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A SCIENTIST’S CASE FOR THE AFTERLIFE
Near-death experiences, or NDEs, are controversial. Thousands of people have had them, but many in the scientific community have argued that they are impossible. Dr. Eben Alexander was one of those people. A highly trained neurosurgeon who had operated on thousands of brains in the course of his career, Alexander knew that what people of faith call the “soul” is really a product of brain chemistry. NDEs, he would have been the first to ...
A SCIENTIST’S CASE FOR THE AFTERLIFE
Near-death experiences, or NDEs, are controversial. Thousands of people have had them, but many in the scientific community have argued that they are impossible. Dr. Eben Alexander was one of those people. A highly trained neurosurgeon who had operated on thousands of brains in the course of his career, Alexander knew that what people of faith call the “soul” is really a product of brain chemistry. NDEs, he would have been the first to explain, might feel real to the people having them, but in truth they are simply fantasies produced by brains under extreme stress.
Then came the day when Dr. Alexander’s own brain was attacked by an extremely rare illness. The part of the brain that controls thought and emotion—and in essence makes us human—shut down completely. For seven days Alexander lay in a hospital bed in a deep coma. Then, as his doctors weighed the possibility of stopping treatment, Alexander’s eyes popped open. He had come back.
Alexander’s recovery is by all accounts a medical miracle. But the real miracle of his story lies elsewhere. While his body lay in coma, Alexander journeyed beyond this world and encountered an angelic being who guided him into the deepest realms of super-physical existence. There he met, and spoke with, the Divine source of the universe itself.
This story sounds like the wild and wonderful imaginings of a skilled fantasy writer. But it is not fantasy. Before Alexander underwent his journey, he could not reconcile his knowledge of neuroscience with any belief in heaven, God, or the soul. That difficulty with belief created an empty space that no professional triumph could erase. Today he is a doctor who believes that true health can be achieved only when we realize that God and the soul are real and that death is not the end of personal existence but only a transition.
This story would be remarkable no matter who it happened to. That it happened to Dr. Alexander makes it revolutionary. No scientist or person of faith will be able to ignore it. Reading it will change your life.
Advance Praise for Proof of Heaven:
“Dr. Eben Alexander’s near-death experience is the most astounding I have heard in more than four decades of studying this phenomenon. [He] is living proof of an afterlife.” —Raymond Moody, M.D., Ph.D., author of Life Beyond Life
“I can highly recommend this important book that has the potential to break many scientific taboos.” —Dr. Pim van Lommel, cardiologist, author of Consciousness Beyond Life: The Science of the Near-Death Experience
“Proof of Heaven is more than just an awe-inspiring account of a profound encounter with spiritual reality. Dr. Alexander’s neuroscience career taught him that near-death experiences are brain-based illusions, and yet his personal experience left him dumbstruck. His honest struggle to make sense of this unforgettable journey is a gripping story, unique in the literature of spiritual experiences, that may well change how we understand our role in the universe.” —Bruce Greyson, MD, co-editor of The Handbook of Near-Death Experiences: Thirty Years of Investigation
A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be.
—ALBERT EINSTEIN (1879–1955)
When I was a kid, I would often dream of flying.
Most of the time I’d be standing out in my yard at night, looking up at the stars, when out of the blue I’d start floating upward. The first few inches happened automatically. But soon I’d notice that the higher I got, the more my progress depended on me—on what I did. If I got too excited, too swept away by the experience, I would plummet back to the ground . . . hard. But if I played it cool, took it all in stride, then off I would go, faster and faster, up into the starry sky.
Maybe those dreams were part of the reason why, as I got older, I fell in love with airplanes and rockets—with anything that might get me back up there in the world above this one. When our family flew, my face was pressed flat to the plane’s window from takeoff to landing. In the summer of 1968, when I was fourteen, I spent all the money I’d earned mowing lawns on a set of sailplane lessons with a guy named Gus Street at Strawberry Hill, a little grass strip “airport” just west of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the town where I grew up. I still remember the feeling of my heart pounding as I pulled the big cherry-red knob that unhooked the rope connecting me to the towplane and banked my sailplane toward the field. It was the first time I had ever felt truly alone and free. Most of my friends got that feeling in cars, but for my money being a thousand feet up in a sailplane beat that thrill a hundred times over.
