What caused Dr. Alexander’s Near Death Experience?
In the fall of 2008, he spent 7 days in a coma in which the neocortex part of the brain was inactive. This is what is basically called brain dead and was being kept alive by life support. He had contracted a very rare disease bacterial meningitis that usually attacks newborn babies. E. Coli bacteria had somehow penetrated his cerebrospinal fluid.
His prognosis was worse than grim. His chance of survival beyond anything other than a vegetative state were very low and soon sank to near impossible. For seven days he lay in a coma with his body and higher order brain functions totally non-existant. It was not until his doctors were deciding whether or not to discontinue life support 7 days later that his eyes popped open.
Dr. Alexander admits that although he considered himself a faithful Christian it was more a mental assent to the things of faith rather than an actual belief. It was not that he was antagonistic to these beliefs but he felt as a scientist that he could not put faith in them.
What did Dr. Alexander experience while clinically brain dead?
Dr. Alexander describes his experience this way.
Toward 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, streamerlike lines behind them.
Birds? Angels? These words registered later, when I was writing down my recollections. But neither of these words do justice to the beings themselves, which were quite simply different from anything I have known on this planet. They were more advanced. Higher 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 then they would simply not otherwise be able to contain it. The sound was palpable and almost material, like a rain that you can feel on your skin but doesn’t get you wet.
I don’t want to quote all of what Dr. Alexander said but you can read his own words about the entire ordeal here. http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/10/07/proof-of-heaven-a-doctor-s-experience-with-the-afterlife.html
How did experiencing heaven change Dr. Alexander?
Dr. Alexander says that this experience has changed his life. He now flat out states that Heaven exists and that what he saw and learned there has quite literally placed him in a new world. He now knows that there is more to this world than our brains and bodies and that death is not the end of consciousness but rather just the ending of a chapter in a vast journey. He says that he is going to devote his life to understanding the nature of consciousness.
I’ve spent decades as a neurosurgeon at some of the most prestigious medical institutions in our country. I know that many of my peers hold—as I myself did—to the theory that the brain, and in particular the cortex, generates consciousness and that we live in a universe devoid of any kind of emotion, much less the unconditional love that I now know God and the universe have toward us. But that belief, that theory, now lies broken at our feet. What happened to me destroyed it, and I intend to spend the rest of my life investigating the true nature of consciousness and making the fact that we are more, much more, than our physical brains as clear as I can, both to my fellow scientists and to people at large.
Is there life after death?
We as believers in Jesus know that there is. It was promised to us by Jesus. Death is not an end, but a promotion to heaven. Dr. Alexander caught a glimpse of it. Now I don’t know about all the details of his experience and whether or not everything he saw is true or if he is communicating it correctly. How do you communicate in the finite what is essentially infinite? What I do take away from his story is once again the confirmation that heaven is real and it is promised to those who place their trust in Jesus.