I did not encounter Jesus during my NDE, although that does not indicate that he or other religious figures were not there. Others who have experienced NDEs have sometimes reported seeing or meeting religious figures on the other side. In my case, I had amnesia for my life before coma, somewhat atypical in the NDE literature. This lack of memory for my earthly life allowed a very rich journey to unfold. However, as a result, it was not influenced by any prior religious beliefs or life experience. The “empty slate” provided profound lessons that I only appreciated in the months and years afterward, that would have been impossible without amnesia for Eben Alexander’s life before coma during the experience itself.
What I did see, hear, experience and learn during my NDE encompasses a broader sense of spirit and “God” than any religion I’ve studied. The oneness and inter-connectedness of all souls, and the profound sense that unconditional love is not only an infinitely healing force, but also the fundamental creative force in the universe, were crucial lessons from my journey. Some have suggested the brilliant orb of light I encountered in the Core Realm, which impressed me as an interpreter or translator, might be the Christ Energy, there to facilitate my understanding of the messages from the infinitely healing power of the all-loving source, or God, but I did not identify it as such.
My current views are that Jesus came here to reveal that we are all divinely connected to all fellow sentient beings, and to God which is consistent with my experience and also supported by scripture. As such, we are all eternal spiritual beings, no matter our beliefs. The unconditional love of that God force has infinite power to heal. The greatest value of authentic Christianity, from my perspective, is an absolute inclusiveness that acknowledges all beings as children of God. Thus ANY exclusivity suggested by dogmatic interpretations is against the original teachings of Loving Oneness taught so well by Jesus during his life. God loves Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists, skeptics, etc. — in short, God loves ALL. I interpret “The only way to heaven is through me,” attributed to Jesus (at a time when very few people on earth even knew of Jesus) as meaning “The only way to heaven is through believing in (and knowing) the infinitely loving God.” Many who have touched this source of ultimate love and oneness agree, we can all realize this connection personally by going within.
The important thing is to walk the walk — that is, to live the life that Christ exemplified, because he resonated identically with the deep universal truth of pure love and oneness. “The kingdom lies within us all” and “These things and even greater you shall do” were Christ’s expressions that we all are Christ-like children of God. Jesus modeled the example of this knowing and wanted each of us to follow that example.
The scripture suggesting that the only way to heaven is through believing in Jesus Christ has rendered tremendous confusion by falsely leading people to believe they are not responsible for their choices, thoughts and actions, that they get a “get out of jail free” card simply by claiming to believe in Christ (and likewise that they are sinners, and that Christ died for their sins, thus they have no responsibility for their actions). I believe this illogical interpretation of scripture was enacted to bolster the ranks of the church, and the mayhem it has caused over centuries is regrettable. Ironically, this viewpoint is consistent with the materialist science assumption that our actions and behavior (including consciousness, or spirit, itself) are the result of random neuronal and hormonal reactions.
Both positions leave us able to claim we are not personally responsible for our actions, which my journey (along with major other lines of evidence) completely contradicts. Much of the current hardship in our world has been supported by such a false sense of separation, and of irresponsibility to each other. I believe the entire universe exists to support the journey of discovery for sentient beings, utterly dependent on our free will choices and accepting responsibility for their consequences. The love so beautifully exemplified by Christ provides the moral compass of that spiritual realm, that such loving oneness allows healing at all levels.
It is false to believe that one can act in a very un-Christian fashion throughout their lives, yet by claiming to believe in Christ they may escape the destiny of having to face consequences for their actions. The universe is just, and in this process of teaching and learning with our fellow souls, we learn the lessons of love in our life review — where we feel any love, or pain and hatred, that we have given out to others over our lifetime. The life review reveals the false boundaries of self, because we must feel the emotional power of our choices as they affected those around us. Examples might include the life review of a serial killer, who must experience not only the pain and suffering his actions dealt to his victims, but also feel every bit of that pain experienced by all souls who ever knew of his actions; whereas the life review of someone like Mother Theresa would be one of feeling the bliss and comfort she handed out to so many souls during her lifetime, as they experienced it. I believe our notions of heaven and hell might directly originate in the spectrum of such life reviews, all nudging us towards a more loving expression during our lifetimes in the material world.
My amnesia for my pre-coma life memories during the experience prevented a personal life review for Eben Alexander, but the grander scale of eternity of consciousness expressed in that all-loving God-presence, and the rich tapestry of multiple incarnations for all sentient beings as the learning/teaching process of the very evolution of consciousness itself, allowed for the very robust experience of the essence of life reviews during my coma. More than half of NDErs have reported experiencing a life review in the fashion described above, no matter what their prior belief system, going back at least 2,400 years (to the writings of Plato about the Armenian soldier, Er, who awoke after days dead on the battlefield to report such an experience that struck him with the profound importance of love expressed during our earthly lives).
Again, consistent with the original teachings of Christ, as well as other major religious systems that have evolved over millennia, is the powerful lesson to “do unto others as you would have done unto yourself,” which is consistent with the awakening I see coming to humanity today. We must take full responsibility for our choices and actions, ensuring that our underlying intentions are based in love and oneness, and not fear.