Heaven is real, says neurosurgeon

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by arauca, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. arauca Banned Banned


    Dr. Eben Alexander has taught at Harvard Medical School and has earned a strong reputation as a neurosurgeon. And while Alexander says he's long called himself a Christian, he never held deeply religious beliefs or a pronounced faith in the afterlife.

    But after a week in a coma during the fall of 2008, during which his neocortex ceased to function, Alexander claims he experienced a life-changing visit to the afterlife, specifically heaven.

    "According to current medical understanding of the brain and mind, there is absolutely no way that I could have experienced even a dim and limited consciousness during my time in the coma, much less the hyper-vivid and completely coherent odyssey I underwent," Alexander writes in the cover story of this week's edition of Newsweek.

    So what exactly does heaven look like?

    Alexander says he first found himself floating above clouds before witnessing, "transparent, shimmering beings arced across the sky, leaving long, streamer like lines behind them."

    He claims to have been escorted by an unknown female companion and says he communicated with these beings through a method of correspondence that transcended language. Alexander says the messages he received from those beings loosely translated as:

    "You are loved and cherished, dearly, forever."

    "You have nothing to fear."

    "There is nothing you can do wrong."

    From there, Alexander claims to have traveled to "an immense void, completely dark, infinite in size, yet also infinitely comforting." He believes this void was the home of God.

    After recovering from his meningitis-induced coma, Alexander says he was reluctant to share his experience with his colleagues but found comfort inside the walls of his church. He's chronicled his experience in a new book, "Proof of Heaven: A neurosurgeon's journey into the afterlife," which will be published in late October.

    "I'm still a doctor, and still a man of science every bit as much as I was before I had my experience," Alexander writes. "But on a deep level I'm very different from the person I was before, because I've caught a glimpse of this emerging picture of reality. And you can believe me when I tell you that it will be worth every bit of the work it will take us, and those who come after us, to get it right.
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  3. tashja Registered Senior Member

    Yeah, I read that story.
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  5. Mazulu Banned Banned

    You really shouldn't share truth like this in a forum of so called "educated" individuals. Heaven (the afterlife) is beautiful. But when assholes get done mocking it, it looks like stampeded daisies. Only an educated person can take the most wonderful spiritual experience and ruin it. That's what their good at.
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  7. tashja Registered Senior Member

    LOL! That's a good one!
  8. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

    Hey I been to heaven before, it was the time I mixed 'shrooms, dramamine and two blotters of acids. Someone quick get me newsweek interview!
  9. Trooper Secular Sanity Valued Senior Member

  10. Neverfly Banned Banned

    A neurosurgeon really should know better. His 'experience' is most likely the waking brains interpretation and only happened within a couple of minutes.
    To claim that there is nothing in neuroscience to explain his experience is to say there's nothing in physics that can explain fluid motion.

    Now if he prefers to believe he saw heaven even if he's aware that it is possible it could be a dream, I'd respect that.

    But to lie and say there's nothing in science that can explain it, using his authoritative degree to back it up?
    This is the classic definition of a douche.
  11. Mazulu Banned Banned

    Intellectuals and atheists are some of the biggest douche-bags in the world. I am pretty sure that a neurosurgeon knows more about how the brain works then any of you.

    This has got to be the most profoundly stupidest thing I've heard in years. Do you honestly think that somebody would do this for money? If you had any sort of common sense, you would realize that he's saying this because it supports his religious belief system. I guess those people who don't believe in a Higher Power, those people worship money.
  12. Neverfly Banned Banned

    Ordinarily, this should be true. In fact, I said:
    A Neurosurgeon should know better.
    Abs0frikkenlutly yes.
    That still doesn't validate it.
  13. Mazulu Banned Banned

    OK, all spiritual and religious people believe that they have souls; all atheists believe that they do not have souls. Let's agree to agree. So you are an atheist, therefore, you don't have a soul. It kind of makes sense. You can't feel the Holy Spirit or have other spiritual experiences. It's because you don't have a soul. So when you die, nothing of you will survive. You are nothing more than a biological machine with no feelings and no soul. In contrast, Dr. Alexander Eben has a soul; he will live on in spirit because he has a soul. People who have souls need to find God, religion, spirituality. Biological machines don't have souls and are not encumbered by such illogical concepts.

