In Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife, Dr. Eben Alexander describes the near-death experience (NDE) that granted him a glimpse of heaven. The circumstances of his brush with death differ from those of other people who reported NDE visions of heaven. In most cases, the patients’ hearts stop, or they stop breathing, but the part of their brains capable of creating visions remains functional. In Dr. Alexander’s case, bacterial meningitis shut down that vital visioning part of his brain.
Before his rare and serious illness, Dr. Alexander relied on a purely scientific view of the world. He did not give credence to near-death visions of heaven, because he credited the brain with, somehow or other, sparking the realistic images.
Then this man of science lost brain function and found an expanded view of life. After he made his unprecedented and unexpected complete recovery, he wrote about the spectacular experience.
Many aspects of his story warrant attention, but I particularly liked the phrases of reassurance he received from a beautiful heavenly girl:
“You are loved and cherished, dearly, forever.
You have nothing to fear.
There is nothing you can do wrong.”
No matter what any of us think of heaven—whether we think of it as a place, or a vibration, or a state of mind, or a figment of the imagination, or a threat wielded by organized religion to scare people into being “good”—no matter what any of us think, we can still choose to settle those phrases into our hearts as truths.
That one simple act would make the world a happier place, I think.
“In my past view, spiritual wasn’t a word that I would have employed during a scientific conversation. Now I believe it is a word that we cannot afford to leave out.”
—Eben Alexander, M.D.