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Beyond Science and Religion...Endorsement and Support from another NDE survivor,
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This review is from: Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife (Paperback)
As someone who has experienced an NDE, and struggled with many of the same things that Eben discusses here, I am not surprised at the response that many are having to this book. To say "people who have NDE experiences often find the telling of their story, while trying to impart the information they receive during their experience, a difficult task," would be an understatement as vast as the universe.
The clinical aspects of Dr. Alexander's experience are what make this story unique, along with his outright conversion from a "Scientific Reductionist" to someone who sees clearly that consciousness and the vast majority of "what is," are found outside of our space/time universe and current medical or science books.
To get the most out of any book on NDEs, and especially one that intertwines a very personal journey to find family and self, you must start with an open mind and heart. Unfortunately, those who have already hardened their views on both sides of the spectrums of Science and Religion, will dismiss much of what anyone writes on this topic, because it doesn't fit their narrow, dogmatic view of the world.
Even worse, it forces them to look outside of their safe little boxes, and take the effort to learn, while being open to the possibility that current models of both science and faith are a good starting point, but not the ENTIRE answer.
Einstein's quote at the beginning of the chapter "A Final Dilemma" says it best...
"I must be willing to give up what I am in order to become what I will be."
Whether you begin as a Christian, a Buddhist, Quantum Physicist or a simple seeker of knowledge beyond current understanding, moving outside of the constructs of your current ways of thinking is imperative to discovery.
Fundamentalism, whether it be religious or scientific, is really no different than intellectual bigotry, closed to expanded thoughts, or encompassing new ways of looking for expanded information. Eben's book embraces both worlds, and does so gracefully, without discounting any specific ideology.
Eben's experience was certainly deeper, and far more expansive than most I have read (including my own NDE). I do agree that the lack of detail about his time in "heaven" (a term that I find limiting) is frustrating to a point. And yet, the need to spend much of this book on the technical side of his coma, his quest and victory regarding his family (past and present), as well as touching on the scientific aspects of the current science regarding external consciousness, make this short book an excellent jumping-off point for deeper study and discussion.
And there's the rub...
After experiencing my own NDE (in 1996), I spent almost two obsessive years trying in vain to "connect the dots of knowledge imparted to me," before putting it all back "in a box" so that I could get on with living my life. Through a series of events over the past two years, I find myself very much back into "telling the story." I now realize that no book, video, or movie is able to even scratch the surface of answering the great questions of life after death, consciousness, and how they all relate to quantum theory. Expecting "the answers" from a book of this size and configuration is naïve and lazy at best.
There is a reason that the section in this book called "Reading List" is expansive. Much has been written on this topic from both the spiritual and scientific approach. If you are a true seeker of the truth, you will not start or end your journey for knowledge with Eben's book. Instead, you will appreciate the facts of his experience, the unique medical reality of his coma, and the amazing revelations about family, love and the eternal nature of consciousness, as the BEGINNING of the journey to true understanding.
While this book in not an expansive, all-inclusive answer to the melding of Science and Religion, I give it 5 stars for being an important, unique story, bringing focus to the need for a global change in the perception and understanding of reality, consciousness and the interconnectedness of everything in creation.
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Showing 1-10 of 189 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 26, 2012 10:29:46 PM PDT
George Allen Papapetrou says:
Wonderful, spot on review, Patric! Thank you for taking the time to review Eben's book for us.
Posted on Oct 27, 2012 6:35:03 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 27, 2012 6:35:40 AM PDT
John Sutton says:
Thank you very much for a thoughtful and thought provoking review. I listened to a BBC interview with Dr. Alexander and was impressed with his balance, objectivity, and confidence in the face of some sharp questioning. An understanding of such experiences as he and others describe will eventually yield untold benefits, I'm sure. I haven't had such an experience myself but I have an intuitive sense of their great value and I'm grateful to those who share theirs.
Posted on Oct 27, 2012 6:38:43 AM PDT
beautiful and eloquent review Patric, thanks!
Posted on Oct 27, 2012 9:20:21 AM PDT
It Works! says:
Great review, Patric.
I've never had an NDE, but what NDE'ers say about their experiences resonates deeply with me, in a way dogmatic religions never have. It's not that I'm *hoping* these experiences are true--it's that, in my inner being, they simply *sound* true. They don't "relieve my fears"--they expand my horizons.
I'm always amused when people who respond negatively to NDE's seem determined to slash these stories to shreds. Instead of simply saying the stories don't sound true to them, they hurl scorn and vitriol on them. I sense that these people are living in some tight little dogma and dare not have that dogma contradicted.
Dr. Alexander has opened yet another window to allow fresh air into our cynical, fearful world. But there are some who'd rather keep breathing their own vapors than even consider the possibility that fresh air might still exist--in this world as well as in the life beyond.
Posted on Oct 27, 2012 6:07:02 PM PDT
What a lovely review...so well thought out, so elegantly phrased.
I wonder if trying to describe the experience (which is, in essence, experience without the sign tangible posts of sight, smell, touch or scent) isn't akin to trying to describe love or inspiration or even, dare I use the term, God?
It is not just our language that is inadequate for describing the abstract. It is our limited experience and world view of one trapped in space and time and blinded by the "truths" we have adopted as our own during this experience.
Posted on Dec 11, 2012 9:08:27 PM PST
William W. Lahue says:
Patric: You would benefit from reading David Hawkins' series of books, starting with the title "Power vs. Force", and progress from there. He was hung up for years, until he realized that he couldn't do anything useful until the left side of his brain functioned again. But be warned: He is addictive, and he's written many books. You may also end up in some place where you might rather not be...but this is a one-way journey. As most of them turn out to be, it seems.
Posted on Jan 11, 2013 11:09:43 PM PST
D Bulsa says:
Posted on Jan 12, 2013 9:56:06 PM PST
He was NOT brain dead...no one has come back from brain death.
He should know this better than anyone.
Because he can remember this story, means that the memory is IN his
PHYSICAL mind. The impression was made on his ACTIVE brain.
If your heart stops beating...you are not dead.
You are not dead until you are brain dead.
He was not dead.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2013 7:09:46 AM PST
With all due respect, Amazonian, if a neurosurgeon says his brain was none functioning, I'll take his credentials as sufficient to determine whether he was brain dead or not. I'm not sure he used the term brain dead, but in interviews, he has shown x-rays that show that the functioning part of his brain were completely inoperable.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 31, 2013 10:17:38 AM PST
King's Kid says:
Of course he wasn't dead, he was in a coma.