David Bennett was once a brash young commercial diver and Chief Engineer of the Navy Research Vessel Aloha. His harsh personal philosophy was, “You cut your swath through life to survive.” But one night, he was caught in a violent storm off the California coast, where he drowned. While technically “dead,” he met beings of light, relived his life, and peeked into his future, all resulting in a complete paradigm shift for him.
Later in life, he discovered he had stage IV lung and bone cancer—so advanced that his spine collapsed. Miraculously, he survived once again. These brushes with death taught him even more about living, loving, and how to find purpose in his life. David enjoys the retired life of a public speaker, author, and energetic healer.
Listen to more great episodes at Next Level Soul Podcast
Follow Along with the Transcript – Episode 259
David Bennett 0:00
But the funny thing is, is you're in this place. That's absolute darkness. But it's calm, and it's peaceful. And you don't really feel alone. You feel like there's something else there. And because I had just died this violent death, this was an incredibly peaceful experience for me to be in this this absolute darkness.
Alex Ferrari 0:32
I like to welcome the show, David Bennett. How're you doing, David?
David Bennett 0:34
Very good. Alex, thanks for having me.
Alex Ferrari 0:36
Thank you so much for coming on the show my friend. I'm excited to talk about to talk to you about your near death experience, which is as unique as a snowflake as many of these other near death experiences I've talked about. But they all do have a similar, similar moments in them without question.
David Bennett 0:52
Yeah, they're, like themes, almost. There's certain aspects. But the funny thing is, is within these experiences, you don't always not everybody has the same elements. You know, they're all because it's, it's so unique. It is so individual. And I think that's part of the reason why so many people don't come out about their experience, because it's so personal. It took me a long time, I probably it was 11 years before I spoke publicly about my experience. I tried to share it with a few friends didn't, didn't go well. And so I shut down, I shut down and I and I kind of hit it. But it was it's something that lives with you every day.
Alex Ferrari 1:32
Yeah, from what I understand near death experiences are very custom built for the experience or it is if you believe in Jesus, sometimes Jesus shows up if you believe in Buddha Buddha shows if you believe in Krishna Krishna shows up or your or your third grade science teacher or who is weird, different things that are very customizable to us. And that one, it's definitely not one size fits all. But before we get into your near death experience, what was your life like prior to you having this near death experience?
David Bennett 2:01
Yeah, I was very self involved, individual I grew up being thrown in from one family to the next to the next, during my childhood, so you become very self reliant. And that and, and you don't and my belief, actually, my philosophy at the time was you cut your swath through life. So that and that doesn't really include other people so much, okay. And it's quite a brutal philosophy, if you really think about it, because it's very one sided. I did have the opportunity, though, my mother took me back in when I was 14. And so and we moved to Arizona, and at that time, I was hanging out with a lot of native kids. And so their grandmothers kind of took me in and showed me kind of the natural way of be of living. And I was really attracted to that and actually had my very first spiritual experience when I was 14. Because of those, well, it was it was kind of interesting. I, they had taught me to kind of seek My own vision quest, okay, they had told me that that would be a seed to my own growth, and that sort of thing. And so I did, and I was successful after many attempts, and, and I and I had a vision quest where I, I went, it was it was rather odd, where it felt like I was going into the earth, but then I found myself floating above it. And, and, and then I settled down onto the actual plateau that I was sitting on meditating on and, and grandfather mountain came and spoke to me.
Alex Ferrari 3:39
Mm hmm. That must have been and you weren't taking any mushrooms or pain?
David Bennett 3:44
Oh, no, no, no! No, nothing. No, it was it was it was all natural. But it was many attempts before I actually had the deep experience that deep experience I had, you know, experiences that was helping me quiet but But what the grandmothers taught me and and through this, you know, their form of meditation, Vision questing I was it I think it saved my life because I was on a bad path. I was really on a bad path.
Alex Ferrari 4:10
Well, so was this this start to turn the path a bit turn the wheel?
David Bennett 4:16
I think it mellowed me out. It made me start focusing on what's really important in life. And so, you know, so then I kind of got my act together and I decided, you know, I need to go somewhere with this life. I can't just be this rabble rouser.
Alex Ferrari 4:33
No, were you were you religious or spiritual growing up?
David Bennett 4:36
Not no, because I was thrown from one family to the next to the next I got to see all these different religions and philosophies and I didn't see where it really helped any of them. And so it's so I didn't really adopt any any religious view. Until these, these grandmothers kind of took me in and I saw, I saw what you know, the benefit of of having a connection to your spirit having a connection to the earth. And, and so that that quieted me down quite a bit. But then, you know, you have to grow up, you have to get a job, you have to make a living. And so you kind of put that stuff aside. And that's what, that's what, you know, I became the chief engineer of a research vessel on and I was I still had that cut your swath through life philosophy because I didn't really feel like anybody else was looking out for me. So I had to, you know, I had to make my own way in the world.
Alex Ferrari 5:37
Isn't that interesting, though, because, you know, even even as a young man, I was exposed to certain spiritual ideas. And they were set, they just sat in the backseat. And you're just and the ego took over, and you just have to keep going, and you gotta keep pushing. Until Until the passenger in the backseat starts to knock you in the head a little bit. You got really knocked in the head.
