My OOBE/NDE experience occurred on May 4, 2015. I need to go to the Emergency Room at the local hospital that has both the EKG facilities and the staff to provide any indicated medical care.  I realize that I am probably in some state of shock with the possibility of a mortal crisis, and my analytical brain isn’t really functioning very well.  Angels, please get me to the hospital without any more drama!  Another 8-mile drive to the hospital, and I calmly walk up to the receptionist and ask if I could get an EKG because I’m beginning to show the signs of CHF (Congestive Heart Failure).  Those must be magic code words.  She probably hit a little red button somewhere, because a nurse immediately bursts out of the double doors of the triage room, flies out with a wheelchair, plunks me down in it, and wheels me into the EKG room where at least a dozen little probes are attached to my chest in a flurry of activity.  A Physician comes in, looks at the EKG strip and orders me to be immediately admitted.  Evidently it was worse than I thought, and I thank the Angels again for getting me here. 

Well, here I am in my hospital room, very relaxed with the light sedative I’ve been given, so I use my cell phone and call the retreat center where my wife, Anita, is attending her workshop. They say they will try to locate her and hang up. A little while later Anita calls me and says she’ll immediately leave and be there at the hospital in about 3 hours or so. Meanwhile, the doctors are recommending that a probe be sent up from my leg artery to my heart to inspect things, and they think that a stent would likely solve any problems they find. But instead, they find three cardiac arteries that are nearly completely blocked, so a stent was out, and I would have to be transferred to the nearest hospital that does heart surgery, about 30 miles away, for what they call a ‘Cabbage’ – CABG, med-speak for Coronary Artery Bypass Graft. Ambulance transport was arranged for the next day, Friday, May 1.

At the new hospital, I am told that the heart surgeons have a full schedule, and the earliest they could get to me would be Monday, so I spend the weekend lightly sedated with happy drugs. Finally! Monday comes and the nurse arrives to prep me with, among other things, a bit more sedation. I kissed Anita and, as they were wheeling me into the operating room, I remember asking the nurse what time it was; she said, “Its 10:30am, May the Fourth… be with you!” I relaxed totally with a smile and said, “Thank you for that!” That is the last thing I remember before the operation, but it’s certainly only the beginning of the most powerful experience I have ever had.

Without any sense or feeling that time had passed, I am now looking down through an irregular ‘hole’ in the ceiling where I see several people around my physical body lying there on the operating table. There is a lot of movement as people respond to the surgeon’s directions to hand him an instrument, open the chest a bit further, stop that bit of bleeding there, check with the Anesthesiologist, etc., and I marvel at how swiftly and professionally everyone is working together, just as if they were a single being getting everything done just right. Then I hear the surgeon say, “I think we need another graft around this one that’s about 85% blocked. Might as well do it right now – that makes it a four-way bypass.”

Then I feel something happening in the back of my head … as I look down at my body, I somehow just know that a tiny part of my brain stops working. I look up and see another man looking at me with infinite love and concern. He is about four or five feet in front of me, dressed completely in white – white coat, white pants, white shirt, white tie, even white hair, but his skin is lightly tanned and his eyes are the bluest I’ve ever seen. I look down at his shoes to see if they were also white, but he doesn’t have any feet or shoes at all; for that matter, I don’t either! He looks to be about 45 or so, and as I look at myself (how did I do that?), I seem to be about 35 or so, and both of us appear very healthy, trim and fit. All of a sudden, I am observing this ‘Greeter’ in white from about four feet behind him and off to his left side, and I look at myself standing about eight feet away facing Mr. Greeter, so I can see myself very clearly; then, from behind Mr. Greeter, I hear him say to the me in front of him, “You now have a choice. You can come Home with me, or you can return to your body and to your life. What do you choose to do?”

Well, I think that it is very curious that I am behind Mr. Greeter, while I see the other me over there observing my body below, but then I instantly thought, “I’ll figure that out later. I have to make a choice NOW!” If there was time, it stopped completely. As I look down below at my body again, I know that it is damaged somehow and would never work again as well as it had before, and if I choose to return to my body, I would be somehow impaired physically. At the same time, I feel an extremely strong, loving, magnetic force pulling me backward and upward to go ‘Home’ with Mr. Greeter. In the same instant, as I observed this conversation from behind Mr. Greeter who was facing the other me who was thinking about what to choose, I ‘hear’ myself silently think, “Hmmm, it will be very interesting to see what he (the other me) decides to do!” Then, I looked at myself over there standing in front of the Greeter, looked down again at my body on the table, saw my wife Anita in my mind, and heard that other me say, “No, there are some things I would still like to do in this lifetime, so I choose to return to my body and my life.” At that instant, I had no idea what those things were that I still had to do, but I was quite positive that I just wanted the opportunity to continue living to do them.

