Doctor: Heaven is real


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Hum

Dr. Eben Alexander has taught at Harvard Medical School and has earned a strong reputation as a neurosurgeon. And while Alexander says he's long called himself a Christian, he never held deeply religious beliefs or a pronounced faith in the afterlife.

But after a week in a coma during the fall of 2008, during which his neocortex ceased to function, Alexander claims he experienced a life-changing visit to the afterlife, specifically heaven.

"According to current medical understanding of the brain and mind, there is absolutely no way that I could have experienced even a dim and limited consciousness during my time in the coma, much less the hyper-vivid and completely coherent odyssey I underwent," Alexander writes in the cover story of this week's edition of Newsweek.

So what exactly does heaven look like?

Alexander says he first found himself floating above clouds before witnessing, "transparent, shimmering beings arced across the sky, leaving long, streamer like lines behind them."

He claims to have been escorted by an unknown female companion and says he communicated with these beings through a method of correspondence that transcended language. Alexander says the messages he received from those beings loosely translated as:

"You are loved and cherished, dearly, forever."

"You have nothing to fear."

"There is nothing you can do wrong."

From there, Alexander claims to have traveled to "an immense void, completely dark, infinite in size, yet also infinitely comforting." He believes this void was the home of God.

After recovering from his meningitis-induced coma, Alexander says he was reluctant to share his experience with his colleagues but found comfort inside the walls of his church. He's chronicled his experience in a new book, "Proof of Heaven: A neurosurgeon's journey into the afterlife," which will be published in late October.

"I'm still a doctor, and still a man of science every bit as much as I was before I had my experience," Alexander writes. "But on a deep level I'm very different from the person I was before, because I've caught a glimpse of this emerging picture of reality. And you can believe me when I tell you that it will be worth every bit of the work it will take us, and those who come after us, to get it right." :happy:

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FightAndLive

This is honestly the only type of proof we are going to get to prove there is a after life. If you think about it, if this world is a virtual world like in the Matrix, when you die, you just get unplugged.

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FMH

I have yet to come across an afterlife experience, where a person visited hell.

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FightAndLive

I have yet to come across an afterlife experience, where a person visited hell.

I would agree, if you look at the bible you don't go to heaven or hell until judgement day(this is common amongst all the major religions), so the only factual thing I could say is if your going to hell you don't get a experience like this.

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~Johnny

I have yet to come across an afterlife experience, where a person visited hell.

I'd assume if they were visiting hell whilst in their coma they'd probably die of shock, and hence never wake up to tell the story :p

Granted his story is more of a general afterlife rather than a particularly "Christian" heaven.

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Calum

And yet not a single shred of evidence was provided; thus, it still makes sense to not believe it is real or unreal. After all, would this god punish us for using logic and reason (not believing Heaven exists while we await evidence)?

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Andrew Lyle

In other news, people dream!

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FMH

I'd assume if they were visiting hell whilst in their coma they'd probably die of shock, and hence never wake up to tell the story :p

An even bigger shock would be, to meet a lot of your relatives and friends there! :laugh:

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TPreston

I don't know what's more idiotic the fact that this drivel was printed or the fact that people actually believe this crap.

Standard of evidence has plummeted to "he said it" :rofl:

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FightAndLive

In other news, people dream!

I thought people don't dream in a Coma?

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+Majesticmerc

So this guy claims to have been admitted into heaven, despite not actually being dead?

This guy is either lying, dreaming, or saying that God made a clerical error and allowed a non-dead guy into heaven, in which case there's a good chance that God's not going to be happy about making a mistake and punish him accordingly.

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Hum

I have yet to come across an afterlife experience, where a person visited hell.

There are a few hellish experiences.

Hell is the result of deep beliefs that a person is 'evil' and deserves the worst of punishments.

These experiences are quite temporary, however.

An individual 'wakes up' to the true conditions when exposed to such a shock.

And there are some great variations to Heaven-like conditions.

Individuals do not necessarily go to the same 'place'.

These are not simply 'dreams' -- an individual spirit leaves the body for a while.

You each do in fact leave your bodies each night -- whether you block out recall of the experience or not.

It is necessary for your physical survival.

As for proof, the only proof you can experience is to develop your natural abilities to go out-of-body, at a conscious level.

No one can do this for you.

You existed as a spirit before life and shall continue to exist after 'death'.

You are as dead now as you will ever be.

You are now with 'God' as you will ever be.

You are more than the physical body that you think is YOU.

Seek the truth and ye shall find -- claim the freedom that is yours.

