‘Proof of Heaven’ Disproven

As it turns out, the story of neurosurgeon Dr. Eben Alexander and how he left his body to
experience Heaven was a crock of unscientific folderol (and I had no doubt for a single second).

Dr. Eben Alexander and his

Dr. Eben Alexander and his “Proof of Heaven”

Via The Atlantic:

In his book, Alexander claims that when he was in a coma caused by E. coli bacterial meningitis, he went to heaven. Of course, Dittrich’s piece is not the first time that Alexander’s text has come into question. In April, Michael Shermer at Scientific American explained how the author’s “evidence is proof of hallucination, not heaven.” But Dittrich calls into question not what Alexander experienced so much how he did. While Dittrich looks at legal troubles Alexander had during his time practicing neurosurgery, perhaps the most damning piece of testimony comes from a doctor who was on duty in the ER when Alexander arrived in 2008. Dr. Laura Potter explains that she “had to make the decision to just place him in a chemically induced coma.” But that’s not how Alexander tells it, according to the Esquire investigation:


In Proof of Heaven, Alexander writes that he spent seven days in “a coma caused by a rare case of E. coli bacterial meningitis.” There is no indication in the book that it was Laura Potter, and not bacterial meningitis, that induced his coma, or that the physicians in the ICU maintained his coma in the days that followed through the use of anesthetics. Alexander also writes that during his week in the ICU he was present “in body alone,” that the bacterial assault had left him with an “all-but-destroyed brain.” He notes that by conventional scientific understanding, “if you don’t have a working brain, you can’t be conscious,” and a key point of his argument for the reality of the realms he claims to have visited is that his memories could not have been hallucinations, since he didn’t possess a brain capable of creating even a hallucinatory conscious experience. I ask Potter whether the manic, agitated state that Alexander exhibited whenever they weaned him off his anesthetics during his first days of coma would meet her definition of conscious. “Yes,” she says. “Conscious but delirious.”

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  • doodahman

    When you’re done patting yourself on the back for a good day’s uh, work, or whatever, how about giving us an answer to this: how did matter arise from nothing, and how did consciousness arise from matter? You’re a big science person. What do you say?
    Cheers!

    • iddqd87

      at least we can say “we dont know yet” instead of “its because of the bible” without questioning anything

    • capnmarrrrk

      Science isn’t a matter of having all the answers for everything. It’s a system designed to describe the universe as best it can until something else comes along and replaces the current best theories. The most important thing about Science is that experiments be testable and repeatable before a hypothesis is turned into a theory. When you just say “God did it”, you take that away.

      Currently scientists are in the process of where matter comes from…First and foremost you need to read about Singularities and other forms of Astrophysics.

      It may sound funny, but the best layperson’s descriptions of fundamental science come from the science chapters of the “Science of Discworld”series which really nails down how the scientific process works, the history of science (as well as scientific theory dead-ends) and what not. I highly recommend it. http://www.goodreads.com/series/59899-science-of-discworld

    • Mikerscope

      weak attack, how did god arise from nothing for that matter? All your doing is adding another layer to the question. If God created the Universe how did God come to be? You arrive at the same place.

      • doodahman

        Not really. The place we are trying to arrive at is identifying the First Cause. You are just expressing a tautology– everything has a cause so nothing is the first cause. And that is an interesting proposition that has the Vedas all over it, because in the end, reality might just be one big tautology.

        And incidentally, this was not an “attack.” It was two questions. That’s a big difference for people who care about differences.

        • Tuna Ghost

          I don’t think that’s actually a tautology.

          And c’mon, those two questions were clearly an attack, if not in an emotionally charged sense then in a “opening shots of a debate” sense. That’s pretty much what a lot of questions are.

          • doodahman

            If you want to feel you were “attacked” that’s up to you. All I can do now is question your centeredness.

          • doodahman

            Oh I’m sorry– was that question another attack? Please forgive me.

          • doodahman

            And BTW, that last comment was “sarcastic”.

            Cheers!

          • Mikerscope

            The use of Attack was in the debate or chess sense, but you claim it’s something else and that I am the one offended which isn’t the case. doodahman – “Setting up and knocking down strawmen is a boring game” Well that’s been proven false as most of your postings are strawman games. I used the same argument to get to the same conclusion without the need for a God is fairly clear. I think trolling is more the likely issue here.

          • Tuna Ghost

            questions are an attack by their very nature. No one is taking it as a personal attack.

          • doodahman

            Eh “attacked” is about as loaded a word as you can use to describe what I attempted here. “Attacking” was the last thing on my mind. But if not being taken personally, I won’t either– cheers!

