Near death, a physician discovers life

EXTRA: Don’t miss our online course about the afterlife, with Eben Alexander, Jeffrey Long and Pim van Lommel.  

 

For seven days, an American neurosurgeon underwent a spiritual journey through time and space—despite a demonstrable absence of brain activity. When he woke from his coma, he wrote a bestseller about his experience. 

 

Before 2008, Eben Alexander III was an ordinary, if talented, scientist. He held the commonly accepted materialist worldview: Consciousness emerges from the brain. There is no God. We are the product of that accident known as evolution. In 2008, he suddenly became ill. Within hours he sank into a coma; his doctors confirmed bacterial meningitis, a serious infection with a 90 percent mortality rate. His brain had been severely damaged; according to the monitoring equipment, his cortex had shut down. The doctors believed his situation was hopeless.

 

Yet seven days later, Alexander opened his eyes. Though initially he could not speak and remembered nothing of his life, he would eventually recover fully. When he did, he had intense and detailed memories of a journey through space he had undergone while he lay in a coma. A near-death experience, indeed, complete with an angelic guide who showed him the way and a meeting with an all-knowing, all-powerful and all-loving being he named Om. He came back with an intense cosmic lesson he summarizes as “You are loved and cherished, dearly, forever. You have nothing to fear. There is nothing you can do wrong.”

 

“Consciousness is a much greater enigma than the materialist worldview can understand. The commonly accepted belief is that if we know enough about electrons, protons and neutrons, about how they interact and the chemistry and biology of those interactions, then we are able to explain. But that materialist viewpoint hits an absolute stone wall when it comes to explaining consciousness and its relationship to our brain. No one on Earth has the remotest clue how consciousness might be created by the brain. The brain is more of a filter that provides consciousness with the ability to function within our very limited world of space and time. Consciousness, when freed up from the brain’s physical limitations, is much more knowing. That unbounded, unlimited consciousness is what you tap into when you have a near-death experience.”

 

The book Alexander wrote, Proof of Heaven, topped the New York Times bestseller list for weeks. Since then, he has been passionately spreading a spiritual message. “I understood that I was part of the Divine and that nothing—absolutely nothing—could ever take that away,” he writes. “Our truest, deepest self is completely free. … This is the true, spiritual self that all of us are destined someday to recover.” Everything, Alexander says, revolves around the difficult enigma of consciousness.

 

Are you saying that consciousness is probably the basis for the material universe?
“The meningitis I contracted should have shut down all brain activity, but instead it took away my blinders and opened my consciousness to a much deeper knowledge. My journey made it plain that our consciousness is much richer when it’s liberated from the physical than when it remains stuck on this side of the veil.”

“Research suggests that consciousness is a much more fundamental part of the universe than we were wanting to think. That is the enigma that drove our most brilliant quantum physicists, such as Erwin Schrödinger and Niels Bohr, into mysticism to explain it. The brain created our simplistic notion of consciousness.

 

Are you now able to freely and consciously access that realm?
“You can’t think yourself there; in fact, it very much involves turning off that rational voice inside your head. But our whole society is so used to popping a pill to have a result right away—or being able to think ourselves out of it. This is more of an allowing and quieting that voice. It’s something you allow to happen by stilling your mind. But the entire power of the universe lies deep in our consciousness.”

“There are methods for doing so, such as deep meditation and centering prayer. It does take a lot of work. Right now I’m working with a group called Sacred Acoustics, and we’re working on various auditory files that enhance deep meditation. My current research is on acoustic enhancement of transcendental states. I do access that realm, but I don’t experience nearly the intensity and strength of that hyper-reality I experienced during my coma.

