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Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Near-Death Experience and Journey into the Afterlife PDF, ePub eBook


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Title: Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Near-Death Experience and Journey into the Afterlife
Author: Eben Alexander
Publisher: Published October 23rd 2012 by Simon Schuster Audio
ISBN: 9781442359314
Status : FREE Rating :
4.6 out of 5

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A SCIENTIST’S CASE FOR THE AFTERLIFE Thousands of people have had near-death experiences, but scientists have argued that they are impossible. Dr. Eben Alexander was one of those scientists. A highly trained neurosurgeon, Alexander knew that NDEs feel real, but are simply fantasies produced by brains under extreme stress. Then, Dr. Alexander’s own brain was attacked by a ra A SCIENTIST’S CASE FOR THE AFTERLIFE Thousands of people have had near-death experiences, but scientists have argued that they are impossible. Dr. Eben Alexander was one of those scientists. A highly trained neurosurgeon, Alexander knew that NDEs feel real, but are simply fantasies produced by brains under extreme stress. Then, Dr. Alexander’s own brain was attacked by a rare illness. The part of the brain that controls thought and emotion—and in essence makes us human—shut down completely. For seven days he lay in a coma. Then, as his doctors considered stopping treatment, Alexander’s eyes popped open. He had come back. Alexander’s recovery is 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. Alexander’s story is not a fantasy. Before he underwent his journey, he could not reconcile his knowledge of neuroscience with any belief in heaven, God, or the soul. Today Alexander 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.

30 review for Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Near-Death Experience and Journey into the Afterlife

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy

    I might have rated Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife three stars had the author replaced the title with the subtitle. If you’re looking for proof of heaven or just an insightful and critical exploration of NDEs, you are better off moving on. Proof is one neurosurgeon's personal account of heaven, or rather, a heavenly experience. What it's not is a scientifically rigorous and groundbreaking paper on the actuality of heaven. Alexander offers a montage of his experiences I might have rated Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife three stars had the author replaced the title with the subtitle. If you’re looking for proof of heaven or just an insightful and critical exploration of NDEs, you are better off moving on. Proof is one neurosurgeon's personal account of heaven, or rather, a heavenly experience. What it's not is a scientifically rigorous and groundbreaking paper on the actuality of heaven. Alexander offers a montage of his experiences in the afterlife and the ordeal his friends and family endured, waiting and praying for seven days as he seemed to be all but surely slipping away under a prolonged coma brought on by E. Coli meningitis. Many readers are taken by the seeming improbability of Alexander surviving what he did, and even more by his experience when his brain was apparently turned off. Indeed, the doctor’s recovery was a miracle—but is it proof of heaven? A regular reader of topics in neurology and consciousness, I am open to the possibility of Near Death Experiences, or NDEs, provided they are buttressed with some evidence. Call me naïve, but I thought a medical doctor would have been eager to provide some. After all, Alexander makes much of his credentials and accolades before he delves into his recollection of his NDE, repeatedly making bold claims about the creator and the afterlife. One suspects that by taking this approach, he is trying to fool readers into thinking the claims advanced in his book are scientific—and he repeatedly asserts they are. But there is little scientific inquiry here. Hell, there isn't even an insightful discussion of NDEs. Instead, what we get is an interesting story and a great deal of evangelizing—though one that would, in keeping with a would-be bestseller about the afterlife, bear the metaphysical shading to please virtually any religious or spiritual person. Another problem with the book is an inconsistency in how Alexander describes the afterlife: though he tells us that human words can’t begin to describe heaven, he then proceeds to describe it as blissful and, well, heavenly--replete with villagers, sparkling streams and waterfalls, butterflies, blossoming flowers and angel-like beings. He writes that his insights were immediate but not immaterial or abstract. And yet a few pages later, we're told he experienced the “infinite vastness of the Creator." Alexander’s NDE is markedly different than the usual NDE. He did not pass through a dark tunnel or recognize deceased loved ones. In fact, he had no sense of self. He describes it as being similar to the most primitive state of being--murky and dark and full of strange, pulse-like pounding. Things only come into relief when he enters the “Gateway” and, finally, the “Core,” where things are more vivid and peaceful and epiphanies await. From the premise that his awe-inspiring experience is scientific proof, he piles on a series of large claims about the real world. We’re told that it is permeated with unconditional and very tangible love – the “single most important scientific truth” about the world. Never mind that this is not at all scientific. (there is something called falsifiability that Dr. Alexander might want to look up in an intro philosophy of science textbook.) In case the reader might have forgotten that this is a medical doctor who is preaching a unique NDE gospel, Alexander paints his pre-NDE self as a skeptic and a scientific materialist who perfunctorily occasioned church. He assures us that though he is now a confident bearer of good news about the supernatural, he nevertheless dutifully revisited his experience as a scientist. One by one, he knocks down the potential scientific (materialistic) explanations for his experience: not a psychedelic vision induced by drugs; not a byproduct of “rapid eye movement” sleep; not a “DMT dump” in which the brain floods itself with a substance that can bring on intense psychedelic states. He rejects the possibility of a “reboot phenomenon” under which the brain creates a montage from disjointed memories and thoughts left over from the cortex before it shuts down. These explanations are all impossible, he writes, because the meningitis shut down his neocortex (though he suggests repeatedly that it was being destroyed) It seems, however, that Dr. Alexander quizzical mind didn't query one aspect of his experience: whether doctors closely monitored his brain while he was 'comatose.' We don’t get quotes from the doctors about this—and quotes from people abound in this book. What many skeptics have noted is that Dr. Alexnader doesn’t consider the possibility that his experience might have occurred as he surfaced from his coma. We all have dreams that feel like hours and discover upon awakening that they spanned only a few minutes. The scientific literature on NDE describes some long experiences that occurred within as little as 30 seconds. It’s possible that this otherworldly experience occurred shortly after his neocortex became active. But that’s something the former scientific skeptic oddly overlooks. Moreover, if Dr. Alexander wanted to prove his scientific veracity, why didn’t he submit his evidence in a paper for peer review in the scientific community and share that with us in the book? He hints that he was eager to share his discovery with the world. Or maybe he’s not trying to convince the skeptics but reassure and confirm the beliefs of the buying public. While well-written and sometimes poignant, the book reads like part Chicken Soup for the Soul and part creed screed. Dr. Alexander blasts scientific materialism and argues that by rejecting it, we can get in touch with our spiritual selves through love and compassion. But I don’t see how love and compassion are empty without God. After all, even if our brains are nothing more than electrical-chemical signals in an all-too-biological machine, that does not negate the real subjective experience of the “machine” (a inexact comparison he and other neurosurgeons toss around too readily, because machines are not conscious and self-aware). I wanted to be swayed: to reconsider my position on NDEs. That didn’t happen with “Proof of Heaven.”

