Attuning to your Inner Wisdom

 

Have you ever asked these questions: Who am I? What is my role in the Universe? Until now, science has left those questions to religion. But the emerging view of consciousness is radically blending our science, philosophy and theology into something far better suited to answering them. In truth, the answers lie within each and every one of us.

For more than 20 years as an academic neurosurgeon, I had no explanation for the phenomenon of consciousness. In fact, I attempted to dismiss it entirely, reflexively agreeing with the previous generation of scientists who had explained it away as an illusion of the physical workings of the brain. But the more we learn, the clearer it becomes that this simplistic explanation isn’t scientific at all. The good news is that it is rapidly being supplanted by a far richer and more empowering view of consciousness, one that also invokes a much deeper mystery around the nature of existence.

This emerging view posits that consciousness, rather than being created by the physical brain, is actually fundamental.  The brain is a filter, allowing a limited aspect of consciousness to operate here in our physical world.  Consciousness is the master and creator of all that is (as opposed to being created by the brain). A fascinating implication of this view is the notion that unlimited guidance, understanding and creativity are available to us all by tapping into this infinite fount of all knowledge.

It isn’t just a theory anymore—my experiences, both in coma and after recovering, are proof. And I’m not the only one, as there are millions of experiences out there that support all of this. With the help of deep meditation techniques, I’ve been able to assist others in generating their own experience.

There are tools available to each and every soul on this journey – tools to explore the answers that lie within us all. To learn more about such tools, join me and Karen Newell, co-founder of Sacred Acoustics, in Attuning to Your Inner Wisdom, a 70-minute online course that we have produced through SimonSays to help demonstrate how differential sound frequency brain entrainment can help you join this grand adventure.
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FULL CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Accessing Universal Consciousness

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Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about the “me” before my coma journey. Back then, I believed without question what I had first learned from my medical school professors at Duke in the 1970’s  – that the mind emerges from the physical brain, and that it cannot exist apart from the physical body.

Those of you who have read Proof of Heaven or heard me speak know why I’m now convinced that this simply isn’t true. The dominant emerging scientific paradigm suggests the brain acts as a filter to narrow infinite consciousness down to the manageable trickle we experience every day.

I wonder: What would be different if I’d known then what I know now? How would I have reacted to patients’ reports of unexpected experiences? What choices would I have made differently?

You might have some similar questions. How would your life be different if you knew you were truly an eternal spiritual being who knew infinite love? How would you behave if you knew that some essence of you existed beyond this physical realm?

Each of us can learn firsthand about the reality of our larger existence, and by doing so, live with greater awareness and fulfillment.

For years now, meditation and prayer have been key to my daily routine.  They’re how I stay centered even as I travel for research and presentations. They’re how I continue the journey I began with the events described in Proof of Heaven.

My preferred method of meditation involves sound-induced brainwave entrainment audio recordings created by Sacred Acoustics. Karen Newell and I present workshops around the world that address the use of these powerful tools in many aspects of life. These workshops combine lessons learned from my coma experience, scientific theories of consciousness and the sound technology that allows expansion of conscious awareness reminiscent of that which I experienced deep in coma.

Our latest offering is through Evolver Learning Lab, who is helping us take our findings to a global audience through a five-session online webinar this summer, beginning on June 2, 2015, that includes new lectures, Sacred Acoustics recordings, and real-time Q&A in each session. During one session we welcome Dr. Larry Dossey as a special guest.

You can purchase the series here: Revelations from NDEs

Sound-enhanced meditation provides a powerful tool to help us to glimpse the universal consciousness we are all a part of, and to access the guidance, wisdom and creativity of the Infinite Mind.

Nurturing Yourself from Within

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If you follow updates on my website or Facebook, you know that I continue to experiment with meditation and prayer as a way to connect with Divine Source.

Over the past couple of years, together with Karen Newell, co-founder of Sacred Acoustics, I have co-designed a meditation workshop that uses sound to deepen and enhance these meditation sessions. Conferences and retreat centers from all over the world have invited us to offer these workshops in order to share our experience with other seekers who wish to access the unlimited wisdom within us all. Benefits include stress relief, improved health, enhanced intuition, creative inspiration and much more.

The truth is, science is catching up to a fact that philosophers posited centuries ago: The brain does not create consciousness. Consciousness is much too big and much too complex for that. The brain is, in fact, a reducing valve–a filter–that constricts primordial consciousness down to the limited trickle of our perceived reality through our physical brain and body.