In college in the 1970s I joined the University of North Carolina sport parachuting (or skydiving) team. It felt like a secret brotherhood—a group of people who knew about something special and magical. My first jump was terrifying, and the second even more so. But by my twelfth jump, when I stepped out the door and had to fall for more than a thousand feet before opening my parachute (my first “ten second delay”), I knew I was home. I made 365 parachute jumps in college and logged more than three and a half hours in free fall, mainly in formations with up to twenty-five fellow jumpers. Although I stopped jumping in 1976, I continued to enjoy vivid dreams about skydiving, which were always pleasant.
The best jumps were often late in the afternoon, when the sun was starting to sink beneath the horizon. It’s hard to describe the feeling I would get on those jumps: a feeling of getting close to something that I could never quite name but that I knew I had to have more of. It wasn’t solitude exactly, because the way we dived actually wasn’t all that solitary. We’d jump five, six, sometimes ten or twelve people at a time, building free-fall formations. The bigger and the more challenging, the better.
One beautiful autumn Saturday in 1975, the rest of the UNC jumpers and I teamed up with some of our friends at a paracenter in eastern North Carolina for some formations. On our penultimate jump of the day, out of a D18 Beechcraft at 10,500 feet, we made a ten-man snowflake. We managed to get ourselves into complete formation before we passed 7,000 feet, and thus were able to enjoy a full eighteen seconds of flying the formation down a clear chasm between two towering cumulus clouds before breaking apart at 3,500 feet and tracking away from each other to open our chutes.
By the time we hit the ground, the sun was down. But by hustling into another plane and taking off again quickly, we managed to get back up into the last of the sun’s rays and do a second sunset jump. For this one, two junior members were getting their first shot at flying into formation—that is, joining it from the outside rather than being the base or pin man (which is easier because your job is essentially to fall straight down while everyone else maneuvers toward you). It was exciting for the two junior members, but also for those of us who were more seasoned, because we were building the team, adding to the experience of jumpers who’d later be capable of joining us for even bigger formations.
I was to be the last man out in a six-man star attempt above the runways of the small airport just outside Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina. The guy directly in front of me was named Chuck. Chuck was fairly experienced at “relative work,” or RW—that is, building free-fall formations. We were still in sunshine at 7,500 feet, but a mile and a half below us the streetlights were blinking on. Twilight jumps were always sublime and this was clearly going to be a beautiful one.
Even though I’d be exiting the plane a mere second or so behind Chuck, I’d have to move fast to catch up with everyone. I’d rocket straight down headfirst for the first seven seconds or so. This would make me drop almost 100 miles per hour faster than my friends so that I could be right there with them after they had built the initial formation.
Normal procedure for RW jumps was for all jumpers to break apart at 3,500 feet and track away from the formation for maximum separation. Each would then “wave off” with his arms (signaling imminent deployment of his parachute), turn to look above to make sure no others were above him, then pull the rip cord.
“Three, two, one . . . go!”
The first four jumpers exited, then Chuck and I followed close behind. Upside down in a full-head dive and approaching terminal velocity, I smiled as I saw the sun setting for the second time that day. After streaking down to the others, my plan was to slam on the air brakes by throwing out my arms (we had fabric wings from wrists to hips that gave tremendous resistance when fully inflated at high speed) and aiming my jumpsuit’s bell-bottomed sleeves and pant legs straight into the oncoming air.
But I never had the chance.
Plummeting toward the formation, I saw that one of the new guys had come in too fast. Maybe falling rapidly between nearby clouds had him a little spooked—it reminded him that he was moving about two hundred feet per second toward that giant planet below, partially shrouded in the gathering darkness. Rather than slowly joining the edge of the formation, he’d barreled in and knocked everybody loose. Now all five other jumpers were tumbling out of control.
They were also much too close together. A skydiver leaves a super-turbulent stream of low-pressure air behind him. If a jumper gets into that trail, he instantly speeds up and can crash into the person below him. That, in turn, can make both jumpers accelerate and slam into anyone who might be below them. In short, it’s a recipe for disaster.
I angled my body and tracked away from the group to avoid the tumbling mess. I maneuvered until I was falling right over “the spot,” a magical point on the ground above which we were to open our parachutes for the leisurely two-minute descent.
