Saturday, October 13, 2012

Post No. 178b: Article of Interest: “My Proof of Heaven”


During the early days of the maintenance of this blog, the Logistician asked our readers to suggest topics about which we could write posts. One of our Canadian friends suggested “religion,” which resulted in our May 2008 post, You Asked for Religion, You Get Religion (and Politics).

Although we have occasionally re-visited religious issues, such as in our November 2008 piece, Question to Ponder: Would Jesus Discriminate?, and in our March 2009 posts, Jesus Christ and the Democrats, and Jesus Christ and the Republicans, we do not often venture down the religious road. However, earlier this week, in the October 15, 2012 issue of Newsweek, we came across an article which we had to share with you.

In My Proof of Heaven, neurosurgeon Dr. Eben Alexander describes the journey he took, while in a coma, to the afterlife, and the things he experienced which he never thought possible.

©2012, Newsweek Magazine

“As a neurosurgeon, I did not believe in the phenomenon of near-death experiences. I grew up in a scientific world, the son of a neurosurgeon. I followed my father’s path and became an academic neurosurgeon, teaching at Harvard Medical School and other universities. I understand what happens to the brain when people are near death, and I had always believed there were good scientific explanations for the heavenly out-of-body journeys described by those who narrowly escaped death.”

To review the remainder of the article, simply click here.

17 comments:

  1. 'Spector,

    Absolutely beautiful!

    This account of post-physical existence and understanding seems to validate the Biblical description of God's love as "a perfect love". I sincerely hope that Alexander's recounting of "what comes after" is indeed what awaits those who have not been utterly vile toward others in their mortal existence.

    Thanks so much for publishing this -- it has made my day!

    The Independent Cuss

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  2. Glad that we could make your day Cuss. We always enjoy "stimulating" you one way or another. This is a thought-provoking article about the subject.

    We spend every hour of every day challenging our current views of the world, and all of its component parts, out of hope that we will better understand it. It is a never-ending journey. Interestingly, in the hard copy of the magazine, the folks at Newsweek have the covers of three prior issues, along with the following:

    “The search for the meaning of the afterlife is as old as humanity itself. Over the years Newsweek has run numerous covers about religion, God, and that search. [Three covers appear with the following: (a) God and the Brain: How We’re Wired for Spirituality; (b) Science Finds God; and (c) Visions of Heaven: How Views of Paradise Inspire – And Inflame – Christians, Muslims and Jews by Lisa Miller.] As Dr. Alexander says, it’s unlikely we’ll know the answer in our lifetimes, but that doesn’t mean we won’t keep asking.”

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  3. To read Sam Harris on the subject of Alexander's lucrative 'revelation' was to feel that honest, intelligent research had informed his critique. The Doctor's book will not be bought by people seeking truth, but by sad 'believers' for whom nature is not exciting enough and life is miserable. He will make many people's day. In his case the pen may prove to be less dangerous in his hands that the surgeon's scalpel...

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  4. You do not expect heaven to be overcrowded then IC.

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  5. Bob,

    Sadly, no – nor based on my past performance do I feel any certainty that I will qualify for admission there.

    The Independent Cuss

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  6. Welcome back Corfu Bob. We missed you.

    After reading your comment the first time around, we could not help but keep focusing on your use of the word "lucrative." It occurred to us that the word might describe the "consequences" associated with having shared his "revelation," and potentially the "motivation" behind the revelation.

    We tried to keep in mind that, "There are more than 2 or 3 ways to view any issue; there are at least 27.™ For purposes of our responsive comment, we will ignore the word "lucrative," since it might complicate our effort to look at Alexander's comment 25 other ways.

    That being said, we had to read Alexander's story over and over to try to envision what he claims he experienced. We only had to read Harris' piece one time.

    We'll be curious to see what others say about Sam Harris' take on this subject.

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  7. Let us say this Bob. We believe that the competition to get into heaven is responsible for some rather interesting conduct on the part of humans here on Earth. When we made this statement to a friend here recently, the friend responded, "Then you must think that there is a limit on, or quota with respect to, the number of people who can get into heaven?

    Although there is a limit or quota according to some religions, even assuming there isn't, the conduct of humans vis-a-vis other humans, in a relativistic or comparative sense, suggests that there is always some form of competition. One cannot help but think that the "fittest" somehow will "survive" or somehow gain admission, and those "unfit" will not. Of course, implicit in this whole line of thinking is that there is some standard and/or someone who is the arbiter of all things good and bad.

    Quite honestly, all of this stuff is way over the heads of we, the feeble minded. We have never fully understood any of this despite years of research and asking probing questions.

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  8. Have you (a) made that determination (of your disqualification) yourself 'Cuss, (b) did you look it up in a book or manual, or (c) has someone told you of your status? Finally, are you suggesting that at your relatively young age, there is (d) no way for you to address or counterbalance your past behavior so that you might gain admission?

    We guess there really is no finality to asking these questions. We'll try to come up with some more.

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  9. For those of you familiar with, or perhaps not, Judaism's view of the afterlife. If Judaism and Christianity share historical roots, why is there a divergence of position on this issue?

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  10. ‘Spector,

    It is complicated, as you have already pointed out.

    Let’s just say that, as a believer, I refuse to put myself above others and play the “I’m-automatically-getting-into-Heaven-because-I’m-saved” card. I question some of the things I have done in my life and wonder how any Greater Being could forgive them. If redemption is possible, so be it. Right now, my goal is simply to make the lot of others a bit better as best I can.

    You’ve seen the slogan “Please be patient -- God is still working on me” or one of its variations. My question is this: what if He doesn’t finish – or, far more likely, one doesn’t allow Him to finish -- before the clock times-out?

    And how can we, as mere mortals, begin to quantify the redemption-to-sin balance expected of us by our Maker? I know that all of the foregoing is not strictly doctrinal, but I have long been a skeptic regarding deathbed conversions and their supposed absolution following an entire life spent in non-belief and sin (though I would never deny anyone the comfort of such an attempt at atonement -- it is for God to decide the worthiness of others, not I).

    It drives my non-believer neighbor crazy that I have these thoughts, but I think that the world would be a far better place if we would sometimes contemplate the notion that we should unconditionally do as much good as possible to offset the bad mojo (and acute awareness) of our past transgressions.

    The Independent Cuss

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  11. I know this isn't the kind of comment you might like around here, but I've been wndering all week long why it is that nobody ever comes back from hell.

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  12. Thanks Bulletholes in the Mailbox for taking the time to visit our site. We try to avoid "liking" or "disliking" any type of comment. We believe that there is some value associated with ANY comment.

    If you were trying to inject some humor in the discussion (...to hell and back...), we appreciate that. If you were being facetious, we appreciate that also, since we occasionally use that approach. On the other hand if you were serious, it should cause people to think about why no one returns, and why no religion considers this as a possibility.

    Pursuant to our approach to analyzing issues, there are at least 24 other ways in wish your comment could be viewed. Visit us often. Something tells us that you could provide some valuable insight on certain subjects.

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  13. I tried to phrase the qestion in a humorous fashion, but I think at the core I'm dead serious. Haha!
    I like your blog very much. I have to rememember to keep stopping by..

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  14. Thanks much. We lost a large number of our regular followers due to our failure to post any new articles until just a month ago. We'll build our following back up, and it will become real interesting again. Check out some of our older posts for the lively exchange.

    We look forward to your contribution.

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  15. Yeah, it makes a big difference to post regular. I first came by about a year ago.

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