The Cycle | November 02, 2012
>>> some of the tragic stories from sandy has been difficult to comprehend. this one is a man sheltered in his home doing what authorities told him to do when a tree crashed through a roof and killed him. a couple out walking the dog hit by a tree. both humans are killed but the dog survived. we're not in control of our own destiny. perhaps a higher power is making that decision. our next guest knows all about the fine line between life and death having walked it himself.
>> i was just a piece of -- a speck of awareness mainly in a kind of dark, murky environment. then i was rescued by this beautiful, spinning, white light that had a melody, indescribably beautiful melody with it that opened up into a bright valley. there were blossoming flowers, and just an incredible, rich, ultra real world .
>> evan alexander nervous a coma for a full week after he contracted a rare bacterial infection. his entire cortex was completely dead. his doctors talked about taking him off life support , and evan woke up. he believes he returned from another consciousness than he dreamed existed. he said it was heaven, but this time it's different. evan is actually dr. evan alexander , a harvard-trained brain surgeon . his scientific explanation is that he was actually in heaven up. dr. alexander is author of the new book "proof of heaven up. "t thank you for joins us.
>> thank you for having me.
>> one thing that struck me about your account of experience is you were guided by this being you described in that clip we just played, and you find out after the fact this was actually your biological sister who you had never met before. you were adopted as a baby and never met your biological sister before. she died two years prior. tell us about that and your experience in general.
>> yes, it was -- the experience itself occurred when i -- my brain was -- should have been capable of no experience whatsoever. i spent seven days in a deep coma on a ventilator with my brain covered with pus and really shouldn't have been able to have any experience, much less the very rich, intricate and complex reality i had. when i first came back, all my old memories of my life before were gone, and i had this beautiful odyssey i'd been through. i spent months trying to understand that and come to grips with it reported as a neuroscientific report. i came to realize none of my hypothesises explained how it could have been happened.
>> you talk about your experience in what we think of as heaven. did you get any sense while you were there, that there's another side, there's a hell?
>> well, i really saw the but fee a beauty and love in the gateway realm, and that's a beautiful place where i found that beautiful woman who was with me on a butterfly wing and going through idealic valleys. it was from there outside of this universe to what i call the core, which is with a loving, divine presence and a brilliant orb of light and all these less lessons. i would keep cycling through that. i was trying to understand this based on brain principles, and what i came to realize after months of analysis is it didn't happen in my brain or physical universe , but it was very real. that sister you mentioned was actually the keep to understanding it all about four months after i came out of a coma.
>> i'm going to take a skeptical approach to this one. we heard lots of stories through the years of different near-death experiences from people, and i don't doubt the emotional impact this could have on anybody. i think there are a lot of neuro neurosciencists that say what people go through is a phenomenon of the brain. it's not unlike something induced with a psychedelic drug for instance. you say you had complete inactive yags of your cerebral cortex and that higher order brain functions were all offline. marco hen at ucla said coma does not equate to shutting down the cerebral cortex . what you're describing would actually be 100% brain death , which would be fatal for anybody. so there was not complete detef deactivation here and it's possible it was going on in your mind.
>> the important thing to understand is this was a very severe meningitis, and very rare. even when i got to the emergency room , having gone into coma in about three or four hours, i was looking at best at 10% survival chance. by the end of the week that was probably down to 2% survival with no chance of return to function. if i'd been in coma for any reason other than severe meningitis, i wouldn't have ever been able to include this happened outside of my brain and outside of the physical realm. it was only being in coma from a very severe meningitis that i conclude this very rich, vibrant, interactive odyssey i went through happened in coma. there are anchors in time to thi thanks that happened in the earthly realm that showed me it was deep inside the coma.
>> i had a similar moment when i said, there must be a god. i know how that changed my life. so on you is your newfound certainty that there is a heaven, that there is a god changed the way you lived your life?
>> well, it's basically i now have a completely different the understanding of the meaning of our existence, a completely different understanding of consciousness. of course, before my coma i was kind of a conventional neurosurgeon with a neuroscientific view. brain creates consciousness. i didn't see any way soul or spirit lived beyond the death of brain and body. now i see how consciousness occurs in a richer form free of brain, we're conscious in spite of our brain. in fact, you have to go deep into the hard problem of consciousness , which is one of the most vexing scientific problems that exists and the enigma of the mechanics to get to the deepest answer.
>> thank you so much for sharing this with us.