          • Guest

            You religious believers are so damn sensitive. It’s a logical question, and it’s the same as what you accuse the scientists of. If there is a god, it came from somewhere… where did god come from? How do you miss the implication of this question?

        • Guest

          It’s not an attack… you religious believers are so damn sensitive. It’s a logical question, and it’s the same as what you accuse the scientists of. If there is a god, it came from somewhere… where did god come from?

          • doodahman

            Uh, I just asked two questions. I’m not the sensitive one here, sorry.

      • tibby trillz

        i have never gotten the impression that this site is anti spirituality. anti christian, yes, anti spirituality, no.

        • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

          It is varied, there are definitely some extreme anti-spirituality people dancing in the background here. The easiest arguments to attack are christian based though, so i can see why you’d think that.

    • Tuna Ghost

      The first question, how did something come from nothing, has a few theories in the world of physics, but is a knotty problem for many reasons. Personally I prefer the question “why is there something rather than nothing”, rather than how, but y’know.

      Moving on. Unless you’re being sarcastic, which could be the case and I’m missing it because I’m a goddam drunk, you appear to be using it as it has been used by so many people in the past – proof of the existence of God, or at least a creator (usually a guy called “God”). Understand that this question emphatically does not work as evidence for such.

      Much easier to explain is consciousness, which is not the mystery people think it is. Douglas Hofstadter wrote an incredible book titled “Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid” in which he he provides many, many instances of recursion and self-reference occurring in nature, and even in non-biological matter. It happens all over the goddam place, it’s super weird but super interesting and I encourage you to get this book. It’s really great.

      Dan Dennett, in his “consciousness explained”, provides a very detailed explanation of how the research of consciousness is and has been conducted and then provides an explanation (as promised in the title). Also really great. His explanation is too long to include here, but be assured it does in fact exist.

      • doodahman

        Not sarcastic, but seems to me that’s the crux of the issue, not some guy’s take on his experience. Appreciate the response, even if there is no answer here at all, at least until I get a chance to look through the materials. It’s really the best anyone can expect in this forum. So, thanks (not sarcastically!)
        And for the record, I neither look for nor offer “proof” of God’s existence to anyone. You let God enter your life or you don’t. If you don’t, he might as well not exist. If you do, the “proof” will be subsumed by the experience.

        One thing I’d add, re the “few theories in the world of physics”– the only one I know of is the Multiverse, which is nothing but an article of faith by people who are allergic to the concept of faith. Yeah, it’s nice to believe in, but what’s the “evidence”? :))

        Cheers

        • Tuna Ghost

          I’ve got a set of beliefs that’ll curl your toes, but I’m not about to give God an actor’s credit in the functioning of the universe. There are many reasons not to do this, but first and foremost are these two:

          a.) it will make you stop looking for the real explanation, which is important because b.) there has been a real explanation for pretty much every other phenomena credited to God by lazy minds in the history of scientific research. Takes a long time and a lot of hard work, but the explanation is there.

          Just because something is a mystery doesn’t mean we won’t ever know the answer.

          • doodahman

            I like toe curling beliefs; I’ve got my own to be sure. It’s funny, but having adopted my faith (as a result of experiences), it was the beginning of a committed search for answers, and I find faith– particularly with the fellowship of others in faith– is a path to find them.
            Finding truth through spirituality and/or religion is also very hard work, and takes a long time– which is why so many people get it completely wrong and provide such fodder for those who reject faith. And just because we don’t “know” the answer to a mystery, doesn’t mean the answer isn’t already inside of us. It is not just the spiritual folks who have asserted that “everything which exists without is contained within.”

          • Tuna Ghost

            Ha! You don’t have to tell a Hermetic scholar that.

          • doodahman

            I had to look that up– was familiar with Thoth but not the belief system. Very interesting. I will study it more.

        • Tuna Ghost

          re: evidence

          The same for a lot of theories: a huge provable system of modern physics. It may be the case that NONE of these theories are correct, but the point is the model of the way things work we’re using now allows for such an event.

          You can’t place scientific theories and religious beliefs on either side of a scale labeled “has evidence for”. One is based on a provable collection of facts that can function as a provable system of physics that can be used and is in fact used every day to build the world we live in, and one is…something you have an option of believing. Apples and oranges, buddy. If someone questions your belief in God, you can’t turn around and be like “where’s your proof in *insert physics theory here*???” because they’ll point to every piece of technology around you.

