Is There Proof of a Spiritual Universe?

Eben Alexander and Karen Newell

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.

Gwyneth Paltrow, Eben Alexander III, Karen Newell

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.


14 replies

    Apreciados Familiares – por lo de humanos- la búsqueda es la tarea y la tarea es la vida.¡PERSISTENCIA!….Y EL CAMINO LLEGARÁ A SU PUERTO.

  2. Cornelia Rappoport
    Cornelia Rappoport says:

    This is your spiritual mission you are sharing and expressing, Dr. Alexander. Thank you very much. Just as Dr. Brian Weiss had his naysayers in the late 80’s, people are frightened by what they do not understand. I certainly appreciate any Light (cerebral, mystical, scientific, religious) that you can shine on this hurting planet. Blessings, Cornelia

  3. Margaret Coles
    Margaret Coles says:

    Good Morning all, lovely early Summers day here in the UK. I had a flash of insight yesterday, we are Experiencers. That applies to every lifetime. I believe that we return to this planet time after time, that seems to be evident when one remembers past lives. So, our experience, however grim or joyful, is, I think, partly planned and perhaps, partly, whoops! taken the wrong turning, or what might seem to be so. Living intentionally within the sphere of Love is what I am aiming for and many more are doing so, every day. Enjoy your weekend, all. God Bless, Margaret.

  4. Mark Pflughoeft
    Mark Pflughoeft says:

    It seems to me we need be ready in order to find Spirit.
    Some may talk of an inner or psychic pain being necessary in order to turn from traditional views and began to follow ones own voice. Regardless, we awaken to our inner Spirit when the inner doorrs are ready to opens, so I’m not sure anyone can be convinced logically that our vast inner world exists. Materials like yours Eben are valuable once we are already on our spiritual paths and are looking for reinforcing thoughts. Personally though, I’ve enjoyed your attempts at turning spirituality into science or vise versa. I also appreciate your courage. My 2 cents is to not worry about people accepting it. Just accept that they’ll come along when they can.

  5. Ana Martinez Marshall
    Ana Martinez Marshall says:

    Dr. Alexander:

    I very much appreciate the fact that you have undertaken an extremely difficult task; namely to shift the materialistic and reductionist paradigm of science as it exists at present. This is a monumental undertaking, and I admire your courage and determination in this regard. I just wonder if it is an attainable undertaking. It seems to me that you are trying to convince skeptic scientists with reason and scientific evidence. And yet, your incredible journey into the spiritual realm took place at a time when your brain – your rational and scientific thinking – was turned off. Couldn’t this have actually been the message? Could it be that the message was for you, and that it was telling you: “Don’t get so hung up on the brain, Eben. This is not a cerebral matter.” What impressed me about your experience as you related it in “Proof of Heaven”, was that it came after you reached out to God in utter helplessness when you cried: “God Help me!” That has been, since time immemorial, the way mystics have come to great revelations, as they struggled with what San Juan de la Cruz (St. John of the Cross in English) called The Dark Night of the Soul. I’m sure even the most skeptic scientists can change their views if they have such an experience. But I suspect that to try to change their thinking cerebrally is futile. Perhaps the most that will happen is that some of them will become agnostic, but that few, if any, will achieve a complete turnaround. I wish you well in your efforts, but, please do not get too disappointed if it does not bear the kind of fruit you are going after. Maybe, just maybe, that is not the way it is meant to happen.

  6. Margaret Coles
    Margaret Coles says:

    Hello all again, I wanted to make a comment to Bob about his use of the entropy. I had to look in the dictionary, because I had not come across it before, or if I had, maybe it did not register. It means, does it not, “A measure of the ratio of transfer of information in a message” ? I don’t think Eben is denying or belittling Jesus, but do bear in mind that the Gospels we have for general use, have left out so much of Christ’s teaching, many books and gospels were discounted some hundreds of years ago. I would rather utter the original Aramaic Lords prayer for example than the one most of us know today. We all report back, as it were from our own experiences, that is our learning curve. We take it from there in a sense of where we are at the time. Hopefully, we are curious enough to look at it further. Much love to all, Margaret.

