Neurosurgeon has near death experience, changes his mind

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Neurosurgeon has near death experience, changes his mind

Postby padma norbu » Tue Nov 29, 2011 6:40 am


Interview reveals how a near-death experience changed everything neurosurgeon Dr. Eben Alexander thought he knew about consciousness, spirituality, and life after death.

Dr. Alexander has been an academic neurosurgeon for more than 25 years, including 15 years at Harvard Medical School in Boston. In November of 2008, he had a near-death experience that changed his life and caused him to rethink everything he thought he knew about the human brain and consciousness.

A bacterial meningitis has found, and Dr. Alexander fell into a coma. During his coma, he had no recollection of his body, his life, the language he spoke and felt like a worm that moved through the soil, until a warm, loving light reached him.

He saw the most beautiful butterflies and flew over a beautiful green landscape and then there was a spinning melody, this bright melody that just started spinning in front of him. Beautiful, beautiful melody compared to that dull pounding sound that he heard for eons. Dr. Alexander was led out our universe and suddenly got an overview of the infinite multiverse.

Prior to his coma, Dr. Alexander thought to know how interaction occurs between the brain and consciousness. He was so sure that the brain gives human consciousness and everything else, the soul, the mind and consciousness, disappears when the brain dies.

“Now, after my coma, I can tell you that in fact the consciousness operates independently from the brain” said Dr. Alexander.

Interview w/mp3 audio:
http://www.skeptiko.com/154-neurosurgeo ... xperience/
"Use what seems like poison as medicine. We can use our personal suffering as the path to compassion for all beings." Pema Chodron
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Re: Neurosurgeon has near death experience, changes his mind

Postby ronnewmexico » Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:37 am

Well that's nice to hear.

Took him a near death experience....how about we skip that and use meditational experience instead :smile:

What will it take to lead him to that change of mind I wonder?
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Re: Neurosurgeon has near death experience, changes his mind

Postby padma norbu » Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:45 am

All NDE people talk about white light, God and occasionally darkness, hell realms and evil beings. I am sure these are bardo experiences, but I thought you didn't have them unless you received shitro transmission. I hope someone who knows and has thought about this comparison will find this thread and share some knowledge.
"Use what seems like poison as medicine. We can use our personal suffering as the path to compassion for all beings." Pema Chodron
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Re: Neurosurgeon has near death experience, changes his mind

Postby ronnewmexico » Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:14 am

Cage the elephant the music group has a little video about it seems the death of one of the members father and his initial findings of death...before he knew he was. Some scenes remind me distinctly of the signs of death found in tibetan buddhism...but cloaked a bit, as I suspect they may be for one with no experience and training....white lights for instance disssolving into one candle, dissolution of one of the constituant part of the body....water earth wind fire...those type things, as they may present.

Us changing them perhaps into things we may identify the death process being quite extraordinary.

I could post it if it would compliment your issue.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Neurosurgeon has near death experience, changes his mind

Postby AlexanderS » Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:11 am

Wasn't he just dreaming in a coma?
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Re: Neurosurgeon has near death experience, changes his mind

Postby Tilopa » Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:02 am

padma norbu wrote:All NDE people talk about white light, God and occasionally darkness, hell realms and evil beings. I am sure these are bardo experiences, but I thought you didn't have them unless you received shitro transmission. I hope someone who knows and has thought about this comparison will find this thread and share some knowledge.


The white light experience occurs when the winds from the upper part of the body flow into and down the central channel from the crown towards the heart. It's the 6th of the 8 visions that occur during the death process although some NDE's may also be with reference to the clear light - the final vision.

Bardo experiences don't begin until after consciousness leaves the body but it's common for people to have different appearances - sometimes pleasant, sometimes fearful - during the death process itself. It's not dependent on having received transmission or even on being Buddhist. An excellent book called 'Death, Intermediate State and Rebirth in Tibetan Buddhism' by Professor Jeffrey Hopkins explains these things in great detail. There are almost certainly others as well. There is also this from HH the Dalai Lama:

....the attitude just before death is very important; for, if even a moderately developed practitioner is disturbed at that time, manifest desire or hatred will be generated. This is because we all have predispositions established by former non-virtuous actions, which are ready to be activated upon meeting with disadvantageous circumstances. It is these predispositions that provide the impetus for lifetimes as animals, and so forth. Similarly, we have predispositions established by former virtuous actions, which, upon meeting with advantageous circumstances, will provide the impetus for lifetimes in happy migrations as humans and so forth.

These capacities that are already in our mental continuums are nourished by attachment and grasping, leading to a bad or good rebirth. Thus, if the predisposition left by a bad karma is activated, a life as an animal, hungry ghost or hell-being will result.

Similarly, if a person who usually behaves sinfully dies within a virtuous attitude, he or she will probably be reborn in a good situation. Therefore, it is very important for both the dying person and those around him or her to avoid creating situations of desire or hatred and instead to foster virtuous states of mind. We need to know this.

Those who die within a virtuous attitude have a sense of passing from darkness into light, are free of anxiety and see pleasant appearances. There are many cases of very ill persons who, near the time of death, speak of being in great comfort despite their illness. Others with little illness fall into great fright, with labored breathing. These latter are sunk in non-virtuous thoughts, have a sense of going from light to darkness and see unpleasant forms.

