Skip to comments.Afterlife exists says top brain surgeon [says he was there during coma]
Posted on 10/09/2012 8:08:49 PM PDT by grundle
Dr Eben Alexander, a Harvard-educated neurosurgeon, fell into a coma for seven days in 2008 after contracting meningitis.
During his illness Dr Alexander says that the part of his brain which controls human thought and emotion "shut down" and that he then experienced "something so profound that it gave me a scientific reason to believe in consciousness after death." In an essay for American magazine Newsweek, which he wrote to promote his book Proof of Heaven, Dr Alexander says he was met by a beautiful blue-eyed woman in a "place of clouds, big fluffy pink-white ones" and "shimmering beings".
He continues: "Birds? Angels? These words registered later, when I was writing down my recollections. But neither of these words do justice to the beings themselves, which were quite simply different from anything I have known on this planet. They were more advanced. Higher forms." The doctor adds that a "huge and booming like a glorious chant, came down from above, and I wondered if the winged beings were producing it. the sound was palpable and almost material, like a rain that you can feel on your skin but doesn't get you wet."
Dr Alexander says he had heard stories from patients who spoke of outer body experiences but had disregarded them as "wishful thinking" but has reconsidered his opinion following his own experience.
He added: "I know full well how extraordinary, how frankly unbelievable, all this sounds. Had someone even a doctor told me a story like this in the old days, I would have been quite certain that they were under the spell of some delusion.
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
I’ll take this as good news.
126 comments already in Newsweek version:
Just wondering, when you go into a coma, does God make a mistake and let you see Heaven early? I’m thinking no.
Sounds too much like the Koranic concept of heaven (Jannah) and the Houri beings (associated with the alleged 72 virgins).
In an essay for American magazine Newsweek, which he wrote to promote his book Proof of Heaven, Dr. Alexander says he was met by a beautiful blue-eyed woman in a place of clouds, big fluffy pink-white ones and shimmering beings
Thanks, but my faith doesn’t need to be validated by a “Harvard-educated neurosurgeon.” I’m happy for him he realized that God is real. I’m getting a little sick of the elitist mentality. Just because I didn’t go to Harvard doesn’t mean I’m a knuckle dragger.
There better be young women there, beer, motorcycles and dogs as well - wouldn’t be much of a heaven without that stuff, would it?
Let's ask Paul.
I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know--God knows. II Corinthians 12:2
He saw heaven but had no idea if he was actually dead or not.
So it is apparently possible.
God does not make mistakes but sometimes He does allow us choices. Some choose to go on and die, some believe that they have things left undone and come back.
In Heaven there is no beer - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CVQqOxAfdw
Could it be? One of the 72 virgins?
That’s a great point.
You can’t suicide-bomb yourself there, let’s put it that way.
Part 1: Earthfiles Viewer Letters About Angelic Light Encounters
Part 2: Earthfiles Viewer Letters About Angelic Light Encounters
Also very interesting:
don’t forget kittens and cats for us cat lovers
Not really criticizing him, just making some observations based on the experiences of others.
In such a state of awareness, linear time cannot be trusted to be the same as it is in waking life. A (relative) moment can last weeks, or weeks might seem to fly by in a moment. Or something in between.
In some people, this creates an information compression/decompression problem, because your waking awareness can only deal with normal linear time with events, and not everyone can expand or contract dream or atypical information to fit their waking comprehension.
Information decay can be fierce, because you are unable to “refresh” what you saw. This happens as well in waking awareness, say when you briefly meet someone new for the first time. Without seeing them again, you can measure how quickly you forget them.
And there are all sorts of other oddities that can foul up perception and interpretation.
What set me thinking on a different tack and mystifying was one of Ben Breedlove's near-death experiences where he saw himself in a white suit looking in a mirror and was proud of the things he had done. Also Kid K somebody was there. I thought that rather odd and especially when I found out that Kid K didn't have any inkling about it. So it's a mystery.
Everybody reports something different. Jesus said "the Kingdom of Heaven is within you." Does that mean that we make our own heaven (or hell) in our own minds? I don't want it to be like that. This world our minds interpret a common reality; I would hope the next would be the same only better.
