Eben Alexander http://ebenalexander.com Tue, 13 Nov 2018 13:49:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Independent Medical Review Validates Facts http://ebenalexander.com/independent-medical-review-validates-facts/ http://ebenalexander.com/independent-medical-review-validates-facts/#comments Thu, 27 Sep 2018 15:05:57 +0000 http://ebenalexander.com/?p=5193 In the decade since my near-death experience (NDE) during a week-long coma in November 2008, I have been through many ups and downs in sharing my experience with the world. The low point involved a published account of false and misleading statements. The details of my medical condition were called into question as perhaps not […]

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In the decade since my near-death experience (NDE) during a week-long coma in November 2008, I have been through many ups and downs in sharing my experience with the world. The low point involved a published account of false and misleading statements. The details of my medical condition were called into question as perhaps not as severe as I’d maintained in my first book, Proof of Heaven. I was challenged personally with implications that I lied about such specifics for financial gain.

Counteracting such claims, this month represents a resounding “up” in that journey: Dr. Bruce Greyson, one of the top globally-acknowledged scientific researchers in the field of consciousness studies, has teamed up with physician colleagues Surbhi Khanna and Lauren E. Moore to provide a detailed and comprehensive review of my medical records. This independent physician case report has been published this month in the widely respected peer-reviewed Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease:

The publication of this case report marks tremendous progress in elucidating the unprecedented effect of my NDE (and numerous similar journeys) on our human understanding of the nature of reality. Many in the medical community were astounded I recovered at all due to the severity of my illness – “an extremely severe bacterial meningitis with little likelihood of a complete medical recovery,” as summarized in the case report (S. Khanna et alia, p. 744). They shared my disbelief that the events I described in Proof of Heaven could have happened at all, since there was overwhelming evidence of destruction to my brain, and yet they DID happen:

“Based on details of events that he accurately described having observed during his coma, his near-death experience can be placed between hospital days 1 and 5. On those 5 days, his GCS [Glasgow Coma Scale] scores, charted twice a day, ranged between 6 and 7, indicating severe brain impairment.” (S. Khanna et alia, p. 744)

A GCS score of 9 or less indicates deep coma, with 3 being the lowest possible score (a corpse), and 15 the GCS in a normal awake patient.

Based on these scores, I should have had no experience at all, other than the most rudimentary forms of conscious awareness. My neurologic examinations, the CT and MRI scans showing all eight lobes of my brain to have been involved, and lab values all indicated a very severe infection.

Both neurologists involved in my case were similarly surprised by the outcome, given the severity of my illness. One of my main infectious disease specialists, Dr. Scott Wade, in a private communication with my family written six weeks after I awakened, stated that my “recovery from a serious meningitis [was] the most incredible and gratifying experience” of his medical career, which had spanned more than two decades after fellowship training.

“Most reported cases [of Gram-negative bacterial meningitis] have residual neurological deficits; however, this patient attained full neurological recovery within 2 months, which is remarkable and rare.” (S. Khanna et alia, p. 745)

The current case report goes much deeper than the details provided in Proof of Heaven in exploring the extraordinary nature of my illness, and the equally surprising facets of my complete recovery over two months. The fact that I could have experienced anything while my brain was so besieged with infection, particularly targeting the neocortex, remains a profound challenge to our conventional materialistic worldview, and especially the assumption that the physical brain creates consciousness.

“It is noteworthy that the patient’s near-death experience can be placed between hospital days 1 and 5, when his GCS scores were lowest. This association of a mystical state of consciousness with diminished brain function is consistent with recent neuroimaging studies of psychedelic drug-induced states showing that brain connectivity in the default mode network is inhibited rather than excited by psilocybin (Carhart-Harris et al., 2012), ayahuasca (Palhano-Fontes et al., 2015), and LSD (Carhart-Harris et al., 2016).” (S. Khanna et alia, p. 746)

The implication, that consciousness can exist independently of the brain, so absolutely defies the principles of conventional (pre-quantum) science and its assumption that only the physical world exists, that some seem to be thrown into an existential crisis by my case and the profound implications it engenders. The discussion of the reality or meaning of NDEs in our society is one that greatly stirs people’s feelings about their most fundamental beliefs, and thus ignites extreme passions in their responses.

The case report actually goes beyond simply remarking on the astonishing nature of my course since coma, to suggest that the spiritual content of my NDE might have contributed to my inexplicable recovery.