 

Is it our attachment to earthly existence that keeps us from achieving that state?
“Yes, but it is amazing to me that even in our kind of egocentric culture in the Western world, near-death experiencers so readily let go of their kind of Earthly identity to embrace that beautiful, all-powerful, loving realm beyond. They are ready to let it go. It’s important to realize that we are all here with a purpose. Reincarnation is now an essential part of my understanding. My experience proved very strongly to me that our consciousness or spirit is eternal; the brain doesn’t generate it, and it doesn’t die when the body dies—rather, it is liberated. That also means that we here on Earth work with soulmates, that we choose our hardships and difficulties—and that includes illnesses—and that all of it is part of the lessons we are here to learn. There is a much higher purpose to our lives, and we live multiple lives more than once. My role as a healer has also changed dramatically since my experience. I now see my patients and myself as eternal soul beings with physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and divine connections and layers of existence, but also spiritual layers and connections with the divine. Our goal is to climb higher and higher toward that divine realm, whatever you call it—God, or Om or Brahman—that awe-inspiring, creative core of everything that exists. But materialist science will never be able to understand that.”

 

You are now certain that there is more good than evil in the universe, you write. What about on Earth?
“Evil in our realm was also created by an all-loving and all-powerful God. For me, that was a difficult issue when I came back from my journey, because there’s that unconditional love that is dominant beyond measure, yet in the lower realms evil is allowed to exist. God loves us so much that he allows us to have free will, to make our own choices in life. Our choices can be along the most efficient pathway, which is manifesting unconditional love, showing compassion and forgiveness; that will help us reach the higher realms the fastest. But we can also choose less direct pathways, and travel through pain and suffering and mayhem and others.  You pay a price for that, between your lives, because then you feel all the pain and suffering you have caused others—much more intensely than your victims ever felt it, because you feel that pain in a purely spiritual realm. But all of that is part of the lessons you learn in the course of your path to God, that all-powerful and loving creative source. You can be tangled up in greed and accumulating material wealth beyond any reason. That is taking us the wrong way, deeper into our own souls’ suffering, to make up for it all. It’s far better to manifest love for others and not to be selfish not tied up in ego and greed. All the ancient teachings talk about that, but I’ve discovered that it’s also completely in line with a modern view of consciousness, and of causality and free will. My next book will address that.”

 

You write that after your experience, you were deeply moved during a service when you suddenly understood what it was all about. Do you still go to church?
“Yes, I feel that very powerfully. But it is cru
cial to point out that my journey taught me that the all-powerful God loves all of creation. When a religion claims to be the only true religion, that language comes from dysfunctional and controlling human beings. A lot of people on Earth are beginning to understand that, and that’s going to bring about a revolution in religion. All conflicts in religions arise from misunderstanding what the prophets and mystics have said. Now their message can be understood on a wide scale, and we can put an end to that antagonistic dysfunctional hierarchical thinking.”

 

Why specifically now?
“The game we’ve been playing so far has been very limited and has basically involved live on earth. But it’s inevitable that we will move beyond that at a given point, and that we’ll realize there is a consciousness that far surpasses our own, in other realms of the universe. If we want to become part of that community, we’re going to have to basically shape up to behave better.

“We’re getting close to an edge where damage we are doing is simply becoming too great. But it’s also related to the fact that we are joining a larger cosmic community. It is completely obvious that other intelligent beings live in this universe, and by that I mean something much larger than the universe known to current science. What we see as time is simply the lowest form of time and causality, and what we would call time travel and consider impossible already exists for more highly evolved beings.

“Warfare and violence are probably at least already eight or nine centuries late in vanishing from this world. And we are reaching a point where we are no longer free to play that ancient game. I know at one point the military was putting eight hundred million dollars a day into the military—that has to stop. Those kinds of resources have got to be put into feeding everyone, educating everyone and making this world a far better place. It is all about everyone being lifted up, all people living in harmony, us all  taking care of children that haven’t got enough to eat because they are all our children. And we need to see it that way, that our consciousness is truly one and its deepest level is the divine. More and more people are getting this message.”

 

You also write that humor and irony are evidence that we are not trapped in the material. Why is that?
“Humor proves we aren’t robots. The scientific view of psychology is clearly off target. Consciousness is the real deal. The more we realize the power and the value and the influence of the human spirit in each of us and as groups and as a whole planet of life, the more we realize the direction we need to take and it is all about love.”