Sound-enhanced meditation provides a powerful tool to help us to glimpse beyond that filter, and to access the guidance, wisdom and creativity that is part of the Infinite Mind at the core of all that is.

Whether you’ve never meditated before, have tried but given up, or do it every day, I challenge you to find more time in your day for meditation. Even if it’s for just a few minutes. Make the time to clear your mind, reach beyond the surface-level voice in your head and know that the observer of that voice is your fundamental consciousness. That is what we can nurture, over time, and ultimately follow past the filter.

Karen and I have been developing techniques to make attaining this connection easier and deeper. For those who would like to join us for a guided, sound-enhanced experiential workshop, information is on my Events page.

Even if you can’t join us, stop by my Facebook page or comment below to tell me (and each other) more about how you use meditation. It’s one topic I never get tired of learning about.

 

Coma Study – Jan 2015

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Earlier this week (Jan 2015), Dr. Alexander was invited to weigh in on a groundbreaking new study that shows coma patients actually heal faster and more completely when they hear their loved ones voices telling them loving things. The sample size was small, but it’s extremely promising, and the results were strongly in favor of introducing a new protocol for coma patients.

Dr. Alexander himself may have benefited from his family doing this during his illness.  Of course, his family hadn’t read any studies saying they should talk to him and pray for him–they just did it.  As it turns out, that was probably the smartest thing they could have done.

He was unconscious, of course, so he couldn’t hear his family speaking to him during the coma, but as he describes in the interview, he remembers his sisters fighting to bring back his memory when he awoke, dazed and amnesiac.

“My sisters’ role in my healing came after I initially awoke from coma, when my brain was still extremely compromised and I was in and out of awareness of my surroundings in the ICU,” he told me. “I believe that those stories played a major role in my rapid recovery of brain functions.”

You can watch that interview about the new coma study here.  

 

Lessons from the Afterlife & the Problem of Evil – Fox News Magazine

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Fox News Magazine’s Jaimie LaBella talked with Dr. Alexander before the holidays, and that article is out now.  You can read it online here.

Jaimie asked Dr. Alexander one question that he’s rarely asked about in interviews–the age-old Problem of Evil.

If you’ve read books on philosophy, especially religious philosophy–or even spent a lot of time thinking about those things–then the Problem of Evil is a concept that’s familiar to you 

It goes like this: If God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good, why does evil exist in the world?

Different religions have taken different paths to answering this question. But any religion that posits an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent Deity has to grapple with it.

Some have put forth that evil is a result of human free will, and our imperfect understanding of Divine will.  Others suggest that evil–and even intense human suffering–are necessary for spiritual development, and that our souls would experience a kind of stagnation or atrophy without it. Still others say that evil is simply the absence of good, and exists where God has chosen to withdraw, or even that evil is an alternative power, weaker than God but still a continually challenging, balancing force.

That last scenario doesn’t fit in with what Dr. Alexander saw during his experience.  So when Jaimie LaBella asked Dr. Alexander to weigh in on what he thought about a battle between good and evil, here’s what he said:

“I rather see it that the power of that unconditional love, of the light and love of the creator, is an infinite force that can expel the darkness of evil; both in material realm and spiritual realm,” he says.

“It was clear to me the infinite love of that creator, that I encountered in the spiritual world, had infinite power to heal. [And] to defeat that ‘evil’ in the world, we can all serve with the power of love, compassion and forgiveness. We need to wake up and take greater responsibility for this world. I believe this is all a part of a grander plan.”

The article is worth reading in full.  In the meantime, here’s hoping that in this new year, 2015, we all find ways to contribute light to the darkness, and serve with the power of love, compassion, and forgiveness.

“Consciousness Consciousness”

At the end of May 2014, Eben presented with Sacred Acoustics co-founder Karen Newell at the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology (ACEP) conference in Phoenix. ACEP is an organization of psychologists and energy healers who provide care by integrating modern medicine with ancient wisdom about human bio-energetic systems such as meridians, chakras and biofields.

 

Just before the presentation, Dr. Michael Reddy introduced Eben.  Eben’s been introduced by some brilliant, accomplished people before, but never quite like this.  It’s highly original, clever, and catchy as all get out–in fact, I feel I must warn you before you click “play” that never again can you claim you’ve never seen a man with a doctorate from U of Chicago rhyme “If neurons came last and awareness was first / That meant my Newtonian bubble had burst” in an acoustic folk performance for psychotherapists.

