Hi everyone, welcome back. It’s so great to welcome you all. An especially big hi to all our new listeners. Thank you all for joining my guest and I today.
Most people have heard of the term NDE, or near death experience. Some of you may even have experienced one. This is not a new phenomenon.
For hundreds of years, so long as we have had written records, these experiences have been recorded, at the very least, talked about. An NDE, or Near Death Experience for those who may not have heard the term before, is when a person has a subjective experience of an afterlife, following an accident or medical incident. In this experience, they may travel to other worlds, see different beings, or simply see their bodies laying beneath them, but aware of the presence of some being with them.
I did an episode on NDE’s in the first season of the Walking the Shadowlands podcast. Simply called Near Death Experiences, where I went into the background and research a fair bit, and also had a guest who runs a NDE FB support page. So, if you haven’t yet heard that episode, it will lay really good groundwork for this one.
There have been decades of scientific research into this subject, which has established that for people who experience these, they are very real, profound and life changing experiences. Transforming the lives of this who have them. There are also many commonalities people can and often do share during this experience. The more powerful the NDE is, the more profound the after effects can be. The most common after-effects of NDE’s are psychological and therefore quite subjective. Many people reset their priorities, change their values, and rethink their beliefs following their NDE
But what if the after-effects of an NDE were not just subjective, but were undeniable, regardless of interpretation or belief? The facts checkable by looking at the evidence, talking to witnesses, seeing the proof?
For example, what if someone suddenly developed the ability to produce high quality paintings of their NDE, a new-found skill that went far beyond any artistic ability they had before? And what if that same person then suddenly acquired the ability to compose classical symphonies after their NDE? And their symphonies were then premiered at sell-out orchestral concerts, even though, to this day, they are unable to read or write a single note of musical notation?
Wouldn’t this be undeniable evidence that an NDE was more than a psychological subjective event? Proof that even a cynic would have a hard time explaining?
After his NDE, this is exactly what happened to my guest this episode. This is his story.
So are you willing to walk with me into this part of the shadowlands and learn more of this inspiring and uplifting experience? Then, let’s begin.
Picture this; You’ve just had a great weekend with a person you care deeply about and you decide to walk them to the train station to say goodbye to them, and see them off home. It’s cold, so you’re wrapped up warmly and tightly in your best coat. You help them on board with their suitcase, say bye and step back. But, as the train door shuts, you discover that your coat is caught in the door.
No worries – right? After all the doors open and close pretty easily. So there you are, you are a bit uneasy, but not really concerned, until the train starts up. Then you realize that you need to get free or you could be in trouble, and that you could potentially get sucked under the train. What would you do? What thoughts would be going through your mind?
My guest is a near-death experience (NDE)-inspired artist, composer, and author. He turned his life around following his NDE and wants to use his own spiritual journey to make a positive difference to people’s lives.
In 2006, he was dragged under a speeding train in a freak accident. As the surgeons fought to save him, he had a profound NDE.
When he woke up in hospital, he had acquired astonishing new abilities. He found he could paint dramatic paintings of what he had seen in the Afterlife, far beyond any artistic ability he had before.
He then discovered he could compose classical music, having never received any training. To this day, he cannot read or write a single note of musical notation, and yet his debut NDE-inspired symphony, The Divine Light, was premiered at a sell-out orchestral concert to a standing ovation.
He has since composed further classical works which have also been premiered at sell-out concerts and completed over 40 paintings. He lives, paints and composes in a converted riverside mill near Cambridge, UK.
I would like to welcome my guest David Ditchfield
Thank you so much for agreeing to join us today.
You have a really interesting story one that left me with a few questions actually at the end of it, which I’m sure you get all the time. Maybe you could start at the beginning and tell us what lead up to your accident in as much detail as you want.
Well yeah, no that’s cool. I mean basically the what had happened was I’d been living in London for quite some time I had been there for quite a few years, and I’d hit rock bottom in my life. I’d hit hard times how. I was pretty much broke. Got no money. And I was struggling to find work, because, I’d left school without any qualifications. And so I always just kind of picking up whatever kind of work I could mainly manual labouring work and so living in London like all capital cities.
It’s an expensive game you know. And it’s all about. It’s a competitive game as well because an awful lot of successful people in London. And I guess I was aspiring to all that crowd as well. So that made life more tough for me because I realized that that wasn’t the right sort of – I was moving in all the wrong circles as well. So life was consuming me. And so, my sister and her family were living in Cambridgeshire and they got a house out in the country and they said she said come and stay with us you need a break.
So I did. And I was there for like, a good few weeks and just chilling out and trying to get my head back together. And I’d met up with somebody a really lovely person called Anna only a few weeks before, in London. And we just we just met by somebody else in a bar and stuff. And she said why don’t I come over and see you for a few days in Cambridge. I said that’d be lovely, and so she did.
And so we hung out for a few days there at my sisters and she’d got to get back to London. So I said Look I’ll um, I’ll take you to the station and of course you know. So we arrived at the rail station and the train pulled in. Then I helped her on with her bags onto the train and then said goodbye. Said my goodbyes to her and hugged her, and kissed her. And you know we just had a lovely few days together, so I was giving her a real warm hug, you know.
And then the emergency buzzer started going. So she was going; quickly, you’re going to have to get off. I said yeah, and I’ll be fine don’t worry. But, as I did step back the bottom corner of my coat got caught. It’s what – well it got trapped it’s literally trapped in the in the automatic closing doors of the carriage. So I tugged really, really hard trying to release it and I thought the doors would actually sort of trigger and open but they didn’t. And I couldn’t get it free.
The engine started, you know, revving up, and oh my goodness you know, this is not good. So I turn around look for a guard on there was no guard at all on the platform. So I just yelled at the top of my voice for help. And nobody turned up. So I just started…. I looked at Anna. I looked in her eyes. I could just see this fear in our eyes you know. And I just started hitting the side of the carriage hoping that maybe the guard would run through, but nobody turned up.
And the train started really rev up and I thought right about to leave now. And we looked at each other, and the fear in her eyes was just so intense that it just made me stop and think this is it. You know? I’m going to die and I really figured at that point that, that was it. It was all – I couldn’t see myself getting free at all. And I thought I’m going to get pulled under. So, the train pulled at a real speed.
You know, you don’t realize just how fast trains actually leave the station until you’re literally on the outside of one of them, you know. And so I got dragged along and I lost my footing eventually. And then got pulled between the space of the platform engine and the, the actual train itself there and at great speed. I got sucked in and down I went.
And so it was just like literally being pulled into the into, into darkness and I was just violently thrown around and just completely it was like – I was completely conscious throughout the whole ordeal. So it was very terrifying, and very painful, and very fast. And I’d lost all – I got no control over the situation whatsoever. You know, I felt like it was me against this huge beast.
You know? This, this train. This big piece of metal, suddenly became like a massive monster. That was about to devour me. And then, I suddenly found myself lying in between the track as the train was still continuing on wards, and I just kept my head right down, because, I knew that it wasn’t over yet. But I thought, any part of the undercarriage of the train itself could just hit me over the back of the head, and it would all be over.
But clearly that didn’t happen. And the train eventually moved on, and it took forever. It was a long track and off it went. And sort of disappeared down the track and left me lying there in agony, agony and in absolute shock.
So this was, this was, was it? Was this under-ground or above the ground?
No, this was yeah – it was an over-ground train you know, because, that’s what surprised me. Because, after living in London all the years, the underground trains you know, you, you were constantly – people you’d see people would do it all the time, just to get on a train. They’d see the doors closing and they’d literally put their suitcase in between the doors or even their, their hand, because, they would always they would open automatically on the on the, on the underground in London. So I kind of figured that would happen to me but that wasn’t going to be the case on my movement, over-ground trying, so yeah. So what I said was that door there was a heck of a drop was wrong you know with it being an overlying station, that platform edge was….
They’re pretty high.
about a five-foot drop or something, yeah.
And were you actually, originally were you trapped between the platform and the train itself?