  2. 4 out of 5

    Joe

    very cleverly written and marketed trash. Those who want to believe are going to believe regardless, but all the "convincing" arguments he makes can easily be discredited: 1) It's implied that being a neurosurgeon somehow makes his experience more valid than that of say a teacher, or fireman, or even a bum on the street. Nonsense -- it does not make him an expert on the "afterlife" 2) The way he sequences events in the book strongly imply that he experienced these "out-of-body" events while his br very cleverly written and marketed trash. Those who want to believe are going to believe regardless, but all the "convincing" arguments he makes can easily be discredited: 1) It's implied that being a neurosurgeon somehow makes his experience more valid than that of say a teacher, or fireman, or even a bum on the street. Nonsense -- it does not make him an expert on the "afterlife" 2) The way he sequences events in the book strongly imply that he experienced these "out-of-body" events while his brain was effectively "dead". First of all, his brain was not in any way "dead" -- it was receiving oxygenated blood the entire time, which means neurons were alive, active, and firing, or he would truly have been brain-dead in a matter of minutes. And in the end, how does he know that he did not "dream" these events as his body was coming out of the coma in the last day or hours, or even minutes? He also implies that his brain suddenly came alive like a light switch when his eyes popped open -- more nonsense -- the human body (and brain) doesn't work that way. And how did these out-of-body experiences make it into his "dead" brain to begin with? 3) floating on "big, puffy, pink-white clouds" ? Ya, that one's imaginative -- what artist's depiction of "heaven" has not involved floating on clouds? You really think heaven is floating on clouds? Seriously? I would have been more likely to believe an underwater world, or perhaps floating in the gaseous red-orange upper layers of Jupiter. 4) a beautiful golden-haired girl with "high cheekbones" and deep blue eyes -- that one's a great touch -- what red-blooded American male hasn't had that vision? Had this been an Arab muslim, she no doubt would have been merely 1 of 72 very virginal dark-haired women with opal eyes (and high cheekbones). Or how about a gay guy? Would he have seen a very beautiful young boy (with high cheekbones) ? oh, but wait: gay people don't make it into heaven, or, if they do, they are quickly "straightened out" ! It should also be noted that his wife has an MFA in writing, and that he has probably already made more money on this book, than he has in his no doubt extremely lucrative profession as a neurosurgeon.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Stephen O'grady

    For those like myself that struggle with their faith and what happens to us when we pass, this book gives a compelling view from a scientist and a self proclaimed skeptic. As a scientist, I feel today's religions use their dogma to control morality. When something doesn't fit into their belief system they want you go along just "because." This book explores the idea of the afterlife in a secular way and challenges the neuroscience doctrinal assertions that completely dismiss near death experience For those like myself that struggle with their faith and what happens to us when we pass, this book gives a compelling view from a scientist and a self proclaimed skeptic. As a scientist, I feel today's religions use their dogma to control morality. When something doesn't fit into their belief system they want you go along just "because." This book explores the idea of the afterlife in a secular way and challenges the neuroscience doctrinal assertions that completely dismiss near death experiences (NDE), literally, as a figments of imagination. Critics of this book point to its lack of discussion about what happen to the author, Dr Eben Alexander, during the NDE event itself. I personally appreciated how he provided a more thorough context to the afterlife debate. NDE's have been recorded for 100's of years but more frequently during the advent of modern medicine where many lives have been saved after they were thought to be lost. What Dr Alexander provides is a unique perspective of the NDE from both a neurosurgeon who has treated patients and as the patient himself that has come back from a brush with death. He discusses how he had to reconcile his own preconceptions about NDEs and how he has been able to reflect upon his experience as a scientist. He touches on some very deep philosophical theories dealing with parallel universes, theories that have been approached scientifically from the particle physics community to explain the "theory of everything." Overall, this is a quick and thought provoking read not draped in over done religious rhetoric.

  4. 4 out of 5

    John Woltjer

    For reason's unknown, I have been fascinated by questions of mortality since I was a teenager. Deeply skeptical of religion, I have always had a profound felt sense that we are a part of something vastly greater than we can even imagine. It seems absolutely absurd to me that all of this that we are engaged in is the result of some cosmic accident and that the Universe is simply random and ultimately meaningless. But, we live in a scientific age where if you cannot label something and test it it For reason's unknown, I have been fascinated by questions of mortality since I was a teenager. Deeply skeptical of religion, I have always had a profound felt sense that we are a part of something vastly greater than we can even imagine. It seems absolutely absurd to me that all of this that we are engaged in is the result of some cosmic accident and that the Universe is simply random and ultimately meaningless. But, we live in a scientific age where if you cannot label something and test it it isn't real. So, our intuition must just be largely ignored because it is too subjective and untestable. My understanding of what has opened us up more and more to metaphysics is that it has emerged from the shadows since the revolutions in quantum mechanics, the study of the subatomic universe, where cause and effect and all other Newtonian laws have been shattered. Since objectivity has been shown to be impossible, given the indivisible nature of fundamental reality, the limits of science have been severely circumscribed. So, when a hard bitten scientist like Eben Alexander, the author of this book, finds himself in an after death realm that was to him as real--no MORE real than the life he was untethered from for 7 days, it gives more credence to the view that there are vast, other dimensions beyond our own. It is why I read books like this despite the skepticism of the larger scientific community (after all, what else could they do but protest?) I also read, My Stroke of Insight, by the Harvard Brain researcher, Jill Bolte Taylor a few years ago. Both books are fascinating treatises on the possibilities that exist beyond our three dimensional reality here on earth. Dr Alexander's book goes well beyond Jill Bolte Taylor's, in that she recognizes that she had a profound experience beyond the reality she had constructed as a brain researcher, an experience that fundamentally altered her sense of existence but one which she was much more circumspect about defining. What Dr. Alexander does is to assert his absolute, unshakeable belief that he experienced a much more profound reality that was much more than the mere misfirings of neurons in an unconscious brain. He is absolutely certain that he entered a realm that is just as "real" as the one we exist in on this plane. Well worth reading, but be willing to suspend your disbelief!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Cristael Bengtson

    I am a Near Death Experiencer. I was really excited when I ran across Dr. Eben Alexander's book on his Near Death Experience. I spent last night and most of today reading his book. I am happy that someone with Dr. Alexander's years of experience and qualifications has told his story of one of the deepest and longest and most significant NDE's I've ever read about or heard of. Dr. Alexander is a neurosurgeon who has worked at some of the finest hospitals in the country. He has also been a teacher a I am a Near Death Experiencer. I was really excited when I ran across Dr. Eben Alexander's book on his Near Death Experience. I spent last night and most of today reading his book. I am happy that someone with Dr. Alexander's years of experience and qualifications has told his story of one of the deepest and longest and most significant NDE's I've ever read about or heard of. Dr. Alexander is a neurosurgeon who has worked at some of the finest hospitals in the country. He has also been a teacher at Harvard Medical School. He is a professional who understands the workings of the brain from the viewpoint of a surgeon and a scientist. This is a man who carefully analyzes and considers all points of view before presenting his thoughts on his own NDE. What I see in this book is a portrait of an NDE'r who is a top professional in the field of brain surgery, a strong family man, and a man of integrity and good sense. I particularly liked his honesty in dealing with his battles with depression, and his sense of rejection stemming from his having been an adopted child. To my mind, his honesty and his vulnerability help to give this book integrity. It is very encouraging to all us NDE'rs who are out there, working to spread the word about what has happened to us, to find this kind of corroboration of both the reality and the value of our experiences. Thank you, Dr. Alexander.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    This book should be called "A Doctor's Description of His Illness and How His Body looked to Everyone Else". Oops, guess that is too long - sort of like the book, too long. I actually was going to give the book one star, but Dr. Alexander went to a lot of effort to tell us about him and his illness and to interview people who told him what his body looked like while he was ill. The little discussion there was of the NDE (or up to the point when I decided to put the book down because life is too This book should be called "A Doctor's Description of His Illness and How His Body looked to Everyone Else". Oops, guess that is too long - sort of like the book, too long. I actually was going to give the book one star, but Dr. Alexander went to a lot of effort to tell us about him and his illness and to interview people who told him what his body looked like while he was ill. The little discussion there was of the NDE (or up to the point when I decided to put the book down because life is too short), was rather nightmarish. If he was inspired to become a better person after his serious illness, it was because he got a glimpse of hell. Heck, what he saw is making me try to be a better person. Having read Dr. Kubler-Ross, Dr. Mary C. Neal and Betty J. Eadie's books, among other accounts, and knowing people who have had NDEs, Dr. Alexander's book just does not offer "Proof of Heaven". Don't waste your time - life is too short - and don't waste your money - there are better books out there to spend it on.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Carolina Montague

