What to say about “Dancing past the dark.” Well, first of all this is a blog largely about the “other” near-death experiences–the ones that aren’t glorious but that must be talked about.
They do exist. I had such an experience, which shook me so badly I didn’t tell anyone about it for a couple of decades. It has taken almost thirty years, almost full time and including a master’s degree, for me to piece together enough information to make this conversation possible.
Who has them? Just about anyone. What do they mean? Long answer; read this blog and the book (which is coming). Is it true that people who have one are destined for hell forever? I think not. This emphatic statement will alarm some theologically minded readers, but I invite you who feel that way to stick around; I also believe there is a way in which hell is quite real. Let’s talk. It should at least be interesting.
There will be answers to frequently asked questions … and books I’ve found helpful… and a book coming along (see sample chapter in this very spot). You can let me know what else you’d like to see. To answer “so who’s she?” questions, see About the Author.
Second, “Dancing past the dark”–a title I hope will change–will be about other things also–odd bits discovered during that thirty years of study, books you might like to read, thoughts about how we decide what things mean, and whether religion still makes sense or has a purpose. Sometimes real-world posts about whatever is going on in the salt marsh outside my study windows.
I will do my best to respond to comments but cannot promise long, detailed correspondence about individual experiences. And be warned in advance: Rude, pointlessly hostile, or inane entries will not see the light of publication. Disagreement is welcome, but if it is not civil, it will be invisible.
Nancy, your work in your book and on this blog about the ‘other’ near-death experiences is a welcome addition to knowledge about NDEs. It’s not sufficient in the development of a field of study to just describe pleasantries. We learn a lot about human experiences by examining all aspects of a phenomena, not just the pleasant aspects, and then deriving meaning.
I’m looking forward to more comments and interaction on this blog!
Deacon Robert M. Pallotti, D.Min. says
I met Nancy Bush about 4 years ago and I can say that she among one of the people in my life who exude compassion and sensitivity to the people she ministers to. The challenge in her life was and is a formidable one. But she has borne it with dignity and I believe she has grown through this challenge in a way that perhaps other experiences may no0t have compelled her to do. She knows something deep about the suffering of people and God in this world.
I offer a prayer for Nancy as she continues her unique way of the cross.
Dave Woods says
Sometimes, people don’t die all at once. Dying is a process that can take awhile. A near death experience can happen in stages.
Back in 2000, I had open heart surgery. About three days post op, they took me out of bed, put me in a reclining chair, and tipped me back. My heart didn’t stop. If it had, there would have been alarms going off all over the place. However, I stopped breathing.
I found myself in a green landscape, moving slowly. I felt a little startled, and confused with a feeling within that I had never felt before. I seemed to be a consciousness floating above this.
I slowly made a right turn and entered a narrow valley, also green, and I could see across from one side to the other, where it went up hill. I had the feeling that that no one had been there for hundreds of years. it was a forgotten place.
I drifted to the left side, made another turn, and was facing back out out of it. It was a disturbing lonely place. Below me on an earthen terrace on the up hill side. I stopped, frozen in mid air, if it was air.
Below me was a mouument. It looked like a large stylized cast iron birds wing. It had a brown weathered patina. I had the feeling that its original intent had been long forgotten. From where I was, all though fixed in midair, I could see anywhere I sent my attention.
I looked uphill and saw more monuments. I looked accross the valley, and saw even more of them. I was not afraid, I kept looking down at this thing, unable to move.
Then, from a far distance I thought I heard a voice, so faint, that I could hardly hear it. The cast Iron birds wing below me, began to break apart feather by feather. They turned into shadow feathers, dark grey, and translucent. I could almost see through them, but not quite. They floated in a slow stream toward the voice, which gradually got louder.
The feeling of confusion I had began to dissapate, and was replaced with “everything’s going to be OK now. Slowly, I was able to follow, and when I finally got back there was a nurse with some medication.
I dismissed this experience back then, but I have never been able to forget it, the imagery, and the feeling I had while it was taking place. In retrospect, I think the “frozen in mid air” feeling was because I had stopped breathing. Call it what you will.
One thing I would like to add is this. We Do have guardian spirits watching over us. When I was being pushedinto the trauma center, an intense female voice started up right behind me, exactly where my neck joined my head.
She was very angry, and hissed “It didn’t have to get to this”, you’re fat and you’re lazy”. The feeling convayed was “you’ve got a lot more to do, and you’ve shot yourself in the foot!!
My wife was walking about ten feet ahead of me, and a guy was pushing the wheel chair. I was completely lucid during the experience.
Nan Bush says
What vivid images, the cast iron bird wing, coming apart in shadowy gray feathers, and your feeling “frozen in mid-air”! No wonder the experience has stayed with you. Thank you for your description. And did you pay attention, later, to that hissing voice? Glad you’re back.
Dave Woods says
I’m 76 now, I’ve survived another eleven years. I was 65 back then. Since then I’ve been thtough three consecutive operations to correct five abdominal anuerisms.
The surgeon told me I had a 95% chance of blowing out and dropping dead right in front of him. I found out about the anuerisms after I was thrown over a railing, and landed flat on my back six feet down. The MRI for that showed them up.
If I haden’t taken the fall, I would never have known, and I’d already be dead.
I think my Spirit guide is saying “OK man, I guess you still have to keep learning the hard way”.
I’m not afraid to die. I just worry about what will happen to my people if I go. Maybe that’s why I’m still being allowed to stay.
Hampton Howell says
Wondrous…and dreamlike. I’m grinning about your spirit guide.
Very interesting.. it seems fairly rare to read about distressing near death experiences. Then again it could be people are less likely to share ones that may cast them in a negative shadow. Looking forward to this one thanks!