Death, Experienced

May 15, 2012

After years of treating people with brain injuries and illnesses, neurosurgeon Eben Alexander fell into a coma in 2008. He was unconsious for a week and says his near death experience gave him an entirely new perspective on life, consciousness and death.



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Jim Fleming: So what happens if we actually encounter death, if we die and come back to life? I’m not talking about resurrection or reincarnation or zombie movies. I’m talking about near death experiences. Neurosurgeon Eben Alexander says he saw the truth of death and life when he nearly died from meningitis. Here’s part of his story.

Eben Alexander: The first thing I remember deep in my coma, was there was a pounding machinery type sound deep beneath and I remember a very strong sensation of roots, of black itchy tickly roots around me too, so it was very much like being underground. Underground, or in very dirty jello, very coarse but dark reddish brown and foamy and kind of bubbling. I could kind of sense what was around me going out many feet. At no point did I have a body. I do remember having this intense curiosity, what is this? It was the best consciousness that my brain could muster when it was soaking in pus. And then there appeared this beautiful spinning kind of filamentous white light, and it was absolutely beautiful flowing harmonious melody. And this melody spun in front of me and then the whole thing expanded and my awareness went right through it into this very steep valley, verdant beautiful valley. I was a speck on a butterfly wing, a beautiful butterfly, and there were millions of other butterflies flying all around us in these lazy loops and swirls. There were flowers blossoming and buds blooming on trees. They would blossom and bloom even as we were flying through them. Beautiful waterfalls going into these crystal blue pools, and the mist coming up just sparkling. And this bright light from these billowing, bubbling clouds was just coming right through those mist drops, and it was the most beautiful scene. And beside me on the butterfly, was this beautiful girl. She had the most beautiful face and she just looked at me and she never said a word, but her thoughts were very clear. “You are loved. You are cherished. There is nothing you can do wrong. You will never be thrown away. You are infinitely cherished and loved forever. You have nothing to fear.”

Fleming: Eben Alexander is a Neurosurgeon in Charlottesville, Virginia. If you want to hear more of his story, visit our website
You spoke of near death experiences; as a child I had sleep apnea. Most children die from this. I had very lucid dreams and experienced these nightly. Spurred on by family members who were "evangelical" I could not accept that so many were damned to hell, or limbo. I found that life was more. It did help me endure the daily abuse of a deperess and half crazy mother. My daily life of school and social interaction did not improve; but it did help me find God and faith in life. I keep this anonamyous for personal privacy.

What a satisfaction hearing a doctor, a surgeon, speak like this. My father was a surgeon, and a very good one with a solid reputation. Our interests and world views were so far apart though - he took the material world as an ultimate reality, and I was always delving into the spiritual, and the mental and emotional, and wondered incessantly about what else there there may be - so far apart, it seemed, that a rift that I could not accept as a final fact installed itself between us and I could not find a way beyond it. I longed to befriend my beloved dad, but the rift kept things cool. But now, having heard this piece about your experience, Dr. Alexander, and hearing the beautiful way you spin out the tale, my spirit feels a subtle ease. Somehow, your experience and your telling of the story - and it being aired to the world so extensively, and it being heard by me in particular - all this, at last, gives me a whiff of that friendship and understanding I longed to have in relationship to another being who happened to be my biological father. To hear a doctor speak about a subjective out of body experience involving other dimensions of reality, and hearing and hearing about reality described in terms of the Vibration and Love that IT is - that, for me, is tremendous healing. Who knows - perhaps the longings and prayers of a loving father and an adoring daughter, somehow stirred Source to bridge the gap in this fashion through the telling of this tale. I think now that dad shed his human form, he is knowing what the heck it was his daughter was trying to talk with him about. Dr. Alexander, may the Realizations and the Loving Ease of your experience continue unfolding in beauty.