Travel in the Spiritual Worlds
Dr. Eben Alexander, Newsweek, (A Doctor's Experience of the Afterlife, pp. 30-32, October 15, 2012 issue)
Recently, Newsweek Magazine published an extraordinary article written by a neurosurgeon who had an experience of a journey into what be believed to be the afterlife that occurred as he was unconscious in a coma that lasted seven days. The coma was induced by severe spinal meningitis. The experience was therefore not the result of a classical NDE. The significance of this article according to its author was that his brain or cortex was "simply off" rather than functioning in a "minimal, transient, or partial" way as he claims is generally the case with NDEs.
However this comatose brain state is most likely comparable to a condition of the brain that occurs during an NDE when there are no brain waves during the event (which also indicates that the cortex is not functioning). This fact disputes the author's claim that "All of the chief arguments against near-death experience is that these experiences are the results of ... malfunctioning of the cortex" (as opposed to the cortex being "off"). In both cases (no brain waves and severe meningitis), subjects and researchers might conclude that since the other worldly experiences did not have a physical (i.e., cerebral) origin due to the brain being "off", they must therefore have a supernatural origin. This experience being a seven-day coma had different contents than most NDEs although it did have the following elements in common with an NDE: being in an "out-of-body" state, "meeting others" who are helpers, seeing "beings of light", and returning to life (waking up from the coma) after being told it was not yet time to die.
Towards the beginning of my adventure, I was in a place of clouds. Big, puffy pink-white ones that showed up sharply against the deep blue-black sky.
Higher than the clouds "immeasurably higher" flocks of transparent shimmering beings arced across the sky leaving long, streamer-like lines behind them.
Birds? Angels? These words registered later when I was writing down my recollections. But neither of these would do justice to the being themselves, which were quite simply different from anything I had known on this planet. They were more advanced higher life forms.
A sound, huge and booming like a glorious chant came down from above, and I wondered if the winged beings were producing it. Again thinking about it later, it occurred to me that the joy of these creatures, as they soared along was such that they had to make this noise, that if the joy didn't come out of them this way, they would simply not otherwise be able to contain it. The sound was palpable and almost material, like the rain that you feel on your skin but doesn't get you wet.
Seeing and hearing were not separate in this place where I now was. I could hear the visual beauty of the slivery bodies of those scintillating beings above, and I could see the surging, joyful perfection of what they sang. It seemed that you could not look at or listen to anything in this world without becoming part of it, without joining with it in some mysterious way. Again, from my present perspective, I would suggest that you couldn't look at anything in that world at all, for the word "at" itself implies a separation that did not exist there. Everything was distinct but also a part of everything else, like the rich and intermingled designs of a Persian carpet, or a butterfly's wing.
It gets stranger still. For most of my journey, someone else was with me. She was young and I remember what she looked like in complete detail. She had high cheekbones and deep-blue eyes. Golden brown tresses framed her lovely face. When I first saw her, we were riding along together on an intricately patterned surface, which after a moment I recognized as the wing of a butterfly. In fact, millions of butterflies were all around us, vast fluttering waves of them, dipping down into woods and coming back up around us again. It was a river of life and light and color, moving through the air. The woman's outfit was simple. Like a peasant's, but its colors- powder blue, indigo, and pastel orange-peach had the same overwhelming, super-vivid aliveness that everything else had. She looked at me with a look that, if you saw it for five seconds, would make your whole life up to that point seem worth living, no matter what had happened in it so far. It was not a romantic look. It was not a look of friendship. It was a look that somehow was beyond all these, beyond all the different components of love we have down here on earth. It was somehow higher, holding all these other kinds of love within itself while at the same time being much bigger than all of them.
Without using any words, she spoke to me. The message went through me like a wind, and I instantly understood that it was true. I knew so in the way that I knew the world around us was real, was not some fantasy, passing and insubstantial.
The message had three parts:
And if I had to translate them into earthly language, I'd say they ran something like this:
"You are loved and cherished dearly forever."
"You have nothing to fear."
"There is nothing you can do wrong."
The message flooded me with a vast and crazy sensation of relief. It was like being handed the rules to a game I had been playing all my life without ever fully understanding it.
"We will show you many things here", the woman said, again without actually using the words but by driving their conceptual essence directly into me, "but eventually you will have to go back." To this I only had the question, "Back where?"
A warm wind blew through, like the kind that springs up on the most perfect summer days, tossing the leaves of trees and flowing past like heavenly water. A divine breeze, it changed everything, shifting the world around me into an even higher octave, a higher vibration.
Although I still had little language function, at least as we think of it on earth, I began wordlessly putting questions to this wind, and to the divine being I sensed at work behind and within it.
Where is this place?
Who am I?
Why am I here?
Each time I silently put one of these questions out, the answer came instantly in a explosion of light, color, love and beauty that blew through me like a crashing wave. What was important about these blasts was they didn't simply silence my questions by overwhelming them. They answered them, but in a way that bypassed language. Thoughts entered me directly. But it wasn't thought like we experience it in earth. It wasn't vague, immaterial, or abstract. These thoughts were solid and immediate, hotter than fire and wetter than water and as I received them I was able to instantly and effortlessly understand concepts that would have taken years to fully grasp in my earthly life.
I continued moving forward and found myself entering an immense void, completely dark, infinite in size, yet also infinitely comforting. Pitch black as it was, it was also brimming over with light: a light that seemed to come from a brilliant orb that I now sensed near me. The orb was a kind of "interpreter" between me and the vast presence surrounding me. It was as if I were being born into a larger world, and the universe itself was a giant cosmic womb, and the orb (which I was somehow connected with, or even identical to, the woman on the butterfly wing) was guiding me through it.
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