Yeah when I first got – Yeah I was dragged along the platform edge and then there was, it was a tiny space. I mean I, I still every time we get on a train now, ’cause, it took me a lot of therapy to be able to do it again. I look at that – well I try not to look at it, but I can’t help it. And I look and I think, how the heck did my body fit through that space?
But, there was it was – it was like there was no option, because the sheer force of the weight, and the pull of the train, and the speed, and my body weight meant that there was no other option but to, for me to get sucked down in between. And down I went, but….
Well see, you would’ve been like a leaf in the wind really. No control absolutely.
Yeah, yeah absolutely, yeah none. I felt like a rag doll, to be honest. That’s how it felt. I felt like a rag doll that was just attached to the side of that carriage, and then just got pulled right under and then, and ah yeah.
That’s absolutely terrifying. And, and the reason I asked if you, if you were between the platform and the train, is because, I have heard of cases where people got caught between the platform and the train and they died because of the train moving twisted their bodies.
Yeah well my body was twisted and thrown all over the place. You know what? What the crazy thing is? Is the British Rail police did a massive inquiry on it, and they – It took them a year.…
You know, they took the carriage down to London and stripped. They told me that they stripped the doors right down to the last rivets. You know, that’s how – and they said, that when they completed their inquiries, they said – they said, he said, we don’t get it? We banged our heads together. We’re all saying you should be dead. There’s no way you should have survived that.
Everything that happened that day should have killed you outright. We don’t understand how you survived it. I, I don’t – I now know that it was something – a much huger force and presence, was taking place that day. Bigger than any of us and the Royal Police could ever imagine. Know and they saved me
Absolutely! Absolutely. So there you were. The train had moved on and you found yourself laying on the platform.
No no. I was on the track.
Oh I mean on the track. Sorry yeah. I meant on the track. I imagine initially it must’ve just been like shock, like. You know? How am I still here? Am I still here? Yeah. And you probably at that stage didn’t even really feel your injuries, I imagine. For at least, for a, a brief space of time.
Yeah you’re right. I mean I was, I was an absolute agony like I’d never felt in my life. But, there was a sense that I didn’t really comprehend just how much pain I was in initially, you know? It was like, I think it’s like – it was almost like – you know I think that – I can I remember when I was a kid at school, you know getting into fights in the playground. And the first hit in the face really hurts. And then the ones that follow don’t hurt so much.
So basically, if you think about it I’d just been in the worst fight ever. So I’d already been through the massive pain threshold. You know, that really tested me to my limits, and so I think, after that there was a sense of that kind of numbness. That was like – well you know, wow you know? I’m just – you know, it’s just the shock of it as well. Because, I still think to this day, that both the mind and the body should not be subjected to anything quite so dramatic as that, and quite so violent as that.
And, and I don’t think that it’s really – my mind and body has never recovered from it. I know that much. Despite the beautiful spiritual event that was to follow but, even so, you know I’m a human being and I don’t think – you know it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s played havoc in certain ways, let’s say. You know, I mean.
But ultimately I was. I was lying in shock, because, I remember I first looked over and I felt like I was in a scene looking at the side of the platform wall. And I felt like it – I was in a pit and I felt like it was really deep, and dark. But, I looked up and it was a beautiful, blue sky. There was not a cloud in the sky. It was a February day and it was like – it was really cold, and blue. And it was fantastic. And I remember feeling very much in touch with nature, at that point.
And I guess that was also that the sense of euphoria that I was, I was alive you know? That sense of wow I just died, you know. In the same way I guess, I mean I’ve never done a bungee jump in my life. But, I guess I could get the reason why people do it now. Because they go through that – doing that, they just kind of reaching that point of, of their mind is telling them that they almost died. And then when they breathe, and they bounce back up on that elastic, you see them go wow! You know? It’s kind of like the sense of, you know. So there’s something that kicks in in the mind which says you’re alive, you know.
And so it was a wonderful feeling. Well that didn’t last for long, because – well actually it did. I remember, because, I checked for my injuries. You know, I looked at to see that, that quality coat that I had got trapped in the door that day, that was now ripped to shreds. And I – and my arm was kind of cut right open from the elbow down. And again, because, I suppose I was in shock. I didn’t kind of freak out. And I looked at it, and I remember it sounds bizarre – but I remember looking. I could see all the workings within my arm. And I was fascinated by that.
And I was actually saying to myself wow that is, that’s me. That’s the inside of me! And there was, there was this sense of, of wonder, you know, at that point. So, I guess part of that was shock. And part of it was because I was, I was – I also know that I was being protected at that point, you know. Which I should go on to later. It was something more spiritual happening as well, you know. So that kind of was guarding me I guess. Yeah.
Well absolutely! And of course your endorphins would have kicked in by that stage. Which would have given you a bit of a buffer, as well. And the shock factor. So there’s a lot of things combined there. I just cannot imagine how traumatic this must have been for you, and I’ve been in a few accidents in my life. And, and they were only minor accidents not – nothing like what you dealt with. But, the shock afterwards was still profound. So having such a traumatic incident…. And then, after the train left, did it stop at all? Once it got past you?
No. It continued on there for quite some time actually because of them. You know my friend Anna, she told me afterwards, that she, she ran through the carriage to look through the window, to see if I had, if I had survived or not. She saw me go under. And so she obviously thought that I must be dead. And she just panicked and ran through the train.
And people said what’s happened? that she said and she was in a state of shock and panic. They managed – her and a few other people managed to find a ticket collector and he stopped the train and they stopped in the middle of the countryside and she said he told me this afterwards. And she said that there was a very profound moment, because, you know they were sat there in silence and there was this very packed train full of commuters, and she, they all by then had realized what had happened.
And so she turned round to them and said look I believe that he’s dead. Would you mind if we say a prayer for him? And she said a woman stepped forward and said look I’m a Christian. Would you like me to take the prayers? She said yeah please. And so she did. And so she told me that this whole carriage of commuters just lay down their laptops, and their newspapers and they all prayed. And I felt the energy of those prayers. It was really amazing, but I did. And I firmly believe in the power of prayer now from that point on.
So that was pretty…. yeah, well bless her. She – when they finally moved onto the next station and she said she got off, and then obviously the platforms are really crowded because they got stop all the trains. And, and, an announcement came over saying that there had been a delay, because, there had been a fatality at the previous station. So they got it wrong. So she, she got that confirmation and you know broke down and thought hat was the end, you know. So yeah.
Wow. Honestly that just absolutely touches me when I – and when I read that in, in your book – as I said before we started this interview. I couldn’t put your book down. I started reading it and I just couldn’t put it down. I had to, I had to. It was like I literally had to keep, keep reading it. And the emotions I felt the emotions of what you were conveying. I felt like what you were going through, and even now, you know. Like I, it – You know, there’s this saying that goes, that I really, really love. And it’s this: What comes from the heart, touches the heart.
Hmm yeah, that’s good. Yeah.
And your experiences actually moved me quite deeply So there you were lying on, on the train and as you said in your book you, you were worrying that another train was going to come along and hit you?
That’s right. Yeah.
And that’s a very valid fear.
Yeah, well I mean – it’s totally valid, isn’t it? It’s just especially when you’re in such a vulnerable place. And, because, I figured there was no one around to see on, at the station. ‘Cause, I called for help, and there was no one around. So thankfully there was the only person that actually did working at the station, was a woman who was working in the signal box. And she was watching the whole thing. She watched it all unfold on the CCTV. But she couldn’t alert the driver because that wasn’t, there was no communication set up there. It was all just lights and stuff you know.
So, but she managed to stop any trains coming through. So that was – but also, the emergency guys arrived really quick. Because, it was actually a hospital only around the corner from the station itself. And so there they were, and they jumping on the track and cutting through my clothes and stuff, and trying to assess me and what have you. And somehow they got me onto a stretcher and somehow they got me up. You know that 5 foot drop, or whatever it was, onto the platform and then wheeled me into an ambulance.
