“Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey in the Afterlife” – this is the title of the book that doctor Eben Alexander wrote to describe the Near Death Experience (NDE) that he had during the seven days of coma caused by bacterial meningitis.
Before reading the book, I read an online article which shortly related the breaking news: Heaven is real and doctor Eben Alexander has visited it during NDE. The article reminded me of a book I started reading two years ago. This other book is called “Soili’s Journey, A Journal of a Consciousness – Channelled by Terttu Tolvanen”. Finally, someone who died found a way to inform about the life that there is after death. In case you wonder about the relationship between Terttu and Soili, they had been colleagues and friends for over 30 years.
Yes, I know, most people would not even open the book. Two years ago, I saw it as an opportunity to test what my instinct would say about the contents of the book. Now, I read again some bits to make sure I remember the details. Soili contacted Terttu through automatic writing very shortly after she had passed away in order to wish happy birthday to Terttu. After few weeks of this type of communication, Soili informed Terttu that she would like to write a book to inform everyone about her journey into the spirit world. “My message is that life goes on. It only changes form. Nothing is constant, neither does anything disappear. All is energy, movement, evolution, so don’t stop.”
“Hell- is there one?” – this is one of the topics she tackles. Her reply is that hell is the internal state of a person during a lifetime and it is not a permanent state.
Soili informs about different levels of evolution and vibration. For example, she talks about a visit to the fifth higher level, “I am on a visit to the fifth level, to see what life is like here. On this level of vibration there are a great number of beings from other planets. They are on a mission to observe the situation on Earth and do research”. This sounded more like a script of a science fiction movie.
What did my instinct tell about Soili’s Journey? The thought that it is a mere fantasy clouded too much the instinct both the first time and the second time when I read the book. My instinct could not give a straight answer whether it is a fantasy or not, as I would have expected. Instead, I felt too overwhelmed with all the information and I stopped reading.
As for doctor Alexander’s book, in addition to the title, his profession as a neurosurgeon intrigued me as much as it probably intrigued other persons. Unlike other people, I bought the book. I wanted to read what a neurosurgeon has to say about life after death.
“Proof of Heaven” reads like a story for grownups. Doctor Alexander’s life story intertwines with details on how the meningitis affected his brain and with the experience of his inner self in the higher levels of existence. The emotional story of his fight between life and death kept me reading breathless during hours of night until I finished it.
From the medical point of view, it is a miracle that doctor Alexander is still alive and his brains recovered. He is a lucky man to have survived a disease which kills people.
From the spiritual point of view, he returns with a message of love and a reminder of connectedness. On the wings of a butterfly and in the company of the guardian angel, he travels between three dimensions of Heaven: The Realm of the Earthworm’sEye View, the Gateway, and the Core. While having no memory of his earthly identity, he experiences divine joy and acceptance. Towards the end of the book, the guardian angel turns out to be his dead sister whom he had never met in the earthy life
The ultimate message of the book is that the material based focus of science has shifted the focus of the humankind from the central mystery of the universe – the human consciousness. “The ascendence of the scientific method based solely in the physical realm over the past four hundred years presents a major problem: we have lost touch with the deep mystery at the center of existence – our consciousness.” Before sharing the lessons that he learned during the time he visited Heaven, doctor Alexander writes pages of proof of the reality of his NDE based on the main argument that the cortex was not functioning during coma. Yet, as the counter arguments showed, his proof is faulty.
How can he be sure that the NDE took place when his cortex was not functioning? What if everything that he calls NDE experience is but the rambling of the mind in the transition stage from the inactive cortex to the almost normal consciousness? This transition stage could last for hours or days, according to Steven Novella. (http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/proof-of-heaven/)
In The Guardian, Peter Stanford writes that ” … his account contains just about heavenly cliche known to humankind … this book sounds like pretty run-of-the-mill near-death experience literature”. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/11/dr-eben-alexander-proves-need-heaven)
I understand doctor Eben Alexander’s decision to write a book based on the most transforming life experience – the experience of wining the fight against death. In order to make sense of what has happened, anyone in his shoes would have wanted to talk about it, write it down and share it with the rest of the world.
But I did have difficulty to accept the reality of the NDE for two reasons. The first one, just like Peter Stanford, I could not help thinking that doctor Eben Alexander’s description of the spiritual beings he encountered and the world they live in are the result of the Biblical and New Age beliefs. The second reason for not believing in the reality of the NDE is my instinct. The description did not sound authentic in the depth of my being.
Then again, I didn’t have any doubt regarding the feelings of joy and love that he felt during coma. There is this belief coming from my inner self, according to which this is how we feel when the Divine embraces us. So, I believe doctor Eben Alexander was helped by angels and other spiritual guides for milliseconds.
In conclusion, doctor Alexander’s spiritual experience doesn’t need to be proved. It only needs to be believed based on what the instinct tells to each person who reads his book.
Doctor Alexander’s spiritual experience can’t be proved. Proof belongs to science and materialism. In my view, doctor Alexander did not provide any proof, but an extensive explanation of why he believes in the reality of his NDE. People who have not lived any spiritual experiences won’t be convinced by any explanations, unless someone invents a formula to put spiritual experiences into numbers and show that 1+1=2. And even then, someone else will find a way to show that 1+1=3.
Spirituality is discovered by the soul, by each of us whenever we are allowed to have access a higher level of understanding of life, death and the universe. Doctor Alexander’s documentation of his unique experience is valuable from a spiritual and medical point of view. But it has nothing to do with science! The truth of spirituality is beyond the realms of science.
PS 1. Do I believe in NDEs? I don’t know. I guess I am one of the persons that belongs to the middle camp that doctor Alexander was talking about. The camp of people who are open to hear about NDEs.
PS 2. We will all find out the Truth the day when we leave this world. When we do, maybe we will have time to laugh at our attempts to find the Truth in this lifetime when moving on to higher levels of existence. Or we won’t have the time and we will step into nothingness like the ones before and after us.