25 internautes sur 25 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
- Publié sur Amazon.com
This review is for the paperback version of Dancing Past the Dark. For some inexplicable reason, The Kindle version is not linked to the print version, even though they are essentially copies of the same book. The Kindle version can be found by searching Amazon's database, or by clicking here: Dancing Past the Dark: Distressing Near-Death Experiences
Now, the review...
Dancing Past the Dark: Distressing Near-Death Experiences is important, because terrifying and hell-like near death experiences are as "realer than real" and ineffable as the blissful ones. They are also more common (up to one in five) than we may like to admit.
At the end of the day though, this is not a book about distressing and hellish NDE's. It's a book about the totality of spiritual experience itself. Here, Nancy Evans-Bush shines light in the darkness, a darkness not created by the experience, but by thirty-plus years of collectively and fearfully ignoring the distressing aspects of the Other Side. As even any barfly philosopher knows, fear and ignorance intertwine.
That ignorance and fear was exacerbated by Maurice Rawlings in the early 1990's, when he came out with a series of books emphasizing the "hellish" side of the distressing NDE. On a mission to save souls, Rawlings put a spin on dNDE's that would contribute to crushing intelligent spiritual discussion for years. He used many since-discredited anecdotes, testimonies and "facts" invented out of whole cloth to sell a decidedly conservative brand of Christianity.
I like to think that most people - Christian and otherwise - would prefer to think with their mind and heart, rather than subscribe to a mind-bending dogma. If so, then this is the book for you.
Dancing Past the Dark is the only book ever written (so far) by a credible researcher that deals exclusively with distressing / hellish NDE's. I dare you to find another one. I promise, you won't.
Written in a compelling style that flows like a healing river, Nancy does more to support the the validity of every kind of near death experience than a boatload of Jeffrey Long's. I like Dr. Long, but I'm using him as an example here because when he mentions negative NDE's in his book Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near-Death Experiences, he flat-out says that they "are beyond the scope of this book". Most NDE book authors have that same move-along-folks, nothing-to-see-here approach toward distressing NDE's, if they mention them at all. Check any book devoted to near death experiences, and you might find three pages (at most) devoted to the distressing / hellish side of the story.
The kicker is, there's nothing to be afraid of. Our fear is rooted in our ignorance.
Dancing Past the Dark is a cure for that ignorance.
Nancy starts by sharing her own distressing NDE, and the impact it had on her psyche and life. Her story, subsequent employment at IANDS, and mission to research the dark side of NDE's is a fascinating study in synchronicity and the collective unconscious. Carl Jung would have been proud. As a doctor, he would have been even prouder of her service to those that have been impacted by the Terrifying Void of No Tomorrow.
She moves on to describe and discuss the three types of distressing near death experiences - Void, Inverted, and Hellish - then builds on that foundation. Here we find an intellectually sharp defense of the veracity of the NDE itself, a detailed description of the history of hell in our culture, reporting on the pitiful reluctance of traumatized experiencers to tell their stories (who wants to tell the world they died and went to hell?) and tons of enlightening facts with insight. This leaves the reader more informed and spiritually richer at the end of the book than he or she was before they started.
Documented experiencer stories, their reactions and the reactions of those around them graces the book with a personal feel. The stories are not filler, though. Nancy uses them to illustrate and give life to her many, many points.
The best part, in my opinion, is Dancing Past the Dark's way of dealing with spirituality in a reductionist/materialist world swaying under the weight of bad politics and religion. It makes for a surprisingly riveting narrative.
She ends the book with an chapter and appendix that offers specific suggestions and resources for caregivers that's not only useful for professionals, but can be of great value to distressed experiencers and their loved ones.
With Dancing Past the Dark, Nancy Evans-Bush has given us a choice. We can live like the proverbial three monkeys and refuse to look at, listen to, or discuss the dark side of near death experiences, or we can face the subject head-on.
I like Nancy's method. Fear no evil. :-)
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Georg W. Koester
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Do you desire in-depth knowledge of the subject of Near Death Experiences (NDE) as these states have at this point been named? Then this book is the best I have found.
If you have had an NDE, positive, distressing, or both, and are looking for support or to make further sense of a potentially deeply life-altering experience, "Dancing Past the Dark: Distressing Near-Death Experiences" may well be essential for you. Nancy Evans Bush, MA, has given a voice to the fullest range of insights and possible consequences to the NDE experience this reader of over a dozen NDE books and collections of accounts has so far come across! Bush references, addresses, and/or summarizes many of these books, giving credit as well as sometimes needed critique.
If you want to prepare yourself, how to deal with an encounter of these types of states and navigate them more successfully, this book may also well be for you. It shows how these encounters or similarly altered states have classically been approached. Simpler yet, Bush gives a broad scope of possible ways of looking at this sometimes illusive and difficult to pin down subject!
If you want to better support those, who have undergone such an experience, once again I imagine this book is a great aid. Bush even has appended a section for caregivers to those near death, who may be in distress, so both are helped and more readily supported during such emergencies.