David Bennett 5:56
Yeah. Yeah, that's a great analogy, though. It's sitting in the back seat. It's there. But, um, but we're just not utilizing it, you know, we're just not utilizing it and
Alex Ferrari 6:07
Many times ignoring it. Just Yes, surely,
David Bennett 6:12
Yeah, well, you're right. But our culture makes us think in that ego driven kind of framework, you know, that we have to get a job, we have to be successful, we have to compete. We have to, you know, that's how we get along in this world. And I mean, that's, that's the way it is today, you know, still that we, you know, this is, this is the way our culture teaches us, especially as males to be, you know, we have to be out there. And so there's not a lot of room to have a deep spiritual connection. In the culture in which we live in today. That's the Western call. With Western. Yeah. In Western culture, yes. In Western culture, I think in the aboriginal cultures and stuff. I think you're gonna find, you know, that they, they include it with their, their daily life. And that's, and to me, that's fascinating that, you know, oh, my gosh, you can you can be spiritual and still live a life still be successful still be a part of this world, you know, and so I, I, anyway, yeah, that's, but I didn't learn that until after I had the near death experience.
Alex Ferrari 7:19
So tell just take us to the to the night or the day that the your near death experience happened to my friend.
David Bennett 7:24
Early March in 1983, I was the chief engineer of a research vessel we had, we just completed a survey with this new ROV, an underwater vehicle. And, and we were trying to come in to our home port. And there were 2530 foot seas, and the Harbormaster wouldn't let the ship and so the captain decided that we were going to because there were a number of engineers on board that were attached to this ROV, and that they needed to get to LAX. And so they decided that they were going to put the Zodiac in the water, which is a is a rubber landing craft, you might say. And we use it for retrieving our submarines and stuff like that. So it was very durable craft. really reliable. We weren't concerned about it at all. But they got in. And the captain decided that because we had a skeleton crew because we were on evaluation, we weren't on an actual job. That I should probably go in the Zodiac with them. Because I knew the harbor. We didn't have a real skilled tech crew on board that day. And so normal normally I don't get in normally I don't I don't go on the Zodiac and take people shuttle people back and forth. Because I'm in charge of the ship. I'm the chief engineer. So But Captain thought this night it'd be probably prudent. So we went down bosons locker got some really old life vests. They were the old Mae West ones, you know. And we had, because it was a rough night, we finally we thought, well, maybe, you know, most of the time. We didn't wear life vests, we just, you know, in those days, the eight it was the 80s It was the 80s Yeah, yeah, you know, and we just didn't bother. And so these were on board to meet Coast Guard requirements, but who had warm you know, so we had to like, beat the dirt off and put them on, jumped in the Zodiac took our last bearing of where the harbor was, tried to try to see where the harbor buoy was. But we're two miles off so you can just barely see now and then a flash of light from the harbor buoy. But, and it was a stormy night. I mean, you know, it was really rough. And so we headed in and so that was that was that was that was the beginning of the end and allow always because you can imagine 25 30 foot on your couple miles offshore. They're just rollers right? They're just just big rollers. And so we'd go on top of a swell, try to get a bearing on the harbor. Ride the trough down up to this next swell, do the same thing again. And but at the same time, you got to realize the harbor buoys bouncing up and down too. So, you know, are you in sync, you know, and we lost track of the harbor buoy, but the shoreline was lit up. So we figured, worst worst case, you know, we're in a zodiac, we can just do a beach landing, we'll get these guys into the harbor somehow, someway, and we'll get them on their way to the airport. And we are about a mile offshore, when all of a sudden we actually drove off a breaker. And so we, you know, we boom, and yelled at the mate, turn us around, gives back, you know, turn us around, I'm in the bow trying to trying to, you know, try to see our way and there was a mate that was on the console driving. And I yelled, you know, turn us about, let's get back out where you were in a breaker zone, this is a dangerous place to be. And just then the next one came, and it crashed on top of this. And when it did it folded the Zodiac in half like a peanut butter sandwich. And I was in the bow it catapulted me into the sea. And, and I was just tumbled and tossed and tumbled and tossed and, and totally lost all bearings as to what was up down. But I trained as a commercial diver, you know, I wasn't freaked out because I had good old Mae West on she's gonna carry me up to the surface, I just have to hang on and protect myself, you know. And so I was doing that. And, but if you can only hold your breath so long. And eventually I drowned.
Alex Ferrari 11:39
Wow. So you're in the water. drowning, and you're out. So what happens? What happens next, David?
David Bennett 11:49
Well, it's, it's, it's really interesting. I'm drowning. And I've talked to other drowning experiencers is kind of, I don't know, I don't I don't know, if we just gravitate to each other. Sometimes, you know, the way the universe provides things like but and the other drowning near death experiencers that I've talked to had had a very similar kind of result that you breathe in the saltwater, which is not a pleasant experience, but then immediately pop out of your body. And I found myself in an actual void, this darkness, absolute blackness. And but there was no more roaring at the sea. You can imagine what 25 foot sea stone. So it's all horrendously
Alex Ferrari 12:35
I've been out there. I've been out there a couple of times. It's not that fun.
