Life Flashing Before One's Eyes (Total Life Recall / Replay; Life Review)

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Often people in peril say that their lives passed or flashed before them.
Well a few years ago I had a similar experience, but with a few differences. I was not in (physical) peril and the "story" flashing through my mind showed the past, passed the present and projected the future for the actions I was about to take.
It was incredibly powerful and over in an instant, and luckily for the involved parties stopped me from making a tragic error. I have no doubt that one part of my mind did this as some sort of shout or scream to cut through my fury/determination to finish what it had started and make me see sense.
Actually the whole thing became a turning point for the way I lived my life. (sounds a bit dramatic, well because it was. Woolly description of the circumstances are deliberate)

Has anyone else had the life in front of eyes thing?

Has anyone else had this projection as well as past?

How can we get so much information so quickly? (If we could learn / communicate at that speed it would be amazing)
 

Jerry_B

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Altho' not related to a situation of peril that provoked such an event, I had a very similar experience with this sort of life recall the first time I ate marijuana. It was a very odd experience, but what happened was that I began to drift into a state between sleeping and waking and then had a sequence of events replayed in my mind that seemed to start back when I was perhaps one or two years old. What I was experiencing was very vivid and fresh - things that had simply been lost to memory came back very strongly, as if they were still very clear memories. All I can recall now was that my life was replayed up until the age of about 10 years old. When I later checked some of the things with my parents that I could still recall the next day, they all checked out. I have only had this happen to me once but it was as if something had been unlocked somewhere in my brain that let many of my memories back into my concious mind. The experience was so fresh when it happened that I remember gasping as each memory was replayed - that 'of course!' feeling you get when you suddenly remember something that has slipped your mind. It was as if I was literally reliving my past but as an observer from within my own body.
 
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JerryB said:
Altho' not related to a situation of peril that provoked such an event, I had a very similar experience with this sort of life recall the first time I ate marijuana.
I envy you - the first time I ate marijuana I slumped forward for 8 hours, dribbling on a strange man's shoulder. :p
 

phgnome

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Yes, SatyrUK, it happens a lot. I think it's not as uncommon as one may think.

You may also find that such incidents will become more frequent and that you could see the pivotal points in other people's lives too. They used to happen once every so often (a year+) when I was in my teens. I getting it with other people's lives when I was in my 20's. I just hit 31 and it happens every 2 months or so and it happens with trivial things, too, ontop of having detailed hunches about big things.

I think it's some adaptive thing in the brain that helps survival during reproductive years (it's something that can save a lot of people's skin).
 

OldTimeRadio

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There's another thread on the boards about this same subject, and I'm going to post a story here that I posted there several months back.

My dear friend Lou Tabakow (1915-1981), the doyen of Midwestern Science-Fiction fandom for more than three decades, told me this story in the early 1970s:

Lou ran away from his Cincinnati home at age 15, during the depths of the depression, to seek his fortune in sunny California. Early in his trek he had to cross a railroad (only) bridge high over an Indiana river. It was night and the bridge had more holes than boards and Lou fell through towards the river far below.

Lou told me that he did indeed "see his life pass before his eyes" as he fell. He claimed he re-experienced whole episodes from his school days, birthday parities, Jewish holidays and so on. His "memories" even included his own up-coming funeral!

But here's the kicker: when Lou stopped falling, his head and chest were still above rail level. He stood on rocks and dirt on the high shore. He'd fallen only about four feet!
 

ladysixxx

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My boyfriend had that situation. I will exclude details but just minutes before his [would be] death, his life flashed before his eyes resulting in childhood memories he forced himself to forget, family, and at the end finally myself flashing into his mind before someone found him and helped him.

It was all a matter of an instant, but the entire span of his 20-odd something life. Quite intersting.
 

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It's called a panoramic life experience, and the outcome is not always positive.
 

OldTimeRadio

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I had a related experience on September 21, 1981. I remember the specific date because it was my 40th birthday.

I awoke in bed that morning and for about the next five minutes the previous 20 years seemed to replay through my mind.

It was rather depressing. What most depressed me was the extreme brevity of that 20-year period and that in another equally brief flicker of time I'd be 60!
 

