Millions of people all over the world attest to near death experiences, what’s the one thing they all come back saying? We are one.

  But what does this mean? Could it simply refer to one people, one planet, one species? Perhaps even to one spirit or connected consciousness of some sort. Further still, perhaps they lack the proper words to describe what it is they have experienced.

  I was 13 the first time I died. Anaphylaxis induced via bee sting of which I apparently am deathly allergic to. My throat had swelled shut, and breathing ceased on the way to the hospital as my parents had no prior knowledge of my allergy either and thus no EpiPen. My heart stopped soon after, but I was not there.

  I saw myself in that ambulance, as the medics scurried to attempt to resuscitate and stabilize me. I looked down upon the gurney as the ambulance motored toward the hospital. Eventually I sifted through the roof itself, and began to see the world as a bird might, an aerial perspective.

  Before I could properly explore my new surroundings and test my new abilities, I was suddenly vacuumed back into my body without warning. A shot of epinephrine and subsequent doses of antihistamine had been enough to quell the swelling in my trachea and restart my heart. I awoke to a bright light, and my parents crying tears of joy as they peppered me with affection. My experience offered little in the way of direct sight, but it was then that I first learned the truth. There is so much more to see.

  The second time was the result of a car crash which left me unconscious and bleeding profusely from my head. I was 17, my friend was driving and I was riding shotgun when a drunk driver ran the light and t-boned us in his F-150. My friends little civic crumpled on impact and flipped over half a dozen times. Both vehicles looked more like scrap heaps when all was said and done.

  I watched as the first responders scurried to the scene. I watched them use the jaws of life to tear the mangled doors from the chassis of the car. I watched as a large firefighter with a grizzly beard and worried deep-set eyes tenderly lifted my limp and broken body from the wreckage. I watched as the paramedics scrambled to stabilize me, but then I lost interest.

  After all, I could fly now, and I’d be damned if I was going to squander that ability. I ascended from the scene, and rose up, up high into the night’s sky. The flickering skyline of Denver soon came into view and speckles of light dotted the open plains. The sun was setting upon a purple scarlet sky, and I watched as it slinked it’s way behind the monolithic rocky mountains.

  I zoomed towards them, using my newfound ability to glimpse what sights that only an aerial vehicle otherwise could. I flew far and wide across the Colorado horizon. I saw the downtown metropolis and watched as hundreds made their way out for a night on the town. I descended for a closer look, and it was then I realized it. I could see everything else, but I could not see myself. There were no feet below me, and no arms at my side. Consciousness, and nothing more. 

  The realization did not trouble me though, and I continued on my venture. On the streets I saw the people close up, observing them unseen and firsthand. Pearl street was adorned with all manner of lights as it normally was on a Friday evening. A group of three girls laughed and joked amongst themselves as they walked towards me, and then sauntered right through me.

  For a time, I sat there, content to simply observe. Invisible to those who passed by. Dozens came and went, until I saw something which caught my attention. A family of three, mother, father and young daughter walked towards me. The little girl walked in the middle of them, clutching both their hands tightly as the three happily trotted along. She smiled and giggled gleefully as her parents raised her in the air by her arms and cheered her on. Then she saw me.

   For a moment a frightful look parsed her lips, but soon her ear to ear smile returned. Her eyes made contact with mine, or at least the focal point from which I was viewing. She slipped her hand from her father’s grasp, and waved to me cheerfully. I glanced around to see if there was another she could have been waving to, but no one else responded. I smiled with what would have been my mouth, and waved back with what would have been my hand. Her parents looked confused, but likely accounted it to the overactive imagination of a young child.

  The event had me curious. I sifted over to the window in one of the shops along the street. A few patrons explored various knick knacks within, but they did not interest me. My reflection was nonexistent. I was nothing, no ethereal outline, no vague aura, not even a shadow on the ground beneath me. How then, was the little girl than able to see me?

  Before I had time to properly ponder the event, I was suddenly torn across the city, and my vision faded to black. A series of rhythmic beeping sounds first struck, followed shortly by several indistinct murmurous voices. I felt an aching, throbbing sensation in my head. Slowly I opened my eyes.

  The blurred silhouettes of a few figures scrambled towards me. After a couple seconds the image cleared, and I recognized the faces of my parents and girlfriend. They cried and hugged me softly, relieved to see I had not remained among the astral plane eternally.

