Forums > Off-Topic Discussion > Heaven is real says Neurosurgeon

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Tim Little Photography

Posts: 11602

Wilmington, Delaware, US

Dr. Eben Alexander has taught at Harvard Medical School and has earned a strong reputation as a neurosurgeon. 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.

I suspect a Harvard neurosurgeon has enough understanding of the brain to be able to tell the difference from a mental even and an external event. I'm biased because I had a Near Death Experience, nothing like his, but just as real.

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/he … 27063.html

Oct 09 12 09:34 pm Link

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Markcomp

Posts: 40517

Royal Oak, Michigan, US

Oct 09 12 09:43 pm Link

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Photographic Memory

Posts: 108

Kalamazoo, Michigan, US

Then surely he'd be able to offer tangible evidence? http://news.discovery.com/human/-neuros … 10923.html

It's also notable how all NDEs are entirely influenced by one's cultural upbringing (kind of like how you don't hear of Hindus seeing the face of Jesus in a piece of toast, or a Buddhist seeing a vision of the "virgin" Mary.)

http://www.thegoodatheist.net/2011/03/1 … afterlife/

Oct 09 12 10:07 pm Link

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Tim Little Photography

Posts: 11602

Wilmington, Delaware, US

Calatelpe wrote:
Then surely he'd be able to offer tangible evidence? http://news.discovery.com/human/-neuros … 10923.html

It's also notable how all NDEs are entirely influenced by one's cultural upbringing (kind of like how you don't hear of Hindus seeing the face of Jesus in a piece of toast, or a Buddhist seeing a vision of the "virgin" Mary.)

http://www.thegoodatheist.net/2011/03/1 … afterlife/

Tangible evidence? Like a moon rock? And the fact is most NDE's have little connection to individual cultural experience.

http://www.nderf.org/

Oct 09 12 10:48 pm Link

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_ Robyn Elizabeth _

Posts: 436

London, England, United Kingdom

The brain is amazing.  We are a long way from understanding it so dreams when in a coma don't mean there's an afterlife.

I dream a lot and often they are as real as reality (I have spent 30 minutes looking for a book I was reading before realising that something wasn't quite right about it and that I was dream reading it before).

Near deather experiences are very interesting and there is enough evidence that people do often experience something but that doesn't mean than what they experience actually exists.

Oct 10 12 02:52 am Link

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Tim Little Photography

Posts: 11602

Wilmington, Delaware, US

_ Robyn Elizabeth _ wrote:
The brain is amazing.  We are a long way from understanding it so dreams when in a coma don't mean there's an afterlife.

I dream a lot and often they are as real as reality (I have spent 30 minutes looking for a book I was reading before realising that something wasn't quite right about it and that I was dream reading it before).

Near deather experiences are very interesting and there is enough evidence that people do often experience something but that doesn't mean than what they experience actually exists.

I agree Robyn. In this case he had no brain. The neocortex ceased to function. I'm no expert but as I understand it that means a dead brain. Grey meat and nothing more. My NDE was nothing as exciting as this guy but I was there. The mind is an amazing thing but I believe there are much more amazing things than a dead brain.

Oct 10 12 03:00 am Link

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Paolo Diavolo

Posts: 8811

Martinez, California, US

anyone else find everything about this completely stupid?

Oct 10 12 03:25 am Link

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T H Taylor

Posts: 6756

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US

Moderator Warning!

Paolo Diavolo wrote:
anyone else find everything about this completely stupid?

Surely you are more eloquent than this.  There must better ways( in a public forum) to express your difference of opinion.  I would advised that if you intend to post on MM:  Please find and use them (Or don't post at all.).
Thanks.

Oct 11 12 07:11 am Link

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The Art of Churchwell

Posts: 3171

QUEENS VILLAGE, New York, US

I have dreampt I did things for many days. Then woke up from my 20 minute nap

Oct 11 12 07:18 am Link

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modeled

Posts: 9334

San Diego, California, US

Awesome stuff Tim, thanks for posting, I emailed it to my family.

Oct 11 12 07:21 am Link

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Angela Perez

Posts: 340

Orlando, Florida, US

I had a NDE I didn't go to heaven, saw god or a white light. But I did experience something but it was completely different from what I'm used to hearing about.

Oct 11 12 07:23 am Link

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MN camera

Posts: 1861

Saint Paul, Minnesota, US

Really, what this shows us is that despite his cortical inactivity, something was happening in his brain.  Which shows us that our knowledge is still rather incomplete.

I don't think there is any possible conclusion on the existence or nature of an afterlife to be drawn from what he saw, since it seemed in the reading to be rather strongly informed by his admitted Christian beliefs.

Oct 11 12 08:38 am Link

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Tim Little Photography

Posts: 11602

Wilmington, Delaware, US

Angela Perez wrote:
I had a NDE I didn't go to heaven, saw god or a white light. But I did experience something but it was completely different from what I'm used to hearing about.

Actually Angela it is incorrect that EVERYONE has the same experience. Some people have terrible events occur while others just float above their body. There is no specific right or wrong.

I didn't see Heaven or God or dead relatives. I saw a young woman who smiled pure love. And she smiled at me a lot. But we were in a park that you would find anywhere.

Oct 11 12 09:41 am Link

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Kelli

Posts: 24346

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Strange coincidence, I'm watching the show on that right now.