And I remember the doctor said to me we’d gotten back, and he said look you’re in a pretty bad shape, and there’s a hospital around the corner but there’s a much better one, but can you hang on? I said Yeah let’s go. So I remember, you know? They just took the siren on and we just took off like a rocket, and then sped off down the highway. And we ended up at Addenbrooks Hospital which is like this university hospital.
It’s quite a well known one in Cambridge. And so, I’m really glad I went there. Because, they did save me. You know, I turned up and I remember we arrived and as I was being wheeled in, I could see this kind of like – We got into the emergency department and there was like a whole team of medics, and nurses, and doctors waiting for me. And they just started working on me straight away. And so it was pretty intense, because, there’s a lot of frantic voices going and stuff, and all this science firing over my head. I’m thinking like, oh my goodness this, this doesn’t sound good.
You know, ‘cause, I was losing an awful lot of blood by this stage. Because my, my left arm had – I hadn’t, I hadn’t realized it, but it had been severed as well. So there you know, but it was all very dramatic. But again it was all very kind of surreal, because, you know they were getting ready and the surgeon who just started working at the hospital. Which was again, was brilliant, like synchronicity. That guy just started working there, because, he really looked after after me. He was fantastic.
In fact, I said to him look can you save my arm? And before I went into surgery he said yeah, I will. And he kept his word, because, he told me afterwards it was on the – you know in their notes, that they would automatically have amputated, because, you know, it was slightly attached but not there was not much, much of it. But they they did about three, eight hour operations to save it but they did as well. So I still got it. It doesn’t function completely, but hey you know? Amazing, amazing work. What an amazing guy, so….
I was a nurse for like close to 40 years. So, I know the amount of work that goes into that sort of operations. So the very fact that you’ve been able to retain your arm, is an absolutely great thing. Even if you don’t have full function of it.
Yeah. It doesn’t matter is it. I’ve got it, and that’s, that’s great. So, yeah
So there you were, surrounded by all this medical staff. Surrounded by the machines that beep, and all this activity around you, and yet you were kind of cocooned in this – almost like a vacuum state, I imagine? Like it, it was a surreal thing. You were there, but you weren’t there, is that right?
Well it is yeah. I mean it was – what was surreal was that, that my family had arrived at the hospital, and they – and I couldn’t believe at how quickly they had got there. Yeah. I had no idea, because. Anna had called my sister immediately on the train and told her what happened, so you know. So they jumped in a car and flew right over. And so they they they came in to see me, and my mother was completely beside herself with tears and stuff and –
And I remember I was apologizing to her because I was going Mum, it’s always me bringing all the dramas to this family. So because I was, I was the one who felt like a troublemaker, or you know I’m not a troublemaker. But I just felt like I was just I don’t know, I carried an awful lot of guilt. Because things, so many things did go wrong in my life. And so – but she was going no, no stop. It’s not your fault! Which, it wasn’t my fault. But anyhow so, that was that. But the main thing that was really in my mind at that point, was just what I wanted to talk to Anna, ’cause I saw that she was there.
So the police had brought her in really quick as well as you two and I have never seen her sat, you know looking completely torn, and in shock. And I said, I said to my mom, I said – Can you get Anna to come over I want to talk to Anna. So she said yes. So she came over, And, she would just – Anna just looked at me and she was just shaking her head from side to side going, I don’t, I thought you were dead. I can’t believe that you ‘re here. I can’t believe you’re alive.
It’s like I saw you go under and they announced it and everything, you know and she was like really. So yeah, so that was really quite emotional. So anyhow. It was – I was, I was very awake and I was very aware of what was going on and I was getting, I was getting nervous because I thought things aren’t, don’t sound right.
And then you know, with the way the doctors were getting so frantic and then I said to my family, you know, they were going to have to sort of ask them to leave. And then, and then it was at that point I just suddenly left my body and – And I was – It was amazing, I just – All the pain and all the anxiety just dispersed from me, and I was suddenly in what felt like a darkened room.
But when I say a darkened room, in a really lovely space you know. It was a really calm and relaxing atmosphere. And I just lay there, and I just thought where am I? And I thought the pains all gone and its – It’s everything’s gone and I’m just, you know, it’s just delightful. And I just, and I figured straight away that I had died. Because, I knew that it was on the cards at that point. And I figured I must be dead.
You know this this is it. This is the next phase of of where we go. And I looked around me and the first thing I noticed were these like pulsating colors, they were almost like orbs just slowly pulsating all around me. And, and then I just thought what’s going on? And I like I kind of looked to assess the situation, and I realized I was no longer laid on the hospital trolley, that I’ve been brought in on.
But I was laying on a huge slate sort of rock. It was almost like a big sort of, like a medieval altar. And I just – and I realized that I wasn’t clothed anymore but I felt comfortable laid on this rock. It was like a really nice, comfortable, things to feel. To be there and, and relaxing on it. And I I looked to see whether my wounds are – how bad they were you know, and everything was healed. My arm was back in place.
You know there wasn’t even the slightest scratch or bruise, you know. And then I realized then that my body was covered in like this blue sort of satin silk sort of sheet. You know it really and it’s a beautiful light blue, and it was like it just covered me. And, but the way it covered me it it was comforting, you know, it was really a really beautiful feeling and sensation. And, it was at that point I just figured that there was somebody else there.
I felt you know the presence of some of somebody, and so I thought you know what’s going on and I looked. And then in the distance, in the dark right at my face was this beautiful, androgynous person who stood there. Just wearing like a very simple contemporary black T-shirt, and not you know, nothing too ethereal But with this beautiful white, blonde hair and this skin that was kind of glowing almost from within.
And, and but the reassurance that was coming from this being was just so overwhelming and comforting. And I just felt that I was being cared for by this being. And we just kept looking at each other, and then he or she just kept smiling back at me. But really just a small smile but a re – a reassuring one. I thought where I know you from? I know your face and I know you.
And I was just looking and I figured well I knew, that I’d known this being throughout the whole of my life and beyond. You know, it was like meeting with soul mates. And so that was really lovely. And then I lay my head back and relax and when I looked up then I noticed there’s like these three grids of white light which is kind of like slowly homing in on me.
And that, and the light that was coming from there was just like pure white light that was incredibly bright. But, I could I couldn’t take my gaze away from it. You know it wasn’t if it had been here in the airplane not looking into electric lights or sunlight you just wouldn’t be able to do it. It’s just too intense, but with this light I could. And I just thought this it’s healing me this light. And it’s it’s it’s it’s really bathing me. And, and so, I lay back and enjoy that sensation. And it was at that point I figured there was, I felt that there was more people suddenly had arrived. And so I looked around me and and either side of me there were two, two female forms.
The one to my right was just kind of like long brown hair and just wearing again a simple dress. And, and the green eyes, I’d say. So quite sort of European in appearance, whereas the one to the left was more American Indian, Asian Indian in appearance. And they both had their hands just slowly going all over the top of my body. Just not touching it, but just kind of hovering above. And there was a sensation of energy that was coming from their hands, was just so powerful, and it was – it was a feeling of love.
I just felt there was love coming from their hands and into me and it wasn’t I. I partly was thinking, yeah they’re healing my body after what it’s just been through But, it felt more like they were actually healing my soul, my whole essence. That’s what they’re really healing, you know. And there it is, taking away all the anxiety and pain that had been going through throughout my former years as well. So it wasn’t just the accident itself.
So yeah. And then I started to think about my family. I thought, oh they’re gonna be in the hospital. They’re already pretty torn apart. I thought they just going to be really distressed now, because, I clearly died. And, they’re gonna be there, and, and so I thought – again there was no sense of panic. Or – oh my goodness my family, you know? There was no none of that kind of emotion, it was more like – Ok, I look down and check, and they’re gonna be in the A & E departments or – And I looked over my left hand shoulder, over the huge rock, hoping to see them. And I, I didn’t actually see them at all. And, oh hello.
My cat just came in.