  My body was broken from the impact. A dislocated shoulder, three shattered ribs and severe concussion with subsequent brain edema. It took months for a full recovery, but slowly I regained my strength. Within a year it was all but a memory, but the visions I had seen were never forgotten.

  I cannot blame fate or misfortune for the latest event. For the third time that I died was due to nothing else but my own hand. Life had become anguish, and I found myself unable to cope. The abyss had called out to me time and time again, and finally I answered the call. Many different variables played a part in my attempted demise, but the only one that mattered was the act of swallowing the entire bottle of sleeping pills. I laid on my bed and prayed that final death would be the last.

  I was met with darkness, but not just darkness. An all-encompassing void of nothingness which extended to infinity. Regret immediately set in, and I wondered if that was to be my eternal fate. A lost soul drifting in the endless black chasm for eternity.

  In the distance a light emerged. A beautiful incandescence which shimmered in the void like a radiant diamond. It appeared as a single star within an empty galactic abyss. I had to touch it.

  I zoomed as fast as I could towards it, but it never seemed to draw any closer. Around me I saw and heard voices and images constantly materialize and disintegrate. I saw myself as a child. I saw myself born and cradled in my mother’s arms. I saw myself from the perspective of my father as he wrapped his wife and newborn son in his arms. I saw myself as my mother crying tears of joy for the miracle of life. But it wasn’t actually seeing, it was remembering. Then I saw the others.

  An innumerably vast maelstrom of souls spiraled around me, stretching upwards and outwards ad infinitum in numbers so colossal they have yet to be named. Impossible colors whirled around me in a celestial typhoon of divine proportions. I saw a trillion different moments in time all at once, from a billion different perspectives in a zillion different places. Their thoughts, memories and experiences all colliding and becoming synonymous with that of my own being.

  I saw the world as it emerged from a burning ball of gas into a little blue planet. I saw early man as he hunted leviathan beasts in forests of immense proportion. I saw a world propelled by machines and computers to grow and dominate the landscape. I saw the flying cylindrical vessels raise from a cyclopean city of obsidian and glass, and burn the oncoming legions to dust.

  I saw the great wars mankind had waged and took part as multiple combatants across dozens of perspectives. I was the most horrible of men, and the most kind. The most loyal and the most treacherous, most loving and most hateful. I died a thousand deaths and lived a thousand lives. All existence and consciousness swirled and conglomerated within me as a single universally vast entity broken into billions of individual pieces became once again united. It was then that I understood. Then that I could finally see what others had said so many times before. We are one.

  I awoke yet again in a hospital bed, surrounded again by my loved ones. They cried for me, but this time it was more than tears of relief. It was tears of confusion, tears of betrayal, tears of a deep sorrow. It was grief which I myself had inflicted upon another instance of myself.

  They say we are born in the image of our creator. Eyes as supernovas and ears of the Fibonacci spiral. A brain of metatronic design, and a purely arithmetic spirit of ethereal origin. Hands and feet paired as male and female in a separate duality culminating in balance. We create as the stars do, and destroy as do the black holes. Beings capable of both beautiful and terrible deeds. Dreams grant you visions of separate realities, and experiences of lives lived both past and present and future.

  We call the creative force which governs all things; ‘God’, because we lack the ability to properly define it. Once this being was whole, comprised of an infinite number of individual souls. This universal singularity has since fractured and manifested into physical biologic entities. One day this singularity will again be whole, and reality shall start anew.

  Our actions are intertwined in ways we cannot even imagine, as existence itself is at the whim of those who perceive it. You are not just a single perspective, you are every perspective. A universal fractured singularity of the soul. You are the universe as it experiences itself over and over again. Every moment in time, and every experience all at once, forever. Your life is not your first, and it shall not be your last. You will live the lives of all, and all will live the life of you. An eternal consciousness comprised of everything that has ever held a thought. A revelation of both hellish and heavenly proportions, and an inescapable immortality.

  Upon death, our minds become liberated, free to wander until the time in which another perspective arises. The process of reincarnation births you into the body of another. Over time, memories and knowledge from previous incarnations fade as the mind forgets and learns again. Sometimes children remember, and sometimes dreams do to.

  Our individual fates are coterminous with one another. All of us but infinitesimal parts of a single indescribably gargantuan whole. Death is nothing, meaningless in its existence. For what we call death, is only a change in perspective. That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange eons, even death may die. I am you, and you are me. And at some point in time, our respective places as observer and orator within this story shall be reversed. Then you will tell, and I will listen.