David Bennett 12:38
Yeah. not fun. No. Right. And so um, yeah, the N C. And if you're on the West Coast, you know that the the current comes down from the north, so that water is incredibly cold. That's why surfers in the California coast were wetsuits, you know, because it's just the water. There's very, very cold, and this was March. So it was frigid water, but I'm not feeling cold anymore. The roar of the ocean isn't there anymore. I'm comfortable. It's quiet. It's calm. I'm in this absolute darkness. And so I start I'm really curious, like, what is going on? And it's kind of funny, because, you know, in diver training, we actually go through oxygen deprivation training and commercial training and commercial diver training. And so you know, this is way beyond anything I'd experienced with oxygen deprivation. And so I'm just, I'm curious. But the funny thing is, is you're in this place, that's absolute darkness, but it's calm, and it's peaceful, and you don't really feel alone. You feel like there's something else there. And because I had just died this violent death, this was an incredibly peaceful experience for me to be in this, this absolute darkness. I know some experiences that go, you know, research shows about the void. That is a terrifying place because you're alone, but you don't feel alone, you know, that can be terrifying. But for me, it felt very peaceful. And then I saw light, and but it was just a pinprick. And I felt like I was moving toward it. And as I moved toward it, I started getting these waves and waves of love. Just it felt like I was being wrapped in this warm embrace. And so maybe, you just I was in Gaga, all of what was in was occurring. And and I saw this light as it as I got closer and closer was like, millions upon millions of fragments of light. And they were all moving in unison. Very much like sometimes you see large schools of fish, how they how they move together, you know, and, and the light and the refraction. It was it was absolutely mesmerizing and spellbinding but they I got closer and closer. And as I got very close, three fragments broke away. And they were welcoming me home. Alex, let me tell you, it was it was the most most emotional, and life affirming event ever because they were welcoming me home. And it felt like I was coming home, I didn't have a sense of we talked about, you know, my early life, I didn't really have a feeling. And suddenly I have this sense of here are these light beings, they're welcoming me home, I look at myself and I realized I've turned into a fragment of light one of these light beings, and eventually a dozen of them come greeting me. And I'm, I'm just feeling overwhelmed with the love and the support that they're, you know, that they're embracing me. And then they communicated to me that, you know, we need to go into the light, we went deeper into the light into this area that I it to me, it felt very spherical, like a giant bubble. We went inside, and we started to read live my life. And, but I relived it, not just from my perspective, but was like my, my consciousness had fragmented into multiple streams of consciousness. And I experienced it from my point of view, but everyone I've ever interacted with, from their points of view, as well. And it was like, every, everything, every interaction I ever had, would create a ripple. And these ripples would cascade out. And it was kind of interesting, because, you know, I was a brash young man, like I said, and I wasn't real proud, I didn't want the soul family to see some of the stuff that I done. And so I was, you know, it was, it was hard for me, it was very difficult for me to, to, because they were experiencing it exactly the same way I was experiencing it, but they were just supporting me and loving me through it kind of, kind of giving me that extra support that I needed to get through this review of my life. But I, the interesting thing was, I saw that, when I would do something with just loving intention, when I did something in my life with loving intention, I wasn't looking for anything, just, you know, just thought of just my heart to your heart type of intention, that created some of the biggest ripples. And that was, I was just amazed by that, and that the things that I thought were important in life, like becoming the chief engineer of a research vessel, all of these things that, you know, were I held in high regard, or maybe my ego held in high regard, had had Yeah, very, very little, in the effect of of ripples, you know. So, I kept, I went through the life review, and I came to the point where I had drowned, but we kept going. And it was kind of interesting, because in the life review, everything is so crystal clear, absolutely crystal clear. As far as all the interactions, the ripples, the the different streams of consciousness. And but when I crossed that threshold, into what I didn't realize at the time was is my future was my future. I it became like a corridor like I was looking down this corridor, and it was clear in the center but it was a little bit out of focus on both sides. And so it felt like I could go this way or I could go that way if I wanted to. And to me it kind of representative freewill that we live in this life that we have a choice you know, but we have a chosen path that we've we've picked, but we have this also this this opportunity, our freewill to kind of venture off to one side or the other but we'll come back to we'll come back to the center the center path so anyway we're going down the center path and I'm start re I start living or pre living you know events for in my life. And I get to a certain point and the light itself okay, all these millions of fragments of light in unison spoke and said, This is not your time you must return. And I said no way. I am not going back. I've got a family that loves me. I feel loved and support like I've never felt before. I have a family that I didn't even realize I have and I'm on that body is broken. It's just cold meat in the ocean being tumbled and tossed and I could still I still had an awareness of that body but I, you know, the light spoke to me one more time it said, You must return, you have a purpose. And to do it was so much love, you know. And that word purpose just resonated in my, my being. And when we're in that light, we have this expansive consciousness so much more than what we have available to us in this physical life, that I understood what the purpose was. And so with that understanding, I immediately came to acceptance. And when I, I reached that threshold of acceptance, I found myself outside my body observing my body in the ocean now, still being tumbled and tossed. Because I'd gotten into one of the cyclic turret, areas where the the waves come in, and it just constantly keeps you there, you know. And so my body's still being ragdoll around in the ocean. When, when part of the wreckage of the Zodiac actually the bow line wrapped itself around this arm and yanked my arm up dislocated my shoulder, and I'm outside my body watching this going up. And the three soul family members that had greeted me, were with me. And we all rose up together, as my body got entangled in the wreckage of the Zodiac, and then more waves hit. And when they did they slam my body up against this wreckage and some of that saltwater came up. And that's when they gave me a gentle push. And I came back into my body.