Yeah Brilliant! Perfect timing. Welcome. And so yeah, so as I looked down I could see them in the hospital. What I did see was this um – I didn’t see them but what I saw an amazing sort of, huge waterfall of stars. It was like looking at the size of Niagara Falls, but it was the stars that were just slowly cascading over the edge, and sparkling and falling down. And there was like shooting stars just dropping through the middle and it was just – and I looked I think wow! You know I’m not in a small darkened room at all. I’m actually in the universe itself. And so yeah. And the further I looked, the further it seemed to disappear into infinity. It seemed to go from one galaxy to another.
You know, it was just like a universal, beautiful sight. And, and the colors that were down there were remarkable. And so, I turn my head back over and again there was no sense of guilt or anxiety. I thought, ok, I’m going to be seeing my family again, I’m sure. And if I don’t see them they’re going to be experiencing what I’m experiencing now one day, and it’ll all make sense. And so, I kind of laid my head back and then it was at that point. That I felt the most profound energy and was just suddenly it turned up like a huge dial. It was like what just happened? You know.? And I just kind of looked, and then looking beyond the being of light at my feet I could see this tunnel of white light like a huge tunnel. And it was just like slowly getting close towards me. And the energy coming from this light was just like – it was like every molecule in my body was just kind of like, shaking with it.
But in a really beautiful way and it was still the sensation of love. This unconditional love that I was feeling, but it was just like tenfold you know? And this tunnel of light was like, it was like surrounded by flames that were just slowly circling around the light as it came in towards me. But, it wasn’t – it was very powerful but it wasn’t at all terrifying. It was just awe, awe inspiring. And, I just knew at that point that this was the source of all creation. This is God. This is not in the image of God that I always assumed, that most people do. You know whatever their god is that they choose it. It wasn’t in human form, or what have you. It was this massive tunnel of light but that was it. This is this is where it all comes from.
And, it was this – pretty much at that point. I mean when I had laid my head back and I remember just looking up at the stars, and then suddenly I was back in my body. I came crashing back into my body, and the pain came rushing through the uh, the overkill of light and sound was just this just overbearing, and, and then suddenly it was there I was back. Back in the hospital.
It must have been a real shock when that transition happened?
Yeah it was. It was this I remember feeling the shock it wasn’t like it happened really. It was like really very quick. But interestingly enough, a lot of people say to me – Oh you must have been really disappointed after all that to have come back? Or did you feel disappointed? And the answer to that is, I didn’t. Because, I was just so charged with energy and I was just a part of me was still there. A part of me was still experiencing all this energy, even though I was back in the hospital.
And all I was, all I could think to myself was, why’d they sent me back? There must be, there must be a reason? And, I’ve got to find out what it is, and I’ve got to tell the world. You know, I’d never heard of near-death experiences until this point. So I don’t even know that they existed. So for me it was like – You know, I figured how am I gonna tell everybody that the afterlife is is beautiful and that death is not to be feared? How am I going to get this one across to everyone?
So – and, but I also thought, I thought almost how there must be a reason more than that. I thought and thought there must be. I figured that first, it must be that I’ve got to help people. I’ve got to maybe be a healer myself, or well what have you? I wasn’t really sure. So I was trying to figure that out for quite some time.
Right. Yes, I can imagine you would be well why did they bring me back? What’s my purpose? What am I supposed to be doing? I can imagine that all these thoughts would be going through your mind. On top of dealing with the physical pain, and the rehabilitation, and there’s the psychological trauma of the accident – and everything else you were dealing with, before the accident.
Yes, indeed that’s it. Yeah, saying that’s it.
So, it must have been in some ways an incredibly difficult time for you? But in other ways, you would have had this like detachment, because, of the energies that you brought back with you from your experience. So it would have been a bit of a clash, I imagine, going on in you?
Yeah I mean, I remember coming through after that. They took me into theater at that point, and I had the first eight-hour operation. And I remember they gave me my own room in the hospital, because, of the severity of the of the accident. And I remember lying there, it’s the middle of the night. And it was just me in there – and you’ll be able to relate with this, you know, with your work and stuff? And now it’s just I’ve got this machine next to me that was like an R2D2. Just flashing and buzzing throughout the whole night, you know?
And that was – I didn’t even know what it was. I’d never even had an accident before in my life. I’ve never been in a hospital, so I didn’t know what it was. I’d just remember the turbans, and there was this. So yeah. The first night there was part of me was still very charged with all the energy, and all the positive love, and what had happened. But, this part me was also thinking, I’m processing what happened, the accidents and thinking, that was just horrific! That was terrifying, you know?
So I was kind of the first night, I was just kind of like weighing up everything you know? Weighing the fact that I just stared the death in the face, and that I survived. But, the truth is that the the actual experience itself won out at the end, in terms of the positivity of it all. It’s just, I just decided right from the off that I knew how I was going to start telling people about this.
I thought I’m going to do a painting. I’ve never done anything like this before, but I feel I’m going to do. And it’s got to be a big painting! I tell myself it’s gotta be like a big renaissance style, you know? Michelangelo, where you can see exactly what’s going on. It’s got to be, you know, it’s got to be a big depiction. So, so I already knew that I was gonna do that.
And my sister came in to see me, I remember the following evening. And you know she was – she, she come in with a friend and they both came to see me, and we were chatting. And then, they were about to leave you know it was all very calm and quiet. My sister said, “Look, is there any thing I can get you?” And I said yeah can you get me like a small sketchpad, and a pencil? And of course she was baffled by that request, but she said yeah. And she obliged, of course. So because, I was actually scared at that point, that I might forget everything that I’d seen you know, but of course that never happened. And – but even so, I did this very, very faint sketch on this, on this pad, you know. I’ve got the nurses to somehow prop me up, so that I could do it. And, and once I’d sketched what I wanted, I was, I was happy. I was like, right, I’ve got it here now. It’s all there, ready for the painting to commence. Yeah. Yeah.
Sorry, sorry to interrupt David, but up until that point you had never painted in your life? Had not been artistically inclined like that?
Well yeah. Well when I was when I was a kid, I was young, I enjoyed drawing and painting when I was like at school. But, nothing like to this level not, not at this capacity. You know it was just something like all of us really we were all kids, we all enjoy. And not only that because of my lack of qualifications you know I was, I was struggling through school. And I read, and I was being – they were trying to lead me into sort of you know, we have all these meetings where they were trying to get me, to lead me into the way of working at the local factory. Basically, because, that was the only way I was going to get work.
And so there was no question of talking about me doing art or anything. So I was given all these subjects, it was like metalwork and woodwork and stuff like that. So I was just doing all those things at school so I missed out on all that, so…. But, I, it was the idea that once I started doing the first painting, you know obviously I was apprehensive starting it. But once I did start it, I was amazed at what was happening and I realized that I was, for the first time in my life, I was channeling ideas through, from this place that I’ve just been.
Because, I felt like I’m still connected with them anyhow. I felt like I was, I wasn’t completely back on this earth as, as my old self. And, I knew that I was channeling. And I’d sit back each day, and go wow look at that! It’s like thank you so much. I would begin thanking them. You know at the end of the day, because, I know that the other stuff that goes on those paintings is not all me. It really isn’t. You know, and it still isn’t all me.
So I still astound myself of what happens. Yeah so, so that’s how my paintings really came about. I was very lucky, because, some friends of my sisters were around and they run a yoga/Pilates center, and I said Jane, she’s a very good friend now, and husband Richard. They said, when are you going to start that painting? And I was going I can’t you know there’s not enough light in – I was recuperating at my sisters at that point. And I said that I can’t possibly paint here, all the kids around and stuff.
So they said, well look. We’ve got a spare studio going, that’s free for a week. Why don’t you come and do it there, thinking I’ll knock it out in a week, and so I did. And that’s when I started painting, and they really enjoyed having me there because people started coming in and wanting to come up. They used to call me the artist in the attic.
And so, all these people that were coming for the yoga would come up and see me, and then word got around what it was about. That it was about my near-death experience, and stuff. And people were fascinated. So I also found my voice there, and I found that people were interested and fascinated. And so Jane and Richard turned around by the end of that week and said, well you’re clearly nowhere near finished are you? And then they said, well you can stay. I said oh well I thought you’d needed…. No, no, no, we’ll will work around you.
