Dr. Eben Alexander, a renowned neurosurgeon, shares his understanding of consciousness and where we go when we die. His near death experience 8 years ago explores the most interesting questions about science and spirituality: What is consciousness? What scientists don’t understand about consciousness? Why are we here on earth?
This blog post encompasses my favorite quotes pulled from Dr. Alexander’s book, Proof of heaven: A neurosurgeon’s journey into the afterlife.
Eben Alexander on Consciousness
“My experience showed me that death of the body and the brain are not the end of consciousness, that human experience continues beyond the grave. Most important, it continues under the gaze of God who loves and cares about each one of us and about where the universe itself and all beings within it are ultimately going. “ p9
“ It was impossible to pursue the core reality of the universe without using consciousness. Far from being an unimportant by-product of physical processes, consciousness is not only very real- it’s actually more real than the rest of physical existence and most likely the basis of it all.” P150
“ … while I didn’t even know the term at the time (consciousness), while in the Gateway and in the Core, I was actually “doing” science. Science that relied on the truest and most sophisticated tool for scientific research we possess. Consciousness itself…
For many-maybe most- scientists, consciousness isn’t really worth worrying about because it is just a by-product of physical processes. Many scientists go further, saying that not only is consciousness a secondary phenomenon, but that in addition, it’s not even real ”. p151
Eben Alexander on Love
“ The unconditional love and acceptance that I experienced on my journey is the single most important discovery that I have ever made, or will ever make, and as hard as I know it’s going to be to unpack the other lessons I learned while there, I also know in my heart that sharing this very basic message- one so simple that most children readily accept it- is the most important task I have.” P 73
“Love is, without a doubt, the basis of everything. Not some abstract, hard-to-fathom kind of love but the day-to-day kind that everyone knows- the kind of love we feel when we look at our spouse and our children, or even our animals. In its purest and most powerful form, this love is not jealous or selfish, but unconditional. This is the reality of realities, the incomprehensible glorious truth of truths that lives and breathes at the core of everything that exists or that will ever exist, and no remotely accurate understanding of who and what we are can be achieved by anyone who does not know it, and embody it in all of their actions. Not much of a scientific insight? Well, I beg to differ. I’m back from the place, and nothing could conveince me that this is not only the single most important emotional truth in the universe, but also the single most important scientific truth as well”p71
Why are we here?
“…for our role here is to grow toward the Divine, and that growth is closely watched by beings in the worlds above- the souls and lucent orbs, which I believe are the origin of our culture’s concept of angles.” p84
“Our truest, deepest self is completely free. It is not crippled or compromised by past actions or concerned with identity or status. It comprehends that it has no need to fear the earthly world and therefore, it has no need to build itself up through fear or wealth or conquest.
This is the true spiritual self that all of us are destined someday to recover. But until that day comes, I feel, we should do everything in our power to get in touch with this miraculous aspect of ourselves- to cultivate it and bring it to light. This is the being living within all of us right now and that is, in fact, the being that God truly intends us to be.
How do we get closer to this genuine spiritual self? By manifesting love and compassion. Why? Because love and compassion are far from 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. In order to return to that realm, we must once again, become like that realm, even while we are stuck in it, and plodding through this one.
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… Om (God) understands and sympathizes with our human situation more profoundly and personally than we can even imagine because Om knows that we have forgotten, and understands the terrible burden it is to live with amnesia of the Divine for even a moment” P 85
What Eben Alexander understood from his Near Death Experience?
“The primary hurdle that most NDE subjects must jump is not how to re-acclimatize to the imitations of the earthly world but how to convey what the love they experienced out there actually feels like. Deep down, we already know.. we have the ability to recover our connection with that idyllic realm. We just forget that we do, because during the brain-based, physical portion of our existence, the brain blocks, or veils, that larger cosmic background.. We can only see what our brain’s filter allows through. The brain is a barrier to our higher knowledge and experience.” P 72
“ Science- the science which I’ve devoted so much of my life- doesn’t contradict what I learned up there. But far, far too many people believe that it does, because certain members of the scientific community, who are pledged to the materialist worldview, have insisted again and again that science and spirituality cannot coexist”. P 73.