Alex Ferrari 21:30
Wow. So the the wreckage basically gave you a CPR push.
David Bennett 21:33
Yeah, yeah. Um, it's kind of funny. There was a lot of things that were going on there that played with my mind for years afterwards. The thing that the bitter lat Bitter End of the bow line was tapping my lifeless chest and I was sitting there. And I was wondering, how is the enormity of me going to fit in there, you know, in that physical body? And then you know, they gave me that gentle push to go in but it was
Alex Ferrari 22:03
So good. So you're so you're still in the ocean? You're still flying?
David Bennett 22:06
Yeah. Oh, yeah, we're still a mile out. We're still a mile out.
Alex Ferrari 22:09
So we're around guys, what happened to the other guys,
David Bennett 22:12
They were, they were the heroes of this whole story. Because they stayed on station they rallied together this is what we're trying to do is, you know, in this type of environment, this is what you know, we're trained to do, we're trained to look out for each other. And to you know, we all come back together basically. And so very militaristic type of mindset. Sure, Dan, well, we are all ex military. So we're all ex navy. So we all had the same training. So anyway, we're, you know, they had stayed on station. This is a dangerous place to be and they had stayed on station. They told me that they were there about between 15 to 18 minutes they reckoned one of them had found a head held onto a flashlight Yeah, all the things that happened this night because he had held on to this flashlight and so they had all rallied around together and they were looking for me they were calling my name but when I came up and I finally took in, it was expelled some saltwater and took a breath of air. Excuse me, they i You can only squeak and squawk after you breathe in salt water, it just it wreaks havoc with your larynx. So I was trying to get their attention trying to stay on the surface trying to breathe and they found me and we all came together and we rallied around that that wreckage because there was a little bit of air in one of the pontoons of the zodiac. So we use that is our rally point and we swam a mile in shore and I dislocated shoulder and a thumb and and and it was I was having a hard time
Alex Ferrari 23:48
You were swimming or did they pull the
David Bennett 23:50
I was hanging on to the Zodiac and kicking okay and trying to help do my own thing but I kept I kept I couldn't stay on the surface I kept going down and I couldn't and but the funny thing is is when we come back from one of these Near Death Experiences spiritually transformative experience you feel like you're half here and you're half there because that expand of consciousness is still with you. And I knew there was something wrong with my weight Mae West and I on class the scent you know the the chest clasp on it and I looked down in the lining of my Mae West was dry rotted and the fiber filling had become super saturated with water and so it was actually pulling me down instead of bringing me up and so I took that off and then I could I could maintain some buoyancy and be able to hang on and and just kick you know hang on with one arm and and kind of kick and scissor kick my way and with with them are and we are all hanging on to this one pontoon of the boat.
Alex Ferrari 24:55
Now you mentioned soul family. Did you see any faces Did you? Did you know anybody? Was it like grandma? Was it like, what was it?
David Bennett 25:04
Yeah, yeah, it's kind of interesting. In the near death experience, they were fragments of light, but I could see these eyes, these eyes were in the and, and it was like that, I recognize them. Not from this life. They weren't like grandma or grandpa, because I didn't have that in this life. But, um, but I recognize them, I recognize them as a family. And we had this connection that, I think was probably lifetimes, you know. And, and so that's how I, that's how I left and I just started calling on my soul family, because they weren't anybody I'd lived this life with. Although 11 years later, I had a second, and D. And in that one, I got to live, you know, the additional 11 years and a life review. And I got to see how much the first one had actually affected change in me, because I didn't really think it because I had hit it, I wasn't talking about it. I didn't really think it had changed me that much. But there were three things in my experience that really, really motivated me. And that was because of the life review because of the love. And that I suddenly knew who I was. And so there was this acceptance of who I was. I knew I had a lot of work to do. But, you know, because I was I needed to change I saw on that life review how I really needed to change, but I could accept that this is who I am right here right now. And I can do better. And then tolerance tolerance for other people. You remember my philosophy that cut cut your swath through life? Well, I didn't include tolerance for other people. But I suddenly had, I could see where other people have their path in life, just like I have my path. Sometimes we intersect, sometimes we work together. And sometimes we may not. We may disagree. But that's okay. That's their choice, their life, their decisions. And we may not agree with them. But I could accept that that is the life that they're living. Okay. It's it's a little innocuous, but, but it's um, and then the third thing that really stuck with me was truth. I've always liked truth, I've always, it's an important, it's always been important to me. But after the near death experience, I realized that there's more than just the factual truth, the truth that we learn in school out of books and the things that we've lived in life, you know, there's more than just factual truth. There's also a truth that resonates within our heart within our being. And that when we come across these truths, they resonate, we see them they illuminate within our life, you know, and so I realized that, that, you know, that is the greater truth that we need to embrace, and sort of fall in that's kind of guidance in a lot of ways to follow that inner truth. And so, acceptance, tolerance and truth that became kind of a mantra for 11 years, while I wasn't sharing it outwardly, in fact, that if anything, I was hiding it because the guys, they were like, you know, Dave, we were looking for you in a long time. And you know, damn, well, you can't hold your breath that long. You know, where were you? You know, and, and not all of a sudden you pop up, you know? So it's like, you know, where, where are you? And so I said, Oh, you know, Neptune's spit me back and stuff like that? I would I would cover I would, I would kind of hide it because I tried to share it with my my wife at the time. And just, it didn't go well. And so I thought, well, I can't talk about this. And the work that we were doing back in the 80s, commercial diving, underwater exploration was incredibly dangerous. And so death was a taboo subject just wasn't something that you would really talk about. Yeah. All right.
