I loved reading Eben Alexander’s book Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife. I mentioned the book to a friend when it was first published who is a theological school professor and minister. Although I strongly endorsed the book, and thought she would be eager to read it as well, she gave me reason to pause when she said, “I do not need to read a book to know Heaven is real.” Actually, she was right, about her own belief, and my belief as well. Whether we view heaven as another dimension or a higher plane of existence, etc. I know such a place is real.
I did not love Alexander’s book because it made heaven more real to me, I loved it because it made heaven, or even the possibility of heaven, more real to many who prior to reading his book were inclined not to believe heaven was real. Eben’s is an important voice among those of us who work in the area of consciousness studies and transpersonal psychology. Although many of us–researchers, clinicians, practitioners and scholars that we are–share his interest in science and value our scientific background, and many of us have similarly impressive educational credentials, unlike Dr. Alexander, we have shown interest in this field of study for many years, if not decades, and are long established believers, and/or “knowers” of these truths. Eben does not have a long and established history in this subject matter; however, as a highly regarded academic neurosurgeon who was a physician on the staff of Harvard Medical School, with a particularly strong scientific understanding of the brain, his becoming a great believer in the reality of experiences and knowledge that a mere few years ago he would have readily dismissed as unimportant (from a personal and a scientific point of view) is striking, and particularly impressive to readers around the world–even among former skeptics whose views regarding the afterlife changed after reading his book.
Eben fell into coma due to infection by a “rare and mysterious bacterial meningitis-encephalitis” which resulted in him having a near death experience (NDE). To the surprise of his physicians and other health care workers he managed to survive. As he slowly regained his functioning, he realized that his life had changed, in part, due to the transforming quality of the knowledge and insight he had gained–namely, “that we are conscious in spite of our brain.”
Eben has an excellent website called ETERNEA – The Convergence of Science and Spirituality. Its purpose is described as follows: “ETERNEA’s purpose is to help create an ideal future for Earth and all its inhabitants by advancing knowledge from frontier science that consciousness survives bodily death and
some innate aspect of all life forms exists eternally.” I encourage you to visit ETERNEA.