Spiritual Healing

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Clinical psychologist and psychotherapist James Carpenter has written an interesting article in Aeon addressing the scourge of the misuse of antipsychotic drugs in developed countries. In so doing, he opens the conversation to points I often make to medical audiences about the fundamental role of spiritual healing, and of deeper understanding of spiritual disease, in healing of all types (physical, mental and emotional).

Dr. Carpenter points out, as have others before him, that the successes of psychotherapy over the last few decades have been buried under the current paradigm of defaulting to antipsychotic drugs without addressing the fundamental mental issues. Although these drugs can be very useful in the initial management of acute psychosis (when combined with appropriate psychotherapy), they cause great difficulties when used over longer periods of time without any corresponding psychotherapy.

At the heart of the matter is the conventional tendency to view the hallucinations of psychosis as a lifelong brain disorder that can only be managed through long-term antipsychotic medications that have significant and problematic side effects. Yet there is no evidence that the brain in acute psychosis is different from the normal brain (unlike the situation in chronic psychosis which often has some underlying brain abnormality). He points out that in fact the most dangerous aspect of their use is in trying to wean people off of them after months to years of dependence on such medications.

Given the classical psychotherapeutic approach that Dr. Carpenter and colleagues used decades ago, acute psychosis treated with good psychotherapy led to rapid and stable recovery (without the use of brain chemistry-altering antipsychotic drugs). This is contrary to the current script in managing acute psychosis that labels the brain as abnormal and the psychotic condition as lifelong and in need of ongoing chemical manipulation.

Dr. Cameron observes that the people most afflicted by such acute psychotic illness “have generally been badly hurt, usually early in life, often by people upon whom they were vitally dependent.” Their disorder is fundamentally one of their soul’s primary spiritual journey, manifested through their personal story. Long-term drug treatment may not be necessary, or as effective, if the core causes of a “spiritual emergency” are addressed through therapy. And, an accurate assessment to distinguish between this and the long-term disease states requires our more careful observation of these potential underlying causes.

Dr. Carpenter concludes that the powerful antipsychotic drugs change the brain and makes it profoundly more drug-dependent, which is what makes the use of drugs so dangerous over the longer term. But it is much easier to prescribe and adjust medications in trying to damp down the patient’s undesirable symptoms and behavior, than to actually delve into psychotherapy in an effort to address those early childhood traumas and the psychic repercussions from them that contribute to the symptoms of acute psychosis. Such effective psychotherapy is an endangered species, when one views the current dominant modes of training for psychotherapists, especially in the developed world, with its heavy-handed dependence on antipsychotic medications.

Adopting the broad interconnected view of modern concepts of transpersonal psychology, Dr. Carpenter reiterates Dr. Stan Grof’s belief that “the healing must involve a new integration of deep, inner parts of the person and deep, transpersonal forces beyond the person. It involves new connections between the secret self and others – between the conscious self and the self beyond consciousness nowadays referred to as ‘spiritual’.”

Dr. Carpenter’s views are in alignment with those of the American Center for the Integration of Spiritually Transformative Experiences (ACISTE.org), a collection of certified mental health professionals and spiritual guidance counselors who train to address the psychiatric issues of those who have undergone profound spiritual awakenings.

I believe that this discussion is just the tip of the iceberg, and that, in fact, all of Western medicine will morph into a more powerful and effective system for well-being (not just “healing”) when we come to acknowledge and develop the skills to address the spiritual aspects of all disease and take that much larger view of the patient as a spiritual being in an existence that is fundamentally spiritual. Some traditional healing practices could be integrated or affirmed, including the power of prayer and of energy, healing touch, etc. From my point of view, our greatest work as healers will emerge from this far more comprehensive worldview embracing our spiritual essence.

Those who hunger for more in realizing this far grander view of our spiritual existence and how it opens profound channels of healing can join Karen Newell (co-founder of Sacred Acoustics) and me at one of our upcoming workshops listed on our Events page.

We will cover territory such as harboring a much grander view of ourselves, of our universe, and of our possibilities for healing, that touches on the eternal and the infinite. This personal knowing is available to us all through direct experience by slipping beyond the veil that normally obscures the full view of our existence.

A Vision of Hope for 2016

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Each new year offers an opportunity for reflection on the recent past, and consideration of the world we live in and where it is headed. How might we see the whole spectrum of current events in a sensible way, so that we can envision how we might actively influence the coming year in a favorable direction? The terrorist attacks in Paris, Lebanon and California, as well as escalating warfare in the Middle East, are most troubling, and, according to many media reports, our group psyche is reaching levels of fear not faced since immediately following the terrorist attacks of 9/11/01.