“Of interest, other near-death experiences occurring under well-documented medical supervision have been associated with unexpected recovery from conditions thought to be irreversible (Alexander, 2017; Dossey, 2011), suggesting possible benefits from research into possible mechanisms by which near-death experiences might facilitate healing.” (S. Khanna et alia, pp. 745-746)

Dr. Larry Dossey and I have both written about miraculous healing associated with NDEs in the medical literature. All of us might gain useful lessons about the role of mind-over-matter in healing. This is the ultimate treasure trove resulting from the deeper understanding of NDEs and other spiritually-transformative experiences.

This case report destroys the false conclusion perpetrated by those who tried to discredit my story, my integrity and trustworthiness with false statements about my career as a neurosurgeon. My recent FAQ entitled “Have you been found guilty of malpractice?” summarizes how twisted facts completely obscured my true actions in that case.

I am proud of a neurosurgical career in which I operated on over 4,000 patients, and contributed to advancement of the field, especially in specific technologies such as stereotactic radiosurgery, intraoperative MRI, and focused ultrasound surgery (publications). I have nothing to hide about my medical career, which is one of the reasons I proceeded to share my story in Proof of Heaven. Malpractice data is freely available to the public. I never suspected that anyone would take the original allegations from a malpractice case, which can be wildly inaccurate, and present them as final facts in the matter. The offending article totally ignored the full investigations by state medical boards and the American Board of Neurological Surgeons and their conclusions that allowed me to return to medical practice with my licenses and board certification fully intact.

Living in a Mindful Universe, the book I co-authored with Karen Newell, argues further that the reductive materialism of conventional science is a dead end. The stunning reality of ontological idealism (the mental universe now coming into focus for quantum physicists), is presented most forcefully. Ultimately, we are all part of the greater consciousness, the primordial mind, that determines the emerging events of our lives.

In coming months, Karen and I will be appearing at several conferences and presentation venues in North America and Europe, including meditation playshops to help true seekers get deeply involved in exploring consciousness and manifesting the free will of their higher souls. We hope to see you at one of these events!

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Suicide Epidemic Relates to Spiritual Vacuum http://ebenalexander.com/suicide-epidemic-relates-to-spiritual-vacuum/ http://ebenalexander.com/suicide-epidemic-relates-to-spiritual-vacuum/#comments Wed, 08 Aug 2018 15:37:22 +0000 http://ebenalexander.com/?p=5124 Earlier this summer, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published an article about the alarming 28% rise in suicide deaths in the United States between 1999 and 2016. The issue was recently punctuated with the celebrity suicides of Kate Spade (June 5) and Anthony Bourdain (June 8), leaving many to wonder how such […]

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Earlier this summer, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published an article about the alarming 28% rise in suicide deaths in the United States between 1999 and 2016. The issue was recently punctuated with the celebrity suicides of Kate Spade (June 5) and Anthony Bourdain (June 8), leaving many to wonder how such visibly successful and seemingly fulfilled people can take their own lives. Such assumptions fail to acknowledge that suicide is often a more fundamental existential disorder of disconnection and purposelessness.

From my perspective, suicide deaths are largely the result of the spiritual vacuum in our secular culture. Spirituality, in this discussion, is an acknowledgment of meaning and purpose in our lives, as well as a sense of deep interconnection with others and with the universe at large. Some gain spiritual growth through religion, although conflicting orthodoxies tend to diminish our knowing of the reality of such a guiding force at the core of our lives, at least for some. Unfortunately, the predominant scientific materialism of our era supports a notion of separation and meaninglessness that only contributes to the spiraling desperation reflected in this sad explosion of suicidal behavior.

Suicide rates have been rising in nearly every state, especially those in the Midwest and New England, according to the latest Vital Signs report by the CDC: “In 2016, nearly 45,000 Americans age 10 or older died by suicide. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death and is one of just three leading causes that are on the rise.”

An editorial in the British Medical Journal reported that the recent decline in overall life expectancy in the US is mainly attributable to the rise in suicide and substance abuse.

In fact, many people who die by suicide are not known to have a diagnosed mental health condition at the time of death. Life challenges often contribute to suicide, such as those involving interpersonal relationships (42%), problematic substance abuse (28%), physical health problems (22%), job/money concerns (16%), criminal legal problems (9%), or loss of housing (4%). The largest group is thus associated with a perceived lack of love in their lives, in the form of relationships gone wrong (or that never form in the first place).

Firearms are the most common means used by people who successfully commit suicide. In 41% of these cases, the person had a known mental health condition, and in 55%, the person had no known mental illness. Pulling a trigger is far too easy an action, and allows tragic ease to accomplish the goal, whether it is ending one’s own life, or taking another.

One of the most important steps to take if one is concerned about a possible suicide is thus to separate such easy means (i.e., guns or potentially lethal drugs) from the potential victim, though accomplishing this task is not always as simple as it should be.

Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC, reports that rising rates of depression, loneliness and anxiety, as well as the opioid crisis and economic turmoil (such as that following the 2008 economic meltdown), are likely linked to the rising rates of suicide in America. Those primarily due to depression, loneliness and anxiety might well be prevented through an improved safety net of connection and purpose, manifested through healthier social relationships and a deeper sense of purpose in our existence. Especially in our very “me-focused” culture, the great value of serving others as a purpose often allows a solution to what otherwise might lead one towards suicide.

We continue to rely almost entirely on people themselves to tell us if they are suicidal, “yet nearly 80 percent of people who die by suicide explicitly deny suicidal thoughts or intentions in their last communications,” according to Matthew Nock, a professor of psychology at Harvard University.

Alarmingly, in May 2018, an article in the medical journal Pediatrics reported that twice as many children were hospitalized for contemplating or attempting suicide in 2015 compared with 2008. There has been a 70% increase in the rate of suicide among girls (ages 10-19) from 2010 to 2016, which also hit a 40-year high in 2015. Where has our society gone so wrong as to fail our children in this way?

Any given suicide might involve more than a single factor, but the overall problem will become more manageable through a deeper cultivation of connectedness and caring for each other. Rates of depression are rising globally, and instead of sweeping the stigma of mental illness under the rug, we would benefit from more open and candid sharing of our feelings and concerns with one another. Acts of kindness and caring, learning how to listen to others’ sharing of their feelings and problems, raising an alarm when we are concerned about others, and keeping those identified as possibly at risk safer by removing easy access to lethal means, such as guns and potentially deadly medications and drugs – all of these can contribute to an alleviation of this depressing epidemic of suicide.

Suicide is invariably a complex issue, with any one case presenting significant challenges. In my role sharing my NDE and its implications for humanity, I frequently address questions about suicide, and we may find a natural remedy from within the NDE community.  Our good friend and colleague, Dr. Raymond Moody, has reported that one of the few categorically true observations to be made about suicide is that, if one attempts suicide and experiences any of the features of an NDE (encountering brilliant light and an overwhelming sense of a divine force of love in the universe, meeting souls of departed loved ones, etc.), then he or she will never attempt suicide again.

The commonly encountered pattern is that those who fail in suicide attempts are generally doomed to repeat their attempts. So this powerful effect of NDE elements preventing future suicide attempts is remarkable, indeed. NDE reports from observation across the veil also suggest that, during the life review, those who succeed at suicide likely witness a profound sense of love that others and the universe at large have for them, and gain comfort from that revelation, but they also realize the deep pain that many felt in their loss.

In short, suicide is never the right answer. The more we can nurture a sense of connectedness and purpose in our lives (of “spirituality”), the less likely people will be tempted to “end it all.” The other fact of this discussion is that suicide will never work as an escape from worldly problems, especially as one comes to realize that modern consciousness studies imply the reality not only of the afterlife, but of reincarnation. That particular dodge (of suicide) doesn’t solve the soul’s challenges and necessity of facing the issues at hand – if ignored or avoided, they will only be repackaged in a different form for one’s next incarnation. The world of transpersonal psychology is filled with such stories of soul challenges arranged over multiple lifetimes – all with the purpose of growth and learning. NDE experiences clearly show that the guiding compass of our soul journeys is one that acknowledges the binding force of love that connects us all.

There is no way out, but through. It is better to deal with the big challenges in this lifetime, never resorting to suicide as an exit plan. Together with medical or mental health treatment, as appropriate, meditation and centering prayer often yield access to our higher soul, and to guidance in helping us see this grander vision of our challenges, and of their solutions.

If you know someone who is struggling with thoughts of suicide right now, please get help. I have posted some resources and information on the FAQ page here: What about Suicide?

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Is There Proof of a Spiritual Universe? http://ebenalexander.com/is-there-proof-of-a-spiritual-universe/ http://ebenalexander.com/is-there-proof-of-a-spiritual-universe/#comments Tue, 29 May 2018 12:17:48 +0000 http://ebenalexander.com/?p=4987 The first book about my NDE, Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife (2012), hit a resounding chord with readers around the world, and yet I felt that the title prevented some in the scientific community from reading the book. Those who have read it realize that it is a commentary on the […]

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The first book about my NDE, Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife (2012), hit a resounding chord with readers around the world, and yet I felt that the title prevented some in the scientific community from reading the book. Those who have read it realize that it is a commentary on the nature of the mind-brain relationship, and especially of the fundamental nature of consciousness itself. While my story certainly supports the reality of an afterlife, the book is far from being just a discourse on “heaven.”