I looked over and was relieved to see that the disoriented jumpers were now also tracking away from each other, dispersing the deadly clump.
Chuck was there among them. To my surprise, he was coming straight in my direction. He stopped directly beneath me. With all of the group’s tumbling, we were passing through 2,000 feet elevation more quickly than Chuck had anticipated. Maybe he thought he was lucky and didn’t have to follow the rules—exactly.
He must not see me. The thought barely had time to go through my head before Chuck’s colorful pilot chute blossomed out of his backpack. His pilot chute caught the 120-mph breeze coming around him and shot straight toward me, pulling his main parachute in its sleeve right behind it.
From the instant I saw Chuck’s pilot chute emerge, I had a fraction of a second to react. For it would take less than a second to tumble through his deploying main parachute, and—quite likely—right into Chuck himself. At that speed, if I hit his arm or his leg I would take it right off, dealing myself a fatal blow in the process. If I hit him directly, both our bodies would essentially explode.
People say things move more slowly in situations like this, and they’re right. My mind watched the action in the microseconds that followed as if it were watching a movie in slow motion.
The instant I saw the pilot chute, my arms flew to my sides and I straightened my body into a head dive, bending ever so slightly at the hips. The verticality gave me increased speed, and the bend allowed my body to add first a little, then a blast of horizontal motion as my body became an efficient wing, sending me zipping past Chuck just in front of his colorful blossoming Para-Commander parachute.
I passed him going at over 150 miles per hour, or 220 feet per second. Given that speed, I doubt he saw the expression on my face. But if he had, he would have seen a look of sheer astonishment. Somehow I had reacted in microseconds to a situation that, had I actually had time to think about it, would have been much too complex for me to deal with.
And yet . . . I had dealt with it, and we both landed safely. It was as if, presented with a situation that required more than its usual ability to respond, my brain had become, for a moment, superpowered.
How had I done it? Over the course of my twenty-plus-year career in academic neurosurgery—of studying the brain, observing how it works, and operating on it—I have had plenty of opportunities to ponder this very question. I finally chalked it up to the fact that the brain is truly an extraordinary device: more extraordinary than we can even guess.
I realize now that the real answer to that question is much more profound. But I had to go through a complete metamorphosis of my life and worldview to glimpse that answer. This book is about the events that changed my mind on the matter. They convinced me that, as marvelous a mechanism as the brain is, it was not my brain that saved my life that day at all. What sprang into action the second Chuck’s chute started to open was another, much deeper part of me. A part that could move so fast because it was not stuck in time at all, the way the brain and body are.
This was the same part of me, in fact, that had made me so homesick for the skies as a kid. It’s not only the smartest part of us, but the deepest part as well, yet for most of my adult life I was unable to believe in it.
But I do believe now, and the pages that follow will tell you why.
I’m a neurosurgeon.
I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1976 with a major in chemistry and earned my M.D. at Duke University Medical School in 1980. During my eleven years of medical school and residency training at Duke as well as Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard, I focused on neuroendocrinology, the study of the interactions between the nervous system and the endocrine system—the series of glands that release the hormones that direct most of your body’s activities. I also spent two of those eleven years investigating how blood vessels in one area of the brain react pathologically when there is bleeding into it from an aneurysm—a syndrome known as cerebral vasospasm.
After completing a fellowship in cerebrovascular neurosurgery in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the United Kingdom, I spent fifteen years on the faculty of Harvard Medical School as an associate professor of surgery, with a specialization in neurosurgery. During those years I operated on countless patients, many of them with severe, life-threatening brain conditions.
Most of my research work involved the development of advanced technical procedures like stereotactic radiosurgery, a technique that allows surgeons to precisely guide beams of radiation to specific targets deep in the brain without affecting adjacent areas. I also helped develop magnetic resonance image–guided neurosurgical procedures instrumental in repairing hard-to-treat brain conditions like tumors and vascular disorders. During those years I also authored or coauthored more than 150 chapters and papers for peer-reviewed medical journals and presented my findings at more than two hundred medical conferences around the world.
In short, I devoted myself to science. Using the tools of modern medicine to help and to heal people, and to learn more about the workings of the human body and brain, was my life’s calling. I felt immeasurably lucky to have found it. More important, I had a beautiful wife and two lovely children, and while I was in many ways married to my work, I did not neglect my family, which I considered the other great blessing in my life. On many counts I was a very lucky man, and I knew it.
