After being infected by a rare E. coli infection of the brain and spinal column in 2008, the Lynchburg, Va., resident rapidly fell into a coma for seven days. His doctors had basically given up hope on his survival. While in his coma, he went to heaven, he said, an experience that would forever change his outlook on life.
“Deep in the coma, I had this miraculous and incredible experience,” he said. “It started in the murky place, underground, with roots, blood vessels and ongoing nothingness. … I had no body awareness or memory of life on earth.”
He said he was then rescued by a white light which was associated with a “perfect musical melody.”
“The light opened up like a rip in the fabric of reality around me and led me into this heavenly idyllic realm with a valley. It was very fertile and green,” Alexander said. “I was a speck on a butterfly wing. There were many butterflies and colors around us, and a beautiful girl beside me … she had sparkling blue eyes and the most beautiful face.”
He said the girl did not speak to him but he could hear her thoughts of overwhelming love, comfort and fearlessness.
“There were souls dancing below us like villagers with dogs and children,” Alexander said. “There was the awareness of that divine infinitely powerful all-loving God.”
Then, he said he traveled outside of the valley and into the “core,” which was an “infinite black void filled with divine love.”
In the core, Alexander said he learned “love is a fundamental construct of all of this universe” and about why evil exists.
“Concepts were flowing into me. None of it was words,” he said. “I had forgotten my identity. … I thought I had no real attachments.”
Then, Alexander said he was told he’d be going back to earth.
“I saw all these thousands of people kneeling in prayer. The only faces I recognized were Michael Sullivan and his wife Paige,” he said.
Sullivan is an old friend of Alexander’s, as well as the rector at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church in Sandy Springs.
“Eben presents a comprehensive understanding of god that demands our attention,” said Sullivan, of Alexander’s new book “Proof of Heaven.”
Alexander said his son Bond, who was 10 at the time, was the one who brought him back to earth, even though he did not remember who he was at the time. He said Bond was literally forcing his eyes open.
“He was pleading with me, ‘Daddy you’re going to be okay,’” he said. “I couldn’t understand, … but it triggered this very deep connection and love that I felt for him. … That’s when I started waking up.”
Sullivan said Alexander would appear at church on feast days like Christmas or Easter.
“And he had such a radical experience of God’s love for him that he would be there every time the [church] doors are open,” he said.
Alexander said his journey to heaven showed clearly “our souls are eternal” and when the brain and body die, they are “liberated to a higher level.”
“The brain does not create consciousness at all,” he said. “My story basically provides very strong proof that our souls are eternal. This is all about love. Hardships and difficulties are there for a reason in life, including illness.”
Alexander said people do not need to almost die to experience the same knowing of God.
“There is an all-loving God within each and every one of us. It is accessible through prayer and deep meditation,” he said. “Science and spirituality can come together.”
If you go:
o What: Dr. Eben Alexander’s lecture and book signing of “Proof of Heaven”
o Where: Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church, 805 Mt. Vernon Hwy., Sandy Springs
o When: Feb 2., signing at 6 p.m. and lecture at 7 p.m.
o Tickets: Suggested donation of $10
o Information: www.holyinnocents.org or http://www.lifebeyond death.net/