Alex Ferrari 29:07
Well, let me ask you, let me ask you, when you came back, did you have any issues with what how did you process what had happened? Because there's one thing processing it on the other side, processing it on this side with the limited meatsuit that we have. And the thing between our ears is such a smaller version of this grand expanse that you were talking about? How did you just process it just psychologically?
David Bennett 29:34
Yeah, it is tough. It is tough because you feel you come back and you feel like you're dense, you feel heavy and dense. And because you're confined, and that expansive awareness diminishes very rapidly. I felt like I was half here half there for about three days. But then it slowly slowly diminished. And the things it scared the heck out of me out because I suddenly was seeing auras at the time I didn't know what they were I just call them lifeforce energies or something. You know, it was like, by the 80s Yeah. And it was in Southern California, and we lived in this, this little apartment community that were all the apartments face each other. And there's a central courtyard, you know, but it was all garden, and it was terrorist, and it was beautiful, you know, but everything had this aura about it. And I was like, What the heck is this, you know, is like, I must have really took a hell of a bonk on the head, because I'm seeing things, you know. And, and if I would look at somebody in the eyes, I would see the light in their eyes, just like the light fragments, eyes, I could see the light that resided within a person. And it felt incredibly intrusive. And so I had a really hard time looking at people and I was that guy that was always in your face, you know, kinda like, and so for me suddenly, not to be looking you in the eyes, because I couldn't, I just couldn't look you in the eyes. Because I could see, I could see your, your being your essence, who you were, you know. And so I wanted it all to go away. I just wanted it to go away, I want my old life back, I don't know, whatever this is, I think I'm going nuts. I don't want to deal with this. Also, you start getting I started getting not everybody has these after effects. But this is what happened to me. I started having these, they were at the time, you know, the 80s. I call them downloads. We were just, you know, get this information. And it wasn't anything I learned in school wasn't anything that I had. You know, I had lived or anything like that. So I didn't know where this information was coming from. And I but it just it was this intense knowing that would just happen. And so I did what a good engineer would do I tested it to see how vertical is this? Is this real? Is it something I can rely on is something I can use. And the more I tested, the more I found out how reliable it was. And so eventually, it's not an overnight thing, integrating these experiences, not overnight, it takes time to kind of get used to it, eventually, I was able to learn to just be able to shut down the seeing of the auras and, and people's life essence and that sort of thing, I was able to quiet that down so that it wasn't so disturbing. And I didn't have anybody to talk to so I had to kind of, you know, I took that acceptance, tolerance and truth. And I use that as that was my handhold. The rest of it talking and arguing with what I perceived as God, I couldn't deal with that I had to just push that aside, I had to like bury that in my subconscious. I like to say I put it in a shoe box, wrapped it up with duct tape and wrote with a magic marker, do not touch, you know, and shoved it as far back in my brain as possible because I just but I could accept the you know what I learned in the near death in the life review and meeting my soul family. I could accept that to a certain degree. So I kind of hung on to acceptance, tolerance and truth and just. And when I had my second experience 11 years later, I saw how much just that little bit that I had taken from the near death experience had changed me dramatically.
Alex Ferrari 33:34
Well, let me ask you what you said downloads, what kind of downloads are you talking about? Like what kind of information was coming in? Yeah, it's
David Bennett 33:40
kind of interesting. Sometimes it was personal. Sometimes it was about maybe a co worker, I suddenly knew personal information about them. One time it was about we were getting ready for another job. And I suddenly knew that I was going to have trouble with number two engines, reduction gears. And so I had stocked some parts that normally I don't stock and they're very expensive. Fortunately, I was the chief engineer and the captain was like, What do you spend this money for? And it's like, wow, I just have a feeling we need to you need to cover our bases, you know, and so we get we get off shore, we're on job and suddenly number two reduction gear, you know, kind of Craps out and but I have what I need on board to be able to repair it, you know, so, so that type of thing. You know, like suddenly I just would know something, you know, I didn't have any you know, like there wasn't any indicators to tell me that that reduction gear was about to fail. But I knew it. I just knew it.
Alex Ferrari 34:46
That's fascinating. Alright, so you've kind of hinted at this second near death experience. Can you kind of go through that a little bit?
