Is there life after death? Do we have a soul?

The afterlife is something experienced by people who came back to tell their unbelievable stories. The most amazing account experiences is the one of the 25-year-old Harvard trained brain neurosurgeon Dr. Eben Alexander. This cannot be one of the usual afterlife accounts. Let’s explore his story and see how his experience defies all scientific explanation.

Dr. Alexander did not believe in the afterlife or a non-physical spirit. He was always surrounded by colleagues invested in the material view of life, without believing in the soul. Like most skeptics, he believed the afterlife stories were just hallucinations and products of imagination. Then, he was in coma for seven days caused by a severe case of bacterial meningitis. It was during the coma that he experienced a journey that would changes his vision of the afterlife.

Upon returning to his body, Dr. Alexander went on to write the #1 NY Times bestseller book “Proof of Heaven”. In the book, he confirms that our life on Earth is just a test that helps our souls evolve and grow and that the way we succeed in doing so is to proceed with love and compassion. Here are a few notable points from the book:


– His afterlife experience was so real that the experience as a human on Earth is just an artificial dream in comparison.

– The fabric of the afterlife was love. Yes, love dominated everything so the presence of evil was small. Know love if you wish to understand the Universe.

– All communication was telepathic. There was no need of words. All the questions asked were answered telepathically.

When he was asked what he wants everyone to know about the spiritual realm, he answered that you are more precious and loved than you can possibly imagine. You are always safe and never alone. The unconditional and perfect love of God affects everyone.

“Love is, without a doubt, the basis of everything. Not some abstract, hard-to-fathom kind of love, but the day-to-day kind that everyone knows-the kind of love we feel when we look at our spouse and our children, or even our animals. In its purest and most powerful form, this love is not jealous or selfish, but unconditional.

This is the reality of realities, the incomprehensibly glorious truth of truths that lives and breathes at the core of everything that exists or will ever exist, and no remotely accurate understanding of who and what we are can be achieved by anyone who does not know it, and embody it in all of their actions.”, says Dr. Alexander.

Now let’s discuss credibility. His neocortex was nonfunctional during the coma, so there’s no scientific evidence for why he experienced this. In his book, he gives refutations for 9 scientific explanations of what happened to him.

Exploring naturalistic explanations

Let’s now see five potential explanations in Appendix B of his book.


Some of them may not make sense to laymen like us, so here are the most common explanations he refutes.

  1. A primitive brainstem program to ease the terminal pain and suffering. This didn’t explain the rich nature of his recollections.
  1. The distorted recall of memories from the deeper parts of the system like the amygdala that has enough overlying brain to be protected from the bacterial inflammation which occurs at the brain surface. This did not explain the robust, richly interactive nature of the recollections.
  1. DMT dump. DMT is a natural serotonin that causes visions. I am personally familiar to the serotonin related drug experiences (LSD) from my teen years. I have not had a DMT experience, but I’ve seen patients under the influence. The rich ultra-reality still needs a functioning audio and visual neocortex as target regions in which to generate a rich experience like I had. The prolonged coma has destroyed my neocortex, where all the serotonin from the raphe nuclei in my brainstem would have effects on the audiovisual experiences. However, my cortex was off so the DMT would have no place in the brain to act.
  1. A reboot phenomenon – a random dump of fragmented memories due to old memories in the affected neocortex, which might occur on restarting the cortex into consciousness after a prolonged failure like a meningitis. This seems most unlikely when you take into account the details of my vivid recollections.
  1. An unusual memory generation through an archaic visual pathway is used in birds, but not in humans. Humans can experience it only in cases when they’re cortically blind. It provided no clues to the ultra-reality I witnessed and failed to explain the auditory-visual incorporation.

Dr. Alexander’s near death experience account is the most credible as he has a scientific background. We have good reason to believe everything he’s been saying.