In our last post, we presented the story of an American neurosurgeon, Dr. Eben Alexander, who one morning in 2008, woke with the worst headache he ever experienced. Minutes later, he had a grand mal seizure, and his wife rushed him to the emergency room.
He was intubated, put on a ventilator, and a spinal tap showed a rare type of meningitis, typically fatal. He was treated with three different antibiotics concurrently, and after a week of being intubated, he woke and started to tell of what he experienced; a so-called “near-death experience” (NED), which is reported by 5% to 15% of people in circumstances of “near death”.
What makes Dr. Alexander’s case rather unique is that he is a well-respected academic neurosurgeon, having taught at Harvard University hospitals for 15 years. While recuperating, he spent two months entering his experiences on the computer, which was edited and just published as a book “Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife”.
Dr. Alexander believes his experience proved, to him, the existence of heaven, but certainly it is up to each of us to make our own interpretation. It is interesting though that many people who report a NDE feel the same as Dr. Alexander—they lose their fear of death, and are convinced of a welcoming afterlife to come. Here are some highlights of his experiences…
“Toward the beginning of my adventure, I was in a place of clouds. Big, puffy, pink-white ones that showed up sharply against the deep blue-black sky. Higher than the clouds—immeasurably higher—flocks of transparent, shimmering beings arced across the sky, leaving long, streamerlike lines behind them…”
There was a woman who was with him, who acted as sort of spirit guide and she imparted a message to him… “the message had three parts, and if I had to translate them into earthly language, I’d say they ran something like this:
‘You are loved and cherished, dearly, forever.’
‘You have nothing to fear.’
‘There is nothing you can do wrong.’”
He asked questions of his spirit guide and the answers “came instantly in an explosion of light, color, love, and beauty that blew through me like a crashing wave. What was important about these blasts was that they didn’t simply silence my questions by overwhelming them. They answered them, but in a way that bypassed language. Thoughts entered me directly. But it wasn’t thought like we experience on earth. It wasn’t vague, immaterial, or abstract. These thoughts were solid and immediate—hotter than fire and wetter than water…”.
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 sensed near me. The orb was a kind of “interpreter” between me and this vast presence surrounding me. It was as if I were being born into a larger world, and the universe itself was like a giant cosmic womb.
That was it exactly: an inky darkness that was also full to brimming with light.
I know full well how extraordinary, how frankly unbelievable, all this sounds. Had someone—even a doctor—told me a story like this in the old days, I would have been quite certain that they were under the spell of some delusion. But what happened to me was, far from being delusional, as real or more real than any event in my life. That includes my wedding day and the birth of my two sons.”
I’m still a doctor, and still a man of science every bit as much as I was before I had my experience. 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.”
For our next post, we leave the spiritual, and return to hard science.
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Esta postagem também está disponível em: Portuguese (Brazil)