Book discussion: "Proof of Heaven" by Eben Alexander, M.D.

Note the new location for this meetup - we will be meeting at the Starbucks at the S.W. corner of 16th and Arch, across the Parkway from Cappricio's. We will be in the large indoor area directly outside the main part of Starbucks.

 

"Proof of Heaven" a neurosurgeon's journey into the afterlife by Eben Alexander, M.D. This encompasses the phenomenon of Near Death Experience.

 

30% of the population claim to have had or know someone that has had a near-death or out-of-body experience. 50 years ago during the difficult birth of her daughter my best friend floated above her body. She saw the doctors and nurses rushing around doing their work. But most profoundly she met a "presence" that told her: "You have to go back - you have children to raise."

The goal of the discussion is not to debate the author of "Proof of Heaven." The material in the book is a prompt or springboard. The discussion will be to tickle your experiences or feelings about the possibility of other planes of existence beyond our human body on this earth. What do you think? Is there such a thing as heaven?

While near death experiences NDE may be bunk, I was interested to read the book because it is written by a neurosurgeon. Dr Eben Alexander has treated a thousand people with brain damage and disease. He has heard hundreds of stories of near death experiences. This is his personal story about his out-of-bodyexperience while he lay for several days in a coma. Not that Dr Alexander is any more credible in his opinion than anyone else, his understanding of the medical aspects of what happened to him are beyond the scope of you and me.

This book is an easy-read of 169 pages. The cost of a brand new copy is $15.99. A used copy can be purchased on Ebay or Amazon for less than $5.00. Or, you local library has copies to lend.

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  • Katie

    I thought this article might interest those of you who read this book: http://www.theatlanticwire.com/entertainment/2013/07/proof-heaven-author-debunked/66772/

    July 2, 2013

  • Jean S.

    It was an honor to facilitate the discussion. A special "thank you" to each of you that took time out of your busy lives to come out. Brian, Bob, Vickie, Charlotte, Sam, Bob R, Bill B, Tia, Valerie, and Kate all made the day a win for each or us.

    The 33% Rule was evident. 1/3 believe that there is something beyond human life as we know it. 1/3 don't believe, and the rest are in the middle. The group decimated the book Proof of Heaven. There was no proof, heaven is a fantasy, and Dr Alexander's credentials were used as a marketing ploy. Someone said at the end, "My beliefs didn't change but I am more clear about what I believe."

    I have experienced too many things in my life to believe that science can explain everything. I am skeptical about science but I am not skeptical about what I know. I love one person and don't love another. I feel the pain of tragedy in one and joyfulness in others. I recognize evil in one and sweetness in another. I am connected to each of you by grace.

    1 · April 8, 2013

    • Valerie

      Jean, thank you for facilitating. You did a great job and it was a pleasure to finally meet you. I really love this group. Being able to listen and share with such thoughtful, intelligent people is a gift. Especially those of you from "prestigious universities" (that's for you Brian :)). Looking forward to the next discussion.

      April 8, 2013

  • Jean S.

    Sam - I missed hearing more from you yesterday...

    April 8, 2013

  • Brian

    Excellent. But maybe because i was all caught up in my speech about the true nature of the Universe was One-ness.

    April 7, 2013

    • Vickie M. F.

      Well, you may have something there about the One-ness, Brian. And it was nice to meet you -- also, I'm glad that we didn't "come to blows" over old Rupert (Sheldrake). I still think that he's sincere (which doesn't mean that he's right about everything), but it was good to hear another point of view.

      April 7, 2013

  • Vickie M. F.

    It was great meeting all of you, and the discussion was quite animated and very interesting. To be able to get together with a knowledgeable, friendly group of people to have an open discussion about the topic of near-death experiences and such (and this book/author in particular) was certainly stimulating. Also, I appreciated the warm welcome -- thanks, everybody.

    April 7, 2013

  • Charlotte W.

    Lively, interesting, bright people so it was a delightful discussion!
    Whether you read the book, didn't read the book, agreed or not, topic worked

    April 7, 2013

  • marcia g.

    I'm sorry I missed the discussion. As I write this, I just opened my e-mail. It's 1:30. I hope to see you next time.

    Marcia Goldberg

    April 7, 2013

  • Bob

    Just missed my train, so I may be a bit late...but I WILL be there!

    April 7, 2013

  • MaryLynn

    I must apologize for the last minute change. A family emergency took me out of town late last night. Enjoy the presentation.. Hope to be at a future event

    April 7, 2013

  • Patty

    Sorry to miss this. I've had something come up at the last minute.