    This nonfiction book about a neurosurgeon who suffers from a severe infection of the brain - so severe that it shuts down his neo-cortex and he drops into a deep coma - is one of the best Near Death Experience books I've ever read. The author was an agnostic physician with expertise in the brain and consciousness. He started with a strong position that all consciousness is centered in brain function. If the brain stops functioning, you are dead and there is no coming back. He was skeptical of cl This nonfiction book about a neurosurgeon who suffers from a severe infection of the brain - so severe that it shuts down his neo-cortex and he drops into a deep coma - is one of the best Near Death Experience books I've ever read. The author was an agnostic physician with expertise in the brain and consciousness. He started with a strong position that all consciousness is centered in brain function. If the brain stops functioning, you are dead and there is no coming back. He was skeptical of claims of NDEs because he knew how the drugs doctors used to bring patients back affected the brain. But when his brain completely shut down, he experienced a very deep entry into Oneness, and was miraculously brought back to life, not by medical intervention - they had given up and were ready to pull the plug - but by Divine intervention. He struggled to reconcile what he knew as a physician and neurosurgeon with his experiences when his brain was completely "off-line". The experiences he had were alternately horrifying and exquisitely transcendent. The account loops around to another miracle: the discovery of who his guide was in the world beyond physical existence. He did not recognize his guide until a series of events brought her identity to him. I highly recommend this book

  8. 5 out of 5

    Cathleen

    I will acknowledge that I am rating and reviewing this little less than halfway through. Full bias disclosure: I will also readily acknowledge that from the moment I heard about Alexander's account, I desperately wanted to read it—and believe it. The reason is simple: The snippets to which I'd been exposed in interviews and reviews so closely mirrored an experience with my late husband less than a week before his actual death and a full two years before this book's publication. His eyes were clo I will acknowledge that I am rating and reviewing this little less than halfway through. Full bias disclosure: I will also readily acknowledge that from the moment I heard about Alexander's account, I desperately wanted to read it—and believe it. The reason is simple: The snippets to which I'd been exposed in interviews and reviews so closely mirrored an experience with my late husband less than a week before his actual death and a full two years before this book's publication. His eyes were closed and he was unresponsive for mere minutes, but when they opened with a look of awe, wonder and yet, pure love and serenity, I smiled and said, "Where were you?" and his immediate response was, "Heaven, I hope. It was beautiful. Love is all and all is love." And to my joyful tears, "And you are love, so you will always be with me." I already believed in an afterlife. I still do. Scientific or spiritual arguments won't change that. I also believe that in my human form I can't possibly know what it will be. But I do admit to seeking validation — and comfort — that what I imagine to be true just may be. And that one day I will be reunited with my love. As other reviewers have said, neither believers nor nonbelievers will be swayed by Alexander's account. Personally, I do find it more compelling that he, as a scientist, was not just skeptical, but absolutely dismissive of an afterlife before his experience. And just as this book is just one man's story, mine is just one woman's hope.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lora

    This was a hard book to get through because the author tried to prove through scientific method throughout that his experience was real. Important, but not your typical NDE book. I thought it had some invaluable insights to life and purpose. "How do we get closer to this genuine spiritual self? By manifesting love and compassion. Why? Because love and compassion are far more than the abstractions many of us believe them to be. They are real. They are concrete. And they make up the very fabric of This was a hard book to get through because the author tried to prove through scientific method throughout that his experience was real. Important, but not your typical NDE book. I thought it had some invaluable insights to life and purpose. "How do we get closer to this genuine spiritual self? By manifesting love and compassion. Why? Because love and compassion are far more than the abstractions many of us believe them to be. They are real. They are concrete. And they make up the very fabric of the spiritual realm." pg. 85. "One of the biggest mistakes people make when they think about God is to imagine God as impersonal. Yes, God is behind the numbers, the perfection of the universe that science measures and struggles to understand. But...Om is "human" as well-even MORE human than you and I are. Om understands and sympathizes with our human situation more porfoundly and personally than we can even imagine because Om knows what we have forgotten and undertands the terrible burden it is to live with amnesia of the Divine for even a moment." pg. 85-56. "Ultimately, none of us are orphans. We are all in the position I was, in that we have OTHER FAMILY: beings who are watching and looking out for us-beings we have momentarily forgotten, but who, if we open ourselves to their presence, are waiting to help us navigate our time here on earth. None of us are ever unloved. Each and every one of us is deeply known and cared for by a Creator who cherishes us beyond any ability we have to comprehend. That knowledge must no longer remain a secret." pgs. 95-96. Well stated and vitally important--if we can just keep that in perspective!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jane Wither

    I wanted to like this book but there were so many signs of improbability to the story I just couldn't do it. By the end of the book I was sure that the author and his editors were selling snake oil. Alexander tried very hard to distance himself from religion and new age spirituality in the beginning of his book so he could seem more credible once he starts telling his outlandish story. "Believe me. I'm a Neurologist. I know the brain better than you." "Believe me. I wasn't religious before." "Be I wanted to like this book but there were so many signs of improbability to the story I just couldn't do it. By the end of the book I was sure that the author and his editors were selling snake oil. Alexander tried very hard to distance himself from religion and new age spirituality in the beginning of his book so he could seem more credible once he starts telling his outlandish story. "Believe me. I'm a Neurologist. I know the brain better than you." "Believe me. I wasn't religious before." "Believe me. I was a skeptic of the highest order so if I can be convinced it must be true." He claimed not to be religious yet one of the first people to his bedside is the Rector of their church. A close friend obviously as only the closest of friends and family stay by you at the hospital through such a trauma. His wife describes their close friend Sylvia as a psychic. Another close friend of his wife, Susan Reintjes, is, according to the author an intuitive. A description that he calls a "fact" that never got in the way of his feelings about her. Contrary to what he says in his book he was clearly influenced by religion before his so called NDE and he was receptive or at least tolerant of New Age thinking. The book is called "Proof of Heaven" yet there was no evidence or proof provided. It was a story. An accounting of one person's experience. Who's to say these experiences happened while he was in a coma? Why couldn't these experiences have happened once he became conscious and was experiencing his post-coma psychosis? He briefly refers to a "reboot phenomenon" in his list of possible scientific explanations at the end of the book but dismisses it as "most unlikely" without any explanation of why it would be unlikely. The revelation about his birth sister toward the end made his book feel more like a novel with an unexpected twist at the end of the story. I certainly felt manipulated there. Perhaps it was not Dr. Alexander but his editors who insisted on the "plot twist" but regardless it was a blatant manipulation purely for entertainment value. This writing technique certainly leads me to call into question his intention for the book and weakens his claim that his experience was a valid scientific observation and proof of the afterlife. If I was skeptical when I finished the book, I was certain when I visited his website (http://www.lifebeyonddeath.net/). Dr. Alexander isn't wasting any opportunity to make more money from his story. You can buy an "All is Well" bracelet from Etsy for $70 memorializing his first words out of the coma. You can go on an exclusive 5 star retreat in Greece with Dr. Alexander where in addition to "experiential" and informative presentations some speakers will be offering individual "healing sessions" no doubt for a hefty additional fee. If that's not enough for you, you can buy Dr. Alexander's four 90 minute Video Meditation Learning Sessions for $59! He is a slick speaker too... just watch his many interviews. He has a well-rehearsed shtick that seems very contrived. To be clear I'm not weighing in on whether NDEs really happen or whether there is, in fact, an after life. What I am weighing in on is Dr. Alexander's integrity as an author. He is not being completely honest about who he is and what his motivations are. Reader beware.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    I read this book because I know these people in it. I worked at Lynchburg General during this time. I have read my share of books about the Afterlife and NDE's. Having said that, I do not believe that this book is like any of the others that I have read. I have seen a lot of very ill-tempered comments and reviews about this book many of which seem to seek to tear down the character or intent of the author. In my opinion, that is unfair and not a review of the book. I did not find anything wrong I read this book because I know these people in it. I worked at Lynchburg General during this time. I have read my share of books about the Afterlife and NDE's. Having said that, I do not believe that this book is like any of the others that I have read. I have seen a lot of very ill-tempered comments and reviews about this book many of which seem to seek to tear down the character or intent of the author. In my opinion, that is unfair and not a review of the book. I did not find anything wrong with it. I believe that Dr. Alexander only sought to tell his story. I do NOT believe that he intended to try and coax anyone into adopting his personal beliefs. If you want to see the thoughts of a Physician who experienced the strangest and most significant thing in his life and what conclusions he came to, then this is a great book. If you are not interested in a simple factual account of his experience or if you think he should add a lot of flash and trash to make the book more marketable then this is not for you.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie *Very Stable Genius*

