Neurologist claims proof of Heaven October 10, 2012Posted by tantamergo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, Four Last Things, General Catholic, Interior Life, Society.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t need any convincing that Heaven, as well as hell, exist. I am as certain of that as I am certain that I am presently typing this post. But for many in our increasingly pagan, atheistic culture, belief in such is at best theoretical, and for an increasing number it is the realm of ridiculous delusion. So when a Harvard trained neurosurgeon of tremendous reputation has an ‘out of body experience,’ it is worthy of note, for the conversion that may be in it. I don’t know what this really means – that is to say, what he really experienced, with respect to the realities of individual judgment (I don’t think he got that far in the process), Heaven, hell, and Purgatory – but hopefully it will convince some souls to amend their lives and return to the practice of the Faith. For believers, it’s a bit of a curiosity, perhaps a glimpse into what awaits us, perhaps something different:
Dr Eben Alexander, a Harvard-educated neurosurgeon, fell into a coma for seven days in 2008 after contracting meningitis.
During his illness Dr Alexander says that the part of his brain which controls human thought and emotion “shut down” and that he then experienced “something so profound that it gave me a scientific reason to believe in consciousness after death.” In an essay for American magazine Newsweek, which he wrote to promote his book Proof of Heaven, Dr Alexander says he was met by a beautiful blue-eyed woman [the Blessed Mother! How rapt I would be to be greeted by Her in Heaven!] in a “place of clouds, big fluffy pink-white ones” and “shimmering beings”.
He continues: “Birds? Angels? These words registered later, when I was writing down my recollections. But neither of these words do justice to the beings themselves, which were quite simply different from anything I have known on this planet. They were more advanced. Higher forms.” The doctor adds that a “huge and booming like a glorious chant, came down from above, and I wondered if the winged beings were producing it. the sound was palpable and almost material, like a rain that you can feel on your skin but doesn’t get you wet.”
Dr Alexander says he had heard stories from patients who spoke of outer body experiences [ummm......I think they mean "out of body...."] but had disregarded them as “wishful thinking” but has reconsidered his opinion following his own experience.
He added: “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.” He added: “I’ve spent decades as a neurosurgeon at some of the most prestigous medical institutions in our country. I know that many of my peers hold as I myself did to the theory that the brain, and in particular the cortex, generates consciousness and that we live in a universe devoid of any kind of emotion, much less the unconditional love that I now know God and the universe have toward us. [not sure about the 'universe' part......]
“But that belief, that theory, now lies broken at our feet. What happened to me destroyed it.”
Very interesting. The article doesn’t say anything about Dr. Alexander’s religious practice, if any, prior to this experience, but from what he writes above, it sounds as if he wasn’t a devout Christian. Not everyone has such a positive experience – there are numerous stories of those who fall into hell and then are pulled back, in stark terror. But most seem to have a very positive experience. Is it a glimpse of Heaven, or some part of the process of dying as yet not understood? I would say definitely the former, except that those who feel they go to hell don’t recall an experience of judgment, just a sudden transference of reality into a terrible place. That, of course, doesn’t align well with what the Church believes, but perhaps the judgment is so quick and final that there isn’t really a recollection of it.
The positive experiences, however, are almost universal in their description of an infinite, overwhelming beneficence, transformed or celestial beings, immense beauty, music glorious beyond description, and usually some encounter with Jesus Christ. This is the first I can recall that appears to involve the Blessed Mother, instead.