Answers From the Afterlife - Book Review and Thoughts on NDEs, Life After Death, and the meaning of it all

What happens when we die? Why are we here in the first place? Is there a God? Is God loving or vengeful? Why is there suffering in the world? How can God let any of this happen?

Have you ever thought any of these questions? Maybe you were taught it was blasphemous to even question the existence or nature of God. My parents had almost no interest in the supernatural, but it found me anyway.

I said "but it found me anyway" because I have had multiple "spiritual encounters." It started at 11, after I was hospitalized for two weeks and it never really stopped.  I have only told 5 people about them. My husband, my 2 children, and recently - my 93 year old friend and my husband's aunt. Originally, my husband shrugged off what I told him, until he witnessed the encounters himself. Then he decided that I am dancing with the devil - bound for hell - getting involved with things that are too dangerous for us mere mortals, etc.

I told my children because I am always truthful with them and I wanted them to understand all that I know. My friend was the first non-family member I told about any of this, and I only told her one important story. I shared it with her because she recently lost her husband and she was afraid. She had all sorts of questions. In the end, she felt at peace about losing him and with dying herself. I told my husband's aunt this summer because she is open to learning new things and we had an extended time when we could talk.

This isn't the sort of thing you discuss with mainstream people because it could easily get you locked in the loony bin. I don't need anyone to believe me. And I don't plan on telling anyone else. I will never write about the experiences (other than in vague generalities) and I will never seek to profit from them. I consider them gifts - amazing gifts. And that's what brings me to Answers From The Afterlife.

This book arrived at my door in the most precarious of ways. It was addressed to SUBURBAN "STREET." No city. No name. No zip code. The "street" was the name of my street but without the "st" after it. How in the hell did it find it's way to me? Weirdness.

But it did arrive and I started reading it right away. It's not a large book but it is dense reading. I would have expected to finish a book like this in a day or two but it took me nearly a week.  All the while, I took notes. I also stopped to watch some of the author's youtube videos.

There is so much to say about a book like this. I'm going to review it like this: quick answer/long answer.

Quick Answer -
I think everyone should read this book. It is mind expanding and may get you to think about things you never imagined. If you are a super-duper religious person, you will be angry and hate this book. You should read it anyway and begin to question why you believe what you believe. If you are open to learning, you will find it interesting but possibly also angering. If you have no interest in spiritual topics or life after death, then you should still read it but will probably not get beyond the first page. If you do manage to finish the book and you start to think about things differently, then bravo. If not, then there is no real loss.

Long Answer - 
Do a quick google search of Nanci Danison and you will find many critics. The answers she provides from her experience are not the answers you would expect. Even if you're more spiritually open-minded, some of the information will rub the wrong way. That doesn't mean she is wrong. I am going to tackle some of the main criticisms and issues I had while reading the book.

Motive and Credibility
The first issue is motive. Nanci is a lawyer which instantly puts my mind on guard. She writes with authority and directness. Many online critics had issue with her directness - or bossiness. I did not. I appreciated the lack of fluff and niceties. Nanci is well educated - not just in a book sense. This gives her an interesting perspective and while it may not be approachable to every reader, she is not interested in making friends. She wants to tell her story - as she saw it. Not as we wanted her to see it. This book is not written as a marketer or a lawyer trying to persuade. It is written as information.

There is much ado about Nanci selling books on the topic rather than just giving the information away for free. This is understandable. You could argue that she has bills to pay and like any other human being, deserves to be compensated for her work. You could also argue that as a lawyer she probably has more than enough money. Enough being relative, but enough none the less.

Personally, I would have loved for her to donate all profits to an important cause. Maybe she does? Charities are rife with scandalous money wasting, so maybe she chose to do the donating on her own. Who is to say she doesn't use 100% of her proceeds toward helping others. Maybe she mentions it somewhere? Maybe she is counting on any profits from the book seeing her into her old age? She does have health issues and that can add up quickly. This is all just speculation and truthfully, she has a right to do whatever she wants with her intellectual property and/or money.

Assuming she didn't "do it for the money," why write a book and offer it for sale? One of the reasons may be because of perceived credibility. This is touchy subject matter - like politics, religion, or abortion. It's taboo: easily ridiculed, ostracized, or even attacked.