My next awareness was groggily trying to open my eyes. Anita was there and I heard her say from far away, “He’s awake now!” As I slowly adjusted to being in my body again, I began trying out my legs and arms to make sure that everything worked again: Left hand - Yes! Left arm - Check! Left leg - Yes, toes wiggle, too! Right hand, not so much. Right arm, nothing. Right leg, oops - not working at all. I think this is very interesting and curious, and I hear me say, “Hey, Honey – look at this, I’m trying to move my right arm and leg and they’re not working yet!” Then I hear Anita shouting for the nurse and telling her that she thinks I’ve had a stroke! I think to myself, “Uh-oh! Well, this is what I chose to return to!”

In the next couple of days, I had several Computerized Tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans to determine the extent of the damage caused by the stroke. The Neurologist assigned to my case said that I had experienced three blockages in the blood vessels in the back part of my brain, the region that was responsible for motor movement of my limbs, and that sometimes stroke patients also experienced a tightening of the throat muscles and slurring of speech. Two weeks of in-patient physical therapy was followed by another four weeks of out-patient physical therapy, and eventually, I could haltingly walk around again with only a slight limp, but only for a short time and distance. But I also soon found that I could not speak continuously for more than about 10 minutes before my throat felt like it was tightening up and closing shut. So, at least I know the physical limitations that I will be working with after I am completely discharged. And I was also still wondering who, or what part of me, was that observer who was aware of the conversation between Mr. Greeter and the other me?

And what else did I learn from this experience? I’ve heard it said that there are no coincidences, and that everything happens for a reason. I’ve also previously heard in my spiritual regression training that before we are born, the spiritual part of each one of us chooses the family into which we will be born, the parents who will raise us, the lessons we are to learn during our lifetime, and also how and when we will exit our lifetime and ‘graduate’ from this earthly University of Life. But it was my very vivid Out-Of-Body-Experience (OOBE) and Near-Death Experience (NDE) described above that taught me several things about Life and about Death.

First, I learned, in a way that I now firmly KNOW, that my future death is nothing to fear, and will not be the end of my consciousness’ existence. Second, my ‘graduation’ will be like easily moving from a small, dimly lit room into a vibrant, large, life-filled room of love, peace and joy like I’ve done many times before. Third, I confirmed the existence of a spiritual ‘Greeter’ Being who escorts Home those souls whose body has died and helps them to adjust to the greater reality of their spiritual and energetic being. Fourth, I confirmed the existence of pre-chosen ‘Exit Points’ where my Higher Self or soul would have the choice of returning Home or extending my physical lifetime contract to some future Exit Point. Fifth, upon reviewing my OOBE, I believe my fifth-dimensional Higher Self was looking at and sensing my third-dimensional body on the operating table, and then an even higher aspect of my consciousness (tenth- or fifteenth-dimensional?) was also wondering whether my fifth-dimensional Self would choose to go Home or to return to the body. I now understand what being ‘Multi-Dimensional’ really means – consciously being aware that I simultaneously exist in more than just one dimension of consciousness at the same time!

More recently, I wanted to verify that the information I had believed about my Greeter and the Exit Points was in fact valid. Since I am a retired professional Hypnotherapist who, for more than 20 years, had provided Past Life Regression, Spiritual Regression and Life Between Lives Hypnotherapy services for my clients, I therefore, chose to participate in a hypnotic session where I, Howard, was the Director for the session, and my own Higher Self was the Source of the information transmitted. My conscious conversation with Artoomid, the name that my own Higher Self has chosen to be known by, was through one of my trained Channels, and the purpose was to either confirm or refute my prior conclusions regarding my OOBE and NDE experiences. Our conversation went as follows:

Howard: Artoomid, I'm reviewing the process that I went through and the images that I received, during my Heart Bypass Operation, and I still have some questions that have not been answered by the medical community. First, during my Heart Operation, did my heart stop?

Artoomid: For a little while, yes. It stopped on its own, but the physician felt he was in control, and was not concerned. He knew he could "bring it back." You may think that your body died, but it was not beyond repair. There is a time or a space in which the body physically functions, even though the heart has quit, and as long as the body is cared for, and assisted to receive oxygen, it can maintain what you consider "life" for a little while without the heart. But the heart needs to circulate the blood very soon. Your surgeon was aware that it had stopped, and he was able to quickly get it "re-beating." I see he used a pressure, not exactly a jolt, but a strong physical "squeezing" to trigger the heart to move again.