Some whose physical warmth has diminished through illness become desirous of heat, thereby fortifying predispositions for rebirth as a being in a hot hell, whereupon they take rebirth in a place of extreme heat. Others become attached to a feeling of coolness wishing, for instance, for a drink water, they fortify predispositions to be reborn as a being in a cold hell, thereby making the connection to such a rebirth. Thus it is very important to avoid desirous thoughts at the time of death and direct the mind to salutary objects.

In everyday life, attitudes of desire, hatred, jealousy and so forth, to which we are well accustomed, become manifest with only slight provocation; but those with which we have little familiarity take considerable provocation, such as recourse to reasoning, to manifest themselves. Similarly, at the time of death, attitudes of long familiarity usually take precedence and direct the rebirth. For this same reason, strong attachment is generated for the self, since one fears that one's self is becoming non-existent. This attachment serves as the connecting link to the intermediate state between lives (bardo); the liking of a body, in turn, acts as a cause establishing the body of the intermediate being.

For those strongly involved in non-virtuous actions, the warmth of the body withdraws first from the upper part of the body and then from other parts; whereas, for those strongly involved in virtuous actions, the warmth first withdraws from the feet. In both cases, the warmth finally gathers at the heart, from which the consciousness exits. Those particles of matter, of combined semen and blood, into which the consciousness initially entered in the mother's womb at the beginning of the life, become the center of the heart; and from that very same point the consciousness ultimately departs at death.

Intermediate state

Immediately thereupon, the intermediate state begins—except for those reborn in the formless realms of infinite space, infinite consciousness, "nothingness" or peak of cyclic existence, for whom the new life begins immediately upon death. Those born within the realms of desire and form must pass through an intermediate state, during which a being has the form of the person as whom he or she is to be reborn. The intermediate being has all five senses, but also clairvoyance, unobstructiveness and an ability to arrive immediately wherever he or she wants. He or she sees other intermediate beings of his or her own type— hell-being, hungry ghost, animal, human, demigod or god—and can be seen by clairvoyants.

If a place of birth appropriate to one's predispositions is not found, a small death occurs after seven days, and one is reborn into another intermediate state. This can occur at most six times, with the result that the longest period spent in the intermediate state is forty-nine days.

Rebirth

This means that those beings who, even a year after dying, report that they have not found a birthplace are not in the intermediate state but have taken birth as a spirit.

If taking rebirth as a human, one sees one's future mother and father as if lying together. If one is to be reborn as a male, this sight generates desire for the mother as well as hatred for the father—and vice versa if one is to be reborn as a female. Being desirous, one rushes there to engage in copulation; but upon arrival, one sees only the sexual organ of the desired partner. This creates anger, which causes cessation of the intermediate state and makes the connection to the new life. One has entered the mother's womb and begun a human life. When the father's semen and mother's blood are conjoined with this life or consciousness, they naturally and gradually develop into the elements of a human.

One is desirously attracted to one's future birthplace, even if it is to be a hell. For instance, a butcher might see sheep in the distance as in a dream; upon his rushing there to kill them, the appearance would fade, causing him to become angry, whereupon the intermediate state would cease and his new life in hell begin. Also, as said before, those to be reborn in hot hells are attracted to heat; in cold hells, to coolness. The intermediate state of one who is to be reborn in a bad migration is itself very frightful; in the end, one rushes to the place of rebirth and, when one's wish is not achieved, gets angry, whereupon the intermediate state ceases and the new life begins.

The connection to a life is, therefore, made under the influence of desire, hatred and ignorance. Until these afflictions are overcome, one is as if bound in chains without freedom. Indeed, there are good and bad rebirths; but, while one is still bound, one must bear the burden of mental and physical aggregates that are under the influence of contaminated actions and afflictions. This is not done just once, but again and again without break.

To overcome the sufferings of birth, aging, sickness and death, desire, hatred and confusion must be overcome. Their root, in turn, is ignorance—the conception of an inherent existence of persons and other phenomena. External medicines alleviate superficial suffering but cannot cure the central problem. Internal practices—such as resorting to specific antidotes to desire and hatred—are more helpful, but their effects are temporary however, if one can destroy ignorance—their root—then all of these cease of their accord.

If ignorance is eliminated, then the contaminated actions that depend on it are stopped.

Furthermore, without ignorance, the attachment and predispositions established by previous actions cease to operate, whereupon the cycle of uncontrolled rebirth is ended.


http://www.lamayeshe.com/index.php?sect=article&id=383
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Re: Neurosurgeon has near death experience, changes his mind

Postby padma norbu » Tue Nov 29, 2011 3:28 pm

AlexanderS wrote:Wasn't he just dreaming in a coma?

Think a neurosurgeon might have thought of that? If you listen closely, he says he analyzed every possible physical explanation he could think of and none of them were plausible and only then did he change his opinion that consciousness arises from the brain. So, I think we can take pineal gland off the table.
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Re: Neurosurgeon has near death experience, changes his mind

Postby catmoon » Tue Nov 29, 2011 3:30 pm

He couldn't have been dreaming. It was the nature of the infection he had that all the parts of the brain involved in dreaming were shut down completely.
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Re: Neurosurgeon has near death experience, changes his mind

Postby padma norbu » Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:56 pm

Tilopa,

Thank you! That was a very good post. I think I will get that Hopkins book. I am currently reading the Dalai Lama's "The Universe In A Single Atom," which is far better than I had expected!
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