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.

 

Fear of Death

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I’ve done a lot of interviews since PROOF OF HEAVEN launched, and have been blessed to speak with everyone from local radio hosts to New York Times reporters, from Japanese documentarians to Oprah.  After a while I noticed the same questions coming up again and again. Some were about my specific story; others were about what I had learned and how it could apply to others’ journeys.   These questions were shared across all ages, countries, genders, and life experiences. No matter who we are or where we’re from, we all feel a pull to learn more about our purpose.

So I’d like to take this opportunity to share my thoughts on some of these questions with you.  They’re in no particular order, but they are all real questions that reporters, readers, and interviewers have asked me over the last two years.

FAQ #1:  Has your experience changed your fear of death?

My experience showed me that death is not to be feared. It is not the end of our relationships with the others. It is not the end of our conscious awareness. At the same time, it also made me even more conscious of how precious life is.  We exist to contribute the most good we can, and to experience all the joys, and learn the lessons we are to learn (and teach others) from the challenges and hardships in life.  I know that the truth of my experience—that our consciousness (soul/spirit) is greater than our physical incarnation, and continues beyond death—holds for every living being.