David Bennett 34:51
It wasn't so much a near death experiences, maybe a spiritually transformative experience but it what happened was I was meditating I I got to hang out with some amazing people in this spiritual community. And they were going back to Sedona, which is, you know, where I live just outside of Sedona. And so I thought, well, this is great, I get to go travel the old trails and hang out with these people. And I'll, I'll sit in on a few of their spiritual classes and things like that. But I've planned on escaping more than more than sitting in with them. But the first day they were going to go do a meditation on dal rock, and I thought, Oh, that's great. I love I love Bell Rock, it's a nice sunny place. And so I went up to a place that was familiar to me, I sat down and I started to go into my sacred place like the grandmothers had taught me. And, and just as I did that, I was because Sedona is one of those places where I feel like I can breathe because it's, it feels like home to me, because I lived there as a youth. And so as I sat down, it was just, I was so comfortable, I was so at home. And all of a sudden, I heard that voice, the light, speak to me, and it told me to return to the light. And when I did that, and just there was no choice in the matter, I suddenly found myself back in the ocean, drowning in the void. Meaning my soul family, again, having the life review Only this time, I got to see those 11 years that I had just lived.
Alex Ferrari 36:26
And we only got to go back through all of that to get back. Like it was like one way only, there was no side door, you could walk.
David Bennett 36:34
Yeah, right. It was like I didn't have a choice, I just suddenly went through and relive the entire near death experience. Now I've talked to some near death researchers. And they said that, you know, a lot of times when an experience or represses their experience, okay? That they may have a spiritual crisis at some point. And that it may bubble up. And this also happens, I understand what childhood experiences because they're made to repress it. And then maybe in their 30s 40s 50s, even no one in her 60s, suddenly it came up, it bubbled back up to the surface. And so I feel that's kind of what happened with me, because I had kept it close to my consciousness by adopting some of the experience but trying to hide part of it, that it was only 11 years, and I finally went to a place where I was comfortable. And I was, I was in that quiet place where I could hear very well, and was going into my sacred space. And that's where, you know, boom, it came all flooding back.
Alex Ferrari 37:39
Oh, so I see you can't see you went back. You relived it. And then you saw in that your life review, we get to life reviews on 11 more years,
David Bennett 37:47
Yeah, of living my life. And I saw how much it really, really changed me. So you know, it, it taught me that I need to adopt the entire experience, I need to just embraced the whole experience, and start living by what I'd learned within this experience. So I started living by what I call my quiet ministry, that I was going to live by what I'd learned in this in this experience, and just bring it into all aspects of my life.
Alex Ferrari 38:16
So and through that, through that spiritual experience. When you went back through that life review what happened after that? Did you just come back to the body?
David Bennett 38:23
Yeah, but you would have thought I drowned because I was the perspiration I was soaking wet. You know, I mean, he would have thought I just drowned. And I came walking down and and it's kind of funny. They're on this retreat, were a number of near very well known near death experiences. And, and so I had suddenly I had fears that could be mentors. And so, but again, I felt like I was half here, half there, it was very emotional time, because I, I really didn't get to participate in a lot of their adventures because everything was alive. Everything and it was just, it was hitting me emotionally. You know, it's kind of interesting, when when you go into the light, you go into it, you don't bring your body with you, you don't bring your emotions so much as you have like a tether to your emotions. But when you're in the body, and you have that same love affecting you, embracing you are human emotions, just get overwhelmed by it, you know. And so, immediately after the second experience, I had a real hard time just being in public because I loved everybody. I loved the table that I was sitting at, you know, I love they were hired. You were high. Yeah, it was
Alex Ferrari 39:45
You took some ecstasy, you took some ecstasy.
David Bennett 39:50
So, yeah, so it was just, it was very hard to be with people.
Alex Ferrari 39:56
So when did you decide to during this these 11 years when did you decided to kind of come out of that spiritual closet and start talking about it?
David Bennett 40:02
Not till after the second experience.
Alex Ferrari 40:03
Oh, really? So it was still all held in all this time. You were holding you were repressing it for quite some time. Yeah, yeah.
David Bennett 40:13
Yeah. Well, yeah. But you know, I, well, I had anyway, there was a, there was some reasoning behind it because I really, you know, you don't you question it, you question it. We're here horse, of course. And our ego gets in there and says, hey, hey, I can be just as good as that experience, you know? You know, it's funny how our head plays with us, you know, but these experiences feel more real than this life.
Alex Ferrari 40:42
The elegance, like the like a dream, and many times you wake up from dreams that felt so real, because you were in a different place, and you wake up and you're like, like, sometimes my wife will wake up, and she'll hit me for something I did. Dream. I'm like, I didn't do anything. Swear to God, it was right there. You did this. Like I did. Nothing. I was just sleeping.
David Bennett 41:05
Yeah, right. Well, I'll think of just the opposite now. Where you are right now. That's the dream. Yeah. This is the dream.
Alex Ferrari 41:16
Yeah, what this is, what would aborigine say? Is this the great dream? Yeah. Yeah, great dream. It this is this is this is not the reality. This is the simulation. This is the dream, this is the illusion that we're we're living and we're gonna wake up on the other side going. I was on this podcast, it was crazy. And then they're gonna go, what's a podcast?
