과학적 사실을 추구하는 뇌외과 전문의가 죽음의 문턱에서 살아돌아온 후 “천국을 경험하고 왔다”는 발언으로 화제가 됐다. 그는 생환 이후의 삶이 이전과 많이 달라졌다고 고백하고 있다.
Out-of-body experiences, or near-death experiences (NDEs), are not uncommon. Whilst such supernormal accounts are countless, science is yet unable to sufficiently explain this phenomenon according to neurosurgeon Dr. Eben Alexander, who ended up having an NDE of his own. Since coming back, he feels different too.
“You are so clear, so focused, so much more present than ever before,” Dr. Alexander’s oldest son told him, after the MD recovered, following the NDE. “It is as if there is a light shining within you.”
Let’s first clarify the credentials of this well-respected man before we share his account. Dr. Alexander has been a Harvard Medical School academic who taught brain science; he’s also an established scientist and neurosurgeon.
So it’s not every day you hear someone from such an esteemed medical background discussing paranormal experiences of their own, but Dr. Alexander has an account you don’t want to miss.
It all started on Nov. 10, 2008, when he woke up at 4:30 a.m. with a splitting headache. Very soon, the pain became unbearable. He was rushed to the hospital he works at, where doctors determined he was afflicted with meningoencephalitis, a brain infection, and was given a 2 percent chance of survival.
“After being placed on a ventilator, a light came slowly down from above, throwing off marvellous filaments of living silver and golden effulgence,” writes Dr. Alexander, who recalls the moment he fell into a three-day-long coma.
“It was a circular entity, emitting heavenly music that I called the Spinning Melody. The light opened up like a rip, and I felt myself going through the rip, up into a valley full of lush and fertile greenery, where waterfalls flowed into crystal pools.”
Illustration – Pixabay | Larisa-K
“There were clouds, like marshmallow puffs of pink and white. Behind them, the sky was a rich blue-black, with trees, fields, animals and people. There was water, too, flowing in rivers or descending as rain. Mists rose from the pulsing surfaces of these waters, and fish glided beneath them.”
In fact, he experienced so much more, which he documented in several books he published following the NDE.
On his return
Before Dr. Alexander came back, doctors had told his family that it was time to let him die. When his son, who was 10 years old at the time, heard that he was about to lose his father, he ran over to pull open his eyelids. He cried out, “Daddy, you’re gonna be OK.”
And he heard his son’s cries.
“Across the vast reaches of the spiritual realm, I felt his presence very clearly . . . and began to wake,” recalls Dr. Alexander.
His waking up from the coma is considered a miracle, as he beat all the odds stacked against his survival.
During the time he was in a coma, bacteria was eating the part of his brain responsible for thought and emotion. Still, he could recall his out-of-body experience in such vivid detail despite the fact that his brain was not functioning.
Having an extensive background in neuroscience, he posed a very logical question, one that the scientific community is currently unable to provide a sufficient answer to.
Given that his brain was not capable of complex thought processes in that comatose state, he asks—“How were our minds conscious when our bodies were effectively dead and, in my case at least, the brain had ceased to function? And where are these bright, unfading memories stored?”
Whilst there are always going to be those who believe and those who disbelieve, Dr. Alexander suggests that people keep an open mind and “suspend disbelief” for the moment.
(원제: Brain Surgeon Recalls His Near-Death Experience, Says He’s Been to a Heavenly Kingdom)