Dr. Alexander, a renowned academic neurosurgeon, spent over three decades honing his scientific worldview. He thought he knew how the brain, mind and consciousness worked. A transcendental near-death experience (NDE), in which he was driven to the brink of death and spent a week deep in coma from an inexplicable brain infection, changed all of that–completely!
He was shocked to find the hyper-reality of that spiritual realm, which many had reported in NDEs. He has spent the last five years reconciling his rich spiritual experience with contemporary physics and cosmology. His spiritual experience is totally consistent with the leading edges of scientific understanding today.
Together, science and spirituality will thrive in a symbiosis offering the most profound insight into fundamental Truth, yielding unimaginable power. The keystone is in global progression of individual conscious awakening.
Many in both the scientific and religious (or spiritual) realms must denounce their addiction to prejudiced, divisive, dogmatic beliefs, in order to open our awareness to this synthesis of understanding Truth. By probing deeply into our own consciousness, we transcend the limitations of the human brain, and of the physical-material realm.
The spiritual realm is real. Seamless blending of science and spirituality will occur.
His bestseller book Proof of Heaven was published in North America October 23, 2012, and is contracted for publication in over forty other countries (and languages).
Dr. Alexander’s second book, The Map of Heaven, was published in North America on November 4, 2014, and is contracted for publication in over twenty other countries and over a dozen languages.
“Try and penetrate with our limited means the secrets of nature and you will find that, behind all the discernible concatenations, there remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion. To that extent I am, in point of fact, religious.”
– Albert Einstein (1879–1955)
For more information on Dr. Eben Alexander please visit: www.ebenalexander.com
Interview on 7th August 2015 by Evelyn Einhaeuser
What happens to us when we die?
Our conscious awareness comes to a much higher level. Our being, existence and awareness grow exponentially when we are released from the shackles of our physical brain. So it’s the complete opposite to what I would have thought before my coma and it took me months and years to even glimpse all of that bigger reality. You can’t just limit this to a discussion on near death experiences, as it has everything to do with a whole world of non local consciousness like telepathy, psychokinesis, near death experiences, past life memories, reincarnation- you really have to take the much broader view of all of consciousness to begin to make sense of it all. Near death experiences are like the tip of the spear, a very active form of forcing our very conventional materialist scientific mindset that says nothing exists except the physical world into understanding that this is completely wrong.
Some people say that we have to act well in this life because we will be punished after we die. Other people believe that we have to do good (karma) so that we get released from being reborn. Yet many transcendental experiences and NDE reveal that there is seemingly no judgement after death, but instead only unconditional love and acceptance. And still, everyone who has had a transcendental experience or a NDE seems to come back and does good. Does it come from the realization that everything in this world is connected and that separation is an illusion or from the profound feeling of love that opens our heart?
It’s a combination of things but very fundamentally crucial is realizing that the boundaries of self in many ways are artificial. This emerging view of one consciousness, that we are all one, and when I say that I mean don’t start out with our tiny human conception, we are all far greater than just life on earth, this is much bigger than that, but it’s all about that higher good and we are all part of that higher being, that evolving consciousness.
So I would say that near death experiencers come back touching and feeling that unconditional love, realizing that the life of you is very real and its flashing before your eyes. Yet it's not that we can do whatever we want without judgement, but its interesting that the judgement doesn’t come from an outside source but from our own higher selves, from within us, in that beautiful light of that rich pure love, of that realm.
We couldn’t do otherwise but seeing ourselves falling short of anything that is not focused on elevation of self and higher good and loving of other beings. That’s the most natural way of progression. So the judgement is not from a higher being, it has everything to do with our soul’s journey and a very real sense of karma, that you reap what you sow. So we have that free will from that infinite loving source and with that free will we can chose that higher route, that selfless route, the altruistic route, of loving our fellow beings or we can chose otherwise. And if we chose otherwise it comes out in our life review. So it’s a combination of what you mentioned, but very much rising beyond the false boundaries of the self and the desires and wishes of the ego. Those are the biggest traps that souls run into.
What for me personally was very interesting was that you heard the sound OM in your NDE. In the Yoga Sutras it says that OM is the way how we can connect with the divine principle (Tasya vacakah pranava, Yogasutras I.27). The Vedic Philosophy states that OM is the primordial and most sacred sound from which everything emanated. Have you been exposed to the sound of OM before you entered your NDE?
I had not heard of OM, in fact I didn’t hear of its connection to the Hindu tradition and meditation and all until about two years after my coma. By that time I had already got many communications by different people from different religious faiths that talked about the commonality of my journey with others and it was about two years later that I received these communications about OM and meditation and Hinduism. And for me that is no surprise as all the mystical traditions converge towards one kind of knowing and it far transcends the dogma of the various religions and that is what is so important. Also the convergence with science exploring quantum mechanics and the fundamental nature of consciousness and reality. All these things come together and step back beyond the dogma. I think that is a central message that my story brings and one that I try to convey in“Proof of Heaven” and the follow up “Map of Heaven” .