David Bennett 41:43
Yeah, yeah, it's kind of it's very interesting, because I, anyway, I had a follow up, but I lost them.
Alex Ferrari 41:49
But so you finally started to come out? And? And did you, when you finally decided to start sharing this experience? How was the reception? You know, Friends, family, so on?
David Bennett 42:01
Yeah, yeah, I'm really positive. Because I've, I've, by this time, in my life, I had, I had changed my, my entire life and changed, because during that 11 years, there's, there's integration that's going on. And I didn't, there's this calling that comes out with people that you want to be more of service. So it so I quit my life at sea, I began working, you know, in, I worked at, I started working in hospitals in biomed. And then eventually and in dialysis, and I just, you know, I felt like I could be of service more by living life with people not being, you know, 500 miles off shore all the time. And so I had started commuting or interacting with more spiritual groups and interactions. So when I came out, that's kind of funny. I never thought of it that way as coming out. But when I started sharing my experience, I had, I kind of found some mentors and some, some really good people that that really supported me in it. And so I felt supported once I did, did start to share it. Why do you think this happened to you, David? That's an excellent question. And one that plagued me for many, many years. But that that word purpose, and that's kind of why I wrote my book was voyage of purpose. I just the purpose, that there was a purpose behind me coming back, and I think is part of why they kind of showed me some little previews. And I had to fulfill what the purpose was. And the big part was to prepare me for in 2000, when I developed stage four lung and bone cancer, and the prognosis, I had lesions in my hip, my brain, my kidneys, it had eaten away two and a half bones of my thoracic and my spine had collapsed. And the prognosis was I was, I only had, you know, six to eight weeks to live. And, you know, part of my mind said, Hey, you can go home, you know, but the other part said, A, remember the purpose. And, and I knew, because I saw in that life review, when I was living my future, I saw I was going to have the cancer, I also saw is going to live beyond the cancer. And so the funny thing happens with people that have terminal disease prognosis, there's, at first there's a fog, you know, this fog of what the heck is going on in my life. But then there's this clarity, that you know what's important. Okay. Yeah. And that's what you focus on is what's important in your life, right? Well, with mine, I had that clarity but Also, it brought me back in focus with my, my spiritual and my human life. And it kind of kind of gave me this laser focus as to you know how to move forward. And my communication after my second experience became even more enriched because my, my soul family were actually communicating with me. So I had this amazing guidance to guide me through the, you know, the, the tough period in life, which was stage four lung and bone cancer.
Alex Ferrari 45:31
Well, that's really interesting, because this is your first near death experience, or I've spoken to who has shown pieces of their future. In a life review, we didn't talk, we didn't even cover that the first time we went through that story. So that's a very interesting part, you actually saw glimpses of these things like, Hey, you're gonna get cancer, but then we're not gonna, we're not gonna do a spoiler alert on if you make it or not. But over here, you see yourself past it. So you've been you make the decision of what happens.
David Bennett 46:01
Yeah, well, it gives you a leg up, that's for sure. I mean, I knew I knew I was gonna survive it, right. But which is a positive thing, when you think about it, our attitude when we go into, you know, illness, and any kind of dis ease, you might say any anything that is a, you know, a rock in our path. Having the attitude of how you're going to overcome the obstacle is incredibly powerful, especially to our body, especially, because our body has amazing healing qualities to it. And, you know, I've got a broken spine, three and a half bones are missing in my spine. And the only thing holding it together is a massive tumor. You know, it's like, this is your body normally does a body doesn't like this. But I was able to overcome it. And the really weird thing is, is I used a combination of traditional, and because by that I'm working in the hospital in dialysis. And so I was able to use traditional medicine and wholesome, holistic approaches. And by using my guidance, my guidance kind of shared with me, you know, oh, try this, try that, you know, and this, Oh, this feels right, this doesn't feel right, you know, that sort of thing. And, and within six months, I was cancer free.
Alex Ferrari 47:27
And the doctors, of course, had no idea how that happened.
David Bennett 47:31
They just, they, I love the phrase, I'm not sure what you're doing. But whatever you do, just keep at it.
Alex Ferrari 47:37
You know, I've heard that statement from doctors who have faced it's miraculous. healings go, I don't know what's going on, just keep doing it and up. But that doesn't. But you know, that's funny thing about doctors is because you've I've had family members in the in the health field forever. And I have doctors in my family, who it won't change them. They see an experience like yours, and there'll be like, adds an anomaly. And they just don't dig deeper into it. And they still walk their path. Isn't that fascinating?
David Bennett 48:09
Yeah, my oncologist was fairly progressive. And my family doctor, my primary care doctor at the time, was very intrigued. He wanted to know how I did it. He really did. I mean, he was he sat me down, we had just a standard, you know, physical, and we spent half the physical talking about my near death experience and how it guided me through my cancer, you know, and, and he thought it was he was amazed by that was my primary care, doctor, unfortunately, he got out of medicine, but anyway. But, but my oncologist was, he was very, he was very interested in the holistic approaches that I had combined with the traditional medicine.
Alex Ferrari 48:51
So yes, I'm open minded doctors, some progressive.