    Ever since I read this stinker, a book bent on manipulating you into Christianity, and not in proving an afterlife, I had been kind of keeping an eye out for a book that was a credible counterpart to it. I had heard stories of NDEs previous to reading Heaven is For Real, and new such credible cases did exist. Well, the other night I was flipping channels and stopped on 20/20 because, being that it was close to Halloween they were doing stories on the paranormal and the afterlife. I’m a sucker for Ever since I read this stinker, a book bent on manipulating you into Christianity, and not in proving an afterlife, I had been kind of keeping an eye out for a book that was a credible counterpart to it. I had heard stories of NDEs previous to reading Heaven is For Real, and new such credible cases did exist. Well, the other night I was flipping channels and stopped on 20/20 because, being that it was close to Halloween they were doing stories on the paranormal and the afterlife. I’m a sucker for this sort of stuff so I watched. One of the stories was about Eben Alexander M.D., a neurosurgeon who had a compelling story of a near death experience that he wrote a book about, this book, and I thought “There’s the book.” And I ran out to get it. Eben Alexander’s story is as credible as Burppo’s was not. Eben knows the brain, and before his own NDE he didn’t believe that they were anything other than hallucinations brought on by any number of reasons. He was a scientist and a skeptic, he believed in only the material world. Then one morning he awoke with severe back and head pain, he was taken to the hospital where after a spinal tap that showed his spinal fluid to be more puss than fluid, he was diagnosed with incredibly rare gram negative, E-coli bacterial meningitis. Something that was really not possible for him to have. Eben went into a coma where all of his higher brain function ceased to exist due to the meningitis damaging his brain. He couldn’t hallucinate even if he wanted to, all that capacity was shut down, yet he had a very long and vivid NDE. In short, he went to a dark, muddy gelatin like place first, that he was not at all scared to be in because, as he states, “he had always been there”. From there he emerged into a beautiful, bright, ultra real place with a beautiful, blue eyed woman who was there to guide him. He learned many things instantaneously. He would think of a question and bam! The answer was there. After a week, Eben came out of his coma. The doctors were amazed, because medically it should never have happened. When he came out of it he sat up in bed and was pretty much normal, except for some oddities that all coma patients face when they wake up. Eben, because of the severity of his illness should have been a vegetable, he’s not. He is back performing neurosurgery and writing books. And just who was the girl who was his guide on the other side? Eben didn’t recognize her and was disappointed that his guide wasn’t his adoptive father who had already passed. He also had just connected with his birth family. He had met his birth parents and all of his siblings but one, a sister who had died a few years before. The family sent him a photo of his sister and, you guessed it, he recognized her as his guide. This story is full of science, instead of manipulation. Eben doesn’t preach religion to his readers (unlike that other book) which lead me to believe his story. A Very interesting read.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Han Jadden

    This book is about a neurosurgeon Dr. Eben Alexander, who suffered an attack of E. Coli bacterial meningitis that resulted in temporary brain death, and a Near Death Experience (NDE). The overarching premise of the book is that based on his experience of the NDE that death is not the end, that heaven exists, and that he is a scientist and was a skeptic and therefore is qualified to scientifically analyze what happened to him in objective terms. Fair enough, game on. My first impression of the boo This book is about a neurosurgeon Dr. Eben Alexander, who suffered an attack of E. Coli bacterial meningitis that resulted in temporary brain death, and a Near Death Experience (NDE). The overarching premise of the book is that based on his experience of the NDE that death is not the end, that heaven exists, and that he is a scientist and was a skeptic and therefore is qualified to scientifically analyze what happened to him in objective terms. Fair enough, game on. My first impression of the book was how much of it was feel-good biography. I'm not against that per se, but it seemed to be a bit of a distraction from his "Scientific" argument. And speaking of his scientific argument, I was seriously disappointed. Some examples: - He says that he is a scientist, and then states: "Likewise, extended consciousness phenomena such as remote viewing, extrasensory perception, psychokenisis, clairvoyance, telepathy, and precognition have seems stubbornly resistant to comprehend through "standard" scientific investigations? Oh REALLY? That's funny. There's $1 million bucks on the line for anyone that can actually show that any of those work in a scientific test, and none have. - The best scientific theory I had seen put forth explaining what happened to him was a "Reboot phenomena" where his brain saved experiences before and after it went down. Essentially preserving dream states or hallucinations as it was shut down. His argument: "But this seems unlikely given the intracacies and interactivity of my elaborate recollections." That's it, that's his "Science". I really wanted to see a clinical breakdown of his thesis, and got excited as I read as he mentioned he had an Appendix that would "summarize his hypotheses". I finished the book and excitedly went to the Appendix to find the hypotheses and presumably more scientific information supporting his position. Disappointment was all I found. He just listed the hypotheses and no real answers. Apparently his answer it "I was an expert and now I'm convinced, so you have to accept it". Argument from Authority Logical Fallacy for one, please. I would add that I thought about whether the other parts of his brain were actually shut down. He asserts it, but does little to provide support to his position. It was also telling that his event was very culturally normative to him. I read other interviews of him, and in those he states that his original book title was "An N of 1". Which frankly, I could possibly respect more than what he ended up with. An N of 1 is a scientific study of ONE thing. One person. As opposed to a study of hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands. Yes, they can be helpful, but they also are limited and need to be viewed skeptically when applied to more than that ONE person. Likewise, I do not find his arguments to be particularly compelling or supported with science. In the interviews, he also stated he considered writing an actual scientific white paper. OH THAT HE WOULD. I would love to see the EVIDENCE. Not some argument from authority fallacy. Now, I want to add that I actually think that people do experience life changing events like this from various things. Even he mentions drug hallucinations, meditative experiences, and so on. Great. But that is not "Proof of Heaven". It is proof that our brains are awesome and mysterious things that have surprises in store. I am okay with that. I am not okay with assumptions of a very JudeoChristian heaven being proven by a mystical brain event.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Abhishek

    It is beautiful to witness the courage it would take for a scientist to publicly express his discovery of faith. No small feat. For believers, the book is a message of hope. For skeptics, its another object of ridicule. Regardless, it is a gift to a humanity that is struggling under the weight of its own ambitions, greed, and fear in an increasingly uncertain world.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Colette

