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Neurosurgeon's profound near-death experience leads to realization that "we are all one"

Sarah Hussain / Red Dirt Report
Dr. Eben Alexander III, author of "Proof of Heaven," spoke to an audience at St. Luke's Methodist Church about his near-death experience in 2008.
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OKLAHOMA CITY – It took a near-death experience, following a devastating and severe bout of bacterial meningitis, for a Virginia neurosurgeon to have his life – and thoughts about the afterlife – altered forever.

Featured as the first speaker at the 83rd annual OKC Town Hall lecture series at St. Luke’s Methodist Church, Dr. Eben Alexander III brought his phenomenal account to a packed house in a presentation titled “Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey Through the Afterlife.”

Proof of Heaven is Alexander’s book about his experience (he has since written a sequel called The Map of Heaven) during the seven days he spent in a coma, very close to death, and how he found himself in another realm, another dimension, and learned some important lessons in the process. Primarily: love is the answer.

While 20th and early 21st century science says the physical brain creates consciousness, this neurosurgeon, who has spent more than 15 years at Harvard-affiliated hospitals and is quite respected in his field, says otherwise.

We are to learn profound lessons during our incarnations upon the physical plane. And for Alexander, dressed as a bow-tied, bespectacled intellectual, deep lessons were learned in a “core realm” during his journey through the afterlife. Again, this was no New Agey, long-bearded guru. This was a man of science and reason whose life was impacted in a way he still can’t quite comprehend.

“The fundamental role of unconditional love, compassion, forgiveness, acceptance, mercy that our soul, our consciousness, our spirit, is the thing that actually exists,” Alexander said. “the part that is illusory is the material world.”

Continuing, he said: “The soul, the spirit, our consciousness – that’s what really exists,” countering the argument that the material world, as we understand it is what exists, as leading physicists and cosmologists claim.

“We are right where we are supposed to be” in our spiritual evolution, he said.

“We are about to have a tremendous awakening that will be unprecedented in human history,” Alexander said. “It has everything to do with a deeper understanding of the nature of consciousness, soul, spirit, and, in fact, the divine,” Alexander It is alive, it is the spark of awareness in each and every one of us. We are very much connected to that infinite loving source at the core of this universe. Many would call God, Allah, Brahmin, Vishnu, Jehovah, Yahweh … I don’t care what word you use, because the deep truth is a the core of all the fundamental religions of this world and this is something that became very clear to me from commentary I received from practitioners in those mystic traditions.”

Added Alexander: “In fact the core, they’re really all talking about the same thing and we are all part of that.”

“It is time we rose above the false dogma of separation, because this is all about oneness. We are all part of one universal consciousness at its very core, that infinite, creative and all-loving source at the core of the universe.”


Alexander told the St. Luke’s audience that his father was a combat surgeon in World War II and had a strong religious faith, while being strongly interested in science. He would follow his father’s footsteps and go into neurosurgery, while maintaining a nominal Christian faith, at least until a personal crisis in 2000 resulted in him becoming agnostic.

Alexander said that as a child of the 1960’s, he and his peers grew up firmly involved and appreciating science. But science has drifted away from anything smacking of spirituality. But Alexander said that part of his predicted “awakening” on Planet Earth will include the intersecting of science and spirituality, something that was largely lost in the past 500 years, particularly during the cruel, church-led inquisitions of centuries past.

“Back in those days, (scientists) risked being burned at the stake,” he said, noting why science and spirituality parted ways so long ago.

OKC Town Hall attendees look at the books written by Dr. Eben Alexander III, including Proof of Heaven and The Map of Heaven. (Sarah Hussain / Red Dirt Report)

He shared how his peers in the world of science are noticeably uncomfortable with his transformation. But, he is being objective and intellectually honest in sharing his experience, even if it is counter to the narrative offered by “accepted” science.

“Our soul and, especially with connectedness with soulmates, those connections are very strong, there’s a reason for this existence,” he said, with a hopeful tone.

He shared his experience of waking up in November 2008 in terrible pain and losing consciousness and having a serious seizure. In the hospital, the doctors realized, as pus came out of his body, “they knew I was dead.”

In fact, due to the deadly bacteria’s affect on his brain, he lost memory while in the coma, so the experience, he said, wasn’t due to his dying brain playing tricks on him.

Somehow, Alexander held onto life – just barely. And while his physical body was kept alive, Alexander was in a far different – and spectacular – spiritual realm of indescribable beauty and a divine being he called “Awe,” because the word “God” just didn’t do justice to describe what he experienced.


But before getting there, Alexander says that while he was in the middle of his near-death experience (NDE), he found himself in a space he describes as “dirty Jello” and with an “earthworm eye view.” This was not Hell or Purgatory, he said.

Alexander said a slowly, spinning, beautiful, clear, white light with tendrils “saved” him from that realm. It came with a “perfect, musical melody. And the notes of that melody were essential in allowing me to enter that realm many times so as to get to higher and higher spiritual realms."

Said Alexander: “By remembering the musical notes of the melody,” he said, “…because sound, vibration, frequency, is what our souls use to ascend to higher and higher levels in those realms.”

Alexander reminded the audience that humans have used sound and vibration for thousands of years “to get into deep, transcendental, conscious states.”

He encountered “beings” and found himself in a “brilliant valley” that he described as “ultra-real” and more vibrant than anything he experienced in this physical realm. He sees golden orbs drifting against a “blue-black velvety sky” and “billowing clouds.” The orbs emanated “chants, anthems and hymns.” Awe and majesty beyond any description, he said.

“I was a speck of awareness on a butterfly wing,” he said. And as he traveled on the butterfly over this beautiful scene, a kind, loving and beautiful woman was with him. Later, after he returned to this life and recovered, this man, put up for adoption as a child, met his biological family. And he learned that he’d had a sister who had died some years earlier. It turned out that the woman he had seen on the butterfly was his dead sister, now existing in this spiritual realm he had visited.

He recalls the woman/his sister telling him, via his thoughts: “You are deeply loved and cherished forever. You will be taken care of. You have nothing to fear.”

And this idea of fear, that has much of the world in its grip, is preventing people from really having truly transcendental experiences.

“The vast majority of the world’s problems are due to the fact we don’t love ourselves enough,” he said. Love is key. And when it comes to those people we may view as enemies, he said that those people are actually “soulmates” who are teaching us important lessons.

Putting the pieces of his story, after he came out of his coma, Alexander said his memories came back eventually, and everything seemed to point to the fact that none of what happened to him, should have happened to him. It was bizarre, but it was as if he was deliberately put through this test to come back and help others. In fact, while in this spiritual realm, beings told him he wasn't meant to stay - that he would come back.

“The physical brain does not create consciousness, a lot of people in the scientific community believe that, but it’s false,” he said.

For those wanting to learn more about sacred sounds, Alexander directed people to, which allows people to access universal consciousness, while in deep, meditative states.


"Unconditional love can overcome evil and darkness," he said to the rapt audience. In fact the woman next to this reporter kept pinching herself, saying she was getting goosebumps by what Alexander was sharing.

Later, Alexander spoke of his 10-year old son Bond demanding he come back to life, before the doctors cut off life support. Alexander said while he was in this spiritual realm, he knew he had to return. It was urgent that he return. And he did, much to the shock of everyone.

In the seven years since that life-altering experience, Alexander has shared his message via public speaking engagements and through sales of his best-selling books, which are popular throughout the world.

“We are all connected. All life in the universe is connected. We are all one,” he said.

The next OKC Town Hall speaker will be Prof. Jonathan Turley who will speak on October 15th.  For more information go to

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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