Oct 11 12 09:53 am Link

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Jacob Davis

Posts: 858

Boulder, Colorado, US

Once back when I was a kid, I was downtown on a busy day. I can remember why, but stepped into a busy street, and got run over by what I'm pretty sure was a bus from behind.

When I came to, I was face down on grass and dirt. I was really disoriented, and when I looked around there were kids playing football, jumping and laughing after what I'm pretty sure was a big play. I saw one of the kids running in a path that looked like it had taken him straight away from me, so I figured he'd run over me from behind during the play. Asshole. I was still disoriented, so I put my head back down and blacked out.

When I came to, I was face down on grass and dirt. There were just a few other kids around and one of them was checking on me. Turns out I'd had a seizure. No football, no one running around, certainly no buses.

It wasn't quite an NDE, but the lesson stuck. Brains are fascinating, and prone to getting us to believe all sorts of weird stuff that needn't be true... especially during trauma.

Oct 11 12 10:04 am Link

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PhillipM

Posts: 6556

Martin, Tennessee, US

How come anytime has a out of life experience, it's always "heaven"....

No one being bad anymore?

Oct 11 12 10:18 am Link

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Gianantonio

Posts: 8067

Minneapolis, Minnesota, US

I read an interesting article on near-death experiences. It was by a surgeon. Apparently it is not all that uncommon for patients to come out of surgery claiming to have heard and seen events in the OR as if they were outside their own body.

The hearing part is pretty easy to understand. Hearing is the last sense to go when you die. In fact, if you are with someone who has had a heart attack or is otherwise unconscious, if CPR or other methods don't revive them, it is recommended you shout at the person (well, it probably doesn't matter who you direct the shout at...) as that can revive people.

But to test if people were really seeing the events (as opposed to simply constructing visual narratives to what they heard while on the table) the doctor put some unusual things in the operating room--on top of cabinets and such, so that one could only see the items from above. The things included a neon pink tennis racket and maybe the famous Farrah poster--things that typically are not found in an operating room.

The question, then, was How many NDE claimers would mention these odd details in the OR?

The answer--zero.

I get that people want to believe there is life after death. But come on--clearly we all know we can generate visual narratives to stories we hear. Why do so many forget that little piece of knowledge (and experience) when evaluating things like NDEs?

Oct 11 12 10:20 am Link

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eddiemac

Posts: 117

Boston, Massachusetts, US

And it's Christmas in Heaven...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IivaDS3eWrE

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_1_xtrCve3Fo/SU1GjC9aJxI/AAAAAAAAAag/1rX1cux0OC8/s288/Graham-Small2.jpg

Oct 11 12 02:46 pm Link

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Compass Rose Studios

Posts: 15979

Portland, Oregon, US

Calatelpe wrote:
Then surely he'd be able to offer tangible evidence? http://news.discovery.com/human/-neuros … 10923.html

Not that I believe in heaven.  But I always get a good chuckle when folks ask for physical evidence of what's ostensibly supposed to be a nonphysical reality.

Oct 11 12 02:52 pm Link

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John Meadows

Posts: 201

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I can see it would be hard to provide physical evidence, but the burden of proof is on the person making the assertion, and as they say, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

Oct 11 12 03:02 pm Link

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figurativearts

Posts: 5723

Cottonwood, Arizona, US

Tim Little Photography wrote:
I didn't see Heaven or God or dead relatives. I saw a young woman who smiled pure love. And she smiled at me a lot. But we were in a park that you would find anywhere.

I've had a similar experience. and no I'm not being facetious about my port.

Oct 11 12 03:09 pm Link

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Compass Rose Studios

Posts: 15979

Portland, Oregon, US

John Meadows wrote:
I can see it would be hard to provide physical evidence, but the burden of proof is on the person making the assertion, and as they say, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

My only point is if someone is making a claim about a reality that has no measurable physical aspect - how could they possibly provide evidence for it even if it was somehow real? 

Which is why I would consider any such experience as being entirely subjective.  In their shoes I wouldn't try to convince others of its efficacy in the first place.  That would be sheer folly.

Oct 11 12 03:10 pm Link

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figurativearts

Posts: 5723

Cottonwood, Arizona, US

Compass Rose Studios wrote:

My only point is if someone is making a claim about a reality that has no measurable physical aspect - how could they possibly provide evidence for it even if it was somehow real? 

Which is why I would consider any such experience as being entirely subjective.  In their shoes I wouldn't try to convince others of its efficacy in the first place.  That would be sheer folly.

I agree, I think its one of those things mainly for the audience of people who have also had a similar experience. It would be hard for anyone else to believe it.

Oct 11 12 03:29 pm Link

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Lawrence Guy

Posts: 17683

Spring Valley, California, US

Jacob Davis wrote:
Brains are fascinating, and prone to getting us to believe all sorts of weird stuff that needn't be true... especially during trauma.

QFT.

Oct 11 12 04:03 pm Link

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Eridu

Posts: 623

Boston, Massachusetts, US

asdsadsadsadasdsadASDAS

Oct 11 12 05:19 pm Link

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Photographic Memory

Posts: 108

Kalamazoo, Michigan, US

Oct 12 12 01:18 pm Link

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Gianantonio

Posts: 8067

Minneapolis, Minnesota, US

Oct 12 12 02:31 pm Link

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SweetGirlyGirl2

Posts: 57

Honolulu, Hawaii, US

I believe it.
Anything is possible.

www.heavenisforreal.net

Beautiful book

Oct 12 12 03:26 pm Link