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on 26 October 2012
I have read a large number of books on this subject over the years. A lot have been written in anecdotal style and I have been left feeling sceptical. This book is quite analytical in approach and does not attempt to sensationalise or lead the reader to accept weird and wonderful reasons why the author had the experiences described. Whilst it would have been helpful to have more on the actual content of what the author experienced and perhaps a little less of the scientific explanations; overall,the book provides food for thought and for me personally some antidote to the grief I still experience thirty five years after losing my young son. I believe the book will be a great comfort to many others who are also grieving.
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on 10 February 2013
This is by far the best book I've read for a very long time and I could not put it down. I read it in a day!. It has confirmed things for me about near death experience, which a friend told me about after he came out of a coma, and Dr Eben Alexander's experiences were almost exactly the same. The story held me from page one from when Eben started to become ill, right through everything that the medical profession did to support him during the 7 days he was in a coma, and how his family tried to cope with the knowledge that Eben might never come back to them, an experience that for them was very harrowing. When Eben went into his coma, he knew nothing of the drama that went off around his bedside or the fears of his family and friends that he many never recover. Eben was, in the eyes of the scientific medical world, brain dead, as a result of the bacterial e-coli Meningitis that attacked his brain. I found this an easy to read and truly enthralling book even though there were some technical medical descriptions that I didn't wholly understand. True stories like this one are so inspiring. I have never been afraid to die but this has confirmed to me that there should never need to be a reason to be afraid anyway. Dr Eben Alexander also opened a website following his experience. This is mentioned in the book and it gives support to people who have returned to earth after a near death experience. There are stories and lots of information on the website. Do read this book from the first page to the very last and then pass it on as I have done.
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on 26 October 2012
Dr Alexander`s formidable credentials as a doctor and scientist lend credibility to this fascinating subject.

His descriptions of the "other world" he entered are a little hard to understand, visualise, conceptualise, but as he himself says several times throughout the book words are simply an inadequate means of describing the experience he went through.

The twist at the end (don`t want to ruin it for anyone with any further details!) that proves what he saw was real will take your breath away. Conclusive proof that what he saw could not have simply been a hallucination.

I have read several books on this subject, and would put myself in the camp of "skeptical but so wanting it all to be true." The scientist in me tries to come up with rational explanations for what people describe. The spiritual side of me tries to prove otherwise. Dr Alexander, far more scientific than me, has managed to put into words what I never could. His experience, combined with his medical background, is good enough for me. I believe everything he said, and thank him for the courage he has shown in putting his scientific repuatation on the line in order to share the good news with all of us. Whether or not we now choose to heed it or not is entirely down to us as individuals. There`s that "free will" again! Enjoy!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 26 November 2012
Proof of Heaven: A neurosurgeon's journey into the afterlife by Eben Alexander, Simon & Schuster, New York; Piatkus, London, 2012, 208 ff.

Most of the books on near-death experiences (NDEs) are written by authors who relate accounts given to them by other people. The books by Raymond Moody, Pim van Lommel and Michael Sabom are typical examples. This book, like that of Nanci Danison, is a first-hand account written by someone who has himself experienced an NDE.

Dr Eben Alexander is a neurosurgeon. He had his first near-death experience as a parachute jumper when he nearly collided with another jumper. But it was the coma produced by an attack of bacterial meningitis in 2008 that provoked something of the kinds of mental images that are usually associated with NDEs. However, many of the incidents common to many NDE experiencers were missing. This event has however still led him to conclude that `our life does not end with the death of the body or the brain'.

The first couple of chapters of the book describe some of the symptoms of Alexander's condition when he was ill - not for the squeamish, perhaps. But his recollections of the first period of his coma in another spiritual realm are equally vividly described - and fascinating. The whole description is given more weight by the fact that Alexander is a scientist who started this experience with the usual reservations if not scepticism about the existence of the psychic realm. I found the details that Alexander recounts more convincing of continuing discarnate existence than several I have read. The personal details of his life that the author includes get the reader more involved in the story - it's not some dispassionate scientific account of an experiment but a real-life experience of a living being. This account includes the personal events surrounding his emergence from coma.

Eben Alexander wrote this book with the conviction that the importance of unconditional love and that science supports rather than contradicts the existence of the spiritual realm is such that it is imperative that it is understood by a majority of people on the planet before our obsessive materialism drives humankind to extinction. He knew also that he was forever part of the divine spiritual energy that he calls Om. He knows that the events and impressions he relates in this book are real - and he can distinguish them from the hallucinatory images he rambled about as he was recovering from his coma. During the coma, the attending physicians will attest to the fact that his conscious mind was dead.

There is a good Index and a further Reading List at the end of the book together with an interesting consideration of nine neurological hypotheses that might explain Dr Alexander's experiences: none of which satisfies him or his colleagues - which leaves us with interpretation as a vision of `heaven'.

