Our spring issue is out now! We recently caught up with the incredible Dr Eben Alexander for a fascinating discussion on his NDE and consciousness – Dive on in!
Eben Alexander on his NDE
Nearing Death Brings Light To Life
Interviewer: Paul Congdon
By Alison McEvoy
“…recover your connection to the universe at large and your ability to contribute
to the metamorphosis of all humankind.”
Eben Alexander, MD, was an academic neurosurgeon for over 25 years, including 15 years at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston. He experienced a transcendental Near-Death Experience (NDE) during a week-long coma from an inexplicable brain infection that completely transformed his worldview. A pioneering scientist and modern thought leader in the emerging science that acknowledges the primacy of consciousness in the universe, he is the author of the New York Times #1 bestseller Proof of Heaven, The Map of Heaven and Living in a Mindful Universe.
Eban Alexander is one of the most famous Near-Death Experiencers in the world. It probably helps that he can speak so eloquently about the subject, and has been doing so for over a decade now, along with his wife Karen. Eben explodes the conversation on Near-Death Experience, in all directions of implication and meaning. He speaks not only of his own experience but also about how the modern science of consciousness converges with that experience, and rationally proves what he can testify to having experienced from the depths of his coma.
What some near-death literature calls “the void”, Eben calls “the core”. What he found in that “dazzling darkness” was not any lack or emptiness, as implied by the word ‘void’, but rather a felt-sense of “complete bliss, oneness, with an infinitely loving God force of healing and wholeness.” A place where duality ceases to exist and “all paradoxes are resolved”. Eben believes that a near-death experience (NDE) is not required in order to experience this core of existence, this “experience of pure oneness”. We can all access it through a strong meditation practice or spontaneous epiphany.
PAST THE STREAM, TO THE CORE
The first step, the most important thing, for people to do in order to get on track to experiencing the core, is this, “It begins with an acknowledgement that the little voice in our heads is not who we truly are. Our consciousness is a much richer connection with the universe.” It is essential to realise that the stream of thoughts which is first encountered on the meditative journey ‘inside’, is not who you are. Sitting down to meditate or pray, immediately the ‘inner room-mate’ starts to chatter.
This is a huge stumbling block for so many. It is so easy to get lost in frustration or to start to listen and go down the rabbit hole of thoughts, concerns, complaints, questions that our thinking brain, or ‘ego mind’, is constantly streaming at us. It is only when you can step out of that stream of thoughts, put it in “time out” – as Eben describes his manner of bypassing the ego mind – that you can begin the journey to the core. For Eben, there is no one prescribed way in which to meditate or practice centering prayer, “Meditation can come in many different forms…Meditation and centering prayer help thin the veil and reconnect at a soul level…I use sacred acoustics…[it] is a very good place to start.”
ODYSSEY INTO LOVE
While Eben’s consciousness journeyed away from his human existence as ‘Eben’, in/out to the deepest realms of the Universe, he found that “The background of that realm is love”. The “God-force” which he experienced has an “ultimate ambience of love, compassion, kindness”. Thus, true spirituality is this self-same ambience alive within the human being. For Eben, his experience has allowed him to become crystal clear as to the nature of spirituality.
“There are two ingredients to spirituality alone. One is a strong sense, and a practical application of unity with other beings and with the universe at large. The other is that it all has meaning and purpose. That the universe is filled in essence with the Grace of God. We have a shared purpose and meaning to our lives.” Accepting these two ingredients into our lives brings with it a wealth of possibility for healing and wholeness, “Each of us has tremendous power to come into physical, mental and emotional healing by acknowledging that we are spiritual beings in a spiritual universe… recover your connection to the universe at large and your ability to contribute to the metamorphosis of all humankind.”
This potential contribution, our purpose, has to do with the evolution and growth of both human individuals and an involvement with humanity at large, “It’s our free will choice of how we deal with the hardships in our lives. That’s what allows us to transform and grow… Our souls grow in participating with the transformation of all sentient beings. It’s here in the material world that we get the growth done.” We are here to learn, to evolve, to grow towards the divine essence — learn to use our free will throughout our daily struggles to choose the ‘ambience of love, compassion and kindness’. This is the best and truest use of our free will. When we align our free will with God, make the choices that God/The Divine would have us make — we grow spiritually.
There is a beautiful humility which Eben expresses as a human being, “Our ability to bring the consciousness of the Universe into our understanding is just beyond that of the animals. We are closer to the animals than we are to infinite knowledge.” A true philosopher, he recognises the limits of our human knowledge, the limits of our brain to transmit and receive Universal consciousness. We cannot know the overall purpose of the Existence at large, and our place in it, but we can get a sense of our purpose as human beings and how to fulfil that purpose via our free will.
CONNECT WITH EBEN
Eben has so much to share, from personal stories of his NDE to the cutting edge of scientific knowledge which aligns with wisdom thousands of years old. There is so much to his scope of experience and knowledge. His new book, ‘Living In A Mindful Universe’, is out now and it’s a great place to start…
Find out more about Doctor Eben here: ebenalexander.com
See below for the recording of the event with Dr Eben Alexander.