Shimmery. I think the Evil One has extraordinary power in these times and we are warned that devils can appear as angels of light. So pink and blue clouds and shimmery beings don't sound very heavenly to me. I was kinda hoping for streets paved with gold ;-)
It is given unto man once to die. But of those I guess Jesus said they were not dead but sleepeth.
Now I don't know if it's just me and I haven't been under general anesthesia too many times, but it seems like time stands still and it's like the mind quits altogether. You wake up (if you're lucky) and it seems that no time has passed at all.
Over here, troll-boy.
Placemark to read in the AM with coffee in hand ...
I believe some people have been given a glimpse of Heaven, but I don't think that's what he experienced. Heaven isn't located amongst the clouds and no strange beautiful woman is going to take you there.
The author also describes himself as a Christian but not being overly "spiritual" which sets off alarm bells.
I’m curious about the “outer body experience.” I always thought that it was an “out-of-body experience.”
Near death or after life experiences have been reported too many times across cultures and history to be dismissed as delusions.
Notice that this guy and others say that the experience was “more real” than daily life.
It could be that consciousness transcends the brain like information transcends its physical representations.
Perhaps through quantum effects, our minds may be able to sense other dimensions or universes at the point of death.
That said, we do not base our understanding of heaven on these stories. We have the Bible, the revealed Word of God to guide us.
These are merely brief glimpses and not exhaustive observation, so the person reporting them may not have the details right.
Good theology doesn’t depend on NDE stories, but the stories do seem to mesh with what we believe is true — there really is an existence for each human after death. That is why everyone should study the Bible and make sure that they are right with God now.
I do believe in life after death. It makes so much sense and seems intuitive. Why would something as wonderful as a human person be extinguished at death?
There is a better place. Sure there is.
I just wrote a poem on this topic a couple days ago.
Victory Over Death.
I could have told him the same thing, I was there for 33 minutes last year.
90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper mirrors this story. I believe ever word.
All animals live in a natural state of grace with God.....they do not sin and when they leave this earth,they go to be with Him in heaven. Cats included.
I had a terrible accident when I was young. I had no blood pressure and left my body. I could see my mother crying over me, but I also had God talking to me and I felt no pain. I was looking toward a beautiful light and God asked me if I could see my mother crying. I said I could and then God told me that I had to go back. At that point, I ended up back in my body and then I felt a lot of pain. I tried to tell my mother that God had already told me I wasn’t leaving, but my mouth wouldn’t move because my jaw was broken.
I believe that God allows us to see beyond this finite world and experience His Spirit in a lot of different ways. It may not be a near death experience. I have seen some medical miracles also.
Years ago I read a number of books on NDE’s [near death experiences]. I’m a Catholic and see no conflict in believing they are true, and if you read a book on childrens NDE experiences you will find it hard to doubt.
I read ALL 4 or 5 pages of this Doctor’s article, everyone should do that before they make replies. This same article was posted in the past two days and one supposed ‘doctor’ posted that if the cortex of the brain is shut down, you are unable to see or hear - so the story couldn’t be true!
Well then, how do we see and hear things in dreams when we are in REM sleep since slow-wave activity appears in our brains as the neurons in the cortex switch themselves off and go electrically silent.
My mom was riding with some friends when their car was hit by a drunk driver. She was the only survivor. She was in a coma for weeks. We were told she had no measurable brain activity and we needed to prepare for the worst. My grandmother was a nurse and refused to accept we were at a point where turning off life support was an option.
I don't know if you are familiar with how beds are changed for coma patients, but they would roll mom one direction with the old sheet, place a new sheet and roll her back. Mom was small and an orderly rolled her to close to the edge and she slipped off the side of the bed and hit her head and screamed.
That scream scared the devil out of everyone!
She did not remember the wreck or recognize her family at first but she told everyone this same thing over and over in great detail.
She was walking along a river bank. It was the most beautiful day ever, with a light breeze. (She can recount a thousand details but I'll keep it much shorter for you.) She saw people ahead and she walked to them. There was a boat with billowing white sails, and a gentle man with brilliant eyes was calling out names. Mom wasn't scared at all. She said answers to all her questions came before she could even begin to question. The sun was just beginning to set and she realized her name would not be called. It filled her with sadness! She wanted to go with them, but she heard "This ship is not for you." and she felt comforted.