And I ended up staying for two years, and they never charged me a penny, you know, all that time and it was remarkable. So it was like synchronicity that they were meant to come into my life. And otherwise I wouldn’t have able to have done all the painting. I was prolific after that. I was just, kept painting and painting and you know it was just a great energy being there. And stuff, so….
And as an artist myself, because, I paint and sculpt. And, and I looked at your art and I could see right away that you can – Well one, you can feel the energy coming off your art, which really touches the people you know. And two your use of color. The way you’ve used the colors. The colors you’ve used. Everything in your paintings really sends that energy out, of what you were trying to portray. And the artwork is absolutely brilliant – for somebody who’s never trained. Who’s never done any art work, you know your art is amazing. Amazing! And that’s from one artist to another.
But from one person to another – from a sensitive, the energy that came off your painting, that comes off your paintings – like your man sitting on the table behind you. Just amazing energy.
That’s Brando, Marlon Brando that is, yeah.
I thought – I was looking at that first thinking, I know that face. But you know, how did you like, getting the proportions right and, and getting the shading – And shading is something that I struggle with, really badly. But you did so – you can tell that it’s really inspired art, is what I’m saying. You can tell that you channeled it through absolutely.
Yeah brilliant. That’s great. Thank you. Yeah I think it’s because I allowed what I knew, as I say pretty much straight away, that I was was being helped. And so I allowed myself to be open. I didn’t restrict myself do you know what I mean? I wasn’t scared. You know? I remember when I was painting the skin tones you know, that suddenly I was inspired to like put, you know like some lime green paint on the skin, or blue paint and stuff like that. And I don’t know why but I thought No that’s what they’re telling me to do, do it!
And I suddenly realized that, that works. That it was giving the skin different dimensions, you know, rather than just thinking that skin is one color, and it’s not. The skin has got light reflecting off it and in fact. I don’t. I don’t know how it happened but there’s just lots of different things like that. There are certain things that happened in the painting – like there was one painting that I did which was one that I wanted to do. It’s the second one I did, which is called the beauty within. Which was – I wanted to paint. I wanted to process the accident itself. And so I painted them. It started off with me lying on the rail track
The Beauty Within
and then the paramedics guys down there you know were working on me.
And so it’s all very dark, and it’s all you can see, is like the jackets. The day-glow jackets and stuff shining, and what have you. And, the fluorescent stuff. And then I didn’t know where it was going to go from there, because, that’s where it started. And, I wanted to take it up to the blue sky as well, because, I wanted to take you out of that darkness. And, and I can promise you this is – this, this was not at all intentional, but the way it went from that darkness into the sky became a tidal wave.
So if you look at that painting, that’s all on my website, you see what happens to it goes takes it from the darkness. And it goes. I actually then I made into a tidal wave, and then the tidal wave just kind of curls into that blue sky. So I was being led to give that kind of. It’s kind of quite surreal when you look at it. You know people say why is it a tidal wave and stuff? How come there’s a cat sat on it? You know and things like that.
And there was a reason for the cat you know, because, the day of the accident where it was there was something very strange and odd happening that day. And I was very aware of it and so was my friend Anna, and it seemed like we, we – My my sister’s cat came into the room, actually this is basic. The room I’d been staying in, it was in an old cottage so it’s a very low, low roof. And I remember the cat Moushi came in and just jumped. We heard this kind of clattering and he jumped on top of this very high wardrobe, and was kind of trapped almost between the top of the wardrobe and this low ceiling.
And I was going, what are you doing up there? How did you get up there? And he just lay there with his paw dangling over, and he just kept staring at us both. And it was like we were just kind of going oh stop looking at us. And I figured afterwards that he was trying to warn me that you know. That he was trying to give me a sign that something was about to happen you know, ’cause, cats are very….
Very intuitive, yeah.
So. So he, he’s he’s in the painting. He’s like, he’s sat on top of the tidal wave. With these paws just dangling down, so he’s featured in there.
Oh that’s really cool that you added him in.
Oh he’s very important, yeah….
So, so you talked about your website. Can you give us your website address, so my listeners can go and see the paintings for themselves?
Yeah of course. My website address is it’s very simple it’s called Shine On the Story dot com, okay. So if you go to that, if you go to that website, shine on the story dot com, and you’ll find everything in there. You can look at the paintings. You can click onto our SoundCloud links, and you can stream my music for free. From the first symphony that I wrote which I can go on to talk about.
And so everything’s on there basically and if you’re interested in buying, Shine on. There’s also you know link buttons that you can click on there which will take you to Amazon wherever you are. Whatever part of the world to be ordered by, if you’re interested. Please do.
Perfect! And I’ll have those links on this episode’s page on the podcasting site. www.walkingtheshadowlands.com. So my listeners can click through and I’ll have a direct link to where they can purchase your book from as well, so they can click on it from the website and go as well.
So you started doing these paintings and obviously that was – and, that was healing for you. But, you were also touching all these people as they came to see you in the studio. So you were making, you were actually healing people, and you didn’t even realize you were doing it. Were you aware of that?
Well I was aware – I didn’t feel like healing at that stage, but I was aware that I was touching people, and that the story seemed to resonate with just about everyone. And, nobody really challenged it. And so you know. Ah you know, come on now. Other than me, there was nobody at all who challenged it, and everyone was fascinated by it. And, it made me realize that this, this was probably my mission. This was probably what I was supposed to be doing, was communicating to people about the afterlife, and through my creativity and stuff.
And so, so yeah it was great, because, I got I became friends with a cello player, and she used to come there for yoga classes. And she used to come up all the time. She was quite spiritual and we became friends and she – you know that was good, because, she turned around one day, and said, “Would you mind if I use one of your paintings for our next concert?” Of course, you know. So they used the tidal wave actually. That part, of that painting , and that that was so – so that was good, so we became friends.
And then a bit the next thing that was to happen to me, was that I was to take my creative, creativity to a new level, in terms of being able to portray the afterlife to people, on what I’d seen and experienced. And this was through music. And, this came about because I’d played, when I was younger I used to play guitar. That’s why I ask the the surgeon to save my arm, because, I used to sort of play. And sort of, you know – just basic sort of three chord wonder punk, sort of pop bands and that kind of thing you know? And I had gone, I’d started – anyway to cut a long story short, sorry I’ll get back to this. I’d start going to spiritual healing, and I discovered through a local Spiritualist Church.
And while I was having this spiritual healing sessions, one or two of the healers there were – one in specific, a lady called Joy, was very clairvoyant, and she would turn round at the end of the sessions. And, she would tell me what she’d picked up while she was healing me. Nothing too long just a few little things. And it became apparent that she was picking up – she started off by saying, oh why am I seeing a violin laid across your chest?
And I was kind of I have no idea, you know? And then she’d say why am I hearing Beethoven, Bach, Wagner? Beats me! I can’t take that one, you know, I’ll always be honest. And then she turned around one week and said, “they’re telling me that you’re gonna write a piece of music about your experience.” And I thought, oh wow, yeah that’d be good. So I couldn’t play guitar anymore even though they’d saved my arm. And so I went back to my apartment and I got the old sheet synthesizer out of the wardrobe, and started trying to bang out some chords on that, thinking I was going to write a song.
And so because that’s all I knew, I was, you know. And so I was trying to put this song together and nothing was coming to be honest with you. It just wasn’t happening either. And it obviously, you know, it wasn’t meant to be. There’s no way I was gonna be able to write a near-death experience in a three-minute pop song so….
I was just sat there one one afternoon and I remember I just got the TV on. It was like a movie on I was just kind of half watching it, and I was half playing around on this thing, and this chord progression just came. And I thought, well that’s nice. I liked that, and I recorded it onto this little old cassette recorder which is all I got at that stage. And it sounded so good to me, that I just wanted to develop it. And I just developed it, and it became something again like the paintings that was beyond me. I was being helped. So I kept going and I thought, don’t stop.
