Proof of Heaven:
A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife
Most scientists dismiss NDEs as fantasies produced by brains on the point of shutdown experiencing tremendous medical stress. Journeys through heavenly landscapes, meeting departed relatives, perhaps even God himself, are explained away as peptide-driven dreams lasting in fact only minutes, but stretched into what seems like hours, even days, by the same time-telescoping mechanics that we encounter in our dreams. That’s what the former Associate Professor of Neurosurgery at Harvard Medical School, Dr Eben Alexander, thought too – until he “journeyed beyond this world and encountered an angelic being who guided him into the deepest realms of super-physical existence [where] he met and spoke with the Divine source of the universe itself” (cover blurb).
Proof of Heaven is his story.
Having mysteriously contracted E-coli meningitis, Dr Alexander’s cerebral cortex shut down completely, that part of his brain making him human showing no sign of activity at all. Most people with this disease who remain in a coma longer than a day or two die, or come out of it and spend the rest of their lives in a vegetative state. After a coma already into its 7th day, doctors and family were readying themselves for Dr Alexander’s inevitable death, when he suddenly opened his eyes, and after a short period of adjustment said, “All is well. Don’t worry – all is well.”
It was in the days afterwards that he began to tell the story of his NDE – an experience that turned the formerly nominal churchgoer into a person who felt he had to tell people of his time beyond and his “proof of Heaven”.
Naturally, this book has produced its detractors. There is a body of medical experts who are convinced that his illness cannot have been nearly as serious as claimed, or that the ‘classical’ NDE biochemical explanation adequately explains his experience. According to them, when he felt he had spent ages in the world beyond, these were just minutes as his brain restarted. Others criticise the medical conclusions he has drawn from his experience as scientifically flawed or exaggerated. Atheist/Agnostic critics suggest that his descriptions of the afterlife show that he was much more influenced by his religio-cultural connections than he is willing to admit. Fundamentalist Christians claim his experience isn’t true because he did not meet Jesus and St Peter at the gates of Heaven, and the experience of God did not meet their heavenly expectations.
But Dr Alexander is certainly convinced. He says that in his sojourn he was told, “We will show you many things, but you will be going back.” He believes that he has been given the task to spread the word that life DOES go on beyond the grave – and then some!
Some critics feel this is a sign of an inflated ego. Who does he think he is? A prophet?
Well, why not? If there have been prophets and sages selected by God through the ages, why should God have given up trying to communicate the message of hope, love and promise – even through a neurosurgeon?
It seems to me, who better than a scientist and a brain surgeon to explain some insights into the workings of mind and existence beyond the physics and chemistry of the brain, while throwing in some metaphysics and spirituality along the way? Especially if it gives people hope and could change their behaviour and attitudes for the better?
It’s not brain surgery, after all. Or actually, it is!
Read this book! It’s worth it. And it just may change your life.