    April 6, 2013

  • Andrea

    I'm sorry I can't make it but I'm sure the discussion will be great!

    April 6, 2013

  • Martin C.

    I will not be attending. I make a point of avoiding discussions on religious matters. For those I attending, I leave you with the following related questions. What difference does it make whether or not there is a heaven? What would you do differently based on whether or not heaven exists? For those who are certain there is a heaven, how does this knowledge modify your behavior?

    April 4, 2013

    • Valerie

      Sorry I meant 'navel' gazing. I don't think you were accusing us of contemplating the Navy

      April 5, 2013

    • Martin C.

      I am writing in the hope of finding others willing to talk about ethics and spirituality in the real world and not about some inconsequential idea of heaven. Last year, at my suggestion. we read the book Justice by Michael Sandel. The subtitle of the book is "What is tht right thing to do?" The operational term here is "do". If we are not discussing actions then we are engaged in navel gazing. I highly recommend the book and would be perfectly willing to lead a discussion of the topics covered.

      April 5, 2013

  • Erva B.

    "The discussion will be to tickle your experiences or feelings about the possibility of other planes of existence beyond our human body on this earth."
    Other planes of existence - hmmm. I'm looking forward to that discussion. Hope I get to attend.

    April 4, 2013

  • Charlotte W.

    As long as it is STARBUCKS, I'd loive that discussion

    Cappricio the worse place for a discusswion

    April 2, 2013

  • Will B.

    Joan, Just flipped through the reference I gave you from Amazon. It is NOT scientific, but a relatively traditionalist rebuttal based on a somewhat "Bible oriented" critique. Suggest you try anything by Anthony Newberg MD "God and the Brain". You can get it from "sounds true" online as book or CD. I have it and it is a genuine neurological approach to altered states and brain function-with studies included

    March 26, 2013

    • JOAN C.

      Thank you for that info, Bill - can't hurt to read the all points of view on this subject; hoping to get the CD before the meeting. I read somewhere that Albert Einstein was a believer - I feel inclined to listen up where he is concerned.

      March 26, 2013

  • Brian

    Well the library has no copies of this book, in Philadelphia County. But I read his Newsweek article which desribes what he called heaven.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/10/07/proof-of-heaven-a-doctor-s-experience-with-the-afterlife.html

    Pity that he spent so many years in ignorance before it. But one needn't invite e.coli to eat your brain in order to see the underlying. Far less dangerous and relatively inexpensive, take a nice barrel of orange sunshine. Just don't do it at a NASCAR event. Ick! And remember, the security guard isn't going to be overjoyed to learn that you and he and God and the Universe are One.

    March 26, 2013

  • Katie

    Just to throw another book into the mix for discussion, the book Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives (by Eagleman, featured on Radiolab) is a book that details 40 potential afterlife stories. None have evidence, this book more is about pondering the what ifs and really embracing the endless possibilities for what happens when we stop breathing. There is a great radiolab podcast about afterlife and it explores things like when do we know for sure we are dead (http://www.radiolab.org/2009/jul/27/).

    March 26, 2013

    • Katie

      David Eagleman is also a neuroscientist at Baylor College of Medicine, where he directs the Laboratory for Perception and Action and the Initiative on Neuroscience and Law. This book is not based on research (actually I have no idea what the research would even look like on this topic if you could actually have a objective science about it) but still a fun read.

      March 26, 2013

  • Will B.

    Joan, I don't know the author, but in getting the book, I found a small book online (Amazon) which is a refutation of "Proof of Heaven" and the conclusions reached.

    March 25, 2013

  • Tee C.

    Sorry I can't come. My California daughter will be in town and available for today.

    March 25, 2013

  • JOAN C.

    Would love to hear the experiences of some of us who didnot write a book about such an experience, but, nevertheless, have a strong belief about this subject for various reasons, not the least of which is some scientific research on the subject.

    1 · March 25, 2013

  • Valerie

    Katie/Jean: I really would like to sign up for this but I know our discussions fill up fast and I won't be around this morning to sign up myself. Any chance you could add me to the list?

    March 23, 2013

    • Brian

      Valerie, you will be my plus-one. Which is like my dream come true because i, lik, totally have a mad crush on you.

      March 23, 2013

    • Valerie

      Right back atcha Brian. I will be your plus-one, like, anytime!

      March 23, 2013

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