Books have to pass the muster of editors and publishers, so they are generally more regarded than internet websites. Books can be a quiet way to disseminate information - without all the fame and hoopla.

She had these experiences in the late 90's, early 2000s when the internet was Slooooow! Do you remember 90's internet?? There were no smart phones or free kindle apps. Books probably made the most sense at the time.  Besides, the internet is full of ideas - some of which are straight lies.

I always approach the internet with an air of skepticism. Don't You?

By the time she published her first book - the work was already done. I'm almost positive that the book publisher would not approve of her posting her content on the internet for free - after they paid to publish it. It would have been a legal nightmare. Her contract may also forbid her from writing future books with other publishers or online.

Why didn't she write her book right after her experience? It sounds like she started writing soon after. She was very ill with breast cancer.  It took time to write, to heal, and to find a publisher (as J K Rowling could well attest!)

Why did she write three books? A lot of her books, videos, and online material reference her books. At first I found this off putting. If you want to know more - read XYZ! I was super annoyed until I got halfway through Answers From The Afterlife.

By that time, I realized that the volume of information was just too much for one book. The questions generated were too much for one book. The content itself was so dense that it was more than one book. She really did need to write more than one book. I have enough questions for her to fill yet another book!

Did Nanci write the books for money? It doesn't seem like it. Looking at her books on Amazon, it doesn't seem that she has sold a ton and authors make only a smidge of the profits. She posts a lot of free videos that do not seem to generate much income. She has given interviews, but not for any of the major television crews that pay money and push you onto fame and fortune (like Oprah et al.)

Watching her videos, I found her to be very quick witted but not overbearing or fame seeking. She seemed quite shy. Not all that lawyer-like. She seemed honest. Of course, it could all be a big act so she can land a gig on Oprah and become the next Deepak Chopra. But I don't think so.

Another big complaint about her books is the fact that they are repetitive. In this particular book, she answers some of the most common questions from her first books. They are often very different questions but the answer is the same. That can seem repetitive. But if the answer is the same, then it is what it is.

I don't like the content
This book was logical and made a lot of sense. In fact, it made too much sense - in a way. Some of the content is so unfair. Or seems so wrong. So wrong and so unfair that it could be right. Life is not fair. That's how it goes!

I went into this book believing that Nanci did not have a NDE (Near Death Experience) but rather an OBE (out of body experience.) That may or may not be the case, but I don't think an OBE precludes her from finding out the truths of the universe and I am glad I had the chance to read her story.

None of her experience negated what I know to be truth - except for some issues regarding the origin of humanity. I plan to put together a list of interview questions for Nanci and hopefully she will be willing to clarify this and other points.

I have so many questions after reading this book. I feel like I should go out and read her other books, but Nanci is not an oracle. She may or may not have the answers. I am willing to ask, but I am also willing to seek them myself. I will write a new article if she answers my interview questions and will share those questions/answers with the internet.

Changes to my life
Believe it or not, 80% of the things Nanci discusses were in line with truths I had received over the last three decades. The book puts the pieces in better order for me, expanding on some of the areas, and helping me to understand all that I've "seen." I have never really had anyone to talk to about these things - not anyone that understands or doesn't doom me to hell.

I did not like the idea that there was no good/bad/evil. I understand her perspective and I see how it could be right. I still don't like it. It's unfair (to humans!)

I have been coming to grips with the fact that my human and my soul are really separate for a few years. This book put the nail in the coffin for me and I am more determined to be nice to my human body. I know that sounds so weird.

I feed my body well and am conscious of it's health, but I am mean to it. I make it go through shit that people shouldn't have to deal with. I expect it to do impossible things, unfair things. I expect it to act like a man and just take it. This summer, I went inline skating through the forest trails - about 15 miles. I cried the whole way. I apologized to my body for making it do the things I've forced it to do. I thought I/it was strong enough to handle the pain and suffering. I really did, and I was wrong. Even if I can separate myself and rationally understand why the pain and suffering happens, it still hurts my body.

I apologized hard. I cried and cried. It's not easy to skate and cry, but it was good. This is what it means to "finally love yourself" - to take care of the body we have and protect it - even though it is temporary.

How will my life change over the long haul is hard to predict, but I am open to finding out.

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