Doctors said she would not walk. It took a long time, but she ran. They said she may have brain damage. She earned her Masters and became a science teacher! She was even in the 100 teachers considered for the First Teacher in Space Program, and she has been the NRA's teacher of the year. Her class has won awards for building and launching rockets! And she is an amazing person!
She doesn't go around sharing her story with people, but if you ask her, or want to talk about faith she will gladly tell you all about it.
I have always felt very lucky! I have never had to question if heaven is real. Mom said so.
Thanks for sharing your story. :)
That lecture was something else, Zeneta. Thanks.
Something that has always stumped me is the question of why I have experienced the energy of God from time to time in life (from the time I was little); but many others have no idea that that consciousness really exists and can’t stand the whole idea. Still others are so faithful and although they never experienced God, they beleive in Him.
So it could be in our ability (in my case luck is more like it) to move into the right hemisphere of our brain. Those times have come to me from my prayer and love with Jesus. Very interesting. It explains the tradition and purpose of prayer. Although it is an operation of the brain, it really does open us up to experience reality that we operate closed to in our brains. Just cause our brain is not able to perceive God; He’s there all the time.
That is an amazing story! Thanks for sharing it with us.
What better way for Satan to get his “you can do know wrong” message into the world? When the end comes cling to the Cross.
JESUS told me that my reward lies in HIS Kingdom... I BELIEVE!
An old cowboy was riding his trusty horse followed by his faithful dog along an unfamiliar road. The cowboy was enjoying the new scenery, when he suddenly remembered dying, and realized the dog beside him had been dead for
years, as had his horse. Confused, he wondered what was happening, and where the trail was leading them. After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall that looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch topped by a golden letter “H” that glowed in the sunlight.
Standing before it, he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like gold. He rode toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side.
Parched and tired out by his journey, he called out, ‘Excuse me, where are we?
‘This is Heaven, sir,’ the man answered.
‘Wow! Would you happen to have some water?’ the man asked.
‘Of course, sir. Come right in, and I’ll have some ice water brought right up.’
As the gate began to open, the cowboy asked, ‘Can I bring my partners, too?’
‘I’m sorry, sir, but we don’t accept pets.’
The cowboy thought for a moment, then turned back to the road and continued riding, his dog trotting by his side.
After another long ride, at the top of another hill, he came to a dirt road leading through a ranch gate that looked as if it had never been closed. As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and
reading a book.
‘Excuse me,’ he called to the man. ‘Do you have any water?’
‘Sure, there’s a pump right over there. Help yourself.’
‘How about my friends here?’ the traveler gestured to the dog and his horse.
‘Of course! They look thirsty, too,’ said the man.
The trio went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with buckets beside it. The traveler filled a cup and the buckets with wonderfully cool water and took a long drink, as did his horse and dog.
When they were full, he walked back to the man who was still standing by the tree.
‘What do you call this place?’ the traveler asked.
‘This is Heaven,’ he answered.
‘That’s confusing,’ the traveler said. ‘The man down the road said that was Heaven, too.’
‘Oh, you mean the place with the glitzy, gold street and fake pearly gates? That’s hell.’
‘Doesn’t it make you angry when they use your name like that?’
‘Not at all. Actually, we’re happy they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind.’
Twilight Zone episode
Substitute a hillbilly and his hound for the cowboy, horse and dog
There are a whole bunch of different kinds of consciousness, unconsciousness and semi-consciousness, to the point where the old expression “wonderment” applies. Here are some unrelated anecdotes:
A popular means of anesthesia these days is called “twilight sleep”, in which people may either be quiet, be almost awake, or act like they have been given ‘truth serum’; they may feel pain, but they don’t remember it or anything else after the fact - amnesia. Some surgeons require their surgery staff to sign non-disclosure statements in case patients babble out something incriminating or embarrassing. And they do.
The prescription sleep aide, Ambien, can take sleepwalking to extraordinary degrees, some people even driving cars for miles before eventually bumping them in to something. Two members of the Kennedy family have been cited for driving under the influence of Ambien. (Which doesn’t say anything about character, for once, as sleepwalking seems to have a genetic component.)
However, Ambien can also do something that is extraordinarily good.