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One of my favorite sites is About.com's Paranormal page, which carries hundreds of personal experiences a la "It Happened to Me." One of my favorite stories was called "Visions of the Future" by "Wayne D.," in April 1999. Wayne had a terrible motorcycle accident with a car than emerged from a parking lot without signaling:

"Once in the ambulance, my fear became a reality when I saw my life flash before my eyes. I came to the conclusion that I was dying. I witnessed things I had totally forgotten - all the smells and all the pain, and all the sights and feel of those lost years. Then I was in the ambulance again. My vision of the past had caught up with the present moment that I was in. This is where it gets strange. I was preparing myself to die - not that I was giving up, just that I'd have to say that almost everyone in the western world believes that when you see your life flash before your eyes that you are about to die. The picture faded, and I could hear the paramedics saying they were losing me. Then I saw the inside of the hospital, and the doctors and nurses, and the paddles for the shock to start my heart (which was not used because I woke up), and the man who set my broken arms. Then I saw the next day, and the day after that, and week after then, a month later, then twelve months later. It got faster and faster, showing me everyday, in full detail of color sight and sound. Years went by, then decades - six in total. Then I saw myself as an old man at the age of 93-4 resting in a rocking chair, and looking over at my future wife (whom I am dearly looking forward to meeting; I will know it is her when it happens). She is smiling at me, and we look over the beautiful view of the countryside and mountain ranges. I looked at my hands in wonder and marveled in what had just happened, because the old man of my future knew I was coming for a visit. All of a sudden, I passed away, and everything went black. The next thing I realize is that I am lying on a table in the hospital, and the doctors and nurses are about to shock my heart, because it had stopped. Then the feeling of deja-vu went on for days, months, years, and to this day, I can't explain it. And believe me, no one else likes to hear it. I have scared away many friends, and have had family members turn against me. So I have had to learn to suppress this gift if I ever wanted to have any friends, but now I want to learn to retrieve this information. I guess no one likes to hear that the path of life is almost set is stone, but not quite because I have been able to change the course of the future, but it still comes back to the original path after the change takes place. I believe that there is a reason, and that I will find someone to help me. It has already happened."

***

I remember thinking it was a fun story, but as I had never heard of the "reaching the present and going on to the future" part before, I assumed it was spurious.

Of course, once I would have said that about Dog-Headed Men, Black-Stick-Men, Shadow People, and other things!
 

EnolaGaia

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I've experienced the 'life replay phenomenon' on 3 occasions - once circa 1966, once in 1974, and the last circa 1976 or 1977.

In all 3 instances, I was a passenger in a vehicle that had gone out of control and was skidding / falling toward an apparently fatal impact.

The 3 situations all shared the following characteristics:

- I had no control; there was nothing I could do
- I could see the apparent outcome as inevitable (skidding toward edge of an embankment beyond which there were only free-fall space and boulders; rolling off a mountain track into a 100-meter-deep ravine)
- I 'decided' or 'concluded' I was about to die

In all 3 cases, my visual field was 'pre-empted' by an incredibly detailed but lightning-fast replay of scenes and sensations, chronologically ordered from earlier to latest.

In general terms, it was similar to one of those fast-action collage sequences sometimes used on TV. In one important respect, though, it was very different. When I see a fast-action 'blitz presentation' of images on TV I have to relax to give my mind a chance to attempt recognition for any of the fleeting images. Some go by unrecognized in the flood. In the 'memory dump' replay, the recognition is already 'there' - i.e., I 'knew' each scene as it 'appeared'.

The depth of detail in some of the 'flashes' was extraordinary. For example - in a milli-instant during the 1974 incident (rolling a truck off a mountain road) I was again a toddler face-down on a particular old quilt in my maternal grandfather's front yard, staring at the yellow flowers on an olive green background and smelling its familiar musty smell as my aunt approached to gather me up for dinner.

The sequential 'dump' seems to run for a long time, but retrospective analysis seems to indicate there'd only been something like 2 - 3 seconds maximum elapsed 'real time' in each case.

In one of the incidents impact occurred while the replay was in motion, and it stopped.

In the two other incidents, the replay concluded with the present moment (the accident), and I was returned to 'scheduled perceptual programming' with a sudden wave of calm so wonderful that the term 'orgasmic' hardly does it justice.

(Endorphins, I suspect, and how I do wish I could trigger them at will ... :twisted: )

In the 1974 incident (rolling down into the ravine) the truck completed 2 rollovers (before fortuitously snagging on a tree stump) after I'd finished the rerun. I was peacefully tucked into a fetal position (no seatbelts) bouncing around as the cab crushed inward around me - distantly and dispassionately musing on how badly it would hurt to get crushed to death. In that moment, I didn't care ...

I can't say as I've experienced any of the 'blinding light' or 'shining corridor' phenomena that seem to have supplanted the life replay as the paradigmatic 'near-death experience'.

But I *have* gone through the life replay multiple times. I can't recommend the circumstances under which it occurs, but I cherish the experience (and the fact I ended up uninjured in all 3 wrecks).

NOTE: I recall reading in _Time_ or _Newsweek_ no later than 1968 about a mountain climber who'd experienced the life replay when falling to an apparent death that didn't happen. He'd compiled hundreds of reports on the phenomenon and published a book about it. The article was a review of the book. I've never been able to identify or obtain that book - anyone have any idea about the author or title?
 

