Nicole Dron was a French woman who had a profound near-death experience in 1968 when she was twenty-six years old. It took ten years before she spoke out in 1978, at the risk of being mocked and derided. As time went by, she managed to overcome her apprehension and told her story on television, radio, and at conferences that she organised.
This is what she experienced, in her own words:
“It all happened in 1968. Three weeks after the birth of my second son I was bleeding pretty seriously. I was rushed to the hospital for an emergency operation. During the course of the hysterectomy there was a second violent bleeding. In that moment, which only lasted 45 seconds I lived a fragment of eternity!
The first thing I remember is that I found myself at ceiling height. There I was, with all my thoughts, my emotions, my impressions and all that constitutes my inner being. I quickly became aware that I could see in all directions at the same time and most importantly I experienced the new, incredible feeling of existing outside of my physical body. I assure you that to feel alive outside of oneself is a shocking experience. I understood that the body which I saw on the operating table was something I resided in. As I looked at it I realised I did not find it beautiful, I was cadaverous, I had tubes coming out my nose and mouth, I really wasn’t looking good. Not that it seemed to matter at the time, because that body was not me, it was just my vehicle. I heard the surgeon cry out “she’s slipping away!” These words were confirmed one month later by the nurse who was present at the operation.
I didn’t stay in the operating theatre for long, I thought about my husband and my father-in-law who were in the waiting room. As I thought about them, I instantly found myself right next to them. I understood that I could travel through walls. It all seemed so natural, only later did I ask myself how it could have been possible! How could have I gone through those walls and found myself in the waiting room, considering that I wasn’t even aware of its location?
I saw that there were no chairs in the waiting room, which is something that my husband later confirmed. I could see my husband and his father pacing up and down the room, I tried to capture their attention but I realised they couldn’t see me. I couldn’t understand what was happening, I felt a sort of desperation for not being able to communicate with the people I loved. As I kept trying to be noticed, I placed my hand on my father-in-law’s shoulder only to see it go through his body!
At the same time I was becoming aware of a new ability: that of penetrating everything that exists. I never lost the perception of being “myself”, but I had the impression that I was occupying more space, that’s when I found myself in the heart of my husband. I knew all his thoughts, even his essence, his worth as a human being. The same thing happened with my father-in-law. My parents-in-law had lost their first son at the age of 25: the boy had drowned in a vain attempt to save a friend. Consequently, they had concentrated all their love on their second and last son, who at that time was 14. When he then became my husband, I had feared that I had taken their son away and that they didn’t love me for who I was, but on the basis of how happy I could make him. This made me suffer. Yet here I was, reading my father-in-law’s heart, realising all the compassion and affection he felt for me.
After that I found myself engulfed in darkness and silence. I was alone in the world, lost in an infinite nothingness, I would have given anything to hear or see something. I don’t know how long I was in that state for. Perhaps a fraction of a second? Time didn’t exist. I thought: “That’s it girl, you’re dead”. Yet I wasn’t dead, because I existed. I remembered a phrase that was taught to me in catechism, when I was a little girl: “We live until the end of time, until the final resurrection”. In that context the idea of living in that nothingness seemed unbearable.
Something within me cried out for help, and in the distance I began to see a light. From that moment on I was no longer alone. I was thrown at prodigious speeds towards that light, the closer I got to it the bigger it grew, until it eventually occupied the whole space. The darkness lightened and I distinctly felt some presences around me, I couldn’t see them but I could feel a sense of infinite joy grow within me, a joy greater than any I could have experienced on this earth.
So I entered the light. There, words no longer existed…this light was an ocean of love, a pure kind of love which gave itself without asking for anything in return, a sun-love, an I was love. I was engulfed in an ocean of love, cherished for what I was, distant from all my preoccupations and earthly worries! I no longer was aware of time and space, I was just aware of being and of always having been. I understood that I was a particle of this light and that I was eternal. In that immense peace I understood the meaning of the words “I am”. It was as if, while remaining myself, I was becoming everything, finding my real nature. I had found my homeland. I had become love, I was life. God, how could I share this experience? If each one of us could only live it for just an instant, there would no longer be misery, violence or war on this planet.
From that light a young, luminous man emerged towards me. My heart filled with joy, because I recognised my brother. When I was 11 my parents had lost a 7 month old baby. I loved that toddler, I was his “mother”. After his death my parents had suffered in a way so well-expressed by Victor Hugo: “If you miss just one being everything turns into a desert”. Yet now he was alive, in front of me! I was so incredibly happy! I found myself in his arms, he was solid and so was I. We communicated through thought and feelings, and I “told” him: “mum and dad would be so happy to see you!”.
He told me that he had always followed us in our lives, I understood that love ties never die. How could I be certain that he was my brother? Obviously there is a huge physical difference between a baby and an adolescent. Yet I was certain it was him. I believe that it’s a matter of recognising the soul…
I also met my husband’s brother, Jacques, whom I had only seen in pictures. I was surprised and happy to find that he knew and cared for me. He showed me the circumstances of his death and just how much his parents had suffered, especially my mother-in-law. I sincerely hoped never to have to experience such an ordeal.
I also met beings that I had never seen on earth. Nonetheless I knew them and was immensely pleased to see them again. They could read me like an open book and I wished that I could show them only my positive aspects. I know that these beings accompany me and guide me through life.
All these encounters took place in the midst of a landscape inundated by light, beauty and peace. I was in a beautiful garden, the nature was beautiful. The grass was greener than earth’s, the flowers were different, as were the colours. Sounds themselves turned into colours. All this created a harmony, a unity which made me understand the sacredness of life. Everything was alive, a simple blade of grass would enchant me, because in it I could see the molecules of life, I could see their inner light. I then thought that beyond the human suffering which we feel when someone we love dies, we should be joyous in knowing that they are rediscovering Life.
I lived my life backwards, from the age of 26 to the time of my birth. Beside me was a Being of Light, a creature which my heart knew. I cannot describe the love he radiated. I realised later that he also had a great sense of humour.
I heard his voice as if it came from the depths of the universe, a voice both powerful and sweet. A voice made of love, which asked me: “how did you love, and what did you do for others?”. I immediately understood the importance of such a question. At the same time I had a vision of a multitude of beings with their arms extended up towards the sky, as if imploring. I knew that those beings were suffering and I could perceive their pain. What had I done for them? I hadn’t been bad, but I hadn’t done anything in particular. The question which I was asked meant to underline the importance of, in the words of Emerson, “doing all the good that exists in an individual”, I understood now that this required a lot of love. It required a growth, a transformation, which in turn would have helped others change. At that point I felt that mankind was a single entity, whose limbs survived and evolved by being independent from each other. I awoke to a new sense of responsibility. My awareness of such a seemingly simple concept continues to grow deeper as time passes by.
There was all of my life, all my joys, my expectations, my hopes and my suffering which had been part of it. I rediscovered my emotions as a child and some episodes of my childhood which I had forgotten, I saw all the motivations behind the years that I had lived: it is impossible to hide anything, it’s all written in the great book of life. It was shocking, because during such a review I was both the person living those emotional situations and a wiser part of me, which didn’t feel emotions but was only knowledge, love and justice. It was this pure light, this other part of me which evaluated my life and made everything clear. I understood my psychological mechanisms, I saw its inner workings, my limits and many other more subtle aspects which I still haven’t managed to translate in words. I acknowledged all the good and bad things that I had done without seeing the repercussions that all my actions and thoughts would have on me and the people around me. I comprehended what people felt when I had done something nice or something unpleasant to them.
This great awareness reviews our whole lives on the basis of criteria like absolute love and wisdom, and we understand all of our mishaps, miseries and weaknesses. At that moment we regret the time we spent looking for false values, we regret not having fully lived. This acknowledgement also accompanies compassion for oneself because we discover that ignorance, fear, external influences and weaknesses have separated us from what we really are and what we could have achieved in life.
I was shown my life after my return to earth. Before that, however, I was asked if I wanted to stay or to go back to the living. My soul wanted to stay, but it thought about the two children that needed their mother. I was told that when I returned I would necessarily forget many of the things that I had experienced. Despite my strong desire to imprint within me all that I had learned, I know that many of them have disappeared: I could only bring back a few crumbs, and for that I am sorry.
When I say “I was shown” or “I was told”, I intend to say that I would receive this information from a being (such as my brother) or from the great light. It was as if I was in a class without teachers.
I thus saw my children grow up and I was proud of them. I was shown that my parents-in-law and my grandmother would have left this earth almost in the same period of time, and that two of them would have left three weeks away from each other, something which I found particularly striking. My father-in-law and my grandmother left us exactly 13 years after this experience, three weeks away from each other, and my mother-in-law died the following year…I had revealed this information to my husband and my parents, which left them feeling distressed.
I know that I had learned a lot, but I have forgotten a great part of it. I was told that God was the force, life and movement, and that life existed everywhere in the universe, that when I will die I will not be asked to what religion, philosophy or race I belong to, but how I have loved and what have I done for others, because the only thing that matters is the interior quality of the individual.
I was also told that all that goes towards unity was positive and that all my life compared to eternity was like a blink of an eye in my own lifetime.
I was also shown the future of humanity. I saw that our earth would undergo great changes and that we would experience great trials and tribulations, because we had advanced technology, a lot of science, but very little fraternity and wisdom. I was also shown all that threatened our wellbeing if we didn’t change. I insist on the word “if”, as it is a determining factor.
I was told that we were at a crossroads and that nothing was unavoidable, it all depended on our capacity to love and act wisely. I nonetheless felt the extreme urgency for a great planetary and individual transformation and the necessity to institute peace and tolerance within and around ourselves, in order to live in harmony and with the respect for everything that lives.
I also saw that I had already lived on this planet. I was shown fragments of other lives and the ties which bound them all together. I was told that we go back to this planet until we acquire sufficient love and wisdom: it’s all a matter of evolution. In my current state I found all this to be logical and evident. Later, when I returned to my body, this memory shocked me; I am however intimately convinced that this concept of “multiple lives” mustn’t be cause for argument, in that it’s more important to work on self-transformation rather than to make such a concept one’s own firm belief. At an absolute level, beyond time and space lies nothing but life, the Great Life…but in our dimension which is limited by time and space, we only become aware of a segment, of a portion of this Life which flows between life and death, and we have the tendency to think that this tiny life is all there is to know. But that isn’t so.
I was told that Christ would have returned on earth and that the return was imminent. I however no longer know if the incarnation of this entity will be as Christ or if it will be this great conscience, this great Life that thrives around us as a potential which must awaken to the Christic dimension; I know that I cried because I understood that such an event could save us.
Christ, as I understood over the course of my experience (though I don’t claim to have understood all its mystery), represents the completeness of life in all that exists, and it’s the consciousness, love and life which totally manifest themselves within the human being and in mankind when liberated by its human miseries. Christ doesn’t belong to any religion because it’s in the heart of everyone, it is the fullness of God in man. I was moved and I could understand that what will save us from ourselves and will avoid wars, catastrophes and calamities will be the awakening of this dimension within ourselves.
I also remember moving from plane to plane, from level to level. I was under the impression that I was profoundly penetrating my consciousness, which manifested through ever-growing lucidity and internal comprehension. I then found myself in a city of light, gold and precious stones, glory of all glories.
I felt transported and lifted to a higher level. I then more profoundly understood what sense the 26 years I lived on earth had, and what I had done with this opportunity. I was then shown that I would go through many other trials and suffering in the time that I had left to live on earth. I saw myself cry many times and I asked why would I have to go through this. I was told that I had accepted them before I was born, because thanks to them I would have grown. I then prayed that I would be given all the trials and experiences necessary to reach the final goal in one lifetime, because I didn’t want to go back to earth. I understood that hell was on earth and that I was ready for the greatest sacrifices in order to not have to go back. However I was made to understand that it wasn’t possible to load my shoulders with more than I could carry.
It may appear extravagant or unnatural to wish for such a thing. Thank God I am not a masochist, I love life, but in that sublime state of consciousness I had only one desire: to reach that final goal as soon as possible, that is to melt myself into that incredible splendour. On Earth we rebel against suffering and illness. But on the “other side” one understands the reasons why and sees the results of such ordeals, everything becomes clear.
I then saw a beautiful being come towards me. It is impossible for me to say whether it was a man or a woman, because it was virile and feminine at the same time. I felt I knew it since the dawn of time and I wanted to merge with it. I told it: “I want to join you forever” and in that precise moment I realised that I was that being, it was me at the end of time, when I would one day be complete. It was a huge lesson in humility, because it allowed me to measure the long path that was ahead of me in order to be complete…I understood that time was only the distance which separated me from myself. My incapacity to live my full self attracts the experiences necessary in order to acquire that which I’m missing.
My brother and I said our goodbyes. He suggested that I shouldn’t talk of my experiences when I woke up, but to wait 17 years before sharing them, because before then they would have been considered a result of post-surgery trauma.
I don’t remember leaving my body, but I remember entering it through the head, slipping into it like a glove. The feeling of completeness wore off, as did the sense of liberty and the feeling of being one and everything at the same time. One comes back to the body like it were a box. One forgets that everyone else is part of us, they are us, and that we only hurt ourselves.
They woke me up rapidly. When I came to, I could hear a sublime music in my ears, an infinite symphony which was so sweet it filled me with love. I later searched for that music, listened to classical and sacred music, but I never found it again. Behind that music was a sense of completeness, an infinite peace, an understanding that I wish I could have forever kept within me. I brought back a particle of eternity and the feeling of having understood all things. Everything was perfect…
When I woke up, so did the pain (I had a long cut on my abdomen) and the whole experience became less clear. I couldn’t hold on to it. That which I remember is nothing but an infinitesimally small part. Since then I know that love is the secret of life, the secret of God, and I also know that God is that beautiful light and the energy which permeates the universe. I believe in a religion without frontiers, that of the love that lies in the heart of every human being and that, beyond dogmas, guides man in transforming from a caterpillar to a butterfly.”