunlight that shines on the bottom of a swimming pool. The dim fuzzy dark image was illuminated clear for only an instant by the brighter lines moving across the field of view. I said to my friend, "That is my brothers car." I could see a police car to the left, a group of people behind the police car on the left, and an ambulance to the right with a police car to the right of the ambulance. My friend said, "That is us." At that moment, we both said, "We are dead." As if in the snap of the fingers, the image was gone and there was total darkness and a hint of fear.

A voice up in front and to my right said, "Fear not. Do not be afraid." My uneasy feeling went away as I asked, "Who are you?" The voice answered, "Just call me father." In the center of my being I heard, "Christ." Then before me there were images, fuzzy and dark like the scene of the car with my friend and I below. But these images were all around me 360 degrees of vision in a circle that curved up and away like a bowl. I watched as a section of the image became clear and bright. I could see myself at the age of two. It was like a corridor of images stacked one in front of the other running away and up. As the bright area like a flash light was moving from the center in front of me to the left, I watched as the corridors of images showed my life at three, four, five, six and so on until the bright area got to the three o'clock position to my right.

Suddenly, I was standing in my mother's bedroom. The dog woke up and I said, "Hampton, it is okay." Then the voice up, in back, and to my right asked, "Is this not your mother?" I said, "Yes." Then my vision was turned to the right where I would see through my younger brother's door. The voice asked, "Is this not your brother?" I said, "Yes." Then in the blink of an eye I was 12 miles away outside my older brother's apartment. Looking down through the concrete floor of the second story and the steel security door of his apartment, I could see my brother reaching out to open the apartment door. Beside him was a shadowy figure. The voice up, behind me, and to the right said, "Is this not your other brother." Thinking that I could talk to the dog, and that my brother is awake, I started to say, "Charles. Get me out of this. Charles. Get me out of this." The voice again said in a monotone voice, "Is this not your other brother?" Again, I said, "Charles. Get me out of this." Then the voice said in a fainter voice, "Is this not your other brother?" I said, "Yes." Then again in the blink of an eye I was taken 15 miles away to my father's apartment. I was hovering in the parking lot looking at him through his apartment door while he sat on the couch reading a newspaper. I was looking through the newspaper at his face when I wondered about his wife. I was told that she was in the bedroom. Then I was asked, "Is this not your father?" I said, "Yes." In an instant, I was back in the darkness where I saw the 360-degree vision.

The last one-quarter was quickly scanned. Then I had a sense of front and back. There were voices in a murmur behind me as if eight to 10 people were all talking at once. The voice up and to the right told me something and then to look behind me and to my right. I saw an image of myself in a white robe as if it were hanging on a coat hook. My head bowed down. My right hand held my left wrist at arms length and rested on my belly. As I turned forward, I could sense that the voice was gone. Then I wondered what was this bluish white sesame seed in front of me. Up until that point every time I wondered anything the voice told me. Yet this time as I looked at the blue sesame seed, there was no voice. I watched as the seed approached me or I approached the seed. There was a low pitch rumble down the frequency range. Then as the seed got closer or I got closer to the seed, the low pitch started to rise up in tone. When the seed and I came together, light began to fill my eyes as if it was being poured into my head from a pitcher. The low pitch sound had become a high pitch ringing as the light started to become clear.

A ching like that of a sword pulling from its sheath chilled my body as I became aware that there were people around me. A man kept asking me, "Why did you do it?" I would respond, "What did I do?" Then my father angrily said, "Answer the officer." I responded, "What did I do?" My father said, "You know what you did." Then I looked down at my feet and saw that they were hand cuffed. Looking at my feet, I saw my brother Charles. I said, "Charles, Charles, what did I do." Charles came to my right side and said, "You wrecked my car. Cline is dead." At that moment, from the crown of my head, a burning pins and needles feeling like when your arm falls asleep started to descend over the entire length of my body. I lay on the stretcher hands and feet cuffed as my body tingled with the most excruciating pain that I have ever felt which caused me to pass out.

I woke up shortly in jail. Then I woke up for good when a doctor at the hospital was putting back my broken nose. The doctor told me that they were going to keep me for observation. After he left, I stood up and walked around the corner to get my clothes. I pushed open the doors of the emergency room where my mother got her first look at me. The nurse was walking behind me telling me that I could not leave. As my mom asked me, "Where are you going?" I said, "I am going home." She said, "You need to stay here." I said, "No. I need to go home to make sure that I am not dead." My mother froze in her tracks as I walked out of the hospital.

Many weeks passed. My memories clearly confused me with the reality of my death experience. Trying to get back into life, I went to a party. As I stood in the middle of the room, a friend saw me and ran over to give me a hug. She said, "You do not know how good it is to see you." I said, "No you do not know how good it is to see you." She said, "I was out with your brother the night of your car wreck. We were getting ready to leave his apartment when he turned to me and said, something has happened." I began to cry in the middle of the room as she gave me a hug asking me what was wrong. I said, "It was not a dream.” She asked, "What was not a dream?" I said, "I was there. I tried talking to Charles. I died. It was not a dream." At that moment, I became convinced that I truly died.

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