And I thought this is something that should be played by an orchestra. So I am again, just like in the hospital that night. I didn’t even think twice about it. I thought, that’s what I want. That’s what I want to do. I wanted to have an orchestra perform it. And I then met up with my friend the cello player for coffee, and she said what you’ve been up to? So I told her what I’d been up to. And she said it sounds fascinating she said maybe we could play it one day? And I said well that’ll be quite nice.
I went away and kind of held that in my head, that thought, and thought right! And I just developed it up, and I’d written basically. When I say written, I’ve just recorded on this cassette player pretty much the whole of the first movement for a piece of music. And, my brother who, who lived in London contacted me and said what you’ve been up? I told him. He said look, I’ve got this piece of software that you can have. And you can, you know, you can plug it into your laptop. And when you’re playing your keyboard, it will transpose what you’re playing on the keyboard into musical notation. Because, I couldn’t read or write music.
I still can’t either, but that’s what happened. And, I managed to get it together and get it scored up, and then I got it printed off. Met my friend for coffee and told her, and I said do you remember that conversation we had? I said, well look I’ve got this piece of music would you have a look at it? And she said yes sure. So she brought along one of the senior members of the orchestra, and they both looked at it and said, yeah let’s do it! We’ll do it. So, they really liked it.
And so I still haven’t got that – I’d only got this first movement at that stage, when they agreed to do it. So, I had to write the rest, but it all just came from that moment. It was just kind of grew like this beautiful sort of a flower developed before my eyes and ears and so yeah. So they turned round to me and I remember the first rehearsal. They said well we’ve got the first rehearsal coming and I said Yeah. So I remember turning up to that.
And that was kind of fun. That was you know I was apprehensive. Again I was confident because I knew that I was being guided by this. But I was also apprehensive, because, I come from a – you know, a working class background with no musical knowledge. There I was walking into an orchestra. I had a full orchestra, and they’re all very highly educated, middle class sort of arena, you know. And I arrived, and the conductor said oh he had his baton and they were playing through something else. And then he turned around and said oh, the composer’s here now. And I was thinking, what composer? You know – it’s me!
He said David would you like to say a few words about your music? And I bottled it. I said no thanks, it’s okay. And he said no come on. No we want, we’d like to know. So I did. And it was that same thing as being back in the yoga center that wanted – because, it was about my experience. And once I started talking about what it was, and what it was about, everybody was listening – and everybody, and I could tell that everybody wanted to know.
People putting their hands up and asking questions. And so yes I stepped aside and I had the baton came down and. That beautiful moment was this just overwhelming. It was like those three chords that I talked about earlier were the opening cords to the first movement, and they came in. And they just kind of like – it was like I was bathed in this amazing sound, you know it was just like three dimensional. It would just fill the whole room, and it was just like wow this is incredible.
You know it’s something that I would highly recommend to anybody to sort of have that moment. If ever you write some music for orchestras, it’s just beautiful. And I just thought Yeah it’s worked, this is gonna happen. You know.
Wow that’s really – And, and, of course then you finished writing and you – I remember reading how like how this, how initially you felt insecure about how the orchestra was taking your work. But then you realized later, that it was actually they were feeling the same way. Because they were meeting the author of this music so they were like dealing with their own insecurities on a personal level as well. So it wasn’t, it wasn’t they weren’t like being snobbish or stand offish.
Oh no, no! They weren’t at all. I wasn’t actually trying to paint that picture.
No, no. I never got that.
It was just yeah. They were lovely people, and still are incredibly supportive that they loved when it’s performed you know the, you know the conductor just turned around, and afterwards he got me up there and says come on. He just went, that was, that was amazing it sounded fantastic and I could tell that you are talented. Jordan loved it. But yeah yeah yeah you’re right. I mean I’d I’d decided on the third movement I wanted somebody to sing, ’cause, I thought – I was again I was inspired to have some lyrics. So I knew this guy, who was like one of the best tenor singers in Cambridge. And I thought, well I’ll just go and speak to him and see if he knows anyone who would be interested in doing it. ‘Cause, he’s gonna know lots of people.
So we met up and I went round to his house and he looked at the score. And, these guys you know, they’re amazing they can look at music score and they know they can hear it, just by reading you know. And he was like looking at it. He was like singing it through, humming it and then he was going – He looked at it and I went what? He said, you’ve got like a C sharp major over, over an e flat or whatever you know? E flat diminished. I was going OK? And he said you wouldn’t normally do that.
And I said well I know. And he said but it works. He said that’s brilliant. He said that’s a stroke of genius. And it’s, it’s lovely. And you know, and I said well you know? I said, I’m sure you’ve written many pieces yourself. He said no. He said I would never attempt to write a piece of music for orchestra you know I could just wouldn’t. And I was really shocked you know, and by that. The conductor said the same to me as well. So which is – you know I thought wow, it’s, it’s quite a big thing that I’ve pulled out here.
So anyway, he turned round and he said look I’ll do it. I was going no way? He said yes. So he agreed to sing it, and he’s got the voice of an angel. You know it’s his love. He just, he came along to one rehearsal and just nailed it, and that was it. And then sang it at the actual performance. And so that was that was really beautiful. And the concert itself sold out like two weeks in advance, because, the energy I was being helped with that as well to make it all happen.
Because, I remember that the orchestra turned around to me and said, look we we normally get you know, if we got a composer, or whatever is written a piece we normally ask if you just do a couple of lines for the local press you know. And I said yes sure. So they phoned me up the local newspaper and I told them the story, and they knew – a lot of people knew of me anyhow. Because, it was quite a big thing in the papers and TV. Going – the man got out of the train, and so on remembered at that point.
So they loved it. They go oh wow yeah this is great. And they turned it into a big half page interview with me, so and then it went from there to like – or my phone kept ringing you know. And, now I was on the front of another newspaper and then it went sort of national. Then the BBC wanted to come and film me, interview me at the rehearsal. So that’s why it sold out so quick.
So that was amazing because I knew I could. I felt the energy was just right. I thought wow you’re helping me with this now and you’re not, this is not just – you’re not just helping me put paint onto a canvas or notes onto you know into, into music. You’re now helping me now to bring people along to this performance, and the energy was just amazing that night. It was just really special. And everybody from the spiritualist church came along, and it was great. Just every single person. And one of them turned around to me, one of the healers and said, just she said just as your piece started, I saw a dove just land on the window sill.
Rehearsal in the converted church
It was a lovely old church. It’s like it’s a converted church and so it’s a beautiful venue. So this just, and I said I saw it as well, I did. I just saw this out of the corner of my eye. This dove just fall, and just land slowly on the windowsill as it was performed. And it finished, and my family and I we got front row seats, we’d been given. Which is really sweet. Where I sat there, and my mom just hugged me with tears running down her face you know. And she said that was so beautiful and said thanks mom you know, and we hugged. And then, my sister said David look behind you!
And there was a standing ovation. So people was just standing up, and it was just a really moving and remarkable. But, what was great was you know people would come up and chat to me after the performance. You know I’d never met before, and people were saying you know I had certain things that happened. They may have lost somebody, or one or two people said, you know I’ve had a near-death experience myself. It’s similar, and so we swapped e-mails. And, then people would come. They’d seen the news item and they were, they wanted to come in there. And so it was very magical. So again I thought it’s happened again! I’m just I’m just getting the message across to….
Yeah, yeah. Through your music. Through your art. Through yourself, through your life actually. Wow, so that must’ve been quite emotionally cathartic for you on one level? Validating for you on another level – on a human level? It must have been incredibly healing for you to know that, hey I’m not this, this failure that I’ve been thinking I was all these years. You know? I actually have worth, and I have value, and it must have been all these things going through your mind. Even though not consciously, you would have been processing all of this at that response. You know? It, it must have just – I can’t begin to imagine the, the, the myriad of emotions that you would have been feeling at that point in time.