Intelligence Squared-Debate Reflections: The Sound of One Hand Clapping

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The current online voting for Wednesday (May 7, 2014) night’s Intelligence Squared debate shows Dr Moody and myself (Dr Eben Alexander) victorious (currently 68:32, from 50:50 before the debate). I suspect that is related to the listeners’ awareness that an audience of neuroscientists would have agreed with me, against Steven Novella, that no neuroscientist on earth can give the first sentence to explain a possible mechanism by which the physical brain creates consciousness (the Hard Problem of Consciousness – see below). The brain is obviously tightly linked to consciousness – the mistake is in believing, as I did before my coma (and the debate opponents Novella & Carroll still do), that the brain creates consciousness. I now know otherwise.

More modern scientific thinking – that is sweeping the field – is that the brain is a reducing valve, or filter, that reduces consciousness (that is primary in existence) down to a trickle – our very limited human awareness (that is liberated to a much higher level when freed up from the shackles of the physical brain, as happens in near-death experiences, actual death experiences, shared death experiences, through deep meditation, centering prayer, the gift of desperation, etc).

The scientific implications are stunning, and basically provide powerfully for the reality of the afterlife. This is the new science that will become dominant over the next decade.

The online audience is probably more cognizant that I would have been widely supported by the global physics community in pointing out the very deep mystery of the measurement problem in quantum mechanics – the profound mystery within quantum mechanics that the observing mind is critically entangled with what is being observed. Consciousness paints reality.

Unfortunately, the audience then got cheated out of what might have been a more interesting and meaningful exchange. Sean Carroll made a joke agreeing with MIT physicist Scott Aaronson that “since both quantum mechanics and consciousness are confusing, maybe they are the same.” Laughter. So much for useful interchange and scientific discussion.

The physics community has only become more befuddled by recent experimental results suggesting that consciousness is at the very core of all reality.

Those founding fathers of quantum physics would be even more mystified today (witness the delayed choice quantum eraser experiment in 1999). They have not “figured it all out,” as Sean suggested. The physics community at large would agree with me, and probably wonder how any physicist in the modern world could claim to say “now we know better,” than the likes of Einstein, Bohr, Heisenberg, Schrödinger, Jeans, Wigner, and others. As if he is so close to the truths that evaded the brilliant early minds that developed the field. Totally wrong! Carroll has written popular books about some of the concepts, though he actually seemed unwilling to discuss any relevant aspects of quantum theory in the debate – not only about the measurement problem, but also about the 1935 EPR (Einstein, Podolsky, Rosen) paradox that highlights the non-local aspect of quantum mechanics (intriguingly related to the non-locality of consciousness mentioned by myself in the debate). Clearly Carroll chose to make a joke and deflect any discussion about the deep mystery of the measurement problem that remains completely unresolved in modern quantum physics.

I have been concerned for a long time that, with the notable exception of British mathematical physicist Roger Penrose, most mainstream physicists today seem to be woefully uneducated in the importance of having a much deeper understanding of the nature of consciousness (and the profound depths of the Hard Problem) if they want to truly get closer to an understanding of the nature of reality.

The mind-body discussion has been ongoing for around 2,600 years, and is at the very heart of the issues raised in this debate. Modern neuroscientists, in their increasing knowledge of the workings of the brain, have not been coming closer to an understanding of how the brain creates consciousness. In fact, they have come closer to truly appreciating the unfathomable depths of the Hard Problem of Consciousness, arguably the most profound mystery known to all of human thought.

In essence, the Hard Problem was stated in the debate when I challenged Steven Novella to offer the first sentence in his explanation of how the physical brain creates consciousness. That’s all – just the first sentence. Steven was speechless. It is not his fault – as I pointed out, no neuroscientist on earth can offer the first sentence in explaining what Novella claims is “widely known,” with the implication that they are almost there. This is the most obvious case of a faith-based religion imaginable! It’s interesting how my opponents call for “extraordinary proof” for extraordinary claims, yet there is absolutely no proof for the concept that brain creates consciousness. Not one word to explain what they claim to be widely accepted in science.

This is a crashing thunderbolt that demolishes simplistic scientific materialism. Consciousness exists primarily. The brain acts more as a reducing valve, or filter, reducing consciousness down to the trickle of our human awareness in the material realm.

