True open-minded skepticism is our greatest ally in trying to better understand the mind-brain connection as it is revealed through the extraordinary lens of near-death experiences (NDEs).

True skeptics will thus greatly appreciate the rich presentation of NDEs in a new landmark book, The Self Does Not Die, originally published in the Netherlands in 2013 and recently expanded into an English edition. The authors, Titus Rivas, Anna Dirven and Rudolf H. Smit, have gone to great lengths to objectively analyze over 100 cases of veridical perception during NDEs, when the brain (according to the accepted principles of modern neuroscience) was in no condition to support such conscious experiences. The quality of empirical data and the objective assessment and refutation of possible materialist interpretations make this book a refreshing, and very worthwhile, read.

The authors begin with 14 cases of extrasensory perceptions of the patients’ immediate bodily environment. Then they progress through 18 cases of such perceptions beyond the range of the patients’ physical environment. Next they describe 36 cases of such perceptions, including the oft-discussed case of Pam Reynolds, during conditions incompatible with any conscious awareness – many of these well-documented cases occurred during cardiac arrest. Four robust cases of telepathy are examined where either the NDEer had a telepathic experience in relation to someone else, or alternatively, where someone had a telepathic awareness of the NDEer. Here they recount the extraordinary case of George Rodonaia, who was declared clinically dead for three days. After-death communications (ADCs) of NDEers with both strangers (5 cases) and with people familiar to them (6 cases) are then shared. Seven observations of NDEers having out-of-body experiences are then reported, including several in which others at a distance perceived the NDEer being out of body, and vice versa.

The authors include ten fascinating cases of healing in NDEers that are inexplicable by current medical science (so-called “miraculous healing”), including such well-known cases as Anita Moorjani and Mellen-Thomas Benedict. Finally, they cover four cases of paranormal psychic abilities, such as after-death communications (ADCs), extrasensory perception (ESP), psychokinesis (PK) and precognitive dreams after NDEs. They conclude by pointing out the materialist explanations for such phenomena are illogical and inadequate (including extensive discussion of the extreme tactics involved in trying to debunk my book Proof of Heaven).

In short, this book goes a long way towards eliminating once and for all the feeble counterclaims of the materialist position which tries to deny, ignore and generally dismiss some of these truly remarkable NDE accounts.

The Self Does Not Die is an important and timely book that offers significant empirical support to the emerging scientific view that consciousness is fundamental in the universe, and that the soul exists and does not depend on the physical brain for its conscious expression.

As one studies the scientific evidence included in this book and recent works on the mind-brain relationship (eg. Irreducible Mind and Beyond Physicalism, etc.), it becomes clear that to reach a deeper understanding, we must reject the materialist position. These empirical data refute the production model, which states that the brain produces consciousness out of physical matter. Rather, the filter model (i.e., that the brain serves as a receiver of primordial consciousness) is far more reasonable in accounting for all the available evidence. Sooner or later, the sheer frustration with the ongoing inadequacies of materialist pseudo-explanations will nudge the prevailing western paradigm towards the deeper truth, as it is objectively represented in this remarkable book.

Karen Newell and I invite you to attend one of our upcoming multi-sensory evenings or workshops to explore the mind-brain relationship firsthand.

Please see our Events page for full details.


Rivas, Titus, Anna Dirven and Rudolf H. Smit. The Self Does Not Die: Verified Paranormal Phenomena from Near-Death Experiences, Durham, NC: IANDS Publications, 2016.

Kelly, Edward F., Emily Williams Kelly, Adam Crabtree, Alan Gauld, Michael Grosso, and Bruce Greyson. Irreducible Mind: Toward a Psychology for the 21st Century, Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2007.

Kelly, Edward F, Adam Crabtree, and Paul Marshall (eds). Beyond Physicalism: Toward Reconciliation of Science and Spirituality, Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015.

24 replies
  1. Andrea Courey
    Andrea Courey says:

    Dear Dr. Alexander, I know that consciousness is alive. Five weeks after my daughter died, she presented herself to me as I was writing her a letter. This letter was designed to help manage my grief but when she responded I was blown away. Her first words were ‘ Mom, you’re so easy to find that it’s a joke’. Then began a five month conversation that is a book I’ve just published called ‘Conversations with Chloe.’

    I too had an NDE in 1991 that I kept to myself for 25 years and agree with your explanation of the universe and our place in it, 100%.

    All the best, Andrea Courey

  2. Tom Mayer
    " >Tom Mayer says:

    Dear Dr. Alexander
    I find that the only way to convince people that life does not end at the grave is by loving them. This is very easy with those closest to us especially our own families. Now I do believe each of us is a temple of the Holy Spirit, but as you so courageously put in your book “Map Of Heaven” I would ask all of those that are troubled to realize that we are deeply loved and the reason you were given this gift is to continue to do what you do to reach out to our materialistic world that our extraordinary planet called EARTH is a gift of that love and everything in it is love.


  3. Margaret Kennedy
    " >Margaret Kennedy says:

    Dr Alexander, “The Self Does Not Die” is a great book it says it all. “The Self Does Not Die” has incredible NDEs in it.
    Some acquaintances who are athiests lost their mother who was a very strong character and did not want to be forgotten. They visited her grave on her birthday and lit a large candle and even though it poured with rain the candle would not go out. They were very touched by it. I have given them a copy of your book.