Yeah you’re absolutely right on that. Its – it’s – I realized that, that my life had just, had been one series of let downs, and, and that I was constantly beating myself up before in my life. And so, I never really gave myself any self-love, or self-worth. So I never really thought I’d amount to anything. And, and everything I did I just didn’t seem to fit into at all you know. You know when I was doing the manual labouring work, I didn’t even fit into that. You know I wasn’t very good at it and I thought I can’t even do this.
And so suddenly I’d found myself. I found myself in a, in a, in a place that I was suddenly comfortable in my skin. And once I’d found that, I just didn’t want to stop you know, I just wanted to continue. I wasn’t kind of like going frantically like hey, you know I’ve got to really keep slashing through this one. But it just, it just felt like a natural progression.
And that everything just felt like – it felt comfortable and right. And none of it felt forced either. Yeah, like I said about the success of the interviews and stuff like that. I never forced any of that. I didn’t suddenly become this kind of like Hey I gotta, I gotta start getting myself on this show. I gotta get that show. I gotta phone these people. None of that. It all basically, it came to me. And I think it’s something that really, that I’m keen to sort of stress to a lot of people that, that you know that’s my big lesson. That, that you don’t want to stop and give yourself the self-love, and that self-worth. You know that the bright things will come to you, basically. I was just chasing after things that weren’t meant for me. So no wonder they weren’t happening.
So yeah yeah absolutely. And I could feel that. I could feel that at that moment, when I read that in your book, I could feel what it had done for you as a person. Sorry, that’s my cat….
I thought that was what I could hear.
What it had done for you as a person. And, I could feel that it had lifted – lifted your – Lifted your mind set perhaps? Is that right word? No, it’s not the right word. Oh, it had lifted your energies, and it had healed you. It had healed you, yeah! How beautiful is that? And there from then, what made you decide to write your book?
Well it’s something that I’d always wanted to do, but because of my dyslexia I just figured that’d never happen. And in fact the spiritualist church I talked about, I discovered that – and I used to go there to the, to the to the services you know most weeks. And they’d have like a guest medium where they would sort of do the platform as I call it, at the end of the night, and do like half an hour. And they – basically, all these people who traveled, from all over the country. And they were constantly sort of coming through with messages for people, and I remember getting the odd message would come through to me. And I just, I’m trying to remember now what it was the question you asked me? Sorry I’m just, I’m just.
What made you decide to write your book?
Oh yeah that’s right. Do forgive me, I do that sometimes I start talking and then and I
That’s alright. I do exactly the same thing.
It was a brilliant question, and it’s an important one as well. So, I don’t know how I lost it, but anyhow. Yeah. So the thread was that they kept turning round. I was getting picked out quite a lot at the beginning. I think it’s because I’ve got this energy was still glowing from this afterlife where I’ve been to.
And people were saying gentleman over there. They’re telling me you’re gonna write your story. So the book came about as I say – I being dyslexic. I never figured I’d be able to write my story but it’s something I’d always wanted to do. In fact, I was being led by a few mediums that were cropping up at the spiritualist church that I talked about earlier. Where I used – when I used to go there I used to go to this Sunday evening services, and they’d have like mediums doing the platform at the end of the night. And a few of them, traveling mediums, would pick me out every now and again and they kept saying to me, gentleman over there.
They kept telling me, they’re showing me a computer, and they’re showing a typewriter. Are you writing something? and I was going – and I used to say I wish I wish you know. And so I really wanted to do it. So that didn’t happen at first, and then a friend of mine said look I know somebody who would be interested probably in ghost writing, and helping you put this book together, because, you’re dyslexic. And I said yeah that’d be great. But I didn’t even know what ghostwriter was but anyhow. But that’s what happened.
David’s Book. Shine On
So, so that’s how the book came together. And we did – everything that’s gone into is me, and it’s all on my, my thoughts my words, and everything. But this person, this wonderful person helped construct it into, into the form of a book. And that’s what happened, and I just thought right well you know what – where here do we go from here? And so what happened was initially I decided I would send the manuscript off to Dr. Raymond Moody. Because, I’d, I’d come across him right after my accident, ’cause, I was trying to find out figure out what happened to me. And I’d done the first painting, and then I was going through the Internet and I found that this guy or Dr. Raymond moody. And I thought, oh he sounds good. I didn’t even know who he was or how big he was. In fact he coined the phrase near-death experience.
Yeah, yeah he did. Yeah.
And so I sent in my painting, the first painting I did, and he got back actually pretty, pretty quick. And so this is, this is a wonderful painting, and what an amazing experience. But, just a few lines and that was it.
So I figured once this book was finished, why not send in the manuscript see if he likes it and he would read it? And of course it was a random shot because that is a – and we never heard anything. And, then suddenly, I got an email from his manager saying I’ve just come across this email that you sent for, for Raymond. And she said he is notoriously busy and, and overlooks, he gets so many so he never gets to look at them. But, I just looked at your Web site. And I’ve seen the trailer you’ve made for your book, and all that the artwork it’s amazing. She said he’s gonna love this! I’m going to make sure that he reads it. So I said, oh thanks.
So she did and he read it. And she got back and she said, Raymond’s really enjoying the book, and she said I think he’ll write an acknowledgement. And, I was going oh that’d be great. And then he got to the end of the book, and she said actually no. He really loves it. He wants to write a forward for it. So. So it started from then. I haven’t even got you know a publisher at that point. And so I started sending it out a few people in the U.K. And, and this one guy got back to me and said I’ve just read it and I loved the book, but it’s not something that we would normally put out. It’s not for us. They said do you mind if I hand it to someone else. And I said no, sure.
So he handed it to this guy called Michael Mann and he got in touch with me remember it was just before Christmas, and then, they said look I’m – not the one before last year, ’cause, it takes – the process.
Yeah, it takes a while
But it all happened again, really quick. And so he said I’ve just taken it to my team, and we’d love to offer you a publishing deal. I was going right – and that was just like literally before, well what a Christmas present! And so that was it. And then the wheels went into motion really, really quick. And then before we knew it, you know, it was all coming together. And then, and then the book was released in – here in the UK on June 26. So that was only just , so it’s out and it’s – and it’s been brilliant because it meant that I’ve done lots of interviews with and meeting wonderful people like you. Which is great because it’s like, you know we have these fantastic conversations, but also it’s getting out and to many many people and in far reaching corners.
And so it’s like again it’s going – I thought it was great. People just you know 350 people crammed into a church was great for me. But now it’s like getting you out to worldwide. So even before the book came out that it was already a lot of people were listening to the story, and people have been getting in touch with me. You know, people who have lost loved ones, or people who are fearing death and all sorts of thing. And it’s great to be able to take it to the next level and just be able to talk about what’s happening, and people – getting a very lovely response. Positive response from me, and how it’s helped them you know and why have you, so it’s just, it’s just wonderful. So the books already selling well, which is great considering we’ve just been through the biggest, craziest crisis. Worldwide crisis of the Covid. You know?
Well exact – I’m so sorry, sorry David. I think it is actually no surprise because at this time with all the deaths and everything. People are really wanting to know that life continues on. Because, these are scary times that we’re living in. So it really doesn’t surprise me at all that, that your book is taking off.
I interviewed a chap my first season the podcast – this episode will be in my fifth season of my podcast. In my first season I interviewed a guy by the name of Ned Mattinnia, who’s in the States. And he actually started a group, a support group for near death experiencer survivors. It’s a really wonderful group and all these people – he started it, because, there wasn’t really a lot of places where people could go to talk about their experiences. Where they didn’t feel so alone, at that point in time. Of course now there is, but, his group is over – oh I don’t know thirty-thousand people? I don’t know how many now, but people share their experiences, and they share how it made them feel and it helps everybody. It’s a, it’s a support thing, you know?
And that was really well received. That episode was really well received. And so I know that when people hear this episode, it’s going to have a huge impact on them. Because people feel the energies, even if they’re not consciously aware that are feeling it. So just listening to your voice, the energies that come off you when you’re talking about your experiences, are going to heal people. They’re going to heal people.