“Darkness, but a visible darkness-like being submerged in mud yet also being able to see through it. Transparent, but in a bleary, blurry, claustrophobic, suffocating kind of way.” P29
“Consciousness, but consciousness without memory or identity- like a dream where you know what’s going on around you, but have no real idea of who, or what, you are. Sound, too: a deep rhythmic pounding, distant yet strong, so that each pulse of it does right through you. Like a heartbeat. A little, but darker, more mechanical- like the sound of metal against metal, as if a giant, subterranean blacksmith is pounding an anvil somewhere off in the distance; pounding it so hard that the sound vibrates through the earth, or the mud, or wherever it is that you are.“ p 29
“ I didn’t have a body not one that I was aware of anyway. I was simply there, in this place of pulsing, pounding, darkness… primordial” p29
“ ..at a certain point I became aware of some objects around me. They were a little like roots, and a little like blood vessels in a vast, muddy womb. Glowing a dark, dirty red, they reached down from some place far above to some other place equally far below…looking at them was like being a mole or earthworm, buried deep in the ground yet somehow able to see the tangled matrixes of roots and trees surrounding it.” P30
“ …it radiated fine filaments of white-gold light, as it did so the darkness around me began to splinter and break apart. Then I heard a new sound: a living sound, like the richest most complex, most beautiful part of music you’ve ever heard. Growing in volume as a pure white light descended. The light got closer and closer, spinning around and around and generating those filaments of pure white light that I now saw were tinged, here and there, with hints gold. Then, at the very center of the light… An opening. I was no longer looking at the slowly spinning light at all, but through it. The moment I understood this, I began to move up. Fast. There was a whooshing sound, and in a flash I went through the opening and found myself in a completely new world. .
Where we are all one
“Brilliant, vibrant, ecstatic, stunning. ..I could heap on one adjective after another… but they’d all fall short. I felt like I was being born.
Below me there was a countryside. It was green, lush, and earth like. It was earth.. but at the same time it wasn’t, as you look around something pulls at you, and you realize that a part of yourself- a part way, deep down—does remember the place after all, and it’s rejoicing at being back again.
I was flying, passing over tress and fields, streams, and waterfalls, and here and there, people. There were children, too, laughing and playing. The people sang and danced around in circles and sometimes I’d see a dog, running and jumping among them, as full of joy as the people were. They wore simple yet beautiful clothes.” P39
“ Someone was next to me: a beautiful girl with high cheek bones, and deep blue eyes…. Without saying any words, she spoke to me. The message went through me like a wind, and I instantly understood that it was true. The message had three parts, and if I had to translate them they ran something like this:
You are loved and cherished, dearly, forever.
You have nothing to fear.
There is nothing you can do wrong”. P41
“Big, puffy, pink-white ones (clouds) that showed up sharply against a deep blue-black sky.
Higher than the clouds—immeasurably higher-flocks of transparent orbs, shimmering beings and across the sky, leaving long, streamer-like lines behind them….They were more advanced. Higher.
A sound, 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 that doesn’t get you wet.
Seeing and hearing were not separate in this place.. I could hear the visual beauty of the silvery bodies of those scintillating beings above, and I could see the surging, joyful perfection of what they sang. It seemed like you could not look at or listen to anything in this world without becoming part of it- without joining with it in some mysterious way.” P45
“ I continued moving forward and found myself entering an immense void, completely dark, infinite in size, yet also infinitely comforting. Pitch black as it was, it was also brimming over with light: a light that seemed to come from a brilliant orb that I now sense near me. An orb that was living and almost solid, as the songs of the angles had been. My situation was, strangely enough, something akin to that of a fetus in a womb… In this case, the “Mother” was God, the creator, the Source who is responsible for making the universe and all of it. This Being was so close that there seemed to be on distance at all between God and myself. Yet at the same time, I could sense the infinite vastness of the Creator, could see how completely minuscule I was by comparison. “Om” was the sound I remembered hearing associated with that omniscient, omnipotent, and unconditional loving God… The pure vastness separating Om and me was why I had the Orb as my companion… the Orb was a kind of “interpreter” between me and the extraordinary presence surrounding me. ”p48
Time and multiple realities
“ Time in this place was different from the simple linear time we experience on earth and is as hopelessly difficult to describe as every other aspect of it”. P40.
“Through the Orb, Om told me that there is not one universe but many- in fact, more than I could conceive- but that love lay at the center of them all. Evil was present in all the other universes as well, but only in the tiniest trace amounts. Evil was necessary because without it free will was impossible, and without free will there could be no broth- no forward movement, no chance for us to become what God longed for us to be. Horrible and all-powerful as evil sometimes seemed to be in a world like ours, in the larger picture love was overwhelmingly dominant, and it would be triumphant. I saw the abundance of life throughout the countless universes, including some whose intelligence was advanced far beyond that of humanity. I saw that there are countless higher dimensions, but that the only way to know these dimensions is to enter and experience them directly. They cannot be known, or understood, from lower dimensional space. Cause and effect exist in these higher realms, but outside of our earthly conception of them. The word of time and space in which we move in this terrestrial realm is tightly and intricately meshed within these higher worlds. In other worlds, these worlds aren’t totally apart from us, because all worlds are part of the same overarching divine Reality. From those higher worlds one could access any time or place in our world.” P49
How did your life on earth change?
What did Eben learn about God and religion? https://youtu.be/KqvHUH_i_t4?t=1m2s
What does God Look like? https://youtu.be/qQH_X1JByks?t=14s
How does Eben’s personal life been affected by this Near Death Experience?