When we think about stories of Near Death Experiences (NDE’s) we tend to view the recounting of these as told in a positive light. The tales we hear are generally positive experiences – soulful beings, wonderful colors, feeling loved beyond imagination, and heavenly lights. Wonderful stuff!

The problem is the books and articles on the subject are nearly always slanted in the positive. It is as if almost every researcher has stuck their heads in the sands and ignored another side of NDE’s. The other side being what most would find disturbing.

There are some courageous souls who stand up and contradict the more benevolent form of NDE. A few years ago I ran across some accounts of people describing a more hell like version of the afterlife-complete with intolerable suffering. There are accounts out there but they are hard to find and in general they have been avoided.

We might postulate that they are hidden from view for a variety of reasons. For one a benevolent form of NDE’s seems to comfort many people. As such they are more readily digested by the public. Another reason for the infrequency of the accounts may be a reluctance to come forward from people. After all who wants to say, “hey I was sent to hell?” The reality is there are probably a lot of reasons for this disparity in the literature. Recently I came across a book which looks at the more disturbing accounts of NDE’s. It is a good book entitled Dancing past the Dark: Distressing Near Death Experiences by Nancy Evans Bush.

But before getting onto the book, it would be good for people to note something. The tendency for many people would be to believe that there is a set of people who deserve to go to the more heaven like version of NDE and another set which deserves to go to the more disturbing versions. This just does not seem to be the case at all and there does not seem to be any rhyme or reason for why people get to see different versions. We only know that they do.

It also does not seem to be the case of pre-existing ideas and beliefs about the afterlife which determine the experience. We are in the dark as to why differences appear and for now have to bear with that state of things till more light is shed. Back to the book.

Nancy Bush had an NDE and her account is very interesting. As she describes it she was in hospital giving birth to her child when the experience occurred. She had a sensation of seeing the hospital and town down below her and then being flung into space. She describes the darkness as immense.

Here is her account of what happened next:

“A group of circles appeared ahead and slightly to my left, perhaps a half-dozen of them, moving toward me. Half black and half white, they clicked as they flew, snapping white-to-black, black-to-white, sending an authoritative message without words. Somehow its meaning was clear: “This is all there is. This is all there ever was. This is It. Anything else you remember is a joke. You are not real. You never were real. You never existed. Your life never existed. The world never existed. It was a game you were allowed to invent. There was never anything, or anyone. That’s the joke – that it was all a joke.”

The circles felt heckling but not evil, mocking, mechanistic, clicking without feeling. They seemed like messengers, certain of what they were saying, not ultimate authority themselves but with an authoritative message.”

She then describes attempting to prove them wrong. The circles persisted. Here is a bit more of her account:

“And then I was entirely alone. The circles had moved out of sight, and there was nothing left – the world unreal and gone, and with it my first baby, and this baby who would never be born, and all other babies. Everyone I knew and loved – (but how had I known them, if they were never real?) – gone, and hills, and robins. There was no world, no home, no babies, not even a self to go home to. I thought that no one could bear so much grief, but there seemed no end to it and no way out. Everyone, everything, gone, even God, and I was alone forever in the swimming twilight dark.”

One of the things that accounts such as hers does is bring a more balanced view of these experiences. The world is dualistic, it operates on yin and yang, on opposites, and we can be sure if there were positive experiences that there would be negative ones as well. Hers is not the only account provided, there are many more which range from void type experiences like hers to some loosely resembling hell.

There are also some great examples of synchronicity in the book, Jung would be loving it. The circles mocking her were the Taoists symbols for yin and yang she found out years later! The book is worth well worth a read and is a good eye opener so go on expand your perspectives a bit.