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Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  56,236 ratings  ·  5,350 reviews
The #1 New York Times bestselling account of a neurosurgeon's own near-death experience—for readers of 7 Lessons from Heaven.

Thousands of people have had near-death experiences, but scientists have argued that they are impossible. Dr. Eben Alexander was one of those scientists. A highly trained neurosurgeon, Alexander knew that NDEs feel real, but are simply fantasies prod
Paperback, 196 pages
Published October 23rd 2012 by Simon & Schuster
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Candice Franklin I've never read a book with more credibility and scientific answers for the details. He isn't just some man attempting to gain attention, he has the s…moreI've never read a book with more credibility and scientific answers for the details. He isn't just some man attempting to gain attention, he has the science to back it all up. After reading this book (and I am not even finished yet) I have no doubt that life doesn't end when our outer shell dies. :)(less)
Colette autobiographical in nature, and a fascinating mix between academic nature of the brain and the spiritual nature of our souls

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Jan 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
I might have rated Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife three stars had the author replaced the title with the subtitle. If you’re looking for proof of heaven or just an insightful and critical exploration of NDEs, you are better off moving on.

Proof is one neurosurgeon's personal account of heaven, or rather, a heavenly experience. What it's not is a scientifically rigorous and groundbreaking paper on the actuality of heaven.

Alexander offers a montage of his experiences
Apr 24, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: lmo-book-club
very cleverly written and marketed trash. Those who want to believe are going to believe regardless, but all the "convincing" arguments he makes can easily be discredited:

1) It's implied that being a neurosurgeon somehow makes his experience more valid than that of say a teacher, or fireman, or even a bum on the street. Nonsense -- it does not make him an expert on the "afterlife"

2) The way he sequences events in the book strongly imply that he experienced these "out-of-body" events while his br
Stephen O'grady
For those like myself that struggle with their faith and what happens to us when we pass, this book gives a compelling view from a scientist and a self proclaimed skeptic. As a scientist, I feel today's religions use their dogma to control morality. When something doesn't fit into their belief system they want you go along just "because."

This book explores the idea of the afterlife in a secular way and challenges the neuroscience doctrinal assertions that completely dismiss near death experienc
Cristael Bengtson
May 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in nde's
I am a Near Death Experiencer. I was really excited when I ran across Dr. Eben Alexander's book on his Near Death Experience. I spent last night and most of today reading his book.

I am happy that someone with Dr. Alexander's years of experience and qualifications has told his story of one of the deepest and longest and most significant NDE's I've ever read about or heard of.

Dr. Alexander is a neurosurgeon who has worked at some of the finest hospitals in the country. He has also been a teacher a
John Woltjer
Nov 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
For reason's unknown, I have been fascinated by questions of mortality since I was a teenager. Deeply skeptical of religion, I have always had a profound felt sense that we are a part of something vastly greater than we can even imagine. It seems absolutely absurd to me that all of this that we are engaged in is the result of some cosmic accident and that the Universe is simply random and ultimately meaningless. But, we live in a scientific age where if you cannot label something and test it it ...more
Carolina Montague
Apr 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Lovers of Near Death experience books
This nonfiction book about a neurosurgeon who suffers from a severe infection of the brain - so severe that it shuts down his neo-cortex and he drops into a deep coma - is one of the best Near Death Experience books I've ever read.

The author was an agnostic physician with expertise in the brain and consciousness. He started with a strong position that all consciousness is centered in brain function. If the brain stops functioning, you are dead and there is no coming back. He was skeptical of cl
Jan 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
This book should be called "A Doctor's Description of His Illness and How His Body looked to Everyone Else". Oops, guess that is too long - sort of like the book, too long. I actually was going to give the book one star, but Dr. Alexander went to a lot of effort to tell us about him and his illness and to interview people who told him what his body looked like while he was ill. The little discussion there was of the NDE (or up to the point when I decided to put the book down because life is too ...more
Dec 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I read this book because I know these people in it. I worked at Lynchburg General during this time. I have read my share of books about the Afterlife and NDE's. Having said that, I do not believe that this book is like any of the others that I have read. I have seen a lot of very ill-tempered comments and reviews about this book many of which seem to seek to tear down the character or intent of the author. In my opinion, that is unfair and not a review of the book. I did not find anything wrong ...more
Jane Wither
Jul 01, 2013 rated it did not like it
I wanted to like this book but there were so many signs of improbability to the story I just couldn't do it. By the end of the book I was sure that the author and his editors were selling snake oil.