We are now coming to a correction and the correction has to do with the leading edge of cosmology. Western materialistic science is now hitting a wall where they find that you can't simply write consciousness out of the equation because its so fundamental, actually even more fundamental than things like space and time and mass and energy. But keeping consciousness in primary position was never lost to various indigenous traditions, unlike here in the conventional materialistic view that is dominating in the world. But we are in the process of getting it back, there is this great awakening and a correction from the norm that started with scientific materialism.
The problem that I see is that science always needs to have research and proof to validate something, whereas in other cultures a testimonial of someone who experienced something is as valid as a test. In the Yogasutras for example it says that Agamah, which stands for sacred texts or the words of a realized master are a form of right knowledge. How do you want to proof consciousness?
Right. It is a great myth in our Western culture that the only way to true knowledge is through the scientific method. That is a tremendous myth and that is something that is dispelled. Anyone that is following the history of science will realize that all, and I mean all great scientific innovations, discoveries, paradigm shifts, etc. began with personal experience, you know, anecdotal accounts. These are always at the very core of all the newest emerging knowledge. Especially in the USA you find many people that are scientistic, they have a faith based religion in science, they believe that science is the only truth. And it is not. Some of these people will believe that science is the only way to truth, but I don’t think anyone who is paying attention would be limited by such a frail and vacuous concept like that.
In many of the old traditions people say that we fall sick because we are disconnected from our spiritual higher self. In Sanskrit we call disease „Vyadhi“, „Adhi“ meaning the self and „Vy“ meaning disconnection, implying that disease is a disconnection from the higher self. In your book you describe that we know that a spiritual world exists and yet try to subpress it. You wrote: „Psychologists made an interesting discovery: when we repress the truth, we suffer from it. If deep down we know something is true but we run around pretending it isn’t, it creates a conflict; and this conflict in turn prevents the different parts of ourselves from communicating with each other effectively. Parts of us get split off and ignored.“ As a doctor, would you support the statement that a spiritual disconnection makes us sick?
Well often in my talks to medical groups, medical schools or nursing groups, I bring up that idea that any kind of illness, injury, hardship or difficulty is very much not only a physical, or mental or emotional disease, but that it is always spiritual at the core. And that is such an important lesson that many modern healthcare workers in the West are now getting in touch with. And you even see that in some of the medical schools they are now building meditation into the curriculum. So people are acknowledging that prayer and meditation can play a tremendous role in being a health worker. For me the greatest health comes about when knowing that the boundaries of the self that the ego set up are false and realizing that the true me is all of us, that much grander soul. So you can argue if one is isolated too much into that wrong kind of self and away from the bigger self, that this can be the mode of a disease, because everyone in the ascension process realizes that he or she is part of that oneness without the boundaries of self. I think that statement you made is an interesting way to look at it.
I want to read one quote from your book “Proof of heaven” :„It took me a few years to understand this, but I finally realized I had to develop a regular pattern of meditation to expand my relationship with the spiritual realm. I found that I could revisit some of the most profound supra-physical realms of my deep-coma journey through sound enhanced meditation that were, for me, a form of centering prayer. Those meditations helped me not only to reaccess elements of my coma journey, but to reach deep levels within consciousness. Just as sound had facilitated the transitions in my coma journey to deeper and more expanded realms, sound can play a significant role for us all- here and now.“ Can you say a little bit about how people can reconnect to their spiritual center in your opinion?
Again that was something I realized about two years after my coma when I got more deeply into sound and meditation and then ran into the use of different sound frequencies as a tool to entrain the brain. This work with sacred acoustics I discuss to great detail in the appendix of the second book “Map to Heaven". And certainly all people who are interested should visit www.sacredaccoustics.com, a very informative website that has some free downloads and informative products in the form of sound journeys that people can use to access various transcendental conscious states. And I still say to this day I still try to meditate two to three hours a day and more if I can. I use these sound frequencies of sacred acoustics, in fact I am quite involved in the research and development work for their acquisition of new products. They are very interested in creating tools to let people go deep within. And the point that I make in my talks is you don’t have to die or almost die to come to know all that I know.
One can cultivate this inner knowing through a daily practice of meditation performed over months and years. Again this is not some quick fix. In our Western culture we like to have the two hour documentary always leading to the conclusion of all the answers.
That’s not really how the universe works, this is all about an unfolding journey, so any seeker who is truly interested, this is about developing the daily meditation practice for the rest of your life. That’s what we are really talking about.