          I worship Hermes Trismegistus, so I know a thing or two about unpopular belief structures, but I’m not about to use my god as spackle in the holes of my misunderstanding of the universe. He may lead me to the facts I need, but he himself isn’t that fact I’m missing.

          • doodahman

            Setting up and knocking down strawmen is a boring game. I prefer actual discourse with people addressing what’s raised by the other person, not issuing diatribes about whatever floats around in their own heads. You pointed out some interesting sources to check out, I appreciate it, now leave it at that before you start sounding like a fundie.

          • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

            Would a form useful for distinguishing holes of misunderstandings from false understandings be a useful tool?

    • Tuna Ghost

      Oh, and just to provide one of several possible explanations to your first query:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Bounce

    • chinagreenelvis

      While some theories may start with such a premise, science has never posited the conclusion that there was ever nothing to begin with. Therefore, asking the question “how could something arise from nothing” with the assumption that the question is unanswerable is a faulty way of dismissing a method of explanation that doesn’t assert it. In other words, it’s an example of the straw man fallacy.

    • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

      How did consciousness arise from nothing, how did matter arise from consciousness?

      They are meaningless beliefs both ways. Whatever we conceptualize as each exist in some form today, how we//they got here teeters on unknowable.

      edit: i get the sense i just asked you the same question you just asked though.

    • DeepCough

      I’m going to be brief and say the whole “conscience” thing was a bit of an accident, a “side effect” if you will that came with the structure of the modern human brain and its capacity to think unlike any other mammal on this planet.

  • Thad McKraken

    The fact that this has somehow turned into a religion vs. science debate is sort of unbelievable and pathetic. Errr, religion is just as oblivious to the near death experience as science is. I’ll say it once and I’ll say it a billion times: I sat through a decade of church services and I have a degree in psychology. The Near Death Experience never came up once in either setting. It pisses off both camps equally. For religious people, it makes it look like their leaders don’t know what they’re talking about (even this guy doesn’t claim to have talked to Jesus specifically). For scientists, it also makes them look like they don’t know what they’re talking about and they’ve admittedly never fucking studied it. Oh, it’s “just hallucination”. Glad you cleared that up. How do these near dead hallucinating people often perceive things in remote locations that end up checking out to be true? How come they often end up coming back with a renewed sense of spirituality and their behavior is forever altered? Why does that happen? Wouldn’t their altered behavior be physical evidence that something profound outside of our perception transpired? Also, this dude isn’t the first person to be legally brain dead when this happened, so if this guy wasn’t what about the other people who were? Silence.

    • mike_93

      Thad, scientists are most certainly studying the phenomena of altered states, and NDE’s fall under this category. To say otherwise appears disingenuous and uninformed.

      “How do these near dead hallucinating people often perceive things in remote locations that end up checking out to be true?”

      This is BS. Name me just one time this has been proven to be the case, beyond a reasonable doubt. As far as I’m aware, It’s all hear say, and coincidence, and fuzzy feelings.

      “How come they often end up coming back with a renewed sense of spirituality and their behavior is forever altered? Why does that happen?”

      Maybe some of them do, but that says absolutely nothing about the existence of nonmaterial realities. There are literally many ways you can explain the changes in behavior, without resorting to a metaphysical explanation.

      “Also, this dude isn’t the first person to be legally brain dead when this happened, so if this guy wasn’t what about the other people who were? Silence.”

      He most certainly was NOT brain dead. If you read the article debunking this guy, you would see that he was lying. He intentionally embellished his story for the sake of drama (that means to sell more copies). The truth is that he was high on anesthetics the whole week, and in and out of consciousness. Never was his brain shut down, or turned off. He wasn’t even clinically dead at any point. This is not conjecture, the doctor who treated him spoke up. The guy lied. He has been discredited. He even asked the author of the article not to print it. He’s a big fat fraud.

    • doodahman

      Right on. My experience whenever anyone wants to assert “proof” of something is that one segment buys it hook line and sinker and then is crushed when it turns out to have holes, and another segment goes apeshit thinking it establishes a negative.
      Faith is faith– conviction founded on belief, nothing more. And even if nothing more it is one of the most powerful forces in human existence.

    • HCE

      Not all of this has turned into a religion vs science debate (talk about yer false dichotomies) Cypress Mulch and I are having quite a nice time discussing other things.

    • bobbiethejean

      Actually science has a pretty good explanation for NDEs and in fact, scientists have even induced them and studied them under varying circumstances.

  • Archie Dux

    I don’t know about anyone’s experience, but I do know that Hofstadter and Dennet are full of crap.