    Just started listening to the audio version of this book and am enjoying it so far. As a devout Christian, all I need do is attach the familiar religious labels I know to the author's experiences and it all fits together. I love his scientific view and indepth discussion of the brain. I studied neurology for a semester and found it be to very interesting as well as extremely difficult "matter". A favorite quote: "How profoundly knowledge of one's origins can heal a person's life in unexpected way Just started listening to the audio version of this book and am enjoying it so far. As a devout Christian, all I need do is attach the familiar religious labels I know to the author's experiences and it all fits together. I love his scientific view and indepth discussion of the brain. I studied neurology for a semester and found it be to very interesting as well as extremely difficult "matter". A favorite quote: "How profoundly knowledge of one's origins can heal a person's life in unexpected ways" another good one: "The false suspicion that we can somehow be separated from God is the root of every form of anxiety." update on book -- this just a fantastic book with many insightful nuggets. Basically the entire book validates the concept of personal revelation/guidance. The author narrates his experience with scientific details that validate "truth" as I understand it. I highly recommend this book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Diana

    So I'm absolutely biased as I'm part of the Chapter 33 camp; It's a hobby of mine to read about quantum mechanics, string theory, consciousness etc. - I love it! Also, I've meditated, periodically, for over 15 years, which may explain my fascination with writings about consciousness. Anyway, biased as I may be, Dr. Alexander's book contains concise neuroscience, interspersed with his life story and details of his NDE. Appendix B is must read as it lists 9 hypotheses for alternate explanations of So I'm absolutely biased as I'm part of the Chapter 33 camp; It's a hobby of mine to read about quantum mechanics, string theory, consciousness etc. - I love it! Also, I've meditated, periodically, for over 15 years, which may explain my fascination with writings about consciousness. Anyway, biased as I may be, Dr. Alexander's book contains concise neuroscience, interspersed with his life story and details of his NDE. Appendix B is must read as it lists 9 hypotheses for alternate explanations of his experience, all of which he logically discounts (though 8 & 9 are probably the weakest). I did NOT, as some other reviewers did, find this to be overwhelmingly religious. Not at all. His mention of religion and the church seems to merely illustrate his own new understanding of the way in which religion tries to articulate something that is inarticulable. I'm not religious by any stretch, but I respect those who are. To worry over that part of his story misses the point of the book entirely. I give it a 5 star good read and recommend it to anyone with a curiosity on the subject. I suspect we will hear more from Dr. Alexander.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Terri Lynn

    I was asked to read this in exchange for a free copy. What we have here is yet another person-this time a doctor- who wants his 15 minutes of glory by writing religious nonsense of some sort in hopes that the gullible, ignorant religious among us will fill his coffers with money while giving him the attention he craves. This reminds me much of the crap in Heaven is Real where a minister father sought to make up a passel of lies and attribute them to his little child. The only difference here is I was asked to read this in exchange for a free copy. What we have here is yet another person-this time a doctor- who wants his 15 minutes of glory by writing religious nonsense of some sort in hopes that the gullible, ignorant religious among us will fill his coffers with money while giving him the attention he craves. This reminds me much of the crap in Heaven is Real where a minister father sought to make up a passel of lies and attribute them to his little child. The only difference here is that no child is involved. Here is the situation. Eben Alexander claims he was no religious believer. He understood clearly that "near death experiences" was merely coming from the brain. If you are not totally dead, the brain is still functioning even if you are in a coma. There is a lot about the mysteries of the brain we do not understand but we do know that it is the source of dreams and unconscious fantasies and we do know that it you are not dead, you are still alive. Keep this in mind. Eben Alexander became very seriously ill and was in a coma. He was near dead but not dead. He claims he had all sorts of meetings with a god and other such nonsense and he claims it was real. Folks, the man was NOT dead. He did not return from the dead. No one returns from the dead. When we die, it is the end. It was simply his brain at work, even if sluggishly. Over the years he has heard the stories religious people have said they experienced and he is copying them trying to get a foothold in the religious book market. Why do people feel such a desperate need for an "afterlife"? When life ends, it is over. This is not horrible. It's fine. The idea of an afterlife is stupid. Having someone who was in a coma write a book telling a made up story about a dream is NOT "proof of heaven". It is proof of dreams, maybe, but then again, we don't know he even dreamed it. Go into court and try to convict someone using the "proof" that you had a dream and see how fast the judge laughs you out of the courtroom. Worried about that Affordable Care Act, huh, doc?

  18. 4 out of 5

    Patricia

    A fascinating addition to the Near Death Experience stories. A previously very skeptical brain surgeon had a powerful NDE and clearly receives the message that a loving power forms the universe. The three main messages he received were 1) You are loved and cherished 2) You have nothing to fear and 3) There is nothing you can do wrong. These echoed thoughts I found in Anita Moorjani's book about her NDE titled Dying to be Me: "I no longer feared death, cancer, accidents or any of the myriad thing A fascinating addition to the Near Death Experience stories. A previously very skeptical brain surgeon had a powerful NDE and clearly receives the message that a loving power forms the universe. The three main messages he received were 1) You are loved and cherished 2) You have nothing to fear and 3) There is nothing you can do wrong. These echoed thoughts I found in Anita Moorjani's book about her NDE titled Dying to be Me: "I no longer feared death, cancer, accidents or any of the myriad things that used to concern me...I know that I - along with everyone else - am a powerful, magnificent, unconditionally loved, and loving force." And "...I wasn't judged for anything during my NDE. There was only compassion, and the love was unconditional." I liked Dr. Alexander's book and thought he had a very clear way of explaining the incredibleness of his experience as well as the reasons he had been skeptical and the reason he changed his mind.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Marla Martenson

    I was so excited when I heard about this book from a friend. I am fascinated with people that have had NDE's. I was especially interested since this man is a scientist and doctor and didn't believe it when his patients told him what they saw in their own NDE. I did read many of the reviews before I purchased the book so I was aware that the author did not detail a lot of his actual experience and what he saw in Heaven, but I was still very excited to read it. The author describes his experience I was so excited when I heard about this book from a friend. I am fascinated with people that have had NDE's. I was especially interested since this man is a scientist and doctor and didn't believe it when his patients told him what they saw in their own NDE. I did read many of the reviews before I purchased the book so I was aware that the author did not detail a lot of his actual experience and what he saw in Heaven, but I was still very excited to read it. The author describes his experience in the Core, the Gateway and the realm of the earthworm's eye view. He did not explain what the Core or Gateway was. He used these words, but what exactly are they and where did he get those terms? He describes the first place he goes to as being in mud with blood and veins as if he were a worm in muck. That was confusing and strange. There was very little description or explanation of what he saw. I am glad to have read the book, happy that he is getting his message out, and I do believe him, but this book leaves the reader unsatisfied in my opinion. Anita Moorjani's "Dying To Be Me" was a better book for help from her heavenly visit. She gives more details and it is a better story all around.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Monty