    Any questions?
  14. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Ricky Fitts: Do you want to see the most beautiful thing I've ever filmed?

    It was one of those days when it's a minute away from snowing and there's this electricity in the air, you can almost hear it. Right?

    And this bag was just dancing with me. Like a little kid begging me to play with it. For fifteen minutes.

    That's the day I realized that there was this entire life behind things, and this incredibly benevolent force that wanted me to know there was no reason to be afraid, ever.

    Video's a poor excuse, I know. But it helps me remember... I need to remember...

    Sometimes there's so much beauty in the world, I feel like I can't take it, and my heart is just going to cave in.
  15. Neverfly Banned Banned

    Then what happened to my soul? I once was a believer and a Christian. I once claimed to feel the love of God and seek out the spirit and all of that.
    See, here's the problem, Mazulu- I am capable of the same irrationality.
    We all are. And we all still get irrational.

    Look, you claim that aliens speak to you telepathically, right?
    I find that irrational, right? Does this mean I am a rational person and you are an irrational one?

    I am often irrational. I do not ever believe in aliens telepathically talking to me, yet I can irrationally convince myself of many other things.
    I am an atheist, a non-believer in gnomes, fairies, magic dragons and gods. I do not see any reasons to believe we have some mystical soul.
    I do not believe in fortune tellers, the power of crystals or homeopathy. I'm glad to say that some critical thinking and education have helped me avoid false hopes or directionless paths or sinking money into tythes or voting on political issues that may have brought harm to society due to ignorance.

    Well, that's all fine and good. I'm rational, right?

    No. I'm not. Read the Open Note to Moderators thread. I started out rational, sure. But when I get angry, I start getting irrational.
    Maybe I had the right cause- I believe I did. Maybe I was fighting for what is right- I believe that I was. But was I rational?
    And it's something I'll be living with til I die. And as you point out- am no more. I'll always be struggling with irrationality just like you. Just like everyone else on this planet.

    I don't have the luxury of always being right. Of always thinking things out well or always having knowledge at my fingertips. Neither do you.
    But I do have the luxury to examine, to question, to study, learn, grow and expand what knowledge I have. I can do better.
    I used to be more irrational than I am today.
    I'm working on it.

    We do not agree. That is why we are here.
    We are here to seek out people we disagree with and test our minds, our ideas, our ability to be rational or how often we lose it.

    I say I do not have a soul. I say you also do not have one. I say your beliefs sway your perceptions of reality and I challenge you to meet my claims.

    I say that you have intelligence, wit and an admirable desire to understand the world.
    I also say you're doing it wrong and wasting that intelligence and I challenge you to meet my claim.

    When it's all over, we can laugh, clap eachother on the back and say, "good fight." But for now, it's on. Defend yourself.
  16. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    I agree -- His 'experience' is most likely his waking brain's interpretation and only happened within a couple of minutes.

    I think these scientists-gone-spiritualists are betraying, cheapening actual spirituality. They might as well say "Get a massive stroke/fall into a meningitis coma/suffer some other debilitating disease - and you will get enlightened, you will go to nirvana! Forget about years of meditation and other forms of training etc. as instructed by old religious traditions!"
  17. Mazulu Banned Banned

    I've tried being rational with people here and elsewhere. It doesn't work. Intellectuals throw the tooth-fairy argument in my face, and I get impatient. I've argued that the wave-function is a mathematical representation of the aetheric quality if matter, and I get a bunch of bogus intellectual nonsense. Hey, it's not my fault that nature doesn't live up to your expectations of logic and concreteness. I am a spiritualist, I believe that spirits and a spirit world exist. I believe that there is very subtle phenomena that occurs routinely, but goes unnoticed by intellectuals. I have tried describing my experiences only to be ignored or get them thrown in my face.

