A Neurosurgeon’s Story: Scientific Proof of the Human Spirit?

Can there be scientific proof of life beyond the flesh?

**Those who know me are very well familiar with my view on the human spirit and that I have zero problems with accepting its existence.  With that said, this article regarding the ground-breaking experience and research of a renown American neurosurgeon comes simply from my desire to share what I think is crucial scientific analysis of life beyond flesh.

Recently, my friend Sam and I were doing some reading and study at a local bookstore when we stumbled across the October 15th edition of Newsweek which cover conveniently read “Heaven is Real: A Doctor’s Experience of the Afterlife”.  With both of our interests and passions we couldn’t help but take a gander and Sam in fact quickly overcame any ounce of skepticism and made the purchase.

First, I must express my own fascination with the near-death experience that is coupled with a healthy dose of real criticism.  I believe through my own experience as well as the numerous stories I have heard from others that what happens as we are dying, die, or come back to life from death whether it be positive or negative is absolutely real.  I picked up this Newsweek article with a strong sense of skepticism as I considered the generic cover photo of a cheesy hand lifted toward the skies and the bold “Heaven is Real” title that appeals to those who are on the border when it comes to their belief in the afterlife.  Even with the very apparent appeal to the masses in its presentation and marketing I still had to give it a shot, so I cracked the pages and was surprised at what I found.

Dr. Eben Alexander, a well-practiced neurosurgeon with an inkling of “God” in his worldview was a man who believed that once the neocortex part of the brain was shut down human consciousness seized to exist.  In 2008, through a rare form of meningitis he entered a coma that would leave his neocortex completely inactivated.  He spent seven days “dead” according to the neuroscientific world and under the close watch of colleagues at Lynchburg General Hospital in Virginia, where he experienced life as he never had before.  In the article he states:

“There is no scientific explanation for the fact that while my body lay in coma, my mind—my conscious, inner self—was alive and well. While the neurons of my cortex were stunned to complete inactivity by the bacteria that had attacked them, my brain-free consciousness journeyed to another, larger dimension of the universe: a dimension I’d never dreamed existed and which the old, pre-coma me would have been more than happy to explain was a simple impossibility.”

The details of the experience I will leave to you to read for yourself HERE.

What I want to address here is the potential empirical evidence of life beyond what we know.  Do I believe that this neuroscientist’s experience and the research involved proves life after death? Maybe.  Do I need this proof personally?  No.  But, this man’s experience throws a wrench in the scientific understanding of the human brain and spirit.  Dr. Alexander later said in an interview with Skeptico:

“One thing we will have to let go of is this kind of addiction to simplistic primitive reductive materialism because there is really no way that I can see a reductive materialist model coming remotely in the right ballpark to explain what we really know about consciousness now.”

The Bible says that, “the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God”.  As we continue to learn more about our bodies and the universe around us we grow in our understanding of how little we truly know.  There are many, despite the many experiences they and others have had that will continue to deny the existence of the spirit and the reality of life beyond the flesh.  I do hope that this man’s experience and the scientific evidence presented will spur those on to examine the wonder of the human spirit and the one who created us!

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