 

You write in your book that you were adopted as a baby and that you became depressed as an adult when you sought contact with your biological parents and they turned you away. That was resolved later. Why did they turn you away the first time?
“It took me more than two years after my miraculous recovery to get used to the idea that this was meant to be. You need to wonder where you draw the line in saying things like that; you probably can’t attribute everything to some divine plan. But it isn’t all just coincidence, either. The more I’ve gone deeply into my personal story, the more I think this is how it was meant to be.“The most astonishing moment was when I realized that the guide I had during my near-death experience must have been my birth sister who died, a sister I never knew. When I was shown a photo of her, I recognized her.”

“It’s a complex story, but I later found out that my birth family never really refused contact. My birth mother was convinced that I had died in Vietnam, and she said so to my younger sister, Kathy. So when Kathy was asked if she wanted to meet me, she said there was no point.

 

Your story is comforting for everyone who has lost a loved one.
“I think it is very important to understand that all this is strongly rooted in neuroscience. If people would only realize that it really is a scientific story. No one who has ever had a patient with severe bacterial meningitis is going to hear my story and say, ‘Oh, well, that kind of thing happens all the time, there’s nothing miraculous about it.’ What happened to me is absolutely a miracle. You get plenty of skeptics out there who don’t know anything about it and say, ‘He must not really have been very sick.’ But that isn’t true. It’s a revolutionary story; it is a world-changing message.”

 

Do you think we need a scientific revolution?
“I firmly believe in the power of science but a far grander science than the kind of kindergarten level I grew up in. It is very important for science to grow far beyond that and embrace the deep mystery of the eternal nature of our spirit, soul and consciousness.” 

“In my view, it is all about broadening the boundaries of science. Science with a capital “S” concerns itself with the truth. The materialism and physicalism we’ve been addicted to is false; it tells us absolutely nothing at all about consciousness. My view is so much clearer now that I understand the power of our consciousness as one and at its core linked to the divine source of existence.  
 

By Lisette Thooft

Solution News Source

Near death, a physician discovers life

EXTRA: Don’t miss our online course about the afterlife, with Eben Alexander, Jeffrey Long and Pim van Lommel.  

 

For seven days, an American neurosurgeon underwent a spiritual journey through time and space—despite a demonstrable absence of brain activity. When he woke from his coma, he wrote a bestseller about his experience. 

 

Before 2008, Eben Alexander III was an ordinary, if talented, scientist. He held the commonly accepted materialist worldview: Consciousness emerges from the brain. There is no God. We are the product of that accident known as evolution. In 2008, he suddenly became ill. Within hours he sank into a coma; his doctors confirmed bacterial meningitis, a serious infection with a 90 percent mortality rate. His brain had been severely damaged; according to the monitoring equipment, his cortex had shut down. The doctors believed his situation was hopeless.

 

Yet seven days later, Alexander opened his eyes. Though initially he could not speak and remembered nothing of his life, he would eventually recover fully. When he did, he had intense and detailed memories of a journey through space he had undergone while he lay in a coma. A near-death experience, indeed, complete with an angelic guide who showed him the way and a meeting with an all-knowing, all-powerful and all-loving being he named Om. He came back with an intense cosmic lesson he summarizes as “You are loved and cherished, dearly, forever. You have nothing to fear. There is nothing you can do wrong.”

 

“Consciousness is a much greater enigma than the materialist worldview can understand. The commonly accepted belief is that if we know enough about electrons, protons and neutrons, about how they interact and the chemistry and biology of those interactions, then we are able to explain. But that materialist viewpoint hits an absolute stone wall when it comes to explaining consciousness and its relationship to our brain. No one on Earth has the remotest clue how consciousness might be created by the brain. The brain is more of a filter that provides consciousness with the ability to function within our very limited world of space and time. Consciousness, when freed up from the brain’s physical limitations, is much more knowing. That unbounded, unlimited consciousness is what you tap into when you have a near-death experience.”