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Why?
What purpose does the life review serve?
I consider the TLR to be a discrete / distinct reaction that occurs in specific situations - i.e., when you're awake and aware and convinced you're about to die. I don't believe it's a necessary component of the OBE near-death experiences. Over the years as I've read accounts of folks who've undergone a so-called near-death experience I've noticed that the TLR and OBE bits don't consistently co-occur, much less co-occur in a particular way or sequence.

My point is that I don't believe the TLR is an intrinsic component of the OBE / to-the-light versions of an NDE and vice versa ...

Having said that ...

The consistency in triggering circumstances, TLR rapid flow memory replay, and concluding climactic relaxation have led me to this hypothesis ... IMHO the TLR is an ultimate panic / stress reaction that takes over one's cognitive / perceptual processes, generates a massive episodic memory dump by way of firing off the brain all at once, and finishes with a massive endorphin rush.

You have to more or less consciously conclude "I'm done for", with no options for action, to trigger it. This contrasts with most NDEs of the OBE / to-the-light variety, which are typically reported as beginning while one is sedated or unconscious.


Is there any known recorded account when the occurrence was accompanied by a 'judgment' and experienced by someone who was an acknowledged atheist?
Speaking for myself ... I wouldn't say there was anything I'd call 'judgment' involved. It was an overwhelming replay (such as the life was) followed by massive relaxation. There were incredibly fast intervals where my attention seemed to linger or snag on a particular scenario, but I was always a passive viewer. I had no control over the TLR process, and it wasn't at arm's length to be observed and assessed with conscious / deliberative thought.

There was no meta-level thinking about the replay content at all, and the climactic relaxation consisted of re-engaged thought from a purely disengaged orientation (e.g., casually wondering how bad it would hurt to be crushed to death).

As far as others who've experienced the TLR ... I have read accounts that mention later (post hoc) thoughts about one's life and / or one's place in the scheme of things, but I don't recall anyone claiming to have rendered such a meta-level evaluation of the memory dump while it was happening.
 

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This is a follow up from related discussions on a separate thread:

https://forums.forteana.org/index.php?threads/near-death-out-of-body-experiences.34883/post-2002269

Why?

What purpose does the life review serve?

Is there any known recorded account when the occurrence was accompanied by a 'judgment' and experienced by someone who was an acknowledged atheist?

It would be interesting to see what they made of it all!
There are testimonies YouTube to this sort of incident, often where a Damascene conversion has occurred.
Some people believe they've visited Hell rather than Heaven.
 

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I consider the TLR to be a discrete / distinct reaction that occurs in specific situations - i.e., when you're awake and aware and convinced you're about to die. I don't believe it's a necessary component of the OBE near-death experiences. Over the years as I've read accounts of folks who've undergone a so-called near-death experience I've noticed that the TLR and OBE bits don't consistently co-occur, much less co-occur in a particular way or sequence.

My point is that I don't believe the TLR is an intrinsic component of the OBE / to-the-light versions of an NDE and vice versa ...

Having said that ...

The consistency in triggering circumstances, TLR rapid flow memory replay, and concluding climactic relaxation have led me to this hypothesis ... IMHO the TLR is an ultimate panic / stress reaction that takes over one's cognitive / perceptual processes, generates a massive episodic memory dump by way of firing off the brain all at once, and finishes with a massive endorphin rush.

You have to more or less consciously conclude "I'm done for", with no options for action, to trigger it. This contrasts with most NDEs of the OBE / to-the-light variety, which are typically reported as beginning while one is sedated or unconscious.




Speaking for myself ... I wouldn't say there was anything I'd call 'judgment' involved. It was an overwhelming replay (such as the life was) followed by massive relaxation. There were incredibly fast intervals where my attention seemed to linger or snag on a particular scenario, but I was always a passive viewer. I had no control over the TLR process, and it wasn't at arm's length to be observed and assessed with conscious / deliberative thought.

There was no meta-level thinking about the replay content at all, and the climactic relaxation consisted of re-engaged thought from a purely disengaged orientation (e.g., casually wondering how bad it would hurt to be crushed to death).

As far as others who've experienced the TLR ... I have read accounts that mention later (post hoc) thoughts about one's life and / or one's place in the scheme of things, but I don't recall anyone claiming to have rendered such a meta-level evaluation of the memory dump while it was happening.
Panic/stress reaction - yep I experienced that, and agree with your conclusions. Laying in a hospital bed 20 years ago feeling just a bit unwell and wondering what all the fuss was about, consultant and his entourage and nurse come in, draw the curtains round me (panic a touch) and tell me (I thought) that I'm hours away from death. I didn't catch the rest of what he said, because suddenly my brain was flooded with images of my life - I mean literally. Team leave and nurse asks me if I understood what had been said. I had misheard consultant- he had said that I would have been hours away if I'd delayed medical help. There followed 5 days of no food or drink and pumped full of morphine and other stuff, during which I continually hallucinated that I was in fact dead. A peculiar experience to say the least.
 