David Bennett 48:54
Yeah, yeah. And that was kind of a neat thing, because I was, I picked my healthcare team. But that's a very fortunate thing for me because I was in the hospital. Sure, I would, I was part of the system. And so I was able to, you know, kind of pick my healthcare team and to move forward. I think but attitude, checking in with your guidance, those are all the things you know, I had a friend I had actually I had four friends that came down with terminal cancer diagnosis at the same time I did, we all worked in the same division. And, and one of them survived. The others didn't because the minute they were diagnosed, and I was talking to him, they said, Oh, I just got my death notice. They were given up. And sure enough, they were gone within months. You know, the way we perceive ourselves, you know, if we give our body a chance, we can we can overcome a lot. We can overcome a lot. If it's meant to be you If it's meant to be
Alex Ferrari 50:00
You've lived a very interesting life to say the least. Why do you think that you? What did you What is the biggest lesson you've learned in this lifetime? Why did you have to go through all of this in this incarnation?
David Bennett 50:15
Well, I, you know, since the cancer and everything, I've started a, what I, what I call contemplative practice. It's, it's meditation, but then within, once you reach that point of stillness, then you open up a conversation with a divine, basically, and, and in contemplation, now, I'm able to share a lot of what I, what I've learned, also, since I was able to overcome the cancer, and I used a lot of my own, going into the light, and, and using the light, as a, as a guiding star, basically, to show me how to overcome my cancer and to use energy work in as one of the now I can do that for other people. And so I learned how to help other people through energy work. I also do contemplative living podcasts and things like that, that I and I think that now I'm, I'm living more my purpose now than I ever was. The cancer, though, really was a big role in that it taught me so much on how to overcome the obstacles that we face in life. Because I've faced a number of obstacles
Alex Ferrari 51:31
A few just to say the least. And I mean, would you agree that, you know, that life happens for us, not to us?
David Bennett 51:39
With us, I would say with us, we're co creators in our own lives. And, and we have the ability to, well, we have a lot we have, because we have freewill we have, we have a lot of choice in life. And if we choose to week, sit down in our path, we can just sit down, relax, say, I'm not doing anything else. I'm not gonna, I'm just, I'm not gonna, I'm not gonna co create my life, I'm not gonna, you know, I'm just gonna sit here, my pet. But life's not gonna let you do that. It's not going to let you do it. It you may think you are. But it's not going to let you because the universe is going to throw stuff at you. That's what living this life's all about. We all face challenges. But how we approach those challenges really, really determines who we really are.
Alex Ferrari 52:32
That David, I'm gonna ask you a few questions asked by my guest, my friend. Sure. What is the definition of living a fulfilled life?
David Bennett 52:38
I think living a fulfilled life is being authentic, being true to yourself, trying to learn as much as you can about your higher nature, connecting to that higher nature, and then bringing it through. And, and using it in all your interactions.
Alex Ferrari 52:56
If you had the ability to go back to that young man, and give him one piece of advice, what would that be?
David Bennett 53:02
Wow, that's a great question. I don't know what would I tell him? Keep your head down? No.
Alex Ferrari 53:09
Don't get on that buoy.
David Bennett 53:13
As rough as my life was, there's not a lot that I would want to change. So I would just try to encourage him to stay in touch with what he learned from those grandmothers.
Alex Ferrari 53:25
Okay. How do you define God?
David Bennett 53:28
You see, God to me is omnipresent is everywhere. It's a part of everything. It's within you. It's within me. So high See, God is something so much greater than what our minds can even come comprehend. So I see, you know, God in the universe, I see God in the trees in the do in the grass. I mean, I see God and all of that.
Alex Ferrari 53:56
What is it? What is the ultimate purpose of life?
David Bennett 53:59
I think that's a there's a shared purpose, I believe. And that's for all of us to be able to recognize our own divine nature.
Alex Ferrari 54:10
Great answer my friend. Now, where can people find out more about you and the work that you're doing, sir?
David Bennett 54:15
The portal to everything Dave is, is dharmatalks.com dharmatalks.com . And, but on YouTube, if, if you're interested, I have a podcast on YouTube. That's contemplative living, but it's, it's on my YouTube channel, which is Dave's Dharma talk. Those are the two that I would or Instagram, Facebook, you know, but if you go to my website, you can click on all the links to my,
Alex Ferrari 54:48
To your stuff to your work to Dave's world.
David Bennett 54:51
The Dave's world.
Alex Ferrari 54:53
And do you have any parting messages for our audience Dave?
David Bennett 54:56
Yeah, I would say the one thing that really stands out In this life for me is that, you know, we don't have to go looking for God or the divine, because it resides within each and every one of us. But the way the portal for us to find it and to bring it into our lives is to quiet ourselves enough to be able to hear it.
Alex Ferrari 55:17
David, thank you so much for sharing your story with us and for the amazing work you're doing to help uplift and awaken people around the world, my friend, thank you again so much.
David Bennett 55:27
Thank you have me out. It's been great been fun.
Links and Resources
- Earthing.com: End Inflammation Today – Discover the Science-Based Healing Powers of Earthing/Grounding
- FREE Mindvalley Spiritual Masterclasses
- MUSE 2: The Brain Sensing Headband – Meditation Tracker Headset Device
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