Dr. Eben Alexander
Wellness Matters Speaker Series Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Dr. Eben Alexander, Renowned Neurosurgeon and Author
Dr. Alexander will discuss his near-death experience and his book Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife that chronicles his powerful, life-changing story. Dr. Alexander's story offers a crucial key to the understanding of reality and human consciousness.
About Dr. Eben Alexander
Dr. Eben Alexander III has been an academic neurosurgeon for the last 25 years, including 15 years at the Brigham & Women's and the Children's Hospitals and Harvard Medical School in Boston. Over his academic career he authored or co-authored over 150 chapters and papers in peer reviewed journals, and made over 200 presentations at conferences and medical centers around the world. He thought he had a very good idea of how the brain generates consciousness, mind and spirit.
In the predawn hours of November 10, 2008, Alexander was driven into coma by a rare and mysterious bacterial meningitis-encephalitis of unknown cause. He spent a week in coma on a ventilator, his prospects for survival diminishing rapidly. On the seventh day, to the surprise of everyone, he started to awaken. Memories of his life had been completely deleted inside of coma, yet he awoke with memories of a fantastic odyssey deep into another realm - more real than this earthly one! His older son advised him to write down everything he could remember about his journey, before he read anything about neardeath experiences, physics or cosmology. Six weeks later, he completed his initial recording of his remarkable journey, totaling over 20,000 words in length. Then he started reading, and was astonished by the insights his journey brought to the world's literature on near-death experiences, the afterlife, and to all phenomena of extended consciousness. His experience clearly revealed that we are conscious in spite of our brain - that, in fact, consciousness is at the root of all existence.
Alexander's story offers a crucial key to the understanding of reality and human consciousness. It will have a major effect on how we view spirituality, soul and the nonmaterial realm. In analyzing his experience, including the scientific possibilities and grand implications, he envisions a more complete reconciliation of modern science and spirituality as a natural product.
Alexander has been blessed with a complete recovery, and has written a book, Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife, about this most powerful, life-changing story; a scientist's case for the afterlife. Near-death experiences, or NDEs, are controversial. Thousands of people have had them, but many in the scientific community have argued that they are impossible, and Alexander was one of those people.
A highly trained neurosurgeon who had operated on thousands of brains in the course of his career, Alexander knew that what people of faith call the "soul" is really a product of brain chemistry. NDEs, he would have been the first to explain, might feel real to the people having them, but in truth they are simply fantasies produced by brains under extreme stress.
Then came the day when Alexander's own brain was attacked by an extremely rare illness. The part of the brain that controls thought and emotion-and in essence makes us human- shut down completely. For seven days Alexander lay in a hospital bed in a deep coma. Then, as his doctors weighed the possibility of stopping treatment, Alexander's eyes popped open. He had come back.
Alexander's recovery is by all accounts a medical miracle. But the real miracle of his story lies elsewhere. While his body lay in coma, Alexander journeyed beyond this world and encountered an angelic being who guided him into the deepest realms of superphysical existence. There he met, and spoke with, the Divine source of the universe itself.
This story sounds like the wild and wonderful imaginings of a skilled fantasy writer. But it is not fantasy. Before Alexander underwent his journey, he could not reconcile his knowledge of neuroscience with any belief in heaven, God, or the soul. That difficulty with belief created an empty space that no professional triumph could erase. Today he is a doctor who believes that true health can be achieved only when we realize that God and the soul are real and that death is not the end of personal existence but only a transition. This story would be remarkable no matter who it happened to. That it happened to Alexander makes it revolutionary. No scientist or person of faith will be able to ignore it. His book and presentation will change the lives of audiences.