  7. Bob
    Bob says:

    I have spoken to you several times. I do think you are doing important work regarding the human spirit but don’t think the final word will be that the universe is all there is. I heard a recent analogy. If a human was the size of a Coke can and was filled with ocean water would it have captured the full essence of the ocean? The ocean is so much larger than us. We cannot fully grasp reality. As Thomas Aquinas said, “It is all straw”. So keep working but don’t undermine the centuries of good work that the church has done. Maybe some of the explanations seemed simple, but it all is based on the battle of love versus entropy.

  8. Margaret Coles
    Margaret Coles says:

    It is Margaret again. I have just watched a short video on “Out of your mind” Alan Watts. I receive regular information, insights, ponderances, if that is the right word! It was sent by Phillip Carr Gomm, who is a druid. the video is so close to the truth, I don’t know how much closer it could get. If any of you know of Alan Watts you will know what I am talking about. I really must get on, this seeking truth business, takes up a lot of one’s day! Again, Much Love, Margaret.

  9. Margaret Coles
    Margaret Coles says:

    Hello all, good to “chat” again. Proof, well to those of us who have had and are still having proof of a Spiritual energy, there is no argument. But no-one can persuade another of this. It arrives, the curtain is drawn back and the Light comes in. But the Light is there and has always been so, we live in Light, we are Light ourselves, but for most of us it is not realized, until a happening occurs that takes the scales off our eyes. For some it is an immediate revelation, for some it culminates after, perhaps grim years, others it is a gradual process, levels are revealed over a period of time. But when the scales are lifted, my word! “Thank God for that” we might cry. The Aha moment. There is so much to discover re this revelation, that most times it comes in relay’s over a period of time, on various levels, because there is no end to it. Personally, I went through some very dark times, some steep stairs to climb, but over decades, of not only my personal journey, I took others along with me and we saw the Light together.Many years ago when I saw my own hands expand in Light as I prayed, when I was visited by a spirit nurse who gave me healing, when I consciously looked back on my sleeping body, whilst being encouraged by a spirit companion to leap off the window sill and fly, when I saw, with others, faces of my Grandmother and Father within the turned off television screen, this phenomena lasting several days. So many more experiences, too numerous to fill this page. We are all on our individual journey’s, but the Web is shuddering all the time to keep us moving in the direction of awakening and that happens mostly by example. All exciting stuff!. Love to one and all. Margaret,

  10. Liz Wheat
    Liz Wheat says:

    There was no sound in the video titled “Shift in Consciousness” with Karen Newell and Dr. Alexander. I turned on the close captioning (cc in the bottom of the screen toward the right side, click on it until you get the red line), and read every word.

  11. Stig Dahlstrom
    Stig Dahlstrom says:

    Dear Dr Alexander and Karen Newell,
    Thank you for your email of today. I have done a little research about the universe. Following opinions have been released:
    1) Why is universe a quantum world?
    2) Why does the universe expand?
    3) Why is there a gravitation force?
    4) Why does the electron exist in three classes of weight?
    5) Why does the weak power exist?
    6) Why is there more matter than anti matter?
    If the universe is forever, what prevents mankind to exist forever?
    The Higg particle are considered to have created all matter.
    The dark energy is introduced in order to explain why the universe is expanding.
    Kind regards
    Stig Dahlstrom

  12. Sheila
    Sheila says:

    “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.” This very statement, even if I questioned any others from you, draws me in and deeply resonates with me (at a soul level), since I was awakened (in the middle of the night years ago) by the words, “We Are All Connected.” I have been talking about that experience for years, researching all the ways that we’re connected, and writing about it.
    I look forward to reading your most recent book. Beautiful!

  13. Patricia Roop Hollinger
    Patricia Roop Hollinger says:

    I am a believer. At a very young age I rejected the heaven and hell concept; for I could not grasp that a loving entity would banish someone to an eternal hellfire. I have read your Proof of Heaven and Living in a Mindful Universe. Thanks for sharing so openly and honestly. I look forward to continuing my growth process in another realm.

    • David
      David says:

      Hallo Patricia,

      the “other realm” you talk of is actually right here and now and is the “kingdom of heaven” which Christ Jesus spoke of as being “within you”. Eben Alexander caught glorious glimpses of this realm and has benefited mankind enormously by relating his experiences and conclusions publicly. Amazingly the principle behind this was discovered in the middle of the 19th Century by a very famous American woman who also had the courage to speak out. What she learned is widely practiced today by readers of her work “Science and Health”. I am sure there are many other people in all sorts of traditions who are being inspired to reach back into the spiritual roots of their own traditions. Salvation is indeed universal.


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