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Saved by a frightening vision


About 20 years ago, when I was living in Eastern Europe and working as an engineer in a factory, I often walked to work across a nice park full of snow. On an early winter morning, I was unexpectedly attacked by a stranger, in the attempt to rape and perhaps kill me. He didn’t tell he would kill me, but somehow I believed he would. He started pulling me aside; we began fighting. 

I had never had a serious fight in my life before and actually I was very inefficient. My winter coat prevented me from moving easily, and his thick clothes were protecting him from my hits. Soon, his hands clenched around my neck and he began to strangle me. He was much stronger, I couldn’t get out, no matter how hard I tried. I realized that the last seconds of my life are now ticking out. Hard to tell how terrifying it was. I expected to lose consciousness, to run out of air or blood in the brain, but somehow I didn’t. 


Next, I saw myself in a different place – but it was not hazy, or unsteady, like dreams or fantasies are, – it felt very realistic, as real as the reality we live in. The place seemed very appalling from the very first moment. To me, it looked like a huge abyss, maybe as big as the cosmos. I think it had no boundaries and extended indefinitely to all directions. It was very dark, and yet I could see in it.  Unlike the cosmos, there was absolutely nothing in it – no stars, no lights, no other objects or beings. It seemed that I’d be its only inhabitant if I ended up in that place. I was not afraid of being alone, but there was something else that made the place very unpleasant. For lack of a better word, I would call it the cold – not a physical cold; it was not evil of threatening; nobody was lurking here, on the contrary, – something very essential was absent -- missing in the place.  That’s why it felt so bad and unpleasant. From the beginning of the attack, I was overwhelmed with horror, but seeing where I thought I was going to end up, just added to it. I think, subjectively, that I stayed in the place for several seconds. My next thought was that I didn’t want to go there by any means, and that I wanted very much to live. Desperately, in my mind, I screamed for help, although it was just my instinct. I didn’t really expect any help – there was nobody around in the park, and since I was not religious, it didn’t even occur at the moment to address any gods or spirits. 


Then, I was back again in “our reality”, fighting. I can’t say anything about the transition between the void and the reality, because I didn’t notice anything extraordinary. In fact, at that time I haven’t even heard about the void, and for a long time after the event believed that the abyss could be a hallucination caused by immense stress, or maybe the lack of oxygen. So, I was back, and realized that the man was not strangling me anymore. Suddenly I got an idea – I should try biting him. It worked. Soon, I succeeded grabbing his palm with my teeth, with all my strength plus fear, – I injured him, caused pain and our fight quickly ended; he let me go. There were a few more developments at the end of the story, but am not sure if they are relevant to NDE.

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