For most of his career a neurosurgeon by the name of Eben Alexander was sceptical about his patient’s claims of near-death experiences. As far as he was concerned NDEs were just a product of brain chemistry. Fantasies produced under extreme stress.
Then in November 2008 his own brain was attacked by a rare bacterial meningitis. For seven days he lay in a deep coma. His chances of survival low. While unconscious he experienced a hyper-vivid and coherent reality. He saw flocks of shimmering beings arcing through the sky. Heard a glorious chant booming from on high. Felt connected to everything in a way he never had before. Was enveloped in a vast presence of light, colour and love. He was accompanied on his journey through this strange realm by a woman who he first met sitting next to him on a butterfly wing.
When he woke up from the coma he tried to rationalise his hallucinations like the good scientist that he is. But he couldn’t. While he’d been unconscious brain scans had been taken which showed that the part of the brain that controls thought and emotion had shut down completely. His brain was literally incapable of producing the experiences he had during his coma.
Thus Alexander was forced to acknowledge the possibility of life after death. As a scientist he could come to no other conclusion. Moreover, after he recovered Alexander – who was adopted – was shown a picture by his biological family of a sister he had never met or seen before. Turns out, she was the woman on the butterfly wing.
You can read the full story in his book ‘Proof of Heaven’ which was recently released.
Of course not everyone believes this is proof that NDEs are real. Some have said he must been dreaming. That his brain wasn’t as blank as the hospital machines indicated. This seems a rather unscientific response. A point black refusal to accept the evidence as it exists. And it doesn’t explain the sister.
This is very much a Judgement card story. First of all, because like this Tarot card it involves human interaction with an angelic dimension (for want of a better phrase.) And secondly, because it calls into question the judgement many have made in the modern era that there is no possibility of an afterlife.
Are you convinced by Alexander’s story? Or not?