These events are indeed disturbing. However, I am heartened by the degree to which I see many in this world awakening to a deeper understanding of our connectedness through consciousness. This profound interconnectedness can help lead us to a more peaceful, loving and harmonious world. Witness how a few weeks after the horrific attacks in Paris, world leaders convened in the very same city to construct the most effective and significant agreement to address climate change in our history. Given the fits and starts of prior attempts at collaboration on this most crucial issue, this confluence of global intentions to address the increasingly dire situation of greenhouse gas production is most promising.

The most central message I bring through my presentations and books is the insurmountable power of unconditional love to change our world for the better. In spite of what many would point to as the darkness of our times, I remain optimistic that the way out of our troubles is always at hand.  Our beacon in these times, as during past challenges, is the great power of the human spirit to usher us into a far better and more harmonious world for all through love, compassion, forgiveness, acceptance and mercy. Unconditional love has infinite power to heal, whether one is talking about healing the individual, the soul group, ethnic populations, nations, all of humanity, all of life on earth, or beyond.

During this holiday season, as we contemplate the potential of the coming year, I invite you to join me in prayer and meditation seeking to manifest a more perfect world. I see this as very much within our grasp. It is up to each and every one of us to serve as a conduit for that love — to love ourselves first and foremost, and to express that love through choices that actively serve to spread that love through us to all of those around us. We all have the ability to serve as points of light for the infinite healing power of love — we simply need to make that choice.

Please enjoy this audio interview that I provided for the Heaven on Earth telesummit I participated in earlier this year.

My best personal wishes for love, peace and harmony – for all of this world!

 

Our Direct Link to the Divine

William Henry, Karen Newell, Eben Alexander, Clare HenryTheurgy, or divine work, involves a more active participation than theology, the study of the divine. Theurgy refers to the divinity that is part of our very consciousness, and to our participation and identity with the Divine. In this spirit of participation in the divine work, Karen Newell (co-founder of Sacred Acoustics) and I thoroughly enjoyed bringing our sound-enhanced meditation workshop to the enlightening conference on Theurgy hosted by William and Clare Henry in Nashville, Tennessee, over the weekend of October 17-18, 2015.

Karen and I continue to marvel at the spiritual awareness of participants who are drawn to our workshops, and Nashville’s conference provided yet again the overwhelming evidence of that blessing.  Those attending hailed from as far away as Maui, Hawaii, and the group energy was extraordinary.

Our western culture stumbles a bit at the suggestion, through theurgy, that we human beings can actually become one and identical with God. Yet so much of the evolving work in the transcendental exploration of consciousness itself suggests that indeed our very consciousness is a direct link to the Divine…that we are all connected as One. We are One through acknowledging and exploring that very direct connection with the Divine, and we are One with the very Source of all creation and existence.

Like so many of our workshops that use Sacred Acoustics’ differential sound-enhanced meditations as a tool for transcending the veil and fostering our connection with that far grander consciousness, the Nashville conference offered opportunities for us to grow in our lifelong pursuit of a deeper understanding of truth. These group connections energize our efforts to develop increasingly dynamic differential sound journeys. And, they inspire us to create progressively empowering workshops for groups around the world.

We are very excited to bring such experiences to other venues. For a listing of upcoming events, please see our Events page.

We felt the first crisp nip of autumn while visiting in Nashville, then returned to the first hard frost in the beautiful fields and woods surrounding our home in Virginia’s lovely Blue Ridge Mountains. October has always been one of my favorite months, with its resplendent beauty of colorful and ever-changing foliage and the sheer excitement of seasonal change.

I wish to all of you a glorious autumn, blessed with the power of ongoing spiritual awakening.

EVENT CALENDAR – MORE DETAILS

 

Autumn Adventures 2015

Dear Friends,

L to R: Dr. Pim van Lommell, Karen Newell, Dr. Eben Alexander

L to R: Dr. Pim van Lommell, Karen Newell, Dr. Eben Alexander

I am blessed with endless ongoing encounters in enlightened spiritual communities and Findhorn, Scotland is no exception. We are basking in the beautiful energy of this community and setting, participating in a heartfelt sharing of soulful connection with so many who are awakened to the reality of our oneness. Karen Newell and I are thrilled to be reuniting with friends new and old, including our dear friend, Dr. Pim van Lommell, pictured here.

This fall has a bounty of wonderful programs. Soon after leaving Scotland, I will travel to present with Karen Newell, William and Clare Henry, Whitley Streiber and others in Nashville’s historic Scarritt-Bennett Center, October 17-18, 2015. There, we’ll join with a gathering of experts and like-minded souls in exploring and sharing the divine work of human transformation and living our lives in the here and now.

Each presenter will offer a different facet of the same crucial truth: You don’t have to die, or almost die, to access deeper truth – the answers lie within us all. Karen and I will focus on practical applications of the science of sound in order to escape the shackles of the physical brain, allowing exploration of infinite wisdom. We’ll share these tools for participants to continue their incredible journeys once they return home.

We hope you’ll join us. We promise a weekend of discussion, connection, revelation, wonder, meditation, illumination, and high-frequency energy that will enliven your heart and awaken your consciousness. If you’ve ever wanted to understand the inner nature of the soul and learn what the ancients knew about gateways to the eternity of perfect splendor, this conference is for you.

I hope to see you at a future event, to participate in programs that explore the synthesis of science and spirituality to readers and friends all over the world.

With Love, and Gratitude,

Eben

UPCOMING EVENTS

 

Revelations from NDEs

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I just completed a five-session webinar through Evolver Learning Lab, co-presented with Karen Newell. The whole experience was very satisfying, and it was a wonderful opportunity to share the work we’ve been doing with a broader audience and to give participants a chance to experience for themselves how to access universal consciousness by going deep within.

The webinar opened with a session that shared the same title as the appendix in my second book, The Map of Heaven: “The Answers Lie Within Us All.” This introductory session hinted at the profound mystery of consciousness as it is just now being seriously explored by the scientific community, and previewed how differential-frequency sound recordings can be used to access answers to the deepest mysteries facing human understanding.

The second session dove deeply into “Love and Consciousness,” with detailed information on accessing the powerful electromagnetic field of the heart , followed by a third session in which we were joined by Dr. Larry Dossey, world-renowned thought leader and author of the world-changing book The One Mind, who discussed the evidence supporting the Oneness of all consciousness. He talked through some of the implications of the One Mind: what unified consciousness means to us individually and as members of an infinitely greater collective.

Having established some fundamental principles about consciousness and familiarized participants with the latest research and thought about the possibilities for understanding reality, we then shifted into more interactive material in sessions four and five. Starting with exercises to “Awaken the Observer Within,” we focused on the extreme mystery of awareness itself—and on how to separate the One Mind consciousness from the egoistic little voice in our heads. From that neutral state of pure consciousness, we intuitively understand that we are far more than the simple physical bodies living birth-to-death, and we can start to cultivate the sense that we are truly eternal spiritual beings interconnected with all other life throughout the universe and with the Divine Itself. Many of us have experienced this to some degree, but it takes practice and courage to allow that truth to fully suffuse our lives and guide our choices. The course’s grand finale concerned nothing less than free will itself—and challenged participants to take a place right at the center of the unprecedented awakening going on even now for all of humanity.

We were blessed with a thoroughly engaged audience who communicated frequently through the forum set up at sacredacoustics.com and through the 30-minute Q&A segments at the end of each of the webinar’s sessions. If you couldn’t join us live for the course, you can still obtain all archived material at this link. Either way, I invite all who are interested to visit the forum and join the conversation.

Karen and I extend our boundless gratitude to Evolver Learning Lab, Dr. Larry Dossey, and the webinar’s wonderful participants. It is through the tireless energy and curiosity for truth in such seekers that this world is moving toward a far grander comprehension of reality – one that is absolutely crucial for our very survival.

A huge thank you from all of us – for all that you gave over the course of your webinar with Evolver Learning Lab.  It was truly an in depth experience – so much gratitude pouring in from our participants – and all the sessions were lively and rich, with much wisdom and experience shared. We thank you also for continuing the conversation with the attendees on your Sacred Acoustics forum, and for providing us all with the meditations and a wealth of literature to refer to.
– Henrietta Weekes, Evolver Learning Lab moderator

The material shared was tremendous, inspiring and powerfully uplifting. I am so grateful to all of you for this work. Thank you. I am so grateful for the information and knowledge I have received. I look forward to future opportunities to hear more about this amazing subject from Karen and Eben. They are so great together and they make everything very easy to understand. It has been a very powerful and beautiful experience for me. Looking fwd to next time:)
– Joan Hynes

More on the Evolver Learning Lab “Revelations from NDEs” Class

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.

 

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.

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.

Returning to Church

FAQ:  What was it like to return to church after you healed from your coma?  

Like many people, I went to church for a lot of reasons, including community, charity, social involvement and interesting sermons. The first time I stepped foot in church after waking up, I was overwhelmed by gratitude.  I was invited to light an advent candle and the spiritually transformative awakening I felt in that religious setting shocked me into the reality of the ideals religion points to. I felt keenly aware of God’s presence, and thus—immediately, necessarily—keenly aware of God’s love. It’s incredibly moving, and it’s just one of the ways my experience helped me understand the fundamental truths that underlie all religions.