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Natural Awakenings Milwaukee

Finding Proof of Heaven: An Interview with Dr. Eben Alexander

May 31, 2013 10:43AM ● By Linda Sechrist

While in a near-fatal coma, Eben Alexander, M.D., a neurosurgeon, entered a realm of profound awareness of the nature of the universe—a state of unconditional love where he saw angelic beings and heard a resonant, omnipotent and omniscient presence as “Om”. Now fully recovered, he shares his transcendental near death-experience in Proof of Heaven, his New York Times bestselling book.

What made your near-death experience (NDE) so unique?

In my NDE, I was fortunate that my linguistic brain and my entire neo-cortex, which is involved in higher functions such as conscious thought and language, were entirely destroyed by lethal bacterial meningitis. This is what allowed my incredibly robust sense of eternity to emerge, as well as oneness with the divine creative source.

My lack of language and conscious thought allowed me to fully experience how we are all connected at deep levels through consciousness—not just human beings, but all of life and all forms of consciousness. There is a tremendous realm far larger than our materialist science has been able to observe. In fact, the scientific observations are nothing compared to the much grander scheme that exists. So many of our answers to life’s questions lie in knowing the true breadth, depth, higher dimensionality and eternity of this consciousness, which is the divine spark living within each of us.

How did you come to write the book?

If I’d been in any other line of work, I would have believed what my doctors told me—the dying brain can do anything, so forget about your experience. I’m grateful to my son, who is studying to be a neurosurgeon. He told me not to read anything about NDEs, which I hadn’t believed in before my own, and to write everything down. In six weeks, I wrote the book and reviewed my medical records, neurological exams, CAT scans and MRI. That’s when I realized that consciousness is far grander than anything that could ever be created by the human brain and mind, and that the reason our present scientific models do not explain how the brain generates consciousness is because it doesn’t.

What conclusions do you draw from that?

Consciousness, spirit and soul exist and are eternal. The brain is a reducing valve and limits consciousness significantly on this side of the veil. Our soul and spirit are freed up to much higher levels when we are free from the mind and body. You don’t need a NDE to get this, but you do need deep meditation and/or centering prayer, which is crucial to experiencing the much higher level of consciousness that I glimpsed in my NDE.

How can we get in touch with this essence?

We get in touch with this divine spark in deep meditation when we turn off the little voice in our head. Before my coma, I used to think that as an educated neurosurgeon, rational thinker and scientist, that voice was the highest form of intelligence and consciousness. After my NDE, I came to realize that the voice is not our consciousness at all, but rather the false voice of the linguistic human brain, which is tied into the ego. Now, my consciousness is aware of that voice, but doesn’t react or respond to it.

While the self-ego serves a role, which is important to our human existence in small ways, it blocks a much richer knowing. That’s why when meditating, I allow that little voice to state an intention and offer tremendous gratitude—and then I send it into “time out”. In meditation, I am going for “knowing” of the much richer state of consciousness, which I experienced in the NDE.

I am working with Karen Newell, a co-founder of Sacred Acoustics, to create brain entrainment audio meditations that combine digital frequencies, sacred instruments, harmonics of nature and human vocals that help people access altered states of awareness. I believe these audio meditations can help people bypass the filtering function of the brain, reach deep transcendental states and free up awareness that can shift to a much higher consciousness. I meditate with them two times a day. has a free download for anyone to try.

What is Eternea and why did you create it?

I co-founded Eternea ( with John Audette, who founded the International Association for Near-Death Studies, together with Dr. Raymond Moody and several others. Eternea was inspired by my NDE and is a virtual treasure chest of factual information from leading-edge research that I believe can change the way we view ourselves, the world and our beliefs about life’s meaning and purpose. Its mission is to educate the public about spiritually transformative experiences (STEs) and non-local consciousness in order to bring about improved and expanded levels of public awareness regarding the question of survivability of consciousness after death, as well as sustainability issues confronting our global civilization. It will also conduct research and act as an interactive database through which individuals can share their own NDEs and STEs.

For more information, visit

Linda Sechrist is the senior staff writer for Natural Awakenings. Visit for the in-depth recorded interview with Dr. Eben Alexander.

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