Only your Beliefs stand in the way. ;)

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Rohdekill

Yes, isn't it extremely convenient how everyone who has a near death experience just happens to have the experience which perfectly "fits" their current religious belief?

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The King of GnG

Prove it, Mr. "doctor". Pretty please? You know, science....

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FightAndLive

Prove it, Mr. "doctor". Pretty please? You know, science....

If the proof was there to get how would you prove it?

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The King of GnG

If the proof was there to get how would you prove it?

What?

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Ambroos

The thing is, as long as there is any sort of life left in your brain you're not dead. Everything that's happening is just happening in your brain. That doesn't make it any less real, but it does mean it'll end completely when you're really dead and that it's probably not the same for everyone.

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+Majesticmerc

If the proof was there to get how would you prove it?

Come up with an experiment in which:

  1. The results can be reproduced consistently.
  2. The results can be reproduced in a controlled environment, and cannot be falsified through other evidence (i.e. brain scans indicating dream activity) or experiments (i.e. testing the drugs used on the test subjects)
  3. Resulting testimony from test subjects matches the original hypothesis.
  4. The initial theory can be modified as necessary when new evidence is presented.

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FightAndLive

What?

If you could prove heaven was real right now how would you do it? Bring a piece of heavens clouds back with you?

I am all for science but with the very real possibility that our understanding of the universe may be turned up side down on its head at any moment doesn't make heaven any less real if we can't prove it exists by our scientific standards.

Come up with an experiment in which:

  • The results can be reproduced consistently.
  • The results can be reproduced in a controlled environment, and cannot be falsified through other evidence (i.e. brain scans indicating dream activity) or experiments (i.e. testing the drugs used on the test subjects)
  • Resulting testimony from test subjects matches the original hypothesis.
  • The initial theory can be modified as necessary when new evidence is presented.

This is a serious question, all joking aside, what kind of experiment would you purpose?

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Shadier

Last night I promise I saw god and was in heaven. Now I know I cannot prove it, but I was there. It happened, I'm not joking! There was this big dude with a beard, who welcomed me with open arms. Nothing I have ever experienced before was quite like it. I know there is no proof, but take my word for it, I was in Heaven.

If I am ever in coma, I am going to have so much fun when I wake up and start telling people some ludicrous story about how I was in Heaven. This guy is probably at home laughing his ass off as to how many people believed his story. I really don't see how anyone can see any truth in these things.

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mjhannaf

I have yet to come across an afterlife experience, where a person visited hell.

23 Minutes in Hell

An interesting read even if you don't believe in God or afterlife.

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+Majesticmerc

This is a serious question, all joking aside, what kind of experiment would you purpose?

It was a serious answer. The four criteria above are a simplified version of scientific theory. An amount of evidence that can fulfil all those criteria without disproving it can make it a scientific theory, anything less is an anecdote, or faith. Incidentally this is also why Creationism isn't a scientific theory.

If it was me, I'd get several people into an experiment under the premise of "simulating a near death experience" or something similar, and then drugging them up to match the conditions the doctor was in when he claimed to see heaven. Then, do the same thing for a placebo group. Send them into a medically induced coma, and then get them to report their findings without telling them anything about the doctor's findings, and see what correlates about their stories. All subjects would be brain scanned throughout the coma to eliminate the possibility of dreams. Drugs would be extensively tested for side effects, particularly hallucinogenic effects.

Assuming complete correlation between the subjects (>80% had an afterlife experience with similar observations to the doctor), no possible side effects from the drugs, no possible dream recollection, and no possible tainting from outside sources (i.e. someone telling them what they might see), and no other possible alternate causes, I could be inclined to agree that heaven is real, but unfortunately the ethics behind such an experiment would likely prevent us from doing it. For now we'll just have to take it on faith and be nice people who get into heaven when our time is up.


But even before that, how did GOD make a clerical error and admit someone into heaven who wasn't actually dead? Is there any historical evidence in any existing scriptures that could explain how an omnipotent being can mistake a coma patient with a dead guy, while us mortals back on earth can easily differentiate?

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FightAndLive

But even before that, how did GOD make a clerical error and admit someone into heaven who wasn't actually dead? Is there any historical evidence in any existing scriptures that could explain how an omnipotent being can mistake a coma patient with a dead guy, while us mortals back on earth can easily differentiate?

We know for a fact there is some type of death gene that get's inacted when we are about to die, which is actually fueled by oxygen e.g. if you are about to die, and we could put you in a "statis" mode, it would have to be a oxygen free environment. There could "possibly" be something similar that happens when the brain doesn't send some needed data some place(kind of like a network packet timeout), that triggers you cousousness to go to heaven.

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