Monday, October 08, 2012

A Neurosurgeon’s Near Death Experience

Heaven Is Real: A Doctor’s Experience With the Afterlife

As a neurosurgeon, I did not believe in the phenomenon of near-death experiences. I grew up in a scientific world, the son of a neurosurgeon. I followed my father’s path and became an academic neurosurgeon, teaching at Harvard Medical School and other universities. I understand what happens to the brain when people are near death, and I had always believed there were good scientific explanations for the heavenly out-of-body journeys described by those who narrowly escaped death….

Very early one morning four years ago, I awoke with an extremely intense headache. Within hours, my entire cortex—the part of the brain that controls thought and emotion and that in essence makes us human—had shut down. Doctors at Lynchburg General Hospital in Virginia, a hospital where I myself worked as a neurosurgeon, determined that I had somehow contracted a very rare bacterial meningitis that mostly attacks newborns. E. coli bacteria had penetrated my cerebrospinal fluid and were eating my brain….

All the chief arguments against near-death experiences suggest that these experiences are the results of minimal, transient, or partial malfunctioning of the cortex. My near-death experience, however, took place not while my cortex was malfunctioning, but while it was simply off. This is clear from the severity and duration of my meningitis, and from the global cortical involvement documented by CT scans and neurological examinations. According to current medical understanding of the brain and mind, there is absolutely no way that I could have experienced even a dim and limited consciousness during my time in the coma, much less the hyper-vivid and completely coherent odyssey I underwent….

The message had three parts, and if I had to translate them into earthly language, I’d say they ran something like this:

“You are loved and cherished, dearly, forever.”

“You have nothing to fear.”

“There is nothing you can do wrong.”…

The plain fact is that the materialist picture of the body and brain as the producers, rather than the vehicles, of human consciousness is doomed.

This is from an article that seems to want to sell a book, “Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife” by Eben Alexander, M.D. © 2012. Near the end of the article, he seems to tie it in with a Christian perspective.

1 comment:

  1. The adopted neuroscientist claims that after he awoke from the coma he later discovered that the woman who (allegedly) greeted him in heaven was a biological sister he never knew or saw a picture of until after his experience.

    BTW, the thing that disturbs me is the message he allegedly received from his sister. ""You are loved. You are cherished. There's nothing you have to fear. There's nothing you can do wrong." There's nothing one can do wrong? Makes me think this might be a case of demonic deception because the message seems to teach universalism. Unless he's misapplying the statement meant for him and applying to others. But even then, he wasn't a committed Christian at the time of experience. It was only afterwards that he seems to be more self-consciously (pun intended) "Christian" (not sure if real or not). Of course, it's not impossible for God to use a vague demonic message to bring someone to faith to Himself.