  • chinagreenelvis

    Anecdotal testimony of a subjective experience isn’t “proof” of anything to begin with. The title of the book is a total misnomer.

    • Haystack

      And likewise the details of what induced his coma don’t “disprove” anything, either.

      • chinagreenelvis

        Exactly. There was nothing to be disproven in the first place.

        • Ittabena

          Sgt. Truelove, my former supervisor at WCom would say this is a “non-issue”.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    I like how both sides like to jump to the furthest extreme when it comes to hallucination. Either Hallucinations are completely useless drivvel, or “my perspective of reality is completely true and my hallucination is proof” (IE Heaven etc.).

    Isn’t there a middle ground where maybe meaning exists, but the meaning is difficult to parse? Maybe even too difficult for the experiencer to parse?

    • Reasor

      I’d identify the middle ground as expressing appreciation and wonder at the mind’s ability to impose meaning on things as exotic as coma dreams and as mundane as the shapes of clouds, but I don’t suppose it serves either argument enough for die-hards of any stripe to latch onto it.

      • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

        Yeah, unfortunate, but i think i have to agree with you on that one.

    • NastyGash

      I like how folks like that which annoys them.

      • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

        What can one say of masochism?

  • HCE

    Well, if I were going to commit to believing, Taoism seems to have gotten closer than anything else in regards to First Cause and Ultimate Source, and then Buddhism with the ultimate unreality of all reality (“Emptiness”)

    But I vote for no more belief in anything. Sure, the uncertainty can be unsettling, but the freedom from attachment to beliefs in ideas is very freeing.

    • Cyprus Mulch

      I agree with your thoughts on Taoism and Buddhism.

      But: total absence of belief seems difficult to maintain for any substantial length of time. I would guess that years of meditation and/or living in a community with others who reject belief and embrace immediate experience might make it less difficult.

      An alternative is to become acquainted with various belief systems, and choose beliefs that seem conducive to survival, joy, and a sense of meaning in life — and to be ready to discard those beliefs if/when they cease to bring the aforementioned benefits.

      • HCE

        Well, of course you’re right that it is difficult to do. What has happened to me is a slowly, but steadily growing doubt (agnosticism?) about everything. As time passes it deepens. And it isn’t easy living like this, because I’ve begun to doubt *everything* including those doubts. And then something will happen, there’s a knee jerk reaction that results from (wait for it…) some belief I have. I think the desire to give up belief would do all of a world of good. To see the prison-like nature of belief, and to want out of it.

        • Cyprus Mulch

          Is your process of doubt-as-liberation a kind of intentional discipline, or do you find that it comes somewhat naturally?

          Do you think it can be taught in any conventional way?

          • HCE

            It wasn’t really intentional. It happened as a result of reading lots of RAW and Falcon Press gang material. In those days, there was an abundance of psychedelics. So it just sort of took hold by osmosis. Naturally? I doubt it. As I said, I find, with alarming frequency, that I act like a dumb baboon (no offense to baboons mind you) because of ingrained beliefs.

            In recent years, several things have done the job of really developing this. Regular meditation, studying Buddhism, using the I-Ching (talk about having doubts about what is “really” happening.) And then this: Reading everything I could about the JFK murder. THAT was my Chapel Perilous. I’d read, and say to myself, “Oh, that’s how it went down.” After saying and experiencing that a few thousand times or more, I began to doubt ALL of what was said about that subject. And then it began creeping quite strongly in everything else. Because I realized that life as a whole isn’t any different than the JFK murder and cover-up.

            Taught in an intentional way? Seems that a few already have. RAW, Gurdjieff, Buddha to name a few.

            THIS PLACE NEEDS A DISCUSSION FORUM.

          • Cyprus Mulch

            Thanks for sharing some of your story — it’s a journey similar to my own in many ways (substitute 9/11 for JFK).

            I’ve had a couple of extended stays in Chapel Perilous. I guess I didn’t quite “get it” the first time. The process of “waking up” is often depicted as blissful, but, in my experience, it can also be deeply traumatizing. The trauma then becomes the state from which one must awaken. (I don’t mean to imply that I’m in any way “fully awake” at this point, just that it’s an ongoing process.)

            A Disinfo discussion forum would be rad.

        • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

          I like the way you think. I happily preach the virtue of uncertainty. Absolute certainty is pretty much the only thing all suicide bombers and mass murderers have in common. Religion and non-religious beliefs often become radicalized…in the presence of absolute certainty. I avoid certainty like the plague…avoiding it is pretty much the only thing I’m certain about. ;-)

          In any case, I don’t lack for a sense of wonder. I look at the world around and am alternately horrified and awestruck. I drive or walk through ruined neighborhoods and look at human failure to thrive and shudder…and canoe through near pristine islands and feel a strong sense that all is right with the world. Just because I ‘don’t believe’ in a single creed or path doesn’t mean I’m deprived of the ability to experience joy or sorrow as I exist.