On November 10, 2008, however, at age fifty-four, my luck seemed to run out. I was struck by a rare illness and thrown into a coma for seven days. During that time, my entire neocortex—the outer surface of the brain, the part that makes us human—was shut down. Inoperative. In essence, absent.
When your brain is absent, you are absent, too. As a neurosurgeon, I’d heard many stories over the years of people who had strange experiences, usually after suffering cardiac arrest: stories of traveling to mysterious, wonderful landscapes; of talking to dead relatives—even of meeting God Himself.
Wonderful stuff, no question. But all of it, in my opinion, was pure fantasy. What caused the otherworldly types of experiences that such people so often report? I didn’t claim to know, but I did know that they were brain-based. All of consciousness is. If you don’t have a working brain, you can’t be conscious.
This is because the brain is the machine that produces consciousness in the first place. When the machine breaks down, consciousness stops. As vastly complicated and mysterious as the actual mechanics of brain processes are, in essence the matter is as simple as that. Pull the plug and the TV goes dead. The show is over, no matter how much you might have been enjoying it.
Or so I would have told you before my own brain crashed.
During my coma my brain wasn’t working improperly—it wasn’t working at all. I now believe that this might have been what was responsible for the depth and intensity of the near-death experience (NDE) that I myself underwent during it. Many of the NDEs reported happen when a person’s heart has shut down for a while. In those cases, the neocortex is temporarily inactivated, but generally not too damaged, provided that the flow of oxygenated blood is restored through cardiopulmonary resuscitation or reactivation of cardiac function within four minutes or so. But in my case, the neocortex was out of the picture. I was encountering the reality of a world of consciousness that existed completely free of the limitations of my physical brain.
Mine was in some ways a perfect storm of near-death experiences. As a practicing neurosurgeon with decades of research and hands-on work in the operating room behind me, I was in a better-than-average position to judge not only the reality but also the implications of what happened to me.
Those implications are tremendous beyond description. My experience showed me that the death of the body and the brain are not the end of consciousness, that human experience continues beyond the grave. More important, it continues under the gaze of a God who loves and cares about each one of us and about where the universe itself and all the beings within it are ultimately going.
The place I went was real. Real in a way that makes the life we’re living here and now completely dreamlike by comparison. This doesn’t mean I don’t value the life I’m living now, however. In fact, I value it more than I ever did before. I do so because I now see it in its true context.
This life isn’t meaningless. But we can’t see that fact from here—at least most of the time. What happened to me while I was in that coma is hands-down the most important story I will ever tell. But it’s a tricky story to tell because it is so foreign to ordinary understanding. I can’t simply shout it from the rooftops. At the same time, my conclusions are based on a medical analysis of my experience, and on my familiarity with the most advanced concepts in brain science and consciousness studies. Once I realized the truth behind my journey, I knew I had to tell it. Doing so properly has become the chief task of my life.
That’s not to say I’ve abandoned my medical work and my life as a neurosurgeon. But now that I have been privileged to understand that our life does not end with the death of the body or the brain, I see it as my duty, my calling, to tell people about what I saw beyond the body and beyond this earth. I am especially eager to tell my story to the people who might have heard stories similar to mine before and wanted to believe them, but had not been able to fully do so.
It is to these people, more than any other, that I direct this book, and the message within it. What I have to tell you is as important as anything anyone will ever tell you, and it’s true.
