DURHAM, N.C.—Eben Alexander was your typical neurosurgeon. A firm believer of scientific reductionism, he thought that all thoughts originate from the brain. But this changed in 2008 when he encountered a case of near-death experience (NDE).
As much as it was the complete opposite of his previous views, he couldn't dismiss or avoid the case—it was none other than his own experience, and he had to face it and search for an explanation.
"To compare it with sitting here and talking on the phone or working on my computer, it was much, much more real, very rich, and as if I were truly being alive for the first time," Alexander said. "It was really amazing."
"My brain right now—I think it recovered pretty well—could not do anything close to what my brain was doing deep in coma," Alexander said in this year's International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS) conference.
"How does a dying brain end up getting far, far more powerful and able to handle these tremendous loads of information instantaneously and put it altogether?"
"For me the problem was how to explain the hyper-reality. How do I explain such a rich experience, such an interactive experience, one with so much very vivid, and auditory and visual components when the parts of my human brain that normally handle all that were infected with meningitis and were not working. And especially how was it that the mind would experience consciousness, and handling very complex tasks?" Alexander said during the interview.
My conclusion is that the experience was very real and had to happen outside of my brain, and it had to happen outside of this physical universe. […] There is an element of our consciousness that is not dependent on the brain and that is what was set free, for me, and went on that journey."
"Any scientists who doubt the reality of such extraordinary near-death experiences should begin by explaining the fundamental mechanism of conscious awareness. The evidence for the reality of many related phenomena, such as remote viewing and influence, and out-of-body phenomena, is overwhelming. The reductive materialist view of physical reality, as it currently stands, is not going to fully explain consciousness," he said.
"I see science and spirituality going forward, together—science and spirituality as being one, and complementing each other beautifully. Both the religious side and the science side will have to let go of some of the more simplistic dogmatic assumptions and statements, but then science and spirituality and this deeper knowledge of the profound nature of our individual consciousness can move forward. The world will be an enormously better place when we do that," he concluded.http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/science/near-death-experiences-30-years-of-research-part-5-62649.html