Howard: Good. During that time when my heart stopped, I became aware of what I call an "Out of body experience." After I woke up, I remembered looking down through the ceiling, and watching my physical body on the table.

Artoomid: Yes. Michael and I both were letting you know that you would soon reach a point where you would have a choice, and that your brain had suffered, but it was not beyond repair. And you would be given a choice to come back to a body that would take a lot of work and lot of dedication to bring back, and it was your Soul's choice. You think of it as "out of body," but it is a place that you can go to at any point, once you gain that control. You were there because you were at a juncture, so to speak, a point of choice.

Howard: What I became aware of was a man who looked to be physical, looked to be dressed in white: white pants, white shirt. Was I imagining this person, or was there a spiritual "greeter" of some sort there? Who was this being that appeared in my mind?

Artoomid: He was there to accompany you if you chose to leave your body behind. He is one whom you know on the other side. He is one who has volunteered to assist you in the past when you have left the physical body, and he will return when you do decide to move on. He is what you may think of as a "Tour Guide" or a "Way Shower" as you move on. He is there waiting on the other side and observing. He is performing this assistance to many and is considered as assistance for moving forward and back. He does this for not just one Soul, and this is his specialty. As you make the transition, he is there to hold your hand or guide you forward without fear. He is dressed in white as a comfort to you, as there is a soul memory for you that is positive for this type of appearance, and it is a calming sight for your Soul.

Howard: All right. Now during this Out of Body Experience, he asked me a question: "What do you choose to do, return to the body, or come home with me?" Is this the choice that's given to everyone who is in the process of transitioning?

Artoomid: Only to those whose physical body can be returned to. There are those to whom the body has been essentially lost. It has been damaged or has aged to the point that it cannot really be repaired. They do not have a choice; they must move on. But if your body can sustain you longer, and you wish to return to do further work, you may return, and that is the choice you were given.

Howard: During this experience with the Greeter, I was also aware that I was standing behind the greeter, and off to his left, behind him. I was observing the other "me" who was looking down at my body. What part of my consciousness was standing behind the Greeter, observing the other me?

Artoomid: You have been introduced to exactly what is meant by "multi-dimensionality," or the ability to observe from many different perspectives. The "you" that was watching the body closely was the part of the Soul Essence that is deeply imbedded into the physical body and is used to maintain and control and be within that body, and that part is the part of the consciousness that simply observes, that is not the physical, and that is the part that was with the being you call the Greeter. So, they were all parts of you, but from different perspectives of your Soul. You think of me, Artoomid, as your Higher Self, so to speak. I represent that bridge between embodiment in the physical and a Soul in the etheric, and the higher world of non-physicality, and the Higher Self moves back and forth between. So, the Higher Self, yes, is observing and was that entity, but was also still highly attached to the physical, as well as highly attached to the Superconscious part of you that is non-physical, your Soul. The Higher Self is essentially the link of the entire essence to the particular purpose at that time. The Higher Self is that part of you which directs and gives Soul Energy to the physicality, which observes and interprets and assists with your movement forward and the decisions that you make. The Higher Self is there to assist with your Guides and give nudges, to interpret the happenings in physicality that you use to grow forward. So, the Higher Self is essentially your internal guidance system, that part of you which, when used, can really help you to decide what works best for you. And it, therefore, can access the physical part of you as well as the Higher parts of you to help you.

Howard: So that was you, then?

Artoomid: Yes.   Michael and I together because, as your Guide, Michael is always there and available, but when you were in such crisis, he was very close to you, and I was with him. You have heard from other channels that once you are in the higher dimensions, you don't have a name, but are recognized by your vibration or your "Light." That is essentially that highest consciousness part of you, and that is what you are describing, your consciousness, or your Soul, your basic "who you are." You, as a Soul, are extended into Artoomid, which is represented in physicality as Howard.

Howard: My linear brain is trying to equate my physical body as third-dimensional, Artoomid is my fifth-dimensional Higher Self, and this other part of my consciousness is higher -- seventh, eighth, or whatever. Does that make sense?