After that segway, so your book just came out on the twenty sixth of June this year, twenty-twenty. So, it’s all very in the new stages which is really exciting for you. And, obviously you’re getting good feedback already.
Yeah yeah it has been, it’s been a great energy. This is how I describe it. Just the the build up to – again it is a bit like that concert. The week before it came out OK. I could feel like the energy was distance the dial was turning up, and then it was like it really – it was almost like Christmas, if you like. But the night before felt like Christmas Eve. And then when I woke up on the day of the release it felt like – I thought yeah the energy is just really great. I mean social media is obviously a brilliant gauge of all that.
And it was just really strange, because, you know I was opening up my phone and I was just seeing all these messages were coming through. Not from just – from my friends, but just random people I don’t even know, and friend requests. And and it was really odd, and that’s what – I thought that’s great. The energies just kind of, just going out there, and it’s not me – which of course like yeah, I was working hard at my social media. But not not that hard. It’s not like I’m suddenly getting people, because, I’d worked hard to try to pull them in.
It was just the energy was just happening, and it felt very powerful and it continued to be so over the last week, and so it’s been lovely so. Yeah it’s as far as I’m concerned if it, it’s brilliant! If it only reaches this this point, it’s ok. It’s been, it is beautiful. But, I don’t think it will. I think you know what? Whatever happens next is, will be. It’s, it’ll – it’ll form its own natural sort of pattern and take me where it needs.
Absolutely. I agree with that. So, to round this off David where do you see yourself going now? What what what did your NDE teach you?
Right. My NDE taught me, that I was surrounded by my guides that I met on the other side. And I didn’t just meet them for the first time then, they’d been with me throughout my whole life. But I just didn’t know that. And I was unable to connect with them. Whereas now I connect with them on a daily basis and I call upon them. And it’s very easy for me to – for all of us to do that.
And, what I learned when I was there was unconditional love. And the healing process, that I talked about that was happening was them, healing all those wounds that had been inflicted on my soul. And they were healing my soul so, so basically I’ve learned to love myself now. And, as I said earlier in the conversation once I learned to love myself I learned self-worth. And then and then things started to happen in my life.
But I wanted to – I like to try and stress to anyone that I talk to when I’m talking about my work, or what have you. It’s, it’s there’s nothing – we’ve all got that. We’ve all got our guides, our individual guides every single one of us, I believe. But I also believe that an awful lot of us don’t – like myself, don’t know how to connect with them. And so I just feel that it’s something that we can all do. And I’m, and so yeah, self-love, unconditional love, and – and just knowing that your guides are there for you. That’s that’s why I love them. The most important one is that death is not anything to fear. That it’s it’s the next stage of the journey. It really is. I’ve been there and I’ll say, and I, I believe wholeheartedly that you know it wasn’t like a dream state or hallucinated. It’s very, very vivid and lucid and it’s ultra real.
And, and it’s it’s a beautiful place and it’s – and you know let’s face it, why should the soul to suddenly switch off like a light switch? Yeah. Our bodies do. I know that, and they stop and decay. But, but our souls live on and I know, and I just feel that we should we should we should talk a bit more about death. And you know it’s gonna happen to us all. You know, it’s like we don’t we don’t take our driving test without having some lessons first and reading the code the highway code or whatever you know? So so yeah.
Self-love is something that most people struggle with here on this planet. It’s a really difficult thing, because, of life’s experiences. Because, of the way we’ve been brought up. Because, of the way people treat us – so many things contribute to to a low self esteem. So self-love is really important. And for you, this has been a tot – I can see that despite the, the pain, and the trauma, and the physical things. The physical things it’s left you with, that you probably struggle with on a daily basis. It’s healed you.
Yeah. Exactly. Yeah it has, yeah.
How beautiful is that. It’s really, really beautiful. So where do you see yourself going from here?
I don’t know, because, I never really sort of plan ahead. I guess I – because, I just allow whatever happens to come into me as much as I possibly can. I try, I try very hard and it’s very tempting at the moment especially with something like this with a book coming out. To stop planning ahead saying – oh a few people are saying, this sounds like a movie and stuff like that.
And it’s very easy to say yeah – hey maybe I should try and contact this guy, and that guy. But I don’t want to do that. The way it’s worked so far for me, is this allowing you know the whatever happens as successful happened so far to come to me, and so I can’t really answer that currently, or make plans.
So would you like – so to close off our time together, and I’ve really, absolutely enjoyed talking with you. Would you like to once again share your social media handle, so anybody who’s listening can can follow you?
Yeah sure I would. The website is like the main hub where you can go to, so that is shine on the story dot com. And, everything’s in there. You can listen to the music stream it for free, or look at my artwork . Instagram, and so you can find me there. So that’s David underscored Ditchfield. And then Facebook I’ve got an NDE page and so that’s David Ditchfield NDE. And, but as I say I think you probably find everything through either – any of those links really you’ll get taken you know I’ve also got a, a what’s it called?
A YouTube – A YouTube channel as well. Sorry I forget half these things. There’s a You Tube channel, so if people want to sign up to that as well, and follow me you can see what’s going on. Because, I tend to do video diaries every now and again All sorts of things. So you can go. I’d recommend really, just to go to shine on the story dot com because you’ll find the links for everything on there, that’s probably the best thing.
Awesome, awesome David. Look, thank you so much for your time today. I know it is a little late in the evening in the UK, and I really have enjoyed our time together. And thank you so much for sharing this story, and your journey with us. It’s been really a beautiful journey and I, I for one have really enjoyed listening.
I felt everything with you. As I was reading, as I was reading your book I could see it all in my mind’s eye, and I could feel the emotions that you were feeling at the time. So, so for all my listeners, honestly I suggest that you go and purchase David’s book because it’s a really great read and it’s very healing. And it’s just really worth having in your library.
Thank you. Thank you so much. That’s really lovely, that’s brilliant.
How are you doing now? Like apart from the fact that you were so busy with this How are you? Are you good ?
Yeah I’m good yeah I am I see I shouldn’t say not enough to still go Oh yeah I’m feeling I’m feeling pretty good I’m feeling great it’s just, it’s just I would say this just, this last twelve months the promotion almost, or the energy for this book started that far back and it’s just felt great all the way through. And, so I’m enjoying it and I said earlier I’m enjoying talking to people like yourself and getting the message out there doing these interviews it’s just great.
So it’s good, it feels good. I’m feeling very, very positive about and very – but in a calm way without going, yeah this is amazing. I feel good.
Oh that’s so awesome. You have a wonderful evening David. and thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate it immensely
It’s a pleasure. Thanks for inviting me along this is really great chatting with you it really is.
I always enjoy my guests, however, some touch me deeply on a soul level and leave a lasting impact. David has been one such guest. I literally could not put his book down when his publisher sent it to me. Literally could not. I read it in one sitting. It made me laugh, cringe for him at times, and definitely cry. I found myself, saddened for him and the lasting physical impact of his injuries, but at the same time uplifted and encouraged by the personal strength and healing, yes, healing this experience gave to him. Something that was extremely horrific, changed his life in positive and encouraging ways that I found extremely uplifting and empowering.
I encourage all of you to purchase this book. It’s brilliant, and I don’t get anything for promoting it. I simply feel that it will impact many of you listening, as much as it had me. And, it may provide healing on a level for some reading it. So please check it out. There is a link on this episodes page on the www.walkingtheshadowlands website that will take you to Amazon where you can purchase it from.
You can also check out some of David’s beautiful art and listen to his music from this episodes page on the podcast website, or on David’s website www.shineonthestory.com
Today’ haunting bumper music is called Enigma by Caleb Etheridge.
If you have any suggestions for topics you might like me to cover in upcoming episodes, then please don’t hesitate to contact me. Or, if any of you have any questions, suggestions, or any comments that you’d like to make, or experiences that you might like to share with myself, or my audience – or, if you feel you might be a good fit as a guest on my podcast, then just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, check out the ‘be a guest’ page on the podcast website.
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Some of David’s Art