In September 2009 Anke accidentally set fire to herself after returning from a short jog.
I was in the process of starting a fire in our fireplace, when my baggy jogging pants caught fire. With a slight trace of irritation for my inattention, I tried to extinguish the flames with my hands, but this wasn’t successful. The extra air seemed to make the fire climb, growing ever stronger and faster as it moved upwards. Soon not only were my pants ablaze, but also my jacket …
I still vividly remember the moment when I realized that I couldn’t control the fire anymore. The fire devoured the synthetic clothing as the flames reached my face. Then my long hair caught on fire and I couldn’t breath. A ‘wow-effect’ started, which changed everything. I suddenly understood that this is it. I said to myself, ‘Give up! Now you are going to die!’ Since breathing was impossible and any chance calling for help was gone. I had no more control over my life. I couldn’t do anything else. — Source.
In this interview (German with English narration) Anke relates the Near-Death Experience that unfolded immediately following this event and over the subsequent nine days she spent in an Intensive Care Unit.
Her story contains many elements that recur in many NDE phenomenon.
- A triggering life-threatening event.
- Out-of-body experience. Ability to see and hear what medical staff doing.
- Feeling of hyper-reality or of the NDE being more real than normal experience.
- A life review including the ability to view interactions with other people from their points of view simultaneously.
- Alterations to time and space. Entire life review occurring as a single ‘object-time’.
- Expanded level of consciousness. Able to apprehend in ways and forms not available normally.
- Meeting with another entity(s).
- Significant life changes following NDE.
This is a fascinating interview to listen to. As is always the case with NDE’s we have to take the report at subjective face value, we have to decide if we accept it as a valid and accurate recounting.
I don’t want to judge Anke (and I have no doubt she experienced something) but in critically appraising what to make of this, I would also consider:
Anke admits to having been brought up with strong beliefs in the afterlife. So, there could be some confirmation bias involved in her experiences.
Anke now has a glossy self-promotional website ([here]) where she advertises workshops, book and other merchandise.
So, this event has now become a significant part of her personal business.
On one hand, there may be some financial & personal gain from fabricating/embellishing this story.
On the other hand, it may simply be a result of wanting to positively impact the lives of others after such a powerful change to her life.
If the story were true, it would be a pretty big deal no?
Featured image by Ricardo Prosperi