Artoomid: Yes. That is exactly how it is. You mentioned earlier the differences in dimensions, and it is easier to understand from the perspective of that part of your consciousness or Soul, that it is able to represent itself in more than one dimension of consciousness, and it can simultaneously access more than one dimension. And as it learns and grows and gains more understanding of the dimensions themselves, it can vibrate at a faster and faster or higher and higher level, and therefore can access more and more information, which is considered from your perspective to be higher dimensions. So, it isn't step by step by step, but more of an expansion outward in waves. I am you, and I am that part of you that is your best friend, that is closest to knowing who and what you really are, and how you really serve. You are one of those who is aware and has memories of having been momentarily separated from your physical body, and able to return to it, and it is good to share with others so that it calms the fears of those who are unsure about what happens when one transitions. It helps for others to understand that it is not the end, but is merely a change, or in truth, a movement forward.

Howard: So, I believe that this was, in fact, a "Near-Death Experience.” Is that correct?

Artoomid: Yes. It was more than just an Out of Body Experience. You had the choice, at that point, to transition. So that is as near death as you get without transitioning!

Howard: I've heard this point of transitioning described by some as being at an "Exit Point." Are these Exit Points chosen by my Higher Self, or by my Soul, before I incarnate?

Artoomid: In general, yes. There is a belief that our whole life is predetermined by our Soul. But rather, the circumstances of that life are chosen because they will provide the best opportunities for those lessons. There are times when part of that lesson is perhaps a death at a young age, and that was foreseen by the Soul as part of the lesson. But there are also choices that can be made as a life nears an ending or time when the body begins to fail, where you may continue or choose to transition, based on your own comfort level with what you have learned here. So, you may be given a choice, or you may not. That does not happen for all Souls. There are Souls that are unaware, and they often experience a death that they see as unplanned, but that the Soul had planned before it happened. But it is not always that your Soul knew that on a certain date you would have a heart attack and that you would die or not die; but the Soul may know that you have choices as you reach those ages, and that those choices would still be left open until that time occurred. Your Soul did not necessarily know that you would choose to continue, but your Soul may have been well aware that you would be given that choice at that time.

Howard: Yes. I recall very vividly thinking that it will be very curious to see what “he” chooses.

Artoomid: Yes. And that “he” is a perspective from your core Soul, so to speak. You are given the opportunities, and you have free will to make the choice, and the Soul, once you make that choice, will guide you forward from there.

Howard: All right. And I made the choice, obviously, to return because I felt there was something I still needed to do.

Artoomid: Yes. And you ARE doing it, Howard. Do not doubt that.

Howard: Good. Thank you, Artoomid. There is another aspect of this experience that I'd like to explore. (Higher Self of Channel) I'd like you to call Michael to come forward. (Pause)

Higher Self of Channel: He is here, and it is him.

Howard: Welcome, Michael! Thank you for coming. I was surprised, pleased but surprised, that you also were there observing my near-death experience, and I'm curious about what role did you have to play, that Artoomid was not able to, or capable of performing?

Michael: It was more that Artoomid and I were there to observe you as you moved through this event in your life and made your choice; and to be available to you, depending upon the choice that you made. We were both there, offering our strength through Soul Energy, and our comfort for you, to help you to rise above and to observe, and to remain calm as you did so. But we were not influencing your choice, other than to make you aware that the choice was there for you. We were not hastening the event, nor were we slowing it down. We were allowing it to occur as it needed to occur for you, and then we were there in support, to be available depending upon whatever choice you made. So, if you chose to go with the person that you call the "Greeter," we would have been there, as well, to help you move along your path forward. As you chose to stay, we were delighted to assist you to come back into yourself, and to have the strength to be willing to make the changes, or to put in the energy to allow that body to be functional enough that you could continue on your path in third-dimension. So, we were not making things happen, but we were there observing and being an internal strength for you. I am always there with you, Howard. I am always observing you. I come directly to communicate with you only when you ask for it, but I am always there observing.

Howard: All right. Thank You!

Since I am here writing this, and you are here reading my words, it is quite apparent that, during my OOBE/NDE, I exercised my free will choice and elected to ‘extend my contract’ and returned to my lifetime for some reason. I have since reflected on what that reason could be, and since everything in my current lifetime has really been about the central theme of Communication in one form or another, I have concluded that my Life Purpose for returning is to inform others, through the books I have published since my OOBE/NDE, of the many great benefits and methods of establishing conscious communication in a conversational dialog with ‘the other side.’ This ‘other side’ is from where we incarnate and to which we return when it is time to take off our physical ‘suit.’ And as more and more people begin to recognize that, while incarnated, they are also an integral part of the Collective Consciousness of Humanity, hopefully our inter-personal communications will begin to emphasize and support our common abilities and strengths, instead of our perceived differences and assumed limitations. That will be the beginning of Wisdom, both as an evolving individual spiritual consciousness and as the collective physical civilization we called Humankind.