    This book was compelling in many ways. First of all it moves along (except in a few chapters when the author gets a bit philosophical) with several subplots woven into the main story. Second it is well written, and I especially enjoyed hearing the author's voice on the recorded version of the book. Third, the author's description of his illness, coma and experiences while in coma were amazing. And it was fun to read about an atheist learning to believe there is more to life than our physical exi This book was compelling in many ways. First of all it moves along (except in a few chapters when the author gets a bit philosophical) with several subplots woven into the main story. Second it is well written, and I especially enjoyed hearing the author's voice on the recorded version of the book. Third, the author's description of his illness, coma and experiences while in coma were amazing. And it was fun to read about an atheist learning to believe there is more to life than our physical existence. An appendix is included where the author lists possible scientific ways his spiritual experiences could be explained non-spiritually. He disproves all of those explanations. However, I think he left out a main explanation of his experience--that there will be a way to explain his experience scientifically in the future. I personally believe that there is a Oneness where our spirits go after the body dies, and I doubt that an atheist would be swayed to become a believer after reading this book (and I doubt an atheist would be motivated to read the book). In any event, I think this is an important book to read. Note: Upon reflection of this book and its conclusions, I want to add that the truth expressed by the author, in my opinion, is his truth for his experience, and it is important to keep in mind that we all have our own truths, some of which we share with others--and that, most of important of all, some of which we don't share with others.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    I am an avid reader and an exceptionally rare reviewer. But this book touched me deeply so I will offer my thoughts on the book: Perhaps it is because I desperately needed something positive and much larger than the incredibly divisive and engulfing 2012 election cycle that I gravitated to this book or that loss of loved ones has never been completely put to rest. I thoroughly enjoyed the balance that his science/medical background gave to his story. I, like the author, seem to have spent so muc I am an avid reader and an exceptionally rare reviewer. But this book touched me deeply so I will offer my thoughts on the book: Perhaps it is because I desperately needed something positive and much larger than the incredibly divisive and engulfing 2012 election cycle that I gravitated to this book or that loss of loved ones has never been completely put to rest. I thoroughly enjoyed the balance that his science/medical background gave to his story. I, like the author, seem to have spent so much of my life in waning faith. I found his compelling and credible story of great comfort. I hope to hold onto those threads of faith and weave a blanket in which I can wrap myself in and allow me personal growth and aid in becoming a more loving me. There are many reasons to pick up this book. The most simple is because it will make you feel good... And I don't know anyone that couldn't use some additional feel good in their life.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lorri Coburn

    Proof of Heaven—do not let the title fool you that this is a Christian tome about streets of gold and pearly gates. Eben Alexander, M.D., a well-respected neurosurgeon, saw many medical cases in which patients claimed to have seen deceased loved ones or heaven. He dismissed them all as chemical processes in the brain—until he had his own near-death experience while in a seven-day coma. Alexander states that while in his coma his neo-cortex was non-functional. The only thing keeping his body aliv Proof of Heaven—do not let the title fool you that this is a Christian tome about streets of gold and pearly gates. Eben Alexander, M.D., a well-respected neurosurgeon, saw many medical cases in which patients claimed to have seen deceased loved ones or heaven. He dismissed them all as chemical processes in the brain—until he had his own near-death experience while in a seven-day coma. Alexander states that while in his coma his neo-cortex was non-functional. The only thing keeping his body alive was his brain stem. Alexander says he was a Christmas and Easter church-goer, and thought ideas of God were pleasant fantasies. In his coma, however, Alexander experienced angelic beings, and sounds and sights more beautiful than anything on earth. He gives a list of scientific explanations that he used to cite as reasons for these “delusions,” and refutes most of them because his neo-cortex was not functional and it’s the neo-cortex that processes such experiences. He also refutes other scientific versions in an appendix, with medical language that only a physician would understand. Alexander was in a coma induced by bacterial meningitis, and his recovery was a medical miracle in itself. He should have died and his story alternates chapters between his medical condition that worsened day-by-day, and his concurrent experiences in the other realm. While on the “other side,” which Alexander states is really a dimension that is right here, he had a female guide who took him on a tour of the universe. He’d always had a fascination with flying, astronomy and physics, and found that while out of body he gained instantaneous knowledge and understanding of how the universe works that would take him years to learn here. He reports that he did not see any loved ones in the other dimension and had no personal identity as a neurosurgeon who had an earthly family to which he wanted to return. He feels his lack of a sense of personal self allowed him to go deeper into the experience than most others who have near-death experiences. While he thought he had not seen any loved ones, once out of his coma he was given a picture of his birth sister, whom he’d never met because he was adopted and she had died. He was shocked to find that she was the angelic guide who gave him the tour of the universe. Alexander states that our physical existence on earth is like a speck of dust compared to the vast reality of love beyond space and time. The reason we do not recognize true reality is that the brain filters it out of our consciousness. While Alexander used to think that consciousness was solely of the brain, he now knows that the brain has nothing to do with consciousness and our sense of existence goes on beyond the body. Again, he knows this because his neo-cortex, which allows for the organization of personal life information, was not functioning. He now feels that our society, while it has benefitted from technology, needs to regain its lost sense of the mystical. Without knowledge of our oneness with each other and all life, we are prone to random violence, escalating greed, global pollution and lack of purpose and meaning. Alexander states his scientific mind never allowed him to believe a loving God exists. In fact, he calls the God he experienced “Om,” a feminine presence whose message is that love is all there is. “Om” felt like the primordial creative sound that pulses throughout the universe. This presence is available to everyone and has nothing to do with accepting religious tenets or being a good person. The main messages Alexander received were: all of us are loved and cherished; there is nothing to fear; we can never do anything wrong. I have read a number of near-death accounts and what I like about Alexander’s is that his description of life beyond the body most closely resembles what is taught in A Course in Miracles (ACIM). ACIM is the only spiritual path that satisfactorily answered my questions about world suffering. Some of the areas in which Proof of Heaven sounds like it’s right from ACIM are:  The brain does not really think. It filters bits and pieces of information and formulates a story. This is what it decides is reality, all the while true reality lies outside its awareness. Our daily experiences are an illusion. However, love is the true reality and the love we have for our children, spouses, friends, pets, etc. never dies.  Time does not exist in reality. Time and space are only a function of the dualistic nature in the physical universe.  We are loved, innocent and there is nothing to fear.  We must choose love instead of fear because we are allowed to choose what we will experience.  The false belief in separation from God is the source of all anxiety and problems and the solution for every problem is recognizing that we are one with each other and God.  Physicality is characterized by defensiveness. There is no loss in Spirit, therefore nothing to defend.  Alexander described life as being like an egg and the creative aspect of God is the shell around the egg’s contents. However, he felt that while his consciousness was identified with all that is, he could never fully become one with Source. A Course in Miracles likewise indicates that God is beyond consciousness. Proof of Heaven is both enlightening and entertaining and it is a must-read for anyone interested in life beyond the body. It is especially helpful for skeptics with a scientific bent, as it answers commonly-held criticisms scientists hold about consciousness and God.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    A year ago, I recommended the stellar book “Sum” (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49...) to a relative of mine. This Christmas, they gave me “Proof of Heaven” as a gift. I can see why they may have thought I would have interest in both these books; they are both about the afterlife, and both written by neuroscientists. That is where the similarity ends. Whereas “Sum” is insightful, idea rich (what Neal Stephenson might call “Idea Porn”), endlessly creative, and deliberately presented as a ser A year ago, I recommended the stellar book “Sum” (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49...) to a relative of mine. This Christmas, they gave me “Proof of Heaven” as a gift. I can see why they may have thought I would have interest in both these books; they are both about the afterlife, and both written by neuroscientists. That is where the similarity ends. Whereas “Sum” is insightful, idea rich (what Neal Stephenson might call “Idea Porn”), endlessly creative, and deliberately presented as a series of fictional thought experiments, “Proof of Heaven” is clichéd, stale, and laughingly presented as science. Whatever your philosophical or spiritual beliefs about the afterlife are, this book has almost nothing to contribute to your understanding of them. There are no new insights here, except that people can be wonderfully misled by their own thoughts and memories. Still, given the discussions that this book provokes, it is worth reading and discussing in some detail. So why did this book reach the top of the bestsellers lists, and spawn numerous blog posts and news articles? First, it deals with a very real and fascinating phenomenon, that people who believe they are near death often return to full consciousness with compelling stories of their experience. Note that I said “believe they are near death”; extensive research has shown that Near Death Experiences (NDEs) occur when a patient believes they are dying, whether or not they actually are. Second, and more importantly, Alexander glosses over psychological explanations for his experience, and for those who don't know much about the neuropsychology of memory and consciousness, might paint a somewhat convincing picture. He employs a neat trick to do this: cleverly manipulating the reader's perception of the passage of time, which allows him to discuss only neurological or spiritual concepts while ignoring psychological ones. What does the passage of time have to do with this experience? Everything! Look at how “Proof of Heaven” is structured. For most of the book, chapters alternate between Alexander's otherworldly experience and the story of his physical body and family. The reader is thereby tricked into feeling like these two events happened simultaneously. They did not. The memories that Alexander reports from the time of his coma were created after her regained full consciousness. This is just how memory works, and we all do it all the time. It has been known for years that the notion that memory creates a sort of “videotape” of personal events is simply not true (read anything by Elizabeth Loftus, such as http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13...). Furthermore, the feeling of being certain is an emotion, and has only a very weak relationship to actually being correct about the matter (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27...). There are hints throughout the book that Alexander is confabulating and constructing memories (pg 82: “it will take me years to understand...”), but he ignores these completely when discussing possible natural explanations for his experience. Because he presents the events in the physical world and his own experience as having taken place at the same time, Alexander is deliberately trying to keep the reader from questioning the role of altered memory. One last thing. The idea that Alexander is immune to these biases of cognition and memory because he is an expert or a former skeptic is asinine. Intelligence or attitudes do not protect us from being tricked by our own brains. If you need any evidence that smart people can be fooled even in their area of expertise, check out this article: http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci.... Science is interested in verifiable phenomena because they can be observed by more than one person, and so reduce the risk of any one individual falling for such cognitive biases. This is not to say that groups don't get fooled; they certainly do. But history has shown time and again that objective and verifiable evidence leads to correct predictions much more often than an individual's personal experience (just look at vaccine denial). If your faith is fragile enough that you need “evidence” that claims to be science, then this is the book you deserve. If you define faith as something that does not require proof, there is little for you here.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lianne Downey