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:twothumbs: Thankya! Was watching this earlier...

Hmmm.....
That is a rabbit hole you will NEVER escape. :evillaugh:

One video on there has a woman describing being sent to Hell and having her flesh ripped by red-hot tongs and loathsome creatures pressed into the wounds. That was just the warm-up!
I put that down to religious guilt.
 

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That is a rabbit hole you will NEVER escape. :evillaugh:
Yes indeedy... I begin to see where this is all leading...

Back down the rabbit hole again, isn't it...

If you were married several times and all those partners passed before yourself and you can meet dead relatives during a NDE...

What if they all turned up at once...?
 

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One video on there has a woman describing being sent to Hell and having her flesh ripped by red-hot tongs and loathsome creatures pressed into the wounds.
That is profoundly interesting and exactly the situation I was wondering about.

How much of a part does your religious interpretation play, i.e., if 'heaven and hell' was your understanding.

So, it occurs I have never read an NDE account from someone who held a devout faith in any non-Christian religion.

Must go forth and seek, then. :)
 

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Yes indeedy... I begin to see where this is all leading...

Back down the rabbit hole again, isn't it...

If you were married several times and all those partners passed before yourself and you can meet dead relatives during a NDE...

What if they all turned up at once...?
The explanation I have read is that love is love, a thing unto itself, which transcends physical and earthly boundaries. Love is the default human setting. So if you are lucky enough to have loved and be loved, you can join in the big Afterlife group hug forever.
 

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There are testimonies YouTube to this sort of incident, often where a Damascene conversion has occurred.
Some people believe they've visited Hell rather than Heaven.
... One video on there has a woman describing being sent to Hell and having her flesh ripped by red-hot tongs and loathsome creatures pressed into the wounds. That was just the warm-up! ...
That is profoundly interesting and exactly the situation I was wondering about. ...
OK, then ... The scenario you (Comfortably Numb) are referring to is *not* the TLR phenomenon.

The TLR experience is a non-participatory passive high-speed viewing of one's life events - akin to sitting back and seeing a streaming videotape played at incredible speed.

It's a replay. It's not a guest appearance on a 'This Is Your Life' stage where you have any ability to act or interact as a participant (similar to one's participation in a dream).

If you're interested in what the person makes of his / her life, how he / she reflects on the personal history, and / or how the person interacts with any new parties with regard to that history and what it may represent you're talking about something more akin to the 'to-the-light' version of an NDE. That's a distinct / different thing.

As such, you would best pursue further discussion in that other thread:

https://forums.forteana.org/index.php?threads/near-death-out-of-body-experiences.34883/post-2002269
 

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Back in 2016, we had a holiday in Jesolo, near Venice.

Amongst other attractions, it had the Mostro (exhibition/museum) "Serial Killer".

Some of it was a bit bizarre (ever wanted to know what it would be like to live in Jeffrey Dahmer's fridge?), some quite well done (Elizabeth Bathory and Jack the Ripper) but the bit that stuck in my mind was a simulated execution by electric chair. The moment the switch was thrown and the guy started jerking, a series of subliminal images flashed above his head, featuring moments from childhood, teens and first love, where his life went wrong and everything in between up to his execution. This was accompanied by an unsettling rising siren-like tone. At the moment of death everything in the auditorium went black and silent - except for some nervous laughter from the audience. That was eerily effective and will stick with me for a long time.

The website's still open, but I don't believe the museum has survived Covid and appears to have closed for good.

http://www.mostraserialkiller.it/
 

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It always makes for interesting reading. I have had a few very close calls and never had it happen though, I'm not sure what it's a function of or if there is another trigger along with/outside of the whole "oh shit I'm about to die" thing
 

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Apologies if I have posted this in the past. When I was about 11 or 12 (it would have been about 1970) I was struggling in the deep end of a public swimming pool. Not a strong swimmer and out of my depth because I was with friends I think. I remember being at a point where I panicked, grabbed hold of a friend's bikini top and almost pulled it off completely . I remember realising I could not swim back up and although I had been panicking I felt strangely calm. At the same time I "saw" images...they were VERY fast, like someone flicking through a photograph album .I distinctly remember seeing my mum's face, my dad's and other close relatives. This was all in a few minutes I imagine...I just remember looking at the life-guard's face when I had obviously been hauled out of the water and was on the side...along with very nervous looking school -friends (When I was sinking I seem to remember feeling that I was floating downwards slowly yet the "pictures" I saw were flicked through at great speed. That really struck me at the time. There was no fuss made When I got home I think I mentioned it to my mum, who had a look at me and assured herself ,I think that I was ok. I was nervous in the water after that but did manage to become a bit of a stronger swimmer...never very confident though...Having said that, it never spoilt the enjoyment of swimming through water for me.
 
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