 

The book Alexander wrote, Proof of Heaven, topped the New York Times bestseller list for weeks. Since then, he has been passionately spreading a spiritual message. “I understood that I was part of the Divine and that nothing—absolutely nothing—could ever take that away,” he writes. “Our truest, deepest self is completely free. … This is the true, spiritual self that all of us are destined someday to recover.” Everything, Alexander says, revolves around the difficult enigma of consciousness.

 

Are you saying that consciousness is probably the basis for the material universe?
“The meningitis I contracted should have shut down all brain activity, but instead it took away my blinders and opened my consciousness to a much deeper knowledge. My journey made it plain that our consciousness is much richer when it’s liberated from the physical than when it remains stuck on this side of the veil.”

“Research suggests that consciousness is a much more fundamental part of the universe than we were wanting to think. That is the enigma that drove our most brilliant quantum physicists, such as Erwin Schrödinger and Niels Bohr, into mysticism to explain it. The brain created our simplistic notion of consciousness.

 

Are you now able to freely and consciously access that realm?
“You can’t think yourself there; in fact, it very much involves turning off that rational voice inside your head. But our whole society is so used to popping a pill to have a result right away—or being able to think ourselves out of it. This is more of an allowing and quieting that voice. It’s something you allow to happen by stilling your mind. But the entire power of the universe lies deep in our consciousness.”

“There are methods for doing so, such as deep meditation and centering prayer. It does take a lot of work. Right now I’m working with a group called Sacred Acoustics, and we’re working on various auditory files that enhance deep meditation. My current research is on acoustic enhancement of transcendental states. I do access that realm, but I don’t experience nearly the intensity and strength of that hyper-reality I experienced during my coma.

 

Is it our attachment to earthly existence that keeps us from achieving that state?
“Yes, but it is amazing to me that even in our kind of egocentric culture in the Western world, near-death experiencers so readily let go of their kind of Earthly identity to embrace that beautiful, all-powerful, loving realm beyond. They are ready to let it go. It’s important to realize that we are all here with a purpose. Reincarnation is now an essential part of my understanding. My experience proved very strongly to me that our consciousness or spirit is eternal; the brain doesn’t generate it, and it doesn’t die when the body dies—rather, it is liberated. That also means that we here on Earth work with soulmates, that we choose our hardships and difficulties—and that includes illnesses—and that all of it is part of the lessons we are here to learn. There is a much higher purpose to our lives, and we live multiple lives more than once. My role as a healer has also changed dramatically since my experience. I now see my patients and myself as eternal soul beings with physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and divine connections and layers of existence, but also spiritual layers and connections with the divine. Our goal is to climb higher and higher toward that divine realm, whatever you call it—God, or Om or Brahman—that awe-inspiring, creative core of everything that exists. But materialist science will never be able to understand that.”

 

You are now certain that there is more good than evil in the universe, you write. What about on Earth?
“Evil in our realm was also created by an all-loving and all-powerful God. For me, that was a difficult issue when I came back from my journey, because there’s that unconditional love that is dominant beyond measure, yet in the lower realms evil is allowed to exist. God loves us so much that he allows us to have free will, to make our own choices in life. Our choices can be along the most efficient pathway, which is manifesting unconditional love, showing compassion and forgiveness; that will help us reach the higher realms the fastest. But we can also choose less direct pathways, and travel through pain and suffering and mayhem and others.  You pay a price for that, between your lives, because then you feel all the pain and suffering you have caused others—much more intensely than your victims ever felt it, because you feel that pain in a purely spiritual realm. But all of that is part of the lessons you learn in the course of your path to God, that all-powerful and loving creative source. You can be tangled up in greed and accumulating material wealth beyond any reason. That is taking us the wrong way, deeper into our own souls’ suffering, to make up for it all. It’s far better to manifest love for others and not to be selfish not tied up in ego and greed. All the ancient teachings talk about that, but I’ve discovered that it’s also completely in line with a modern view of consciousness, and of causality and free will. My next book will address that.”