Alexander tried very hard to distance himself from religion and new age spirituality in the beginning of his book so he could seem more credible once he starts telling his outlandish story. "Believe me. I'm a Neurologist. I know the brain better than you." "Believe me. I wasn't religious before." "Be
Apr 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
I will acknowledge that I am rating and reviewing this little less than halfway through. Full bias disclosure: I will also readily acknowledge that from the moment I heard about Alexander's account, I desperately wanted to read it—and believe it. The reason is simple: The snippets to which I'd been exposed in interviews and reviews so closely mirrored an experience with my late husband less than a week before his actual death and a full two years before this book's publication. His eyes were clo ...more
Nov 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was a hard book to get through because the author tried to prove through scientific method throughout that his experience was real. Important, but not your typical NDE book. I thought it had some invaluable insights to life and purpose. "How do we get closer to this genuine spiritual self? By manifesting love and compassion. Why? Because love and compassion are far more than the abstractions many of us believe them to be. They are real. They are concrete. And they make up the very fabric of ...more
Han Jadden
Jan 02, 2013 rated it did not like it
This book is about a neurosurgeon Dr. Eben Alexander, who suffered an attack of E. Coli bacterial meningitis that resulted in temporary brain death, and a Near Death Experience (NDE). The overarching premise of the book is that based on his experience of the NDE that death is not the end, that heaven exists, and that he is a scientist and was a skeptic and therefore is qualified to scientifically analyze what happened to him in objective terms. Fair enough, game on.

My first impression of the boo
Stephanie *Eff your feelings*
Oct 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
Ever since I read this stinker, a book bent on manipulating you into Christianity, and not in proving an afterlife, I had been kind of keeping an eye out for a book that was a credible counterpart to it. I had heard stories of NDEs previous to reading Heaven is For Real, and new such credible cases did exist.

Well, the other night I was flipping channels and stopped on 20/20 because, being that it was close to Halloween they were doing stories on the paranormal and the afterlife. I’m a sucker for
Nov 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
So I'm absolutely biased as I'm part of the Chapter 33 camp; It's a hobby of mine to read about quantum mechanics, string theory, consciousness etc. - I love it! Also, I've meditated, periodically, for over 15 years, which may explain my fascination with writings about consciousness. Anyway, biased as I may be, Dr. Alexander's book contains concise neuroscience, interspersed with his life story and details of his NDE. Appendix B is must read as it lists 9 hypotheses for alternate explanations of ...more
Feb 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Just started listening to the audio version of this book and am enjoying it so far. As a devout Christian, all I need do is attach the familiar religious labels I know to the author's experiences and it all fits together. I love his scientific view and indepth discussion of the brain. I studied neurology for a semester and found it be to very interesting as well as extremely difficult "matter".

A favorite quote:

"How profoundly knowledge of one's origins can heal a person's life in unexpected way
Terri Lynn
Oct 22, 2012 rated it did not like it
I was asked to read this in exchange for a free copy. What we have here is yet another person-this time a doctor- who wants his 15 minutes of glory by writing religious nonsense of some sort in hopes that the gullible, ignorant religious among us will fill his coffers with money while giving him the attention he craves. This reminds me much of the crap in Heaven is Real where a minister father sought to make up a passel of lies and attribute them to his little child. The only difference here is ...more
Andrew (M)
A year ago, I recommended the stellar book “Sum” ( to a relative of mine. This Christmas, they gave me “Proof of Heaven” as a gift. I can see why they may have thought I would have interest in both these books; they are both about the afterlife, and both written by neuroscientists. That is where the similarity ends. Whereas “Sum” is insightful, idea rich (what Neal Stephenson might call “Idea Porn”), endlessly creative, and deliberately presented as a ser ...more
Jan 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
A fascinating addition to the Near Death Experience stories. A previously very skeptical brain surgeon had a powerful NDE and clearly receives the message that a loving power forms the universe. The three main messages he received were 1) You are loved and cherished 2) You have nothing to fear and 3) There is nothing you can do wrong. These echoed thoughts I found in Anita Moorjani's book about her NDE titled Dying to be Me: "I no longer feared death, cancer, accidents or any of the myriad thing ...more
Marla Martenson
Nov 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
I was so excited when I heard about this book from a friend. I am fascinated with people that have had NDE's. I was especially interested since this man is a scientist and doctor and didn't believe it when his patients told him what they saw in their own NDE. I did read many of the reviews before I purchased the book so I was aware that the author did not detail a lot of his actual experience and what he saw in Heaven, but I was still very excited to read it. The author describes his experience ...more
Nov 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I am an avid reader and an exceptionally rare reviewer. But this book touched me deeply so I will offer my thoughts on the book: Perhaps it is because I desperately needed something positive and much larger than the incredibly divisive and engulfing 2012 election cycle that I gravitated to this book or that loss of loved ones has never been completely put to rest. I thoroughly enjoyed the balance that his science/medical background gave to his story. I, like the author, seem to have spent so muc ...more
Lorri Coburn
Dec 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Proof of Heaven—do not let the title fool you that this is a Christian tome about streets of gold and pearly gates. Eben Alexander, M.D., a well-respected neurosurgeon, saw many medical cases in which patients claimed to have seen deceased loved ones or heaven. He dismissed them all as chemical processes in the brain—until he had his own near-death experience while in a seven-day coma. Alexander states that while in his coma his neo-cortex was non-functional. The only thing keeping his body aliv ...more
Aug 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book was compelling in many ways. First of all it moves along (except in a few chapters when the author gets a bit philosophical) with several subplots woven into the main story. Second it is well written, and I especially enjoyed hearing the author's voice on the recorded version of the book. Third, the author's description of his illness, coma and experiences while in coma were amazing. And it was fun to read about an atheist learning to believe there is more to life than our physical exi ...more
Lianne Downey
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Gobbled this book right down because the author's near-death experience isn't the most amazing part---it was his perfect credentials for influencing everyone's opinion about that experience!