  4. Laureen packer
    Laureen packer says:

    Thank you for being honest and sharing the truth that so many don’t understand or won’t ! We need more like you!!

  5. Spirlet-Fassin Luc
    Spirlet-Fassin Luc says:

    The consequences of my NDE are summarized in the following page :
    The mind is not the brain. Exercises are described.
    My recovery tests of electricity are the proof that the environmental software waves can be exploited by humans.
    Almost all remotes controls of living or inert matter are in vacuum with a part of determinism and a part of random.
    Thanks for your attention.

  6. William L Stone
    William L Stone says:

    Dr.Alexander, I met you in Illinois at one of your talks. Thank you for the information on The Self Does Not Die,im going to find and read it.I will see you when you come back to Illinois or Indiana. Thank you for your courage.

  7. Henry Hill
    Henry Hill says:

    Dear Dr. Alexander,

    I’m thankful God gave you an experience where you encountered the spiritual dimension of reality, and I’m thankful you are using the experience to inform people of this reality. As you know, there are many skeptics, many academics who deny the existence of the soul, afterlife, God, etc. Often, they are outspoken and influence many people. Thankfully, there are people like you who espouse the alternative view. Speaking of skeptical academics, are you familiar with the 2015 publication of The Soul Fallacy by Julien Musolino and Victor J. Stenger? If yes, would you ever considering writing a response?

  8. Tom Mayer
    " >Tom Mayer says:

    Dear Dr. Alexander

    I was able to get the book that you told us about through Barnes and Noble. I have just been able to read about a few of the actual accounts of why the self does not die. It is so remarkable and will help me to understand your experience and that of one of my nephews who says nobody really dies. He is unfortunately doubted by his own siblings. I do encourage friends to read your books but the only ones I know that take it seriously are the very folks you worked with that are working in the field of caring for the sick. Thanks Tom

  9. KEN
    KEN says:

    Thanks for what you are doing to enlighten the public. The Western schism between science and metaphysics has festered for far too long, impairing our ability to understand the reality we live in.

  10. Justin
    Justin says:

    Dear Dr. Alexander, I am 24 year old college student in California,
    While I enjoy reading your story and your posts I’d like to ask one question, would it be possible in the future if you wrote more on the concept of alternate universes? I am fascinated by the role they might play in what you observed while in a coma, while I wish there was a more detailed way for me to ask this, truly any sort of response would satisfy me

    GLENNA HAUPT says:

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR VALUABLE WORK. I currently live and am caregiver of a paraplegic son in North Carolina; we are transplants from the cold weather in New Jersey.

    Our ability to get to any of your seminars is nil at best. So I appreciate your email messages when that effort is possible.

  12. Stig Dahlström
    Stig Dahlström says:

    Dear Dr. Alexander,
    Thank you for your email. It includes what you have been telling in your books. I´m sure you will publish your thoughts, that together with the book you comment, will explain to us the fundamentals of our being. I´m sorry for not being in US, but I hope to receive reactions to your and Karen Newells symphosium, and I wish you all the best.

  13. John Finch
    John Finch says:

    Thanks for the reference Eben, I look forward to reading the book. Unfortunately, as I live in the UK I am unable to attend the Evening, which sounds very interesting.

  14. Nancy Arnold
    Nancy Arnold says:

    Dear Dr. Alexander,

    I’ve read your book and I’m so grateful that you’re still trying to get the word out that we are so much more than our physical bodies. I believe that God (Intelligent design or however one refers to Him) created us for a fantastic journey that goes far beyond our earthly experience and it’s refreshing to hear a man of science that agrees with that theory. Will you be speaking in Florida anytime soon?
    Thank you and blessings,

  15. Peter Saunders
    Peter Saunders says:

    Hope you come to Columbus OH with your presentation….There are enough believers and almost believers here……
    Dr. Peter Saunders

  16. Tom Nymberg
    Tom Nymberg says:

    I looked for an iBook and audiobook of “The Self Does Not Die” without success.
    Where can we find this book / audiobook?

  17. Joan McD
    Joan McD says:

    Mr. Alexander – Are you going to be returning to Cassadaga, Florida? I am so sorry I missed you when you were here and I hope you will return soon – I have seen you on TV and am extremely interested in the topics you address – please hurry back! Sincerely, Joan McD

  18. Sharon Olinske
    Sharon Olinske says:

    Dear Dr. Alexander:

    Thank you for sharing your insight on the NDE. Loved Proof of Heaven and Map of Heaven. Waiting for your next book, if you ever get the time! Meanwhile, will be looking for “The Self Does Not Die…” as my next read. Thanks again!

  19. Steve
    Steve says:

    Dear Eben,

    Can’t wait to read this book – I love information that refutes the materialistic mindset. I am currently reading Dr. Francis Collins book “The language of God.” Very interesting. Thank you for all you do.


  20. susan
    susan says:

    I read your book when it first came out. Although I have not had a NDE I have always been fascinated about the topic because I have had experiences of what you described without the body dying. I thoroughly appreciated your book! As an educator, and born into an educated family, it was helpful to share your book from a doctors experience and perspective.
    I am wondering if you will be having a seminar in CA, at some point?
    Thank you for the awareness shared!!


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