1 The Pain 11
2 The Hospital 17
3 Out of Nowhere 23
4 Eben IV 25
5 Underworld 29
6 An Anchor to Life 33
7 The Spinning Melody and the Gateway 38
8 Israel 42
9 The Core 45
10 What Counts 50
11 An End to the Downward Spiral 59
12 The Core 68
13 Wednesday 74
14 A Special Kind of NDE 76
15 The Gift of Forgetting 80
16 The Well 87
17 N of 1 89
18 To Forget, and to Remember 95
19 Nowhere to Hide 97
20 The Closing 102
21 The Rainbow 105
22 Six Faces 108
23 Final Night, First Morning 111
24 The Return 115
25 Not There Yet 120
26 Spreading the News 124
27 Homecoming 126
28 The Ultra-Real 129
29 A Common Experience 131
30 Back from the Dead 136
31 Three Camps 140
32 A Visit to Church 147
33 The Enigma of Consciousness 149
34 A Final Dilemma 162
35 The Photograph 165
Reading List 177
Appendix A Statement Scott Wade, M.D. 183
Appendix B Neuroscientific Hypotheses I Considered to Explain My Experience 185
Posted November 13, 2012
As a physician and NDE researcher, I highly recommend this book. Dr. Alexander's book, like Dr. Mary Neal's book, "To Heaven and Back," includes the important elements of an NDE, including recognition of being in a different dimension, meetings with unusual beings, feelings of being accepted and welcomed, and a realization that we are all part of the universe, and carry divine universality in us at all times. Dr. Alexander includes his own research in this great book, conducted after his NDE, where he shows how he is working through the many questions that his experience engendered. His book also shows how he, as a physician, had to let go of engrained thinking about the possibility of NDEs and his colleagues skeptical views of NDE, after surviving his own NDE. A masterful book, beautifully written, and sure to become a classic of true NDE literature. Recommended for all who really want to learn about a true NDE, and about current scientific thinking about NDEs and the directions that NDE research is taking. It is wonderful that, like Dr. Neal, Dr. Alexander does not focus on "religion" in the books. It is interesting to note that the survivors of NDEs do not usually focus on religion as being important. Instead, based on years of talking to them, survivors of true NDEs have moved beyond religion to focus on compassion and humanity, as they have report that there is no religion in the afterlife, but there is a higher consciousness that we are all one, and that goodness and light live in the community of universal consciousness, which erases the people-made divisions of "religion." Please note that to date, no survivor of a true NDE has returned to promote only their religion, or to become hysterical if someone dies and is not a member of that same religion. Survivors of a true NDE report the opposite, and that we are all important in the afterlife, with an emphasis on the divinity found in all of us. Anyone using a story of NDE phenomena to promote their personal view of religion is being misleading, as that is simply marketing with a view to making money, and not truthful reporting of an NDE to increase knowledge and respect for all.
202 out of 230 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 26, 2012
I LOVE this book! Dr. Alexander's story is gripping. I started reading the book last night, and it was very difficult to stop! His writing makes reading almost effortless, and he tells his story as if he were there talking to me. The scientific information is written so that it is very easly understood. I'm very much looking forward to reading the rest of the book!
144 out of 157 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 27, 2012
Before you write long reviews, please:
A. Read the book
B. Offer your opinion on behalf of science when he conferred with many in his field to purposely disprove what happened to him.
C. Pretend that you are smarter than he is.
D. Bring religion into this discussion when he clearly does not. E. Open your closed mind to other possibilites. You sound like a fool.
117 out of 298 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 28, 2012
If you are a Christian and loved "Heaven is for Real" and are expecting the same thing you will be disappointed. In my opinion, this experience is in several ways, not scriptural. In fact, the Bible is not cited that I can recall. In this account a large part of heaven was darkness and there was no mention of meeting Jesus. Might make the beginnings of an episode of "Fringe" though. I certainly would not recommend to a Christian that is not grounded in Scripture.
116 out of 418 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 2, 2012
I am a nurse, so I was able to follow alot of the physiology and the medical challenges Dr. Alexander use to describe his experience. For me, what was most compelling about this book is recognizing how difficult this was to write in light of the fact Dr. Alexander had spent a lifetime substantiating findings with facts; then having only his word to tell others about this incredible experience. This book makes me want to know more about this God that Dr. Alexander now knows so intimately. I came away a little envious of the experience - how absolutely blessed he was to get this opportunity. Thank you Dr. Alexander for sharing this experience.
112 out of 123 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 31, 2012
This is a nice read for those that cling to the idea that nde's are brain chemistry at work and scoff at the idea of life after death. Clearly the authors brain was gone... yet they still scoff and deny.
I was hoping to read more about his nde experience but the book was written to try to inform "scientific" types that nde's are real...too much talk about his illness and family....not enough about what he experienced beyond. I was expecting more but understand why he did so...
I am always amazed how some are so big inside that they can't see beyond themselves. They close themselves off to possibilities beyond man and his ideas....this is a good book for those very people ...to at least entertain the idea that the universe is beyond the human mind and always will be ... man's science flip flops constantly...God does not. The scientists cant cure the common cold but decided that nde are all in the mind...i wonder what fool or group of fools decided to put that into the textbooks.