          I think we could all do with a little more uncertainty, a few more questions and a few less overly confident “answers”.

      • http://churchofeuthanasia.org/ Bob Judd

        I’ve been godless my entire life (50 years so far) and have NEVER been happier. I also have very clear and unshaken moral beliefs, and am here to tell any believers that they’ll be SO MUCH HAPPIER to be free of the chains of religion, who’s sole goal is to STOP you from thinking.

    • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

      is there such a thing as being “too free” though??

      • HCE

        I’ll let you know if I ever should find out. I doubt I’ll ever know. I had an (ahem) induced experience where the “I/Me” game ended. If that’s what it’s like, no one can function under those conditions, and the answer to your question would be a resounding YES.

  • Gabriel D. Roberts

    what the thinker thinks the prover proves

    • HCE

      Don’t believe anything the thinker thinks, just treat it all as probabilities.

  • gustave courbet

    Interesting posts everyone. That’s one of my favorite things about this site. As a dyed-in-the-wool agnostic, I would shy away from coming down hard on this issue. It seems that the advances of neurosciences and enough well designed studies will eventually shed light on the biological materialism hallucination vs metaphysical non material event debate. I personally think that some things that are considered metaphysical or spiritual will eventually be brought into the realm of ‘hard’ science, assuming that various scientific disciplines have the intellectual freedom of inquiry and the funding to explore controversial and fringe areas.

  • http://prestitiaprotestatiqui.blogspot.com/ Protestati

    I don’t know whether to believe, it is complicated, but I think with this book he wants to make money.

    Prestiti a protestati

  • rhetorics_killer

    HOW can people still try to argue ontological ‘proof’ on the existence of god two centuries and a half after Kant showed it impossible to establish? The very fact of taking as ‘truth’ the events experienced only proves spiritual incompetence, since every serious reader of the Bardo knows for a fact that all these events are mere subjevtive projections, different for each individual, depending their cultural beliefs.

  • Marc Favell

    I had a NDE once, then i woke up

  • bobbiethejean

    Ya know, I remember pointing out, in explicit detail, all the possible reasons this guy was mostly likely mistaken and all the perfectly natural, scientifically explainable possibilities there were for what Eben experienced (the most obvious being the desire to cash in on the gullible people who believe this nonsense). I remember pointing out that what he was claiming to be proof did not come even remotely close to constituting loose evidence, let along proof. I also distinctly remember the wave of people insulting me, telling me how ignorant, stupid, and close minded I was, refusing to even entertain that I might have a point, telling me that my opinion was unwanted and unwelcome.

    Well, I’d just like to say WHAT NOW, BITCHES! No hard feelings, of course.

  • Joe Boyer

    For the thousands of people who have had first hand encounters with non physical worlds, no amount of “debunking” by left-brain prisoners will devalue their personal experiences. :)

    • Tuna Ghost

      How about the revelation that this man, as well as several other people famous for something similar, have all been proven to be not just mistaken but flat-out lying? As in, not telling the truth about what happened, and thus not telling the truth about their experiences?

      • Joe Boyer

        Yes, that is bs.. But near death experiences have been around for a long time.. Thousands of people have had them, and certain aspects of them are pretty consistent. http://www.near-death.com

        • Tuna Ghost

          it’s not disputed that many people are having similar experiences, what is disputed is that they are truly NDEs.

      • Joe Boyer

        http://www.near-death.com/evidence.html People
        have NDEs while they are brain dead, out-of-body perception during NDEs have
        been verified and much more.

  • Waxil Davidson

    Religious people simply don’t understand how our brains suffer from a duality between our conscious and subconscious. Our lateral pre-frontal cortex is responsible for our conscious filter, out of past necessity this filter has gotten very very good and strong keeping us from seeing into our subconscious unless otherwise trained to. So most people commonly misinterpret anything that the conscious doesn’t understand as magic or spirituality. When in fact, it’s simple evolutionary biology. You can gain full access to this area of your mind through the use of psychedelics, DMT is the most powerful while psilocybin and even 11 hydroxy metabolite through eating Cannabis can also aid in lowering the defensive walls. You can also simply train yourself to see this and try to reverse your emotionally conditioned responses through mental discipline. