A good friend, having read my own account of the near-death experience with which I was blessed a couple of weeks ago, sent me this account of a similar experience with which the late Fr. Richard Neuhaus was blessed. These things are at once more Real than the shadowlands in which we live and yet less tangible to our enshadowed minds, which is why we’ve invented the label “mystical” to discuss them.
It was a couple of days after leaving intensive care, and it was night. I could hear patients in adjoining rooms moaning and mumbling and occasionally calling out; the surrounding medical machines were pumping and sucking and bleeping as usual. Then, all of a sudden, I was jerked into an utterly lucid state of awareness. I was sitting up in the bed staring intently into the darkness, although in fact I knew my body was lying flat. What I was staring at was a color like blue and purple, and vaguely in the form of hanging drapery. By the drapery were two “presences.” I saw them and yet did not see them, and I cannot explain that. But they were there, and I knew that I was not tied to the bed. I was able and prepared to get up and go somewhere. And then the presences – one or both of them, I do not know – spoke. This I heard clearly. Not in an ordinary way, for I cannot remember anything about the voice. But the message was beyond mistaking: “Everything is ready now.”