    Gobbled this book right down because the author's near-death experience isn't the most amazing part---it was his perfect credentials for influencing everyone's opinion about that experience! I've visited places such as this neurosurgeon visited during his 7-day coma, and my nearly forty years of studying the *interdimensional* science of Consciousness made it all seem normal and to be expected of someone in his dying situation. What impressed and astonished and delighted me was how PERFECTLY his Gobbled this book right down because the author's near-death experience isn't the most amazing part---it was his perfect credentials for influencing everyone's opinion about that experience! I've visited places such as this neurosurgeon visited during his 7-day coma, and my nearly forty years of studying the *interdimensional* science of Consciousness made it all seem normal and to be expected of someone in his dying situation. What impressed and astonished and delighted me was how PERFECTLY his situation was designed to gain the attention of everyone who has NOT yet come to the awareness that consciousness does not begin or end with the physical brain! I highly, highly recommend this book. It's quick to read, because the story is so compelling, and the doctor/author has gone to great lengths to explain why this was NOT hallucination (that part of his brain was classified as completely nonfunctional at the time), or any other among a long list of conventional science's debunking explanations for NDEs. His unique experience refutes all of these arguments. The only flaw in the book isn't really a flaw: he can't yet explain how or why these things happened to him. Not to worry, Dr. Alexander! Others have and will. For instance, "The Infinite Concept of Cosmic Creation" by Ernest L. Norman offers complete, diagrammed, scientific explanations for the aspects of consciousness that bridge dimensions. This science fully explains how and why he experienced the visions and connections of his NDE, where he went, and perhaps even why he did so. As for why his deceased father didn't come to greet him during his other-side visit--that, too, can be explained. It's in my books, it's in E.L. Norman's books, and one day I'm sure the author will understand, as well. Because of my already-established beliefs, I'd stopped reading about near-death experiences, but I will be recommending this book to everyone who'll listen!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Marilyn

    I don't read books about NDEs. I am on the skeptical side, yet spiritual too. A book written by a neurosurgeon who'd been a big-time skeptic, who'd contracted a life-threatening illness (1 in ten-million gets his form of meninggitis), and spent 7 days in a coma during which he experienced a totally unique NDE... when I saw the book on the table at BJ's and recalled that a friend had sent a link to several of her friends, I decided I had to read it. Bought it 2 days ago and, despite a busy holida I don't read books about NDEs. I am on the skeptical side, yet spiritual too. A book written by a neurosurgeon who'd been a big-time skeptic, who'd contracted a life-threatening illness (1 in ten-million gets his form of meninggitis), and spent 7 days in a coma during which he experienced a totally unique NDE... when I saw the book on the table at BJ's and recalled that a friend had sent a link to several of her friends, I decided I had to read it. Bought it 2 days ago and, despite a busy holiday-prep schedule, finished it this morning. I believe Dr. Alexander, and I agree with his assessment that it's impossible to accurately describe his experience in words (which might be why some other-NDE-readers are "disappointed" with his writings, per a few comments her on GR). Yet has managed to describe enough (for me) to get across at least the "aura" of love and acceptance present during his timeless journey and the idea that everything is connected (and, thus, we never truly lose anything or anyone). What I found most convincing, however, were his descriptions of scientific facts and data from his own medical case records which support his statements that his experience was not a hallucination or some sort of compensation made by various parts of the brain. He explains how there is no such possibility because the portion of his brain through which hallucinations & other such options might occur was not available during his ultra-deep coma. I am not a scientist but what Dr. Alexander writes came across clearly and succinctly. I am a bit of a skeptic but I think that's a good thing - it means I am forever seeking. This book is a good one for a seeker. It doesn't answer all the questions, it admits there's plenty of mystery, yet it offers hope and love. I highly recommend it.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Cheney

    I read this for reasons that are probably different than most. Simply put, I am searching for proof of an afterlife. I have always "believed", but since Ben died, blind faith (and I don't have much of that) isn't enough. For the most part, the scientific data Dr Alexander puts forth convinces and comforts me. His religious beliefs, as they are, mirror my own to a large degree. I read about 3/4 of the book the day I got it and at that point, and though I found some comfort at the descriptions of t I read this for reasons that are probably different than most. Simply put, I am searching for proof of an afterlife. I have always "believed", but since Ben died, blind faith (and I don't have much of that) isn't enough. For the most part, the scientific data Dr Alexander puts forth convinces and comforts me. His religious beliefs, as they are, mirror my own to a large degree. I read about 3/4 of the book the day I got it and at that point, and though I found some comfort at the descriptions of the complete love and acceptance he found in "Heaven", I was terribly disturbed at the fact that he met no one he knew, nor did he have any memory of his life on earth until he started his descent back. This was fully addressed just pages after I picked it up again last night, and did much to relieve and comfort me (but no spoilers here). Alexander's 180 degree turn from skeptic to believer, not only in an afterlife, but towards psychics, clairvoyants, etc., was well explained and again, a comfort to me. My adult beliefs in God are very different than the Catholic beliefs I was raised with, but I have always had some residual guilt and fear about not being heaven-worthy since I don't follow the "party line". This book wiped those fears away. I needed a pragmatic, scientific means of "proof" and in this book, I got just that. No...I have not undergone a fantastic revelation and turn about, but I my belief that Ben is in a wonderful place is now a stronger belief, and not so much a wishful thought.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rex Fuller