 

You write that after your experience, you were deeply moved during a service when you suddenly understood what it was all about. Do you still go to church?
“Yes, I feel that very powerfully. But it is cru
cial to point out that my journey taught me that the all-powerful God loves all of creation. When a religion claims to be the only true religion, that language comes from dysfunctional and controlling human beings. A lot of people on Earth are beginning to understand that, and that’s going to bring about a revolution in religion. All conflicts in religions arise from misunderstanding what the prophets and mystics have said. Now their message can be understood on a wide scale, and we can put an end to that antagonistic dysfunctional hierarchical thinking.”

 

Why specifically now?
“The game we’ve been playing so far has been very limited and has basically involved live on earth. But it’s inevitable that we will move beyond that at a given point, and that we’ll realize there is a consciousness that far surpasses our own, in other realms of the universe. If we want to become part of that community, we’re going to have to basically shape up to behave better.

“We’re getting close to an edge where damage we are doing is simply becoming too great. But it’s also related to the fact that we are joining a larger cosmic community. It is completely obvious that other intelligent beings live in this universe, and by that I mean something much larger than the universe known to current science. What we see as time is simply the lowest form of time and causality, and what we would call time travel and consider impossible already exists for more highly evolved beings.

“Warfare and violence are probably at least already eight or nine centuries late in vanishing from this world. And we are reaching a point where we are no longer free to play that ancient game. I know at one point the military was putting eight hundred million dollars a day into the military—that has to stop. Those kinds of resources have got to be put into feeding everyone, educating everyone and making this world a far better place. It is all about everyone being lifted up, all people living in harmony, us all  taking care of children that haven’t got enough to eat because they are all our children. And we need to see it that way, that our consciousness is truly one and its deepest level is the divine. More and more people are getting this message.”

 

You also write that humor and irony are evidence that we are not trapped in the material. Why is that?
“Humor proves we aren’t robots. The scientific view of psychology is clearly off target. Consciousness is the real deal. The more we realize the power and the value and the influence of the human spirit in each of us and as groups and as a whole planet of life, the more we realize the direction we need to take and it is all about love.”

 

You write in your book that you were adopted as a baby and that you became depressed as an adult when you sought contact with your biological parents and they turned you away. That was resolved later. Why did they turn you away the first time?
“It took me more than two years after my miraculous recovery to get used to the idea that this was meant to be. You need to wonder where you draw the line in saying things like that; you probably can’t attribute everything to some divine plan. But it isn’t all just coincidence, either. The more I’ve gone deeply into my personal story, the more I think this is how it was meant to be.“The most astonishing moment was when I realized that the guide I had during my near-death experience must have been my birth sister who died, a sister I never knew. When I was shown a photo of her, I recognized her.”

“It’s a complex story, but I later found out that my birth family never really refused contact. My birth mother was convinced that I had died in Vietnam, and she said so to my younger sister, Kathy. So when Kathy was asked if she wanted to meet me, she said there was no point.

 

Your story is comforting for everyone who has lost a loved one.
“I think it is very important to understand that all this is strongly rooted in neuroscience. If people would only realize that it really is a scientific story. No one who has ever had a patient with severe bacterial meningitis is going to hear my story and say, ‘Oh, well, that kind of thing happens all the time, there’s nothing miraculous about it.’ What happened to me is absolutely a miracle. You get plenty of skeptics out there who don’t know anything about it and say, ‘He must not really have been very sick.’ But that isn’t true. It’s a revolutionary story; it is a world-changing message.”

 

Do you think we need a scientific revolution?
“I firmly believe in the power of science but a far grander science than the kind of kindergarten level I grew up in. It is very important for science to grow far beyond that and embrace the deep mystery of the eternal nature of our spirit, soul and consciousness.” 

“In my view, it is all about broadening the boundaries of science. Science with a capital “S” concerns itself with the truth. The materialism and physicalism we’ve been addicted to is false; it tells us absolutely nothing at all about consciousness. My view is so much clearer now that I understand the power of our consciousness as one and at its core linked to the divine source of existence.  
 

By Lisette Thooft

Solution News Source

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