Lastly, if you like reading well-written literature and are stimulated by carefully laid out ideas aiming at the numinous, this book might pleasantly surprise in contrast to books quickly cranked out as product the way many are in the changing world of publishing at the date of this review. On that point, Bush went through the trouble of providing a decent index as well as 15 pages of references. The book is filled with citations to back up her arguments.
None of the other books I have read on the subject matter cover such a wide range of considerations. These she has divided into three sections, the accounts that could be gathered so far (including the ones people hesitate to talk about), interpretations of what may be behind the stories of these accounts, and last but not least how to "dance past the dark" and the light in aiming at integration of the experience. Three appendices further aim to provide additional help. (Curiously, acknowledgments are given at the end of the book.)
Often in other books I was left with testimonials, that may well be the very honest retelling by a respective experiencer. To accurately appreciate such retelling however depends on the spiritual maturity of the reader to ferret through these accounts and distill their essence out of the experiencer's personal landscape and belief system structure. Without critical, analytical dissemination of the material, the undiscerning reader could conceivably be lead down a narrow view of the phenomena. This has potentially dangerous consequences, if one is ill prepared by this important glimpse into the future of anyone, who must cross the threshold of death of Earthly physical existence, not the least perhaps you.
Bush makes it easier to avoid such fate. She covers a wide range of possible meanings and the challenges of dealing with states, that the raw experience may not give up easily to the soul struggling to make sense of them. She does so by casting a wider net, that not only thoroughly deals with the NDE itself, but goes beyond the NDE to include other arenas of quintessentially subjective experiences and how humanity has attempted to deal with them. These are then suggested as possibilities for dealing with the NDE.
Whether you agree with her on every single point, and I do not, is ultimately irrelevant, when considered for the treasure of ideas laid bare by her treatise. The quality of the writing as well as her expansive context likely show me, how Bush must have struggled long and hard with her own NDE, which is passionately described in the first chapter.
Further indications of the quality literature you may be about to purchase are hinted at in her qualifications. She has had a number of leading positions in the International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDs). Not the least, it took her 30 years of confronting the phenomena in herself and with others to culminate in her writing this book.
Now, we can be the fortunate recipients of the insight gained by her labor of love.
Thus, if you are a contemplative or require deeper answers than an often more superficial treatise of more or less isolated accounts, and you asked me, I would say, yes go read the other books on NDEs, but be sure to also read this gem! It may potentially pull the many questions you might have together into a pathway of a more comprehensive in-depth awareness to a journey we all might end up taking one day soon.
(This review was written voluntarily without prompting by anyone. At this time I have never met the author nor been affiliated with IANDS.)
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
- Publié sur Amazon.com
I realize this book may not be an "easy read" for some people, but it is extremely well researched and written and is exactly what was needed to examine a complex subject with few established guideposts to help us along the way. Essentially, it explores "nightmare" near death ("NDE") and out-of-body experiences, from a myriad of directions. It simultaneously describes the human psyche, historical religious traditions, and the results and observations stemming from a wide range of scientific research. In the end, we are left wondering whether these distressing encounters are simply glimpses of what the experiencer perceived as the condition they were leaving behind (followed by the so-called "blissful" NDE), or the one they were entering, only to have it interrupted before they could experience it in a fuller context.
My own view (I have never experienced an NDE, but am married to someone who has) is that what is missing from most NDE discussions is the possibility that there are two different "consciousnesses" simultaneously at work. It has been theorized that "consciousness" is a non-physical, possibly electromagnetic type of force that has within it the all-knowing, timeless and dimensionally infinite capacity that is referred to as the "soul" or "essence" of a person. (e.g., see work of Robert & Suzanne Mays, http://selfconsciousmind.com/). It partially occupies the brain of a biological human, overlapping the activities of the material brain. So one "mind" focuses on survival of the race, while the other tries to bring the messages of our "source" (Creator, Light, God, whatever you believe in) to bear on how humanity behaves towards itself. The overlap is only partial, and the combination of the two "minds" is not the sum, but a third being, manifesting itself as a human being. (This is sort of like hydrogen and oxygen being combined, but when together they are not the sum of two gases, but rather a liquid, water.) If these combined minds can work in concert, they are a product of human "growth", in spiritual terms. If in conflict, they are candidates for mental health intervention. So where is determinism vs. free will in all this? If the material brain's intellect and "soul" consciousness can co-exist in some or all humans (and maybe others), then both are factors in what a person thinks/feels/does. Instincts, some natural, some inherited, and some from conditioning, can compete with the infinite knowledge of the "soul" consciousness. The soul cannot inhabit an earthly body and directly participate in life on earth unless that body is biologically alive. But, like the driver of a car that has broken down, it can step out, hold out its thumb, and look for another ride. And how that process might work remains, for at least the present, a tantalizing mystery.
And so the mystery of the nightmare NDE is a piece of the puzzle. And Nancy Evans Bush has done a masterful job of trying to shed a light on a 360 degree object. Not an easy task. She includes a great amount of thoughtful research and commentary along the way. I'm certainly glad I read her book, and hope others will as well.