Consciousness Beyond Life: The Science of the Near-Death Experience
Life After Life
Glimpses of Eternity: An investigation into shared death experiences
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on 27 October 2012
Whether you agree with Dr Alexander's conclusions, or if indeed there is an afterlife at all, it is hard to deny that this rational, educated man has undergone an experience which, for him, has been life changing. He has gone to great lengths to set out that experience clearly for us (by his own admission words fail to match his experience) and his apparent lack of agenda, in terms of trying to convert us to one faith or another, lends credibility to his account. I was immensely relieved to find the book focused on the scientific and factual insofar as it was possible to do so, and chose not to descend into pulpit thumping.

Instead he proposes that science needs to look more closely at where it is going, and that ongoing studies and examination of the consciousness, as opposed to of the brain, is something that will bring science and spirituality closer together. If I've understood him correctly he sees the future of science as changing direction, accepting that consciousness exists without the brain which is little more than an elaborate processor of our consciousness in earthly terms, and considering in much greater detail the millions of experiences that people have had.

I read the entire book yesterday and am going back to the beginning today. It isn't one you should dismiss without reading it for yourself and (forgive the cliche)it might change your life. Other NDE accounts convince in varying degrees. This one stands head and shoulders above the rest.
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on 30 October 2012
I have mixed feelings about this book. I would strongly recommend reading it, and I would strongly recommend slogging through to the end of the book when the going gets tough! I'm not an intellectual, and I found the book very wordy and hard-going in places. However, I'm really glad that I have read it - and I love the message that it gives out - it has confirmed for me, so much of what I believe. I feel like I had a load of jumbled up ideas and that this book has given me a clearer picture - a bit like having a load of jigsaw puzzle pieces, and knowing roughly what was on them... but now the puzzle is more complete and I can see the picture!

I think the book is worth reading twice, or even more times, to get more of its message.
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on 9 January 2013
I was given this book by my husband as a Christmas . I was a wee bit surprised that he would purchase this book as even though this has been an area that I have been interested in for a long time . He was always a skeptic and he could not understand my continued interest and belief in NDE.
He read the book before I did and based on what he read he became much more receptive to the idea . I guess the fact it was written by a neurosurgeon a man who worked on the brain and who was on his death bed and he survived and massive infection and recovered totally gave it more credibility .
I have read the book as well . I found it to be very credible and also very interesting . His writing style is more direct and clinical but I do think he made a conscious effort to make it easier for a lay person . You have to realize most of his writing is for physicians and medical journals and he writes at a higher clinical level However it does not describe the typical experience I have read from other people .
The fact of the matter is that he really should not have survived . He was given an incredible gift . He came back with no brain damage at all .
Whether you are a believer or not . Trust me this is truly a miracle !!
Thank you Dr Alexander for sharing and writing this book .
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on 1 November 2012
The title of the book is pretty accurate, considering it's content. Eben takes the imagery of his experience far too seriously in my view, after reading Chapter 15, I almost gave up on finishing his book! Phew, what a load of... err... speculation, and 'Om', bloomin hell!

His experience all gets rolled up with the typical smooth figher pilot and racing car driver personality of a surgeon, it really does, dear me... although at least he's honest enough to admit that some of his statements might 'appear' a little grandiose... Eben they 'are' grandiose!

However, I'm pleased that in his conclusion, he finally realises that the main message he took from his experience - "That he is loved", was the one he most needed to hear, because of his early childhood experiences.

Because we generally don't get to know anything about the background childhood of the NDE'r, the significance of their experience is often lost on us the listeners. In Eben's case, it's really helpful that he's been very frank about both his childhood, and the period before his experience when he felt that his life was simply unravelling. I think he's reached the right conclusion, even if he's got completely side tracked by the importance of the imagery.

Eben is also very honest, when he admits he was beginning to doubt the impact of his experience some months later. That is until he received the photo of Betsy, and made a connection. Who knows whether the similarity is real or not - remembering faces is after all known to be very difficult - but Eben thinks the similarity exists, and interestingly no one can challenge that. So it's been just the thing he needed to continue believing in the important message "That he is loved", I think that is all that matters in my view.

Its a short book, quick to read, perfectly harmless, with a few good emotional bits, but I can't honestly say it's required reading.
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on 19 April 2013
Interesting but not quite what I expected. Perhaps I picked up the blurb incorrectly but I was led to believe that during his pseudo death state he met other people, friends, family who had gone before. Admittedly his instant illness was traumatic and the details of this are comprehensive but I found the technical detail a bit too heavy - and I do understand quite a lot of it. More was actually given to this than the 'proof of the afterlife' and what happened during that phase. That's not what I bought it for.

On the strength of the publicity I bought the Kindle version for myself and, at the same time, the book for a friend. Unfortunately it would be too technical for her and I will have to sell it on.

So, in my opinion, if you are looking for an afterlife fix this is not the book for you but each to his own, as they say.
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on 19 November 2012
A truly fascinating read, left me wanting to know more. Never read a book like this before but was tempted by the credentials of the author. It doesn't answer all the questions and I'm still not 100% convinced but its great to open your mind to the possibilities.
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