How I Consciously Died

by James Malsbury

How does one begin a story that may seem too far-fetched to be true? Perhaps just tell it as it occurred, and whether others believe it or not is irrelevant. I will use the initial of each person’s name to keep them anonymous.

We gathered in a back room at the home of S and K, a place where we all have gathered many times before to explore expanded consciousness together using various plant medicines. This time was a little different, Z offered to facilitate with the use of a crystallized form of DMT (Dimethyltryptamine). It was offered by the way of a volcano, a balloon-like device where the vapes are captured inside the “balloon” and then inhaled. This type of journey typically lasts thirty minutes at most. We each took a turn while the others held space. When it came to be my turn, I lay down to prepare myself for the journey and used earplugs and an eye mask to avoid distractions. Sitting in front of me, Z asked if I was ready. As I looked over my right shoulder, looking at S I said, “Yeah what’s the worst that can happen? S will have to bury me in the back!”. Everyone sort of laughed and S gave me a startled look that said: “WTF!” As Z filled the balloon, he instructed me to take three very large, deep inhalations and to hold the last one in for as long I could. I did as instructed and on the last inhale, put on the eye mask, firmly grabbed K’s hand, and sank back into the cushions.

As I lay there in darkness a very loud buzzing noise seemed to drown out any outside noise and a feeling that I may pass out came over me. Tightly holding K’s hand and staying connected to my breath, the feeling began to dissipate. The buzzing in my ears also began to quiet down, so I started to relax and let go of the hand which I was gripping so tightly. Everything seemed serene, like floating on a cloud.  The thoughts began to slow down. As I fell into a relaxed state multiple colors begin to appear, the colors red, yellow, blue, and green were all shaped together like a cone. At the end of this cone was a very bright light, which appeared as if looking in from the bottom of a cone with a light beaming into it. The light looked as if it was right in my face yet felt like it was miles away. At some point, I began to feel this tug on my body which became stronger each time it occurred. It started to feel like my entire body was wrapped in a fishnet and being pulled up from the cushions I was on. I could feel my torso lifting into the air and I began to pull back. With each pull backward the fishnet would only get stronger, my body becoming more entangled in it. At this point, I called out to those supporting me, “it’s taking me, it’s taking me!”

What was pulling on my body was far too strong, too much of a force for me to fight. I surrendered. The last memory was my body going limp and no longer being aware of my existence. No awareness of where I was. My body, the room, those around me, nothing, other than pure darkness. What was interesting is that after the fight and the resistance, in the moment of surrender I had no more fear. On the contrary, there was this feeling of bliss, love, and compassion. It was as if I was cradled in my mother’s arms wrapped tightly in a blanket. A feeling no words could ever describe and beyond comprehension.  I felt supported, weightless, and held up in thin air, yet nothing to see or hear, just pure darkness. I’ve never experienced floating in outer space; however, I could imagine it would be similar. Just floating in this infinite galactic darkness of nothingness.  No sense of time, no need to breathe, no movement, nothing but this feeling of unconditional support, yet there was this uncanny feeling that I existed. This clear awareness of existence. No form of any type, no sound, nothing to see. Nothing other than pure darkness and my existence. Just an overwhelming feeling of peace, contentment, and a feeling I could stay here, forever. 

Anytime I have attempted to share this experience I can never find the words to describe it. The best I come up with is BLAH!!!! I lay with my tongue hanging out, head tilted, and not breathing. In this experience, I was motionless and frozen in an infinite space of pure BLISS with no idea how long I was there for. At some point out of nowhere, an extremely loud voice screamed a command. It was a deep male voice that was unfamiliar to me. It screamed, “YOU NEED TO BREATHE!!!!” The moment I heard this voice I was back in my body, completely aware of my existence as myself and where I was. Aware of those around me and what they were doing, everything. I ripped off the mask and earplugs and sprung to my feet. I was so lit up and completely excited by this experience that had just happened.

As I began to attempt to share with all those around me, I asked the others if they had said anything, particularly those four words “YOU NEED TO BREATHE!!!” I was told no one said a word. K and Z said they saw and felt all my energy leave my body. Both mentioned they looked at each other and questioned whether I was breathing or not. I asked how long they believed I was not breathing; their answer was approximately two minutes.

I shared how beautiful the experience was, how I could have stayed there forever, and about the knowledge of my existence being contained in nothing but pure darkness.  I had no form of any kind and no awareness as a human being in this world. Because it was a profoundly personal experience, I am the only one who can really interpret what occurred. Was it simply a fabrication of my mind? How do explain S and K questioning if I was breathing or not? What would explain the physical feeling of my body being pulled up in a fishnet? I believe the only way to truly know something is to experience it. I experienced the knowing that at the core of our being I (we) are pure consciousness that will always be aware of its own existence. Therefore, there is no death, we are all eternal beings. Another important learning from this experience is that our words are extremely powerful. We create our reality by thoughts and words alone.  I realize I unknowingly created the experience when I looked at S and said “Yeah what’s the worst that can happen? S will have to bury me in the back!”.

This was by far the most profound experience of my life; one I will never forget. Yes, I still get caught up in my head and the challenges of daily life, and constantly need to remind myself I am not my thoughts.  I am honored and blessed to have had this experience. It has given me a profound sense of peace around the moment I will exit my body, and I trust it may do the same for you. 


About James Malsbury

He has been on a self-discovery journey for the past 30 years. Through many years therapy, self development books and workshops, healing modalities and in the most recent years indigenous and prescription medicines he has released emotional attachments to childhood traumas. His mindset is focused on creating a better version of who he is. He believes this is done by shifting the inner dialog from negative self-talk to that of positive which also creates a more peaceful, balanced and fulfilling life. He can be reached at

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