Tg for people that are willing to go against the crowd or we would still be living on a flat earth ..this author did a fine and honest job of telling what he learned ...outside of man's ever changing, flawed textbooks..
103 out of 117 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 31, 2012
I've been studying quantum mechanics for a while, and this book is right on. I would venture to say, life changing. And if you've ever suffered a great loss, this book will give you great comfort.
100 out of 109 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 14, 2012
I couldn't wait to read this book. Being a medical practicioner myself, I was excited that the author was a practicing neurosurgeon who, by his own admission was lacking in faith. What I expected was a convincing monologue on why he could really prove the existance of an afterlife. What I got, instead, was a treatise on meningitis and ICU psychosis along with a life's history and confessions of insecurity about being put up for adoption by parents who later married and had other children. Dr. Alexander's description of heaven was minimal, inadequate and bizarre. Don't waste your money.
92 out of 135 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 27, 2012
I was anxiously awaiting the arrival of this book only to be disapponted after reading it. If i wanted to know so much about mengitis we would not have bought it but we wanted to know about his out of body experience to heaven, not much of that in this book. Most of the contents of the book is the index which relates to the books the author read before publishing his own. Many of those books offer a farther in depth view of what proof there is of heaven than this book leads me to believe. If you want an autobiography of a neurosurgeon's life who was adopted and survived a deadly disease, this for you. I would suggest other books for stronger proof that heaven is for real.
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Posted October 28, 2012
Still looking for the proof....The author does bring religion in to this as he not only leaves out Christ in his experience but refers to God as "Om", which is a mystical entity in Hinduism..Gods name is "I Am"...plus heaven was closed? Maybe to you......the key to open the gates of heaven is to accept Christ as you saviour...
65 out of 220 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 28, 2012
The only thing that stopped me reading was the need to wipe my eyes. My tears were blurring my vision. Though—especially if you are in the medical profession—you still might not believe in heaven, I don't think it's possible for anyone to read this book and not believe in love.
51 out of 65 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
From the reviews I thought this book would be controversial, but I found it to be highly enjoyable. I guess some people know exactly how "heaven" is "supposed" to be... I thought this book was both thought provoking and well written, and I would recommend it to others who choose to live with a scientific, and ever expanding, open mind.
35 out of 36 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 26, 2012
Posted October 26, 2012
Posted October 25, 2012
No real scientist would find the "proofs" in this book worthy of a second glance. Feelings and anecdotes are not data. Every single case of NDE can be explained by the chemistry of the brain. This book is wishful thinking.
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Posted November 10, 2012
A truely remarkable book written by a remarkable man. Dr. Alexander is a highly educated and respected Neurosurgeon and as such his thought process is based in scientific fact. His story is amazing and miraculous to say the least. He presents his experiences through a Doctor's scientistific eyes and does it so that the average person understands and can believe. He is able to present the vastness of the universe and the connectedness of all that it entails. His book is truely his testament and answers some of life's greatest questions.
*This was a GoodReads win
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Posted November 24, 2012
I struggled through the first 98 pages and then regretted ever purchasing the book. Not the kind of book if you are looking for something inspirational about someone's near death experience or "views" of heaven. The constant references to the Worm's Realm were creepy and reminded me of a Steven King Sci Fi movie or some horrible type of nightmare. Deleted it from my Nook....
23 out of 51 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 30, 2012
Dr. Alexander's "proof" is a self-report of a mystical experience he had. To believe that what he says if "proof of heaven" you have to believe that his self-report is true. The self-reported events occurred while he was unconscious in the hospital, and when he awakened from that unconsciousness he experienced a kind of "ICU psychosis" that he eventually recovered from. Additionally, he states that his NDE (near death experience) was more profound that anyone else has ever had. Exactly how could he know that? What he has to say could have been said concisely in one chapter, but he has added enough fluff to make a book out of it. He notes that he is still gaining additional understanding of his profound experience, so I am guessing that there will be another book with more supposed insights. I am both a spiritual and cynical person, and I am not convinced that this is not just another attempt to make money by feeding on people's fear of death and sense of unknowing about what does or doesn't happen after we die.
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Posted October 24, 2012
Posted November 4, 2012