The revelations of my message address the very fundamental nature of reality and human experience, and cover territory well beyond the question of whether or not some aspect of consciousness survives the death of the brain and body. Such knowledge is directly relevant to how we approach life in myriad ways. It is a mistake to assume that Proof of Heaven is simply a clear-cut confirmation of the teachings of modern-day Christianity (an accusation from close-minded skeptics who I’m convinced have not read the book, but rather are simply recoiling at the title). Of course, my overall message greatly supports the original teachings of Christ, which places love as the central guiding force and stresses the connectedness we share through love, but it is not limited to Christians alone.

Many times each month, I am asked to give interviews and presentations.  In a recent interview conducted by Elise Loehnen in New York, while Karen Newell and I were guest presenters at Gwyneth Paltrow’s in Goop Health event, we were able to crystallize the main points of our message succinctly. The appropriately titled podcast (one that makes our message accessible to all), “Is there Proof of a Spiritual Universe?” was posted on May 24, 2018, and we felt it would be of particular value to our friends and followers to hear it. Also just posted is a Goop Q&A with Karen where she discusses her own path of spiritual awakening.

The spiritual realm is not exclusive to any one group of people – it is accessible to us all and this fact greatly affects how we live our lives here and now. My books and talks have resulted in a deluge of communications from practitioners of some of the deep mystical traditions of many faiths (Kabbalah, Christianity, Islam, Sufism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Bahá’í Faith, among others), confirming the resonance of my journey and message with their own understandings. I can’t stress enough that our message is for all humans. But, at its core, my mission and process are scientific, based on personal experience and on a modern rational approach to understanding how best to interpret such experiences in drawing conclusions about the nature of reality.

My second book, The Map of Heaven: How Science, Religion, and Ordinary People are Proving the Afterlife (2014), demonstrated the ubiquity of such spiritually-transformative experiences across all cultures, religions, belief systems, and millennia. From a scientific point of view, Proof of Heaven was a question-mark that challenged the status quo. But my newest book, Living in a Mindful Universe: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Heart of Consciousness is much more about the modern scientific study of the brain and mind, and certainly goes much further in trying to get to some answers about how to understand it all. Some of these deep scientific concepts, and their importance to us as spiritual beings living in a spiritual universe, are crucial in trying to heal our somewhat broken world.

This process of awakening will ultimately involve the synthesis of both our scientific and our spiritual nature as human beings. Some physicists are already comfortable with the notion of our universe being fundamentally mental, not physical, based on a maturing view of the metaphysics underlying the experimental results in quantum physics. The deepest lessons and refined experiments in quantum physics nudge us gently toward this realization.

And the wealth of human encounters that include near-death experiences and similar spiritually-transformative experiences richly opens our understanding of ourselves and our universe so that the most reasonable conclusion involves the fact that all of our existence is spiritual, in the sense that our lives matter. We are here for a reason, and we have great responsibility for our choices in how we deal with our fellow beings. Acknowledgement of the scientific underpinnings of our spiritual nature will help in this grand awakening of humanity. Replacing our erroneous materialist (or physicalist) world view with one based in our connectedness and purpose, i.e., our spiritual nature, will provide the most beneficial revolution in the history of human thought.

 

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Rethinking Reality http://ebenalexander.com/rethinking-reality/ http://ebenalexander.com/rethinking-reality/#comments Thu, 26 Apr 2018 17:21:38 +0000 http://ebenalexander.com/?p=4874 “The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you.” — Werner Heisenberg (1901 – 1976), Nobel Prize in Physics 1932 In the ongoing discussion concerning the nature and meaning of near-death experiences, one quickly comes to realize […]

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The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you.

— Werner Heisenberg (1901 – 1976), Nobel Prize in Physics 1932

In the ongoing discussion concerning the nature and meaning of near-death experiences, one quickly comes to realize this is not simply a debate between those with various religious beliefs and those with a more scientifically-minded approach in understanding the universe. The discussion is actually one at the leading edges of modern science, concerning the very relationship between the mind and the brain – the fundamental nature of reality itself, once one realizes the all-pervasive influence of consciousness on one’s perceptions of the world. The conventional scientific world-view of materialism (or physicalism) has never even gotten out of the starting blocks in addressing the nature of consciousness (witness “the hard problem of consciousness”, as it was defined by Australian philosopher of mind David Chalmers in The Conscious Mind in 1996).

A recent Scientific American blog entry (4/19/18) by computer scientist Bernardo Kastrup helps to sharply define the framework of this debate, referring to Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions and recent results in quantum physics experiments to elaborate an inevitable revolution in our thinking that fully opens the door to such concepts as an afterlife and even of reincarnation. Bernardo does not make those same leaps in his Scientific American article, but he clearly opens the door to such thinking, especially for those who mistakenly believe that current science eliminates the possibility for such human experiences to be more than hallucinations and delusions.