In coming to grips with the profound nature of lessons from my coma journey, I share the following, to put the consciousness issue in perspective:

The only thing any one of us truly knows to exist is our own consciousness, itself. Remember that modern neuroscience dictates that everything any one of us has ever experienced since before we were born, everything, is nothing more than the assembled patterns of electrochemical flickering of 100 billion neurons in a 3 pound gelatinous mass (our brain) floating in a warm, dark bath – a model of what we assume to be “external reality,” but just a model – not “reality” itself. They assume that the sheer complexity of the brain somehow creates consciousness, yet no one on earth has the faintest idea how to connect the dots. Any theory about the nature of reality must begin with a far more complete description of the nature of “consciousness,” and especially of the relationship between consciousness and any “reality” that exists.

The very daunting nature of this enigma is so profound that many scientists run away, claiming it all to be too deep a mystery to even consider from a scientific viewpoint. However, there is a growing cadre of scientists, like myself, who are charging straight ahead towards a deeper understanding of this profound mystery at the very heart of our existence.

Some neuroscientists and other materialists have recently given up on pure materialism (brain creates consciousness), notably Christoph Koch (a colleague of Sean Carroll’s at Caltech) and Galen Strawson. I noticed Karl Jansen who wrote the Ketamine paper on the “against” list provided for the IntelligenceSquared debate now acknowledging at the beginning of that article the role of spirit, not just brain chemistry, in NDEs.

Dr. Jansen has the following to say about the Ketamine-NMDA journal article (referenced on the “against list” for the IntelligenceSquared debate on May 7):

‘I am no longer as opposed to spiritual explanations of these phenomena as this article would appear to suggest. Over the past two years (it is quite some time since I wrote it) I have moved more towards the views put forward by John Lilly and Stan Grof. Namely, that drugs and psychological disciplines such as meditation and yoga may render certain ‘states’ more accessible. The complication then becomes in defining just what we mean by ‘states’ and where they are located, if indeed location is an appropriate term at all. But the apparent emphasis on matter over mind contained within this particular article no longer accurately represents my attitudes. My forthcoming book ‘Ketamine’ will consider mystical issues from quite a different perspective, and will give a much stronger voice to those who see drugs as just another door to a space, and not as actually producing that space’.

I’d like to close quoting a true skeptical scientist whom I greatly admire:

The suppression of uncomfortable ideas may be common in religion and politics, but it is not the path to knowledge, it has no place in the endeavor of science.
— Carl Sagan (1934 – 1996), Cosmos, 1980

Dr Carl Sagan lamented the rising prominence of ignorance in the predominant cultural thinking of the time. It is interesting how the tables have turned – that pure materialist “scientists” suppress uncomfortable ideas, and are willfully ignorant of the abundant evidence of the afterlife. Sagan would be gratified that many modern scientists, and so many souls enlightened by their own experiences, are fully addressing the deep mysteries of consciousness and quantum mechanics (especially in light of the remarkable experiences related to the afterlife question) and the very nature of all existence. These scientists and spiritual journeyers have become the enlightened ones so confronted by the rampant ignorance of the deniers and debunkers. I am optimistic, however, that reason will prevail, and that the world will come to fully realize the tremendous implications – including the reality of the afterlife.

 

Be Here (in Maui) Now

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Dr Alexander and Karen Newell of Sacred Acoustics spent the last week visiting Chuck Blitz in Wailea on the magical Hawaiian island of Maui. A highlight of their visit included spending time with Ram Dass, also known as Dr. Richard Alpert, renowned for his pioneering work with Timothy Leary in exploring extraordinary states of consciousness through the use of psychedelic drugs in the 1950s and 1960s at Harvard University. 

Ram Dass and Dr Eben Alexander

Ram Dass and Dr Eben Alexander

Dr Alexander had this to say about their time together:

 I especially appreciated Ram Dass’s deep insights into the profound revelations of altered states of consciousness, such as those he pursued not only through the use of psychedelic drugs, but also through a long practice of yoga and meditation steeped in the rich eastern tradition of Maharaji and his time spent in India. His experiences concerning the nature of time and space were revolutionary. We discussed how viewing the hierarchy of realms of consciousness from higher levels enables our ability to come to a more fundamental knowing of the nature of all existence. His life path is very consistent with the crucial role of Love at the fundament of all. His vision and sharing was an extraordinary gift to mankind, which I believe modern science, philosophy and theology are just beginning to glimpse. It was truly an honor and a privilege to spend this time with him.