But I promise you that effort is certainly worthwhile. And once you realize the brain does not create consciousness, when you realize that consciousness is far greater than a little physical product of the workings of the brain, then you start realizing that going within consciousness can have tremendous value as a means of going out into the universe and knowing the universe more fully.
And that’s why meditation is such a beautiful tool and it brings us many forms of knowing, it brings us health, insight, creativity, understanding and a much deeper knowing about our relationship with all that is and our reason for existence. What is not to like about all that?
It amazes me that some of these students that claim to be lifelong students of mind and consciousness don’t realize that they have to go into their own consciousness to realize, that they can study other peoples consciousness from the outside and that won't get them anywhere. But luckily people are catching up.
Its interesting because of how knowledge, Jnanam is defined in the Vedas. A part is the hearing or learning, and the second part is the experience. So without having the experience yourself, we say there is no real knowledge.
The knowing is really so far beyond our earthly language, too. So there is so much you cant convey to others, and that’s a big reason why in the “Map of Heaven” I am making such a call for individuals to go within. The answers lie within us all. Our earthly language was developed to describe earthly events, so it's really not very suitable to describe these very transcendental, amazing, astonishing journeys that are far beyond earthly words and description.
You also stress that you have a feeling that a collective remembering is needed. You put one quote in your book ‘Map of heaven’ from Richard Tarnas. It says „I believe humankind has entered into the most critical stages of a death rebirth mystery. The entire path of Western civilization has taken humankind and the planet on a trajectory of initiatory transformation, first with the nuclear crisis, followed by the ecological crisis- an encounter with mortality that is no longer individual and personal but rather transpersonal, collective, planetary.“ I also feel very strongly that the whole planet is in an awakening process. Can you say a little bit about that?
From my point of view someone needs to consider the holographic principle. That’s something that keeps coming up in physics, in so many discussions around consciousness, mind and brain. Again it is about the false boundaries of self, and this grand evolution of all of consciousness that he referred to. We are each participating in that journey in our tiny way, as individual souls that are part of a soul group, all evolving towards that oneness of the divine, and there are no boundaries towards our soul group, all of humanity, really all of consciousness throughout the universe is involved in this tremendous awakening and evolution of consciousness.
And we are each doing it on our own. So much of the message that I am trying to convey is the confusion that comes in from the false boundaries of separation as well as from our reductive materialist science that is reducing things to the little simple elements and then assuming that we can understand the workings of the whole universe by understanding those broken down subatomic pieces of the world.
It’s much better to have that top down approach and understand that each and everyone of us has access to that as a conscious being. But getting back to that quote of Tarnas, this really is about a convergence, a part of human destiny. The more you can step back and look at the last 3000 years or so of human history to make sense of all this, the more you start seeing that it is really a part of our destiny. For example the last 400 years of modern Western humanity, the rise of the natural sciences, and their heyday in the success of materialist technology in the 21st century is part of this collision with much more ancient traditions that in many ways were much closer to the truth. There is a conflict that needs resolution, between religion and science and this is what we headed into full board. It is a tremendous awakening. I feel it will be unprecedented in our human history, at least in our Western recorded view how we look at history and the world. This will come out as fundamentally earth shattering, but again so much part of this great wisdom that the earth is heading towards has been in some of the eastern and indigenous traditions for thousands of years. So it’s not that it is new to everybody. But the overarching synthesis of it and the symbiosis of that understanding I think will be radically new.
What do you wish for science in the future? Do you feel fellow scientists are open to your views?
There is a tremendous shift and it is accelerating rapidly. Some of my former colleagues will surely think that what I am talking about is a little far out there. But I can tell you that a lot of my friends and colleagues and a lot of new colleagues and friends in the scientific community realize that this is exactly what is going on. A new understanding of the nature of consciousness is emerging. A lot of scientific communities realize that pure materialist science that tries to protect that this is all just subatomic particles following natural laws and nothing more, you know the conventional science that says consciousness is an illusion, and epiphenomenon of the cells of the brain, that kind of thinking is going extinct just like the thought that the earth is flat went extinct. I think within a decade or two you wont have anyone in the scientific community who doesn’t realize that consciousness is not created by the brain at all and that will be a fundamental shift in our scientific thinking that opens the fundamental doors of the nature of reality.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers?
I would say the most important thing to remember for each and every soul is that you are far greater than just your physical body and this life. We are all far more than that and we are more interconnected than we know. Not just with each other but with all of life and consciousness and the divine.
And it is all about that love. Love is the crucial thing, unconditional love has infinite power to heal. The more we can each serve as a point of light to manifest that unconditional love of the creator for the creation and bring this into this world, the better this world will be. Remember that all cosmic awakening is local, it is done by each and everyone of us, serving as points of light.
Thank you so much.