Our book, Living in a Mindful Universe, connects the dots in this discussion, one in which we see science and spirituality as actually strengthening each other – but this is best accomplished through a broad opening of our minds to accommodate all of human experience, and not just that which fits the currently accepted (yet obviously broken) paradigm.

The issue was succinctly delineated by early quantum physicists, such as Werner Heisenberg, quoted above. A cursory knowledge of modern science (deeply steeped in the assumptions of physicalism, i.e. that only physical stuff exists) does indeed lead one toward atheism, and away from any possibility of humans actually having free will (especially given conventional science’s notion that all of consciousness is no more than the epiphenomenon of chemical reactions and electron fluxes in the substance of the brain). But the revelations from increasingly refined experiments in quantum physics (specifically taking Einstein’s 1935 argument for the incompleteness of quantum physics, and physicist John Bell’s brilliant 1964 theorem hinting at experimental approaches to addressing Einstein’s concerns) demonstrate with increasing power the need to relinquish our broken fiction of materialist thinking – a whole new paradigm is in order.

This is Kastrup’s conclusion in Scientific American, and in our book, Living in a Mindful Universe, and its companion free email course “Your 33 Day Journey into the Heart of Consciousness.” In the book and companion course, Karen Newell and I explore not only the implications of this paradigm shift for individual humans trying to make sense of their own lives here on earth, but also the absolute necessity for humanity to awaken to this new paradigm. We must stop the errant and misguided forces of scientific materialism (and its false notion of separation and competition, as opposed to oneness and collaboration) from leading us further along a pathway of self-destruction.

The phenomenon of consciousness consists of the very relationship between the mind and the brain, especially as exemplified through all manner of human experience (including the huge swath of paranormal and other anomalous human experiences of non-local consciousness). These rather common experiences and rigorous empirical data from the realm of quantum physics are forcing humanity to resolve some of the deepest issues raised over the last five millennia of human experience. It’s high time we woke up to these troubling contradictions to the pervading paradigm of materialism and shifted our collective worldview appropriately.

We live in a mental universe, projected out of consciousness, just as Heisenberg (and Max Planck, Wolfgang Pauli, Erwin Schrödinger, and other brilliant founders of the field of quantum physics) realized based on their experiments. More modern physicists (e.g. Henry Stapp, Brian Josephson, Roger Penrose, Bernard Carr, Fred Rosenblum, Menas Kafatos, Amit Goswami, among others) would agree that recent experimental results force the primacy of consciousness even more than those early results that befuddled the likes of Albert Einstein and Neils Bohr. We can make far better sense of our world by acknowledging our spiritual nature, and the spiritual nature of the universe itself. Heisenberg’s God is alive and well, buried behind the false dichotomies of conflicting religious dogma, in plain sight as the very origin of our conscious awareness.

 

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All the World Loves a Lover http://ebenalexander.com/all-the-world-loves-a-lover/ http://ebenalexander.com/all-the-world-loves-a-lover/#comments Wed, 14 Feb 2018 12:36:50 +0000 http://ebenalexander.com/?p=4808 Dear Friends, Valentine’s Day is the one holiday that is devoted to Love, plain and simple – to Cupid, and to romantic love expressed between human beings. Most of us have experienced this kind of love at least once in our lives, and hopefully much more than that. The most fortunate have actually found a […]

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Dear Friends,

Valentine’s Day is the one holiday that is devoted to Love, plain and simple – to Cupid, and to romantic love expressed between human beings. Most of us have experienced this kind of love at least once in our lives, and hopefully much more than that. The most fortunate have actually found a partner who supports them throughout their life in the earthly realm. To be complete, such love is always reciprocal, and mutually beneficial.

Love is truly that which “makes the world go round.” The world would be a pretty miserable place without it. And yet even such admirable cases of mutual love are not always as pure as they might be – they involve “conditions.” Examples include cases of jealousy, or a possessive “love” that more resembles a form of barter, in which one chooses to love only if certain conditions are met. In fact, the real world of couples’ relationships all too often involves adapting self-serving conditions between the two. Such relationships fail to offer the reward of significant mutual benefit.

A “purer” form of love, less involved with conditions and such apparent barter, might be seen between parents and children. It’s easy to love newborn babies in all their fresh innocence, but babies grow up into teenagers, and so on. Ideally, parents love their children “no matter what,” and offer compassion, kindness, and all manner of support even in the face of lesser human failings.