    A truly wonderful book. A neurosurgeon, Eben Alexander, knew from years of work on thousands of brains that if the neocortex is shut down, there is no possibility of creating ideas or recalling memories or any other way of producing experience. Then he suffered bacterial meningitis and lost all neocortical function for seven days. That he survived at all is miraculous. He recovered all of his memories and expertise, except for one thing, his "scientific" disbelief in the spiritual or any kind of A truly wonderful book. A neurosurgeon, Eben Alexander, knew from years of work on thousands of brains that if the neocortex is shut down, there is no possibility of creating ideas or recalling memories or any other way of producing experience. Then he suffered bacterial meningitis and lost all neocortical function for seven days. That he survived at all is miraculous. He recovered all of his memories and expertise, except for one thing, his "scientific" disbelief in the spiritual or any kind of afterlife. He had experienced heaven. In clear, non-technical terms he explains exactly what happened and what he discovered, that instead of the brain being the source of the spiritual, it is the other way around.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly

    The proof of heaven is Eben. Dr. Eben Alexander should visit Pampanga, Philippines one day and surprise himself that the Kapampangans pronounce "heaven" and his first name almost the same way. Believers need not read this book for it says nothing new insofar as the prevalent belief system about the afterlife is concerned. Non-believers need not also read this book because it offers nothing conclusive. And those who are somewhere in-between belief and non-belief need not read this too because what The proof of heaven is Eben. Dr. Eben Alexander should visit Pampanga, Philippines one day and surprise himself that the Kapampangans pronounce "heaven" and his first name almost the same way. Believers need not read this book for it says nothing new insofar as the prevalent belief system about the afterlife is concerned. Non-believers need not also read this book because it offers nothing conclusive. And those who are somewhere in-between belief and non-belief need not read this too because whatever effect it may have on their current state of vacillation or unconcern it can only either fix them in their current state of limbo or place them to where they'd still would have no need for this book. As a clincher, let me give you a final reason why you ought not to read this anymore: I am going to tell you now the story. Dr. Eben the Heaven was adopted. He was given away by his young, unwed mother for adoption just a few days after his birth because she (and his biological father) could not yet afford to raise a child. Many years pass, Eben becomes a successful neurosurgeon. A brain expert. A loving husband and father to his kids, with just a bit of drinking problem, he is a man of science who does not believe there's anything else after one dies. He sees the human brain as something like a computer housed in a living body. If the body dies, that computer ceases to function. Consciousness has its final and irrevocable end. Later, he comes to know his biological parents who, it turns out, got married and had several children--Eben's siblings all now grownups like him except one--a sister--who had passed away. Eben never got to see her and, prior to the incident subject matter of this book, had never seen any of her pictures. One morning he wakes up with a searing pain at his back and a headache so severe that it makes him howl. A very rare, serious case of meningitis. Within hours he becomes comatose. His spinal cord is filled with pus. For six days his brain ceases to function. His feet begins to curl, a tell-tale sign of a comatose proceeding towards a permanent vegetative state. He shows no sign of consciousness for six days. His doctors prepare his family for his death. On the seventh day, however, he opens his eyes. Then he talks, at first incoherently. Slowly re recovers. Then he remembers where he had been those six days. He had been to heaven (or maybe some places in heaven). Unlike others who have had near death experiences like him, however, he had seen no tunnel of light, or had seen his inert physical body surrounded by his friends and family while hovering above. Neither did he meet any deceased relatives. He would have loved to his dearly departed father who passed away around four years before. Instead, he had a woman with butterfly wings who guided him while touring heaven. He had not seen her before and is sure that he does not know her. Then he gets a photo of his deceased sister whom he had never met.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lyndi Lamont

    When I heard about this book, I pre-ordered it for my Kindle. Apparently I wasn't the only one. His website says the book debuted at #1 in e-book sales! I've been interested in NDE (near-death experience) literature since reading Raymond Moody's Life After Life in the mid-1970s. So I didn't approach the book as a skeptic but a believer, and one who is familiar with the genre. Dr. Alexander's experience is unique in several ways. 1. As a neurosurgeon, he was very much a scientist and a skeptic, so When I heard about this book, I pre-ordered it for my Kindle. Apparently I wasn't the only one. His website says the book debuted at #1 in e-book sales! I've been interested in NDE (near-death experience) literature since reading Raymond Moody's Life After Life in the mid-1970s. So I didn't approach the book as a skeptic but a believer, and one who is familiar with the genre. Dr. Alexander's experience is unique in several ways. 1. As a neurosurgeon, he was very much a scientist and a skeptic, so when he went into a protracted coma, he had no preconceived ideas about what to expect. No one was more surprised than he when he had a revelatory spiritual experience. 2. His coma was caused by an unusual condition in adults: gram-megative bacterial meningitis, which shut down the neocortex of his brain, the part that medical scientists say makes us human. That part of his brain was completely inactive during his coma. After he recovered, Dr. Alexander tried, and failed, to find a rational, scientific explanation for what happened to him. In addition, his survival of the meningitis without any brain damage is quite remarkable. 3. His NDE differed somewhat from those reported by other survivors. For one thing, while in coma, he had no idea who he was/had been on earth. Most patients who suffer NDEs have all or some part of their neocortex still functioning. As a result, he felt no compulsion to return to his previous life. Nevertheless, his family gathered around and prayed for him and he was ultimately drawn back to his life on earth. During the coma, he initially spent a lot of time in a murky, indistinguishable state he called the Realm of the Worm's Eye View. In time, a light appeared to him and he rose into a bright and beautiful spiritual realm where a lovely young woman acted as his guide. He traveled through areas of "heaven" he dubbed the Gateway and the Core. The message he brought back is simple: "You are loved and cherished. You have nothing to fear. There is nothing you can do wrong." Before his coma, he would have said that all consciousness comes from the brain. Now he believes we are spiritual beings inhabiting mortal brains and bodies. If you have any interest in this subject, I recommend the book. You can read more online at http://www.lifebeyonddeath.net/. Linda

  30. 4 out of 5

    Luís C.

    This is the testimony of a neurosurgeon about an impending death experience during bacterial meningitis. He tells us what he saw, how he felt, his interpretation of the events, and finally the lessons he learned from them. I will not lie, I had a lot of trouble reading this book, as the title indicates, it is very religious. Not really being a believer, it was very difficult to stay focused, which does not prevent me from respecting the beliefs of the author, on the contrary. The second thing tha This is the testimony of a neurosurgeon about an impending death experience during bacterial meningitis. He tells us what he saw, how he felt, his interpretation of the events, and finally the lessons he learned from them. I will not lie, I had a lot of trouble reading this book, as the title indicates, it is very religious. Not really being a believer, it was very difficult to stay focused, which does not prevent me from respecting the beliefs of the author, on the contrary. The second thing that marked me is the end of the prologue: "and that's the truth" ... All of a sudden, I saw myself telling my niece umpteenth time "just tell me that so I do not believe it ..." For all that, do not make me say what I did not say: I do not say that the author lies. I do not doubt that he has lived what he relates, but as for his interpretation, I am much more skeptical. In my opinion, each person's unconscious will react differently according to their own belief system and / or value, so that what can be experienced in a situation like this may be radically different from a person to another, even if the different testimonies that exist keep common bases that are the tunnel and the big light. The same goes for the interpretation that is made of course. A book that hasn't left me good memories at all ..

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