I've visited places such as this neurosurgeon visited during his 7-day coma, and my nearly forty years of studying the *interdimensional* science of Consciousness made it all seem normal and to be expected of someone in his dying situation. What impressed and astonished and delighted me was how PERFECTLY his
Dec 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I don't read books about NDEs. I am on the skeptical side, yet spiritual too. A book written by a neurosurgeon who'd been a big-time skeptic, who'd contracted a life-threatening illness (1 in ten-million gets his form of meninggitis), and spent 7 days in a coma during which he experienced a totally unique NDE... when I saw the book on the table at BJ's and recalled that a friend had sent a link to several of her friends, I decided I had to read it. Bought it 2 days ago and, despite a busy holida ...more
Catherine Cheney
Oct 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
I read this for reasons that are probably different than most. Simply put, I am searching for proof of an afterlife. I have always "believed", but since Ben died, blind faith (and I don't have much of that) isn't enough. For the most part, the scientific data Dr Alexander puts forth convinces and comforts me. His religious beliefs, as they are, mirror my own to a large degree.

I read about 3/4 of the book the day I got it and at that point, and though I found some comfort at the descriptions of t
Rex Fuller
Jul 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A truly wonderful book. A neurosurgeon, Eben Alexander, knew from years of work on thousands of brains that if the neocortex is shut down, there is no possibility of creating ideas or recalling memories or any other way of producing experience. Then he suffered bacterial meningitis and lost all neocortical function for seven days. That he survived at all is miraculous. He recovered all of his memories and expertise, except for one thing, his "scientific" disbelief in the spiritual or any kind of ...more
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
The proof of heaven is Eben. Dr. Eben Alexander should visit Pampanga, Philippines one day and surprise himself that the Kapampangans pronounce "heaven" and his first name almost the same way.

Believers need not read this book for it says nothing new insofar as the prevalent belief system about the afterlife is concerned. Non-believers need not also read this book because it offers nothing conclusive. And those who are somewhere in-between belief and non-belief need not read this too because what
Lyndi Lamont
Nov 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
When I heard about this book, I pre-ordered it for my Kindle. Apparently I wasn't the only one. His website says the book debuted at #1 in e-book sales!

I've been interested in NDE (near-death experience) literature since reading Raymond Moody's Life After Life in the mid-1970s. So I didn't approach the book as a skeptic but a believer, and one who is familiar with the genre.

Dr. Alexander's experience is unique in several ways.

1. As a neurosurgeon, he was very much a scientist and a skeptic, so
Lewis Weinstein
Nov 20, 2012 marked it as to-read
Shelves: non-fiction
With all we have learned so far, I suspect we don't have a clue as to how the brain really works, let alone life. This book offers the possibility of evidence and the certainty of stimulating thought. I'm looking forward to reading it. ...more
B the BookAddict
Jun 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to B the BookAddict by: Goodreads recommendations
Shelves: true-stories
I read this book with interest. Not because I wanted to see if there is a heaven, simply that it had been written by a Neurosurgeon. A man of scientific knowledge, I wondered what he would say. In my opinion the best review of this book is here:

I had my own beliefs before I read this and the book didn't change that but this is an interesting and thoughtful read; a 4★ from me.
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Proof of heaven by been alexander 24 250 May 11, 2018 08:00AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Fix field "sort by title" 2 146 Sep 18, 2016 03:10AM  
OSH Book Club: General Discussion Post - May 2016 2 3 May 11, 2016 11:07AM  
Hopeful Wanderers: Proof of Heaven 2 2 May 05, 2014 03:09PM  
Heaven 9 93 Sep 03, 2013 04:17PM  
More Reasonable, Acceptable OOB, NDE Hapenings 2 69 Mar 14, 2013 10:16AM  

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Eben Alexander III (born December 11, 1953) is an American neurosurgeon and the author of the book Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife, in which he describes his 2008 near-death experience and asserts that science can and will determine that the brain does not create consciousness and that consciousness survives bodily death. ...more

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