    It is regrettable that you have lost your faith. It happens to a lot of educated people. But over and over again I have been lovingly reminded that the spirit world, however subtle, does exist. Maybe I still believe because I know that sometimes logic can be dead wrong.
  18. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

    This surgeon experienced what some people experience while in deep meditation - which is why some people think of zen meditation as being sort of addictive. You love it so much you're willing to leave your family, friends, go without some foods and comforts to sit quietly and try and reach it, all day, everyday until you die.

    And when you die, you die. That's it. Done. Over. No more you.

    My guess is his parietal lobe (a major lobe) was less active than normal. It's not true to say there was 'no activity in his neocortex'. It's much more accurate to say the activity was much much less compared with normal. Blood was still moving wastes and bringing in energy to his brain. His brain was still maintaining calcium, sodium and potassium gradients. His cells were still functioning - just not as many synapses were occurring.

    This is why I would like to, maybe, someday - do zen mediation. I've tried (admittedly not all THAT hard) - and I'll just have to set aside the time and try again.
  19. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    That has nothing to do with logic.

    Logic itself is neither right nor wrong. What matters is the premises we put in - and it's those premises that are sometimes questionable.
  20. Neverfly Banned Banned

    Don't get me wrong but- what makes you think you were being rational?
    I've seen your arguments, Mazulu and they are not rational. You ignore physical evidence- that is not rational.
    That's understandable. It's hard to be patient when you feel like your ideas are being dismissed slight of hand.
    It's also hard to be patient when someone injects off topic claims into threads.
    It's hard to be patient when someone ignores hard, established, well researched and tested physics.
    To the "intellectual,' you've delivered bogus intellectual nonsense.
    The point of debate, at this juncture - ask who has the most valid points.
    Nor is it mine or any scientist that examines it. But we can, at least, learn about it.
    Learning about it is something you've always wanted, right?
    You asked questions when you were younger. You asked (what you believe to be) aliens for answers to your questions. Perhaps you have asked God.
    Perhaps you believe you have been given answers.
    What happens if you find those answers are wrong?
    I mean, let's go the distance and say it was irrefutably proven to you that the answers were wrong.
    What might you feel? Think? Did the aliens trick you? Were they never there at all?
    For now, you don't need to worry about those questions. But someday- you may have to.
    This is where rational vs. irrational comes in. The ability to keep your wits about you and examine critically.
    Have I ever ignored it or said, "You Fool!"
    No, although I was honest enough to say I believe you're delusional. You have a grudge against people you feel didn't give you a chance.
    Problem is- they did. It wasn't your name. But it was you, all the same, just a different person.
    Claiming the same thing.
    For years and years.
    Not for me- if I say I have some peace with it- is that good enough for you?
    Ironic- isn't it? Maybe indicative. Hmmmm...
    Perhaps it can. Perhaps you do have a soul.

    Perhaps you want to believe and take these "subtle" signs that would have happened no matter what as validation for that belief you want to have.
    To act or think rationally or irrationally is a choice. It's not divine. One simply chooses it. The difference between them is that one can bring answers that are useful and productive to your life.
    A neurosurgeon can choose irrationality even if he's always been a mostly rational guy. He was through trauma and it shook him up. Fine, I get that.
    I don't get that he denies his education, denies well understood properties, only to promote a belief born out of that trauma.
    Whether you believe in Heaven or I don't becomes irrelevant at that point. You can believe in Heaven but not believe him.
    Because he lied.
  21. Balerion Banned Banned

    What an unabashedly douch-baggy thing to say...

    Without a doubt. But that doesn't validate his experience, nor his claim that what he experienced can only be an actual glimpse of heaven. There is a much better, simpler explanation, and this neurosurgeon is (or at least should be) aware of it.

    Really? Even more stupid than someone calling something "the most stupidest?"

    Do you honestly think someone wouldn't?

    If by that you mean he's choosing to believe that he saw heaven because it makes him feel better to think that, then yes, I would agree.

  22. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Yeah ...
    Soooo naive to think so, isn't it.
  23. Balerion Banned Banned

    So you think no one would lie about a religious experience for personal gain? If that's what you think, yes, that's very naive.

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