RiseVibes: Proof of Heaven by Dr Eben Alexander
“My experience showed me that the death of the body and brain is not the end of consciousness… What happened to me while I was in a coma is the most important story I will ever tell. But it’s a tricky story to tell because it is so foreign to ordinary understanding.”
Here is a book that attempts to reconcile science and faith, written by neurosurgeon Dr Eben Alexander who has dedicated his life to science and, in particular, the workings of the brain. In 2008 Eben was inexplicably stricken with a severe case of E.coli meningitis which caused his neocortex (brain stem) to shut down completely. Eben explains that as a result of this he had an out of body experience. With most NDE’s (near death experiences) there is still some brain activity evident. However, in Eben’s case his illness was so severe that there was no brain activity at all as he lay in a coma for a week.
Before his illness Eben believed the popular scientific view that all of consciousness is brain based and arises out of the physical state. It does not exist on its own. He questioned whether there was a god and did not believe in the power of prayer.
But during his week long coma when his brain was completely inactive and he had a 97% chance of not recovering from his illness, Eben claims that he experienced an amazing journey into a vivid heaven and a personal experience of communing with the Creator.
There is only a passing mention of Jesus in the book, which overlooks the Biblical truth that Jesus is the only way to Heaven (I am the way the truth and the life, no-one comes to the father but by me). This is a significant omission because reading the book without referencing it back to God’s word implies that heaven is open to all, unconditionally, regardless of who you are or how you have lived your life. The Biblical truth is that Jesus is the only person that has ever offered us a way to heaven and that it is through Grace, not through our own efforts, that gives us the right to live eternally in His presence
The book is a worthwhile read if, like me, you are fascinated with the workings of the brain and (or) you are curious about one man’s tale of his near death experience. If you have an interest in the latter, I would encourage you to do more reading about the experiences of others and, in particular, what Jesus teaches about the afterlife.
Reviewer: Wendy Rush