In South Africa, a young man was in a motorcycle accident, suffered brain damage, and went into a persistent coma. After some weeks he was moved into a persistent coma ward with other such people. However, he had a “restless arm”, that would unpredictably spasm. So the doctor decided to give him some Ambien (the generic version), to see if it would settle down his arm spasms.
Two hours later he woke up and was able to communicate for a while before relapsing. So he was given more Ambien, and woke up again, for a longer period of time. Eventually he fully woke up and was conscious and responsive.
So the doctor gave Ambien to all the other patients, and about 70% had some response, many regaining consciousness.
The doctor speculated that when the brain is damaged, it puts out a lot of a chemical called GABA, which “turns off” the damaged part of the brain so that it can heal. When it has healed, GABA levels return to normal. However, in some people, the big rush of GABA sensitizes their brain to GABA, so that even normal levels will keep it in a shut down state.
And Ambien is a GABA blocker.
There is a lot of interest these days in people trying to create unusual brain activity by stimulating their brain with different frequencies of light and sound during sleep. Here is something of a comprehensive list of such things, and what some people think they can get from particular stimulation:
Of course, most of it is hooey and wishful thinking, but there is some reasonable stuff in there as well. But given the complexity of the brain, it’s hard to know which is which.
Some years ago, I knew a top biochemical psychiatrist who would work with patients for a year or more trying to develop just the right pharmaceutical combination for their exotic brain problems.
He really hated drinking alcohol, because he said that the human brain had at least 100 significant neurotransmitters and chemicals, and alcohol was almost unique in that it could foul up every one of them. After working with a patient for months, they would go out on a bender, and he would have to start from scratch because their neurochemistry had changed so much.
I remember that episode!
I don’t automatically believe nor automatically disbelieve what is called “private revelation.”
Hildegard of Bingen had them for over 70 years, and they weren’t “near-death” experiences either: they were intense visions that came to her, on and off, through all 5 senses, from age 3 until her death at age 81.
Even she did not consider them automatically worthy of belief, and for a long time didn’t know if they were a delusion or a gift.
I admire her sane and balanced point of view. God is capable of giving us visions; on the other hand, the brain itself is inconceivably complex, and capable of engendering convincingly fantastic other worlds.
But I want to ask the doctrinaire atheists this question: why and how would unaided materialistic evolution -— you know, that mechanistic process totally defined by survival and reproductive fitness -— have given us such powerful, apparently otherworldly, perceptions, capacities, and drives?
I ask you.
Just as an aside, that “woman” with the Blue eyes must’ve been pretty darn close to him in order for him to note the eye color.
Thanks for telling me that. Still, it’s good that she didn’t end up becoming the first teacher in space.
My wife is one that chose to return. In 1994 she contracted viral meningeal-encephalitis and was in ICU for 14 days. During that time she coded one morning while I was there. They revived her and she ultimately recovered after 18 days in the hospital. We are both Christians. She told me months later that while she was coded she found herself standing in front of a veil or curtain and could feel this overwhelming sense of pure ultimate love on the other side. Her urge to be drawn towards that love was very strong and she inately knew it was from God and that her problems and troubles would all be gone if she went towards that love.
She said someone spoke to her (an angel?) and told her she had a choice, that she could either go back to us and continue living, or go through the veil, but once through the veil/curtain she could not change her mind or return to us. She said she really wanted to go through the veil, but saw me trying to raise our three young children (12, 9, & 7 yo)without her and decided to return back to us. Praise God our kids are now 30, 27, and 25 and she's still with me after 35 years of marriage. I believe my wife was given that choice and she decided to forego her reward and return back to finish things that would have been disasterous for me and the kids without her.
That was a neat I don’t know what that kind of writing is, parable I think. Anyway, gold streets would get boring after awhile. I just got that from a Pentecostal song about streets paved with gold.
I think I had Twilight sleep when i had my last child but I guess if you feel pain but don't remember it, it's questionable.
I might come back and look at your link. I've had enough trouble with my mind that I don't engage in any type of technique, practice that could alter my consciousness. I take prescription drugs and they have messed my brain up enough I think. I do think you can reprogram your brain if you are patient, perhaps not everyone. A schizophrenic mathematician did. I forget the name of the film about him.
The Ambien, I don't know personally but it seems like a drug for good and for ill. Very encouraging how it can help comatose/brain damaged patients. I wouldn't want to take it, however.