For over 9 years I have been, and still am totally perplexed by the unexplained psychic / spiritual experience that I had on the evening of February 25, 1998 at a small church in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania. Let me first say that everything that I am about to tell you is in no way false, or an exaggeration of the truth. I take these matters very seriously, especially because it was a very real, profound, and completely unexpected experience.
Also, I must make it clear that as of this writing I have no affiliation with any church or religion. I am currently what you could call a spiritual agnostic. I was not on any drugs (I don't do them), nor medications, nor was I under the influence of alcohol when this event took place. I was well rested and totally awake.
At the time, I lived just outside of Washington, DC; I was 19 years old and lived with my mother who had divorced my father when I was very young. I got news in February, 1998 that my father (who lived just north of Pittsburgh, PA) was in a terrible car accident. Apparently, the accident was so terrible that doctors were not sure whether or not he would live. I did not have a close relationship with my father, and living almost 300 miles from him for many years, barely spoke to him. My mother and I both felt that I needed to get to Pittsburgh as soon as possible to see my father, for possibly the last time. I took a plane from Washington to Pittsburgh, was picked up by my aunt Marianne and driven immediately to the hospital. When I arrived at the hospital, I saw my father for the first time in about 3 years. He was on his hospital bed, and according to the doctors was recovering, and was no longer in peril of dying from his injuries. Over time, my father did need extensive surgery to repair his hip, his left shoulder, and eventually the doctors graphed skin onto his left arm.
The next day I awoke, and visited my father again. He was recovering, which came as a relief to me. That evening my grandparents coaxed me into going to church with them. My grandfather was the minister of this church (Wildwood Chapel - Aliquippa, PA). I had a very religious and spiritual upbringing, but at this time in my life I loathed church, and just about anything dealing with Judeo-Christianity. Begrudgingly, I went to the service and sat in the back.
During the worship service when the music is played, the gentleman leading worship (Mike Yuricha) said that he felt that God was telling him that "Someone in the audience needs to get 'right' with God..." I've heard that sort of thing for many years, and was in no mood to walk to the altar. Suddenly, I felt a very distinct thought in my heart - the thought felt very external but very specific. The voice in my heart said to me "Come and be humble before me..." In most cases, I would pass off the thought as possibly one of my own, but this "message" seemed to genuinely come from someone or something outside of myself. It felt like a thought that my brain didn't have to generate, but simply heard. I made the decision to walk to the altar, I really felt that God may actually be trying to speak to me - the message in my heart was simple, clear, distinct, and convincing.
I left my pew, and walked to the altar at the front of the church - a humbling experience. As I approached the altar I had a sensation all over my body; it felt like what I can best describe as walking through a warm cloud of electricity. I knelt at the altar, and laid my head down on the platform steps just to the left of the altar. As I did this I began to cry, very, very hard. With my face buried in the steps, I wept bitterly and profusely. I was overcome with many emotions. A hand touched the back of my neck to comfort me in my emotional state. This was the hand of a woman (Diane Liptak) who often prayed for people at this church. The instant her hand touched the back of my neck, the most amazing thing in my life happened.
I felt what I can best describe as a warm flood of electric water pouring all over my body. The sensation was so powerful that it felt as if I was being electrocuted. As soon as this sensation came upon me, I groaned and yelled aloud in the middle of my weeping. But the muscular contractions that caused me to yell so loudly were not voluntary muscular actions. It felt like a force squeezed this groan out of me, just as you would ring out a wet towel. As this happened, Diane (who was comforting and praying for me) felt the same "warm electric" sensation that I was feeling, and began crying profusely almost instantaneously. This sensation was so powerful to her as well that she had to kneel down from the fear of falling. Totally unexpectedly, my consciousness left my physical body.
By my best estimation, I was approximately 4 feet above my physical body. I did NOT see the classic birds-eye view of me laying on the floor of the church. All I saw was darkness, my physical eyes were shut and I did not want to attempt to open them because I did not want to interrupt was was happening. However, I was able to hear everything that was going on. I could hear Diane and myself crying in front of the altar. The way that I heard Diane and myself crying was the same way that you would hear 2 people 4 feet in front of you crying as they faced away from you. I did not hear the vibrations of my own voice in my skull, as all of us do when we talk or yell or make any type of vocalization. This is the reason why so many think their voices sound weird on recordings, that vibration in the skull is obviously not heard in recordings. This phenomenon is the way that I can be absolutely sure that my consciousness was indeed, outside of my body.
I was able to discern and gage my distance from my physical body very clearly based off of how I heard my surroundings. It felt as if I was floating and swimming in midair. All the while, this flooding, warm, electric feeling grew in intensity. It was becoming so strong, yet so euphoric that I sincerely felt that if it got any stronger that I would die. I said in my own mind, "God, please stop you're going to kill me..." Very gently, the sensation and the experience lifted off of me, and I could sense my consciousness moving downward toward my physical body. The last bits of the sensation faded away and I opened my eyes, and hugged Diane for many minutes, both of us crying.
I slowly returned to my pew and payed no attention to the sermon, I was too perplexed, baffled, and awed. That night I made the decision to move to Pittsburgh. My father eventually made a great recovery, but died many years later in 2004 from hepatitis and toxic epidermal necrolysis.
I would be delighted, honored, and glad to speak with any in this forum, and I openly invite your questions.