Internationally acclaimed neurosurgeon Dr Eben Alexander always considered himself a man of science. His unwavering belief in evidence-based medicine fuelled a career in the top medical institutions of the world. But all this was set to change.
One morning in 2008 he fell into a coma after suffering a rare form of bacterial meningitis. Scans of his brain revealed massive damage. Death was deemed the most likely outcome. As his family prepared themselves for the worst, something miraculous happened. Dr Alexander's brain went from near total inactivity to awakening.
He made a full recovery but he was never the same. He woke certain of the infinite reach of the soul, he was certain of a life beyond death. In this astonishing book, Dr Alexander shares his experience, pieced together from the notes he made as soon as he was able to write again. Unlike other accounts of near-death experiences, he is able to explain in depth why his brain was incapable of fabricating the journey he experienced. His story is one of profound beauty and inspiration.
©2014 Eben Alexander (P)2015 Hachette Audio
"Dr Eben Alexander's near-death experience is the most astounding I have heard in more than four decades of studying this phenomenon. In my opinion, Dr Alexander is living proof of an afterlife." (Dr Raymond Moody, best-selling author of Life After Life)
"Dr Alexander's neuroscience career taught him that near-death experiences are brain-based illusions, and yet his personal experience left him dumbstruck. His honest struggle to make sense of this unforgettable journey is a gripping story, unique in the literature of spiritual experiences that may well change how we understand our role in the universe." (Dr Bruce Greyson, Carlson Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences, University of Virginia School of Medicine; co-editor of The Handbook of Near-Death Experiences)
"An interesting account of how a man's spiritual beliefs were fundamentally changed by an unforeseen and nearly fatal event" (Glasgow Herald)
"A man of science coming out for life after death has extra resonance, rather like Richard Dawkins saying 'God bless.' Based on his own life experience after falling into a coma, it's a fascinating read whatever your own opinions" (Belfast Telegraph)
I bought an listened to this audiobook before I googled the author and found that the whole story is exactly that - a story. The author has been discredited entirely as the disease he claimed to have in the book he did not in fact have. This makes everything he writes very dubious. Do check him out before you buy this.
A fantastic story, but wholly unbelievable. I keep an open mind with all of these accounts but this story is clearly told with entertainment in mind before presenting any verifiable facts.
This was strongly recommend by embers if a Brain tumour a support group, but I wish I jut googled it before purchase as the book comes with stings attached. If looking for inspiration in the solely of brain tumours, I was better served by "Pear shaped and "Do No Harm"
I was really looking forward to reading this book – but am very disappointed. There are some really simple physiological and spiritual problems with this experience – and I can’t understand why they aren’t addressed – except maybe, because they actually explain it away.
Full disclosure – I’m a Christian and fully believe in Heaven, a spiritual realm, an afterlife, and the ability to know God while here on earth. And I have no medical training whatsoever.
Because Dr Alexander’s experiences were so clear, vivid and logical, he claims that it couldn’t have been his own brain presenting them, as the higher functions were disabled. Well, to this I would suggest that maybe it all happened in a few brief seconds as you were “rebooting”. Have you ever had a dream? Such a lot seems to happen in them – but we’re told that dreams take place in a very short period of time just before we wake – so maybe your experience took place just before you awoke and was completely generated by your brain – not a dream, but something like one. He doesn’t deal with this at all in the book and simply dismisses this obvious explanation in one sentence as “most unlikely” in the epilogue / appendices. Surely – that single subjective statement with no scientific or evidence base is the kernel of this whole book – and all NDEs – yet he deals with it in one sentence – in the epilogue – and with no scientific or other evidence based justification?
It is interesting to note also (in relation to the “dream” theory) that the messages he received from the spiritual beings were very similar to the chants that his wife was instructed (by the psychic lady) to repeat over and over again at his bedside.
The second physiological possibility he fails to consider is that, maybe he’s just wrong about the ability of the brain to function and imagine things in the circumstances he experienced. Surely he’s not honestly going to tell us that he understands so much about the brain that he can definitely discount this. Yet this is not addressed.
He seems to say that because his NDE didn’t seem to contain the same elements as many other peoples – and because he is a brain surgeon – that it must have been genuine. These assumptions have very basic flaws of course.
Then there’s the whole spiritual consideration of tings. Firstly, God is all knowing and knows when you are going to finally die. So why give him (or anyone) an NDE? Why only give NDE experiences to people with brain trauma? Many people face near death in lots and lots of other ways but don’t experience a God given NDE. That doesn’t make sense. And doesn’t your experience seem to go against the teaching in the Bible – namely Luke 16v26 etc, indicating that there is no communication between the after life and here.
Then there’s the issue of “bad” angels influencing you when you are weak. If you believe in the spiritual life, the Bible teaches that a third of the angels fell with Lucifer – these are devils and demons. These beings while not omniscient (can’t be in two places at once), can know a lot and are able – or can even completely take over your mind – see multiple examples of possession and spiritual influence in the Bible. This could easily explain all the examples he gives of knowing / seeing things that he wasn’t able to have been aware of otherwise. Sorry.
Finally, the Bible speaks of Salvation based on an understanding of your personal sin (or distance from God – caused by Adam and by your own actions) – and the reconciliation through the perfect life of Jesus and his voluntary death in payment and exchange for your own – enabling you to know you are “saved” here and that you have a place reserved in Heaven for you.
Do I doubt the ability of God to do what He wants – even if he wanted to show you a vision of Heaven yet ignore all the context put in His Bible? Of course not, He is autonomous and can do what He wants. And yes, the Apostle Paul was taken up and given a vision of Heaven – but this was not during a state of critical illness – he was a guy who had seen the risen Christ and was converted supernaturally on the road to Damascus. I’m not sure there’s any real comparison here however.
Study your Bible in the way you study your medicine and NDE Dr Alexander, and you may discover that the devil has played a “trick” on you that can actually distract many people from the real and only way to Heaven – through an awareness of their sin, and through faith in Christ as the risen saviour – none of which you mention.
This was beautifully writing & kept me intrigued. But I found the real heaven experiences explanations very short, I wanted more.
But maybe that was the beauty of it all also.
Much my enjoyed
...but is it true? The establishment has worked hard to discredit the author, but whether or not he's on the level, this is a thought provoking book if you're in the mood to ponder your existence.
Author being a neurosurgeon I was hopong for a scientific approach,as was promised,it instead ammounted to "there's lot's of evidence,too much to list here,take my word for it".
This book is very insightful into the realms of the afterlife, but quite involved in terms of the more scientific language. Some chapters really captured me, whereas the more technical ones gripped me less. I am already a strong believer in the concepts written about and would have liked to have learned more about the 'other side' than the scientific proof of its existence. Still a good book well narrated and I would recommend it to others.
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