Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife by Eben Alexander, M.D., takes us on a journey with him out of normal consciousness. As he lay in a coma, he journeyed “beyond this world” where he recalls that he met angelic beings and the Divine source of the universe itself.
The fact that Eben Alexander, M.D., is a neuroscientist and had a near-death experience (NDE) while miraculously recovering from bacterial meningitis, has made his book a best-seller as well as brought up much discussion on NDEs and the feeling of oneness and happiness that are usually experienced in this state.
I’ve already read rebuttals, such as from Steven Novella on the Neurologica blog that, “Alexander claims there is no scientific explanation for his experiences, but… they occurred while his brain function was either on the way down or on the way back up, or both, not while there was little to no brain activity. During this time he would have been in an altered state of consciousness, with different parts of his cortex functioning to different degrees. This state is analogous to certain drug-induced mental states, or those induced by hypoxia and well documented, and there is even some overlap with the normal dream state.”
I’m interested in the science vs. faith issue and feel they can be compatible. I don’t believe science can actually explain what happened to Dr. Alexander during his NDE – such as being guided by a biological sister he had never met during his life as an adopted child. I am fascinated by the revelations he had while in his NDE, where he experienced above all else, LOVE.
He writes that he learned, “Love is, without a doubt, the basis of everything.” He writes that he found this the most single important emotional AND scientific truth in the universe.
Dr. Alexander claims that our brain is a barrier to our higher knowledge. Shamans and medicine men have long used mind-altering drugs to draw back the curtain of the rational mind to connect with spirit and the energy of the universe, love. They do this for healing purposes, and I found Dr. Alexander’s book healing as well.
I wish everyone could experience the unconditional love and acceptance that he experienced on his journey. It’s available to us all – meditation and prayer are recommended ways to experience this oneness. Opening the Third Eye Chakra and Crown Chakra in my experience have also allowed people to feel at one and in tune with higher consciousness and “knowing.”
Science still has much to discover about the mechanism of consciousness. There are still profound mysteries surrounding the spiritual or divine realm, our experience of reality, and whether there is a God. Dr. Alexander writes an intriguing story of his experiences before, during and after his coma and NDE, all ending with the beautiful message that we are connected as One through our divine link with God.
I found it a very interesting read, and basically embrace his message, whether or not NDEs can be scientifically validated. I’m passing the book on to my mother who is still mourning the loss of my father. Who doesn’t want the comfort of believing that our souls go on and experience wonder and beauty in the next life?
I applaud Dr. Alexander for sharing his story at the risk of criticism from his colleagues and the scientific community in general. It is well-written and inspirational, two very important criteria for me when judging a book.
For those interested in more info or sharing their own NDEs, Dr. Alexander has set up www.Eternea.org as a resource to foster cooperation between science and spirituality.
Becca Chopra, author of Chakra Secrets, The Chakra Diaries, and Balance Your Chakras – Balance Your Life