I submit that the rarer, more extraordinary examples of mutually beneficial unconditional love are far more satisfying and fulfilling than the conditional love so often found in relationships. We cultivate far richer relationships as we become less egocentric and take a bigger view of who we are and why we are here. In addition, we come to see that no soul is an island – we grow tremendously and more fully satisfy our purpose as humans when we develop a loving relationship with another person that demands no conditions at all.

This Valentine’s Day, I suggest taking a bigger view of how our relationships in life help to serve a rich purpose in our soul growth, in getting right at the heart of why we even exist. Ideally, that bigger view includes no “conditions,” and thus also broadens the relationships that contribute to our learning and growth. Let that broader unconditional love first and foremost include yourself, because so many of the world’s problems result from the fact that we don’t even love ourselves enough – not in a selfish, childish fashion, but in a sense that acknowledges the divinely sourced beings we all are; not dependent upon the approval or affection of others, but centered in the unique value of your soul and its connections. Then allow that unconditional love to spread, to include truly loving all souls. Such unconditional love has infinite power to heal, whether the individual, or the whole world. And any relationship is an ideal place to start in assessing the power such love without conditions can truly have.

So, Happy Valentines Day! Use this special time to start delving into the benefits of unconditional love. “All the world loves a lover” has never been truer than in the case of one who loves without demanding some favor in return.

With much Love and gratitude to all,

Eben

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A Brilliant and Harmonious Future Can Be Ours http://ebenalexander.com/brilliant-harmonious-future-can/ http://ebenalexander.com/brilliant-harmonious-future-can/#comments Mon, 01 Jan 2018 20:18:53 +0000 http://ebenalexander.com/?p=4733 With every breath I take today, I vow to be awake; And every step I take, I vow to take with a grateful heart – So I may see with eyes of love into the hearts of all I meet, To ease their burden when I can And touch them with a smile of peace. […]

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With every breath I take today,
I vow to be awake;
And every step I take,
I vow to take with a grateful heart –
So I may see with eyes of love
into the hearts of all I meet,
To ease their burden when I can
And touch them with a smile of peace.
– Anonymous

Wishing you a Happy and Fulfilling New Year!

With Love, and Gratitude,
Eben Alexander III & Karen Newell

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Cause for Great Hope in our World http://ebenalexander.com/cause-great-hope-world/ http://ebenalexander.com/cause-great-hope-world/#comments Thu, 16 Nov 2017 14:49:50 +0000 http://ebenalexander.com/?p=4669 Today, Thursday November 16, 2017, marks the ninth anniversary of my return to the world after a seven-day coma due to bacterial meningitis – an illness that my doctors agreed most likely should have killed me. Their evidence that the human part of my brain, the neocortex, was too badly incapacitated for anything but the […]

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Today, Thursday November 16, 2017, marks the ninth anniversary of my return to the world after a seven-day coma due to bacterial meningitis – an illness that my doctors agreed most likely should have killed me. Their evidence that the human part of my brain, the neocortex, was too badly incapacitated for anything but the most primitive conscious awareness proved to be incompatible with the extraordinary experience I witnessed deep in coma, with features consistent with similar human experiences reported over millennia.

Of course, I have come to see my miraculous recovery and the extraordinary experience I witnessed deep in coma as a beautiful gift to be shared with the world. As my medical colleagues agreed, such a journey could not be simply dismissed as a hallucination, drug effect or dream because of the documented damage to my neocortex. My first book, Proof of Heaven (Simon & Schuster, 2012), marked the initial step in that reporting, but it represents a question mark in my journey, more than any kind of actual answer. Millions of people realized it represented a confirmation of an infinitely loving force at the creative source of our lives, but the deeper nature of that love remained elusive. But, as a scientist, I now had a far grander vision of the cosmos from my personal experience, one that demanded explanation. Such understanding did not result from the experience itself, but has necessitated a lifetime path of integrating my understanding of all such evidence from within the framework of science. Thus, I bask in my ongoing journey, which parallels the revelations coming to the scientific world in our ongoing voyage of discovery around the very nature of consciousness itself.

I have learned so much in the nine years since first awakening, in a journey of discovery, documented in my latest book, Living in a Mindful Universe: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Heart of Consciousness (Rodale Books, 2017), that has involved thousands of other people around this planet, including many of the brilliant and courageous scientists who are addressing the deep mystery of consciousness – of the relationship between mind and brain. This voyage of discovery is of crucial value to us all, because many of our conclusions about the nature of reality hinge on the direction in which the mind-body debate flows.

The answer emerging from the scientific study of the nature of consciousness is one that is contrary to the prevailing views of conventional materialist neuroscience (and thus of our culture at large), and in ways that are most exciting and bring cause for great hope and optimism for the human race. They suggest that we are all truly bound together experiencing life within the One Mind, a source of unbounded love, comfort and purpose. The greatest commonality between the world’s religious systems, that we should “do unto others as we would wish done unto ourselves,” seems to be written into the very fabric of this loving force that binds the universe together through consciousness itself. Our free will choices are crucial in defining the larger course of our lives, and especially in contributing to the universal evolution of consciousness itself. We will reap what we sow, and thus should adhere as best as possible to the golden rule stated above.

However, science and spirituality remain stuck in their current impasses, unless they are to be wed together, which is their true destiny. We live in an age when that marriage becomes a very real possibility. My effort to catalyze that hopeful vision comes in the form of my just-released book, Living in a Mindful Universe, co-authored with my life partner, Karen Newell. We are very optimistic that it represents “proof of heaven” for the rest of us – for open-minded skeptics, and for those who might not have read a book with the word “heaven” in the title. Of course, it also deeply confirms the beliefs that many have in an afterlife, of the connectedness of our souls that outlasts the death of the physical body, and especially in an infinitely loving God. But now, the support comes mainly from science (especially quantum physics, which essentially demands this spiritual truth) and from the analysis of extraordinary human experience and examination of the very fundament of consciousness itself.  As Werner Heisenberg (1901 – 1976), winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics 1932, so famously said: “The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you.”

The companion online workbook to our new book is a completely free 33-day email course that includes a major topic of the book sent out each day, with an accompanying practice, and on many days additional resources (such as links to other books and articles, and also four Sacred Acoustics audio recordings to help people achieve deep states of transcendental conscious awareness, connecting with that primordial mind). The best part of the 33-day course is that individuals from all over the world (given the translate function available on the page to offer it to speakers of many languages) share comments and experiences on each page – a beautiful growing community of like-minded seekers from around the globe.

So, in reflecting on my return to this beautiful and loving world nine years ago today, I am comforted to be sharing the growing comprehension of my journey with the world, as humanity finally rises up to the beauty of our shared destiny – one that offers hope and promise of a better world just beginning to dawn, one of peace, harmony, and fellowship to every being in existence.

Peace and blessings to you all!

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Living in a Mindful Universe Launches http://ebenalexander.com/living-mindful-universe-launches/ http://ebenalexander.com/living-mindful-universe-launches/#comments Tue, 17 Oct 2017 10:00:55 +0000 http://ebenalexander.com/?p=4555 We are thrilled today to announce the release of the book that picks right up where Proof of Heaven (2012) left off. As tempting as it was after awakening from coma to simply accept my extraordinary healing and current well-being as an inexplicable miracle, I couldn’t do that. Instead, I was driven to find an explanation […]

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We are thrilled today to announce the release of the book that picks right up where Proof of Heaven (2012) left off. As tempting as it was after awakening from coma to simply accept my extraordinary healing and current well-being as an inexplicable miracle, I couldn’t do that. Instead, I was driven to find an explanation for the incredible journey I took during that coma—a sensory experience that completely defies our conventional neuro-scientific concepts of the role of the neocortex in detailed conscious awareness.

In Living in a Mindful Universe: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Heart of Consciousness, co-authored with Karen Newell, we take the reader through my personal journey of discovery, including interactions with other scientists, spiritual teachers and fellow journeyers in the quest to answer some of the deepest questions humans can ask. Does mind over matter really work? Do our loved ones hear our prayers? Can I really communicate with my departed grandmother? Are our souls eternal? Why are we here? What is our purpose?

There is a rapidly growing realization in the fields of the neuroscience of consciousness and philosophy of mind that our conventional view of the brain and consciousness is fatally and irrevocably flawed – the deeper relationships emerging are of life-shifting relevance to us all. The stunning awakening now underway is hinged directly in the mysterious depths of quantum physics, which not only allow for the reality of the spiritual realm – they demand it, with very powerful implications for the reality of primordial consciousness, or God.

This discussion is fascinating, one to which the whole world should be privy – yet most people have no inkling of the profound shifts in understanding coming to the scientific community even now. The picture emerging from the most advanced reaches of scientific investigation in the mind-body debate is quite contrary to our conventional viewpoint.

Many of our foundational assumptions about the nature of reality hinge on the directions in which that debate flows. Any notion of meaning and purpose of our existence, of connection with others and the universe, of our very sense of free will, and even of such concepts as an afterlife and reincarnation—all of these deep issues depend directly on the outcome of the mind-body debate. The relationship between mind and brain is thus one of the most profound and important mysteries in all of human thought – and a revolution in understanding appears imminent.

As a seeker of truth, you clearly don’t have to wait for the world’s scientific community to awaken to all of this – you can start taking advantage of this revolutionary shift in understanding towards deeper understanding and wholeness. It is all about developing a richer interaction with the consciousness within you, that actually originates from the creative source of all that is.

Our new book, Living in a Mindful Universe (Rodale Books, published 17 October 2017), explains this world-changing shift in scientific understanding around the mind-body problem, and outlines numerous ways in which the individual seeker can take their journey to a higher level, by comprehending the deep message concerning the power of our free will to manifest the world of our dreams. The most straightforward benefit is achieving wholeness, of the body, mind, spirit – and soul. As we become more of who we are meant to be, finding the creativity, refreshing perspective and broadened awareness of the interrelationships in our existence, this allows us to live our lives as richly as possible to grow to our highest potential.

Join us on this journey of human awakening – no soul left behind!

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Our Collective “Gift of Desperation” http://ebenalexander.com/our-collective-gift-of-desperation/ http://ebenalexander.com/our-collective-gift-of-desperation/#comments Thu, 28 Sep 2017 15:18:02 +0000 http://ebenalexander.com/?p=4205 We seem to have had more than our fair share of natural disasters in these late summer months – more category 4 and 5 hurricanes hitting the Caribbean and East Coast of the United States than have ever been encountered, two powerful earthquakes stunning central and southwestern Mexico, record high temperatures with devastating forest fires […]

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We seem to have had more than our fair share of natural disasters in these late summer months – more category 4 and 5 hurricanes hitting the Caribbean and East Coast of the United States than have ever been encountered, two powerful earthquakes stunning central and southwestern Mexico, record high temperatures with devastating forest fires in the Pacific Northwest and many other regions of the western US.

As dire as these events are, spawning widespread devastation, killing hundreds, and leaving 10,000s of people homeless and destitute, I have been impressed with the power these catastrophes have had in bringing people together. Heart-warming scenes of strangers risking life and limb to rescue strangers, groups of people uniting in common effort to save others, numerous examples of people rescuing thousands of frightened animals caught up in the mayhem – these disasters have shown how mother nature’s worst destructive chaos often has the effect of demonstrating how we really are all in this together, that our most redeeming qualities as human beings are illuminated by such extreme challenges.

Those involved in treating alcoholism and addiction often refer to the power of the “gift of desperation” – that the illness often drives someone so low that they are forced to deal with it, the alternative being death. In many ways, these natural disasters offer a collective gift of desperation. As my journey since coma in 2008 has revealed to me, the challenges and hurdles in life should be viewed as allies – they often provide the power to provide for our growth and maturation as spiritual, interconnected beings.

My interpretation of so much of the good I have seen in people through these disasters is that such challenges bring us closer together, in ways that support the notion of the Collective Mind, that we are all expressions of a vast intelligence, bound together through love and compassion, and acts of simple kindness.

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Welcome to the Revolution in Consciousness http://ebenalexander.com/welcome-revolution-consciousness/ http://ebenalexander.com/welcome-revolution-consciousness/#comments Wed, 13 Sep 2017 15:58:24 +0000 http://ebenalexander.com/?p=3644 We live in fascinating times. The world at large, as well as the scientific community, are in the process of an unprecedented awakening that we see as an inherent part of human destiny over the last few millennia. This awakening is empowered by our very investigations into the nature of consciousness, and into the metaphysics […]

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We live in fascinating times. The world at large, as well as the scientific community, are in the process of an unprecedented awakening that we see as an inherent part of human destiny over the last few millennia.

This awakening is empowered by our very investigations into the nature of consciousness, and into the metaphysics underlying the mysterious workings of quantum physics.

This investigation into the fundamental nature of reality is directly relevant to us all, ultimately leading to far more meaning and purpose to our existence. We have much greater power over our lives, and over the emerging consensus reality, than we have previously been led to believe.

Our modern world often puts science and spirituality at two ends of a spectrum. In this complimentary 33-day course, we bring them together as a companion to the book, Living in a Mindful Universe. The course serves as a sneak preview, including bite-sized nuggets of complex topics.

Personally, I find it most satisfying that Day 1 of the course begins on my father’s birthday. Although he passed from this world in 2004, four years before my coma, he has had a profound influence on my ongoing journey – it is fitting that this 33-day course launches on the anniversary of his birth.

Receive a new lesson each day along with daily practices and access to unlimited streaming of four Sacred Acoustics recordings, all completely free—no soul left behind!

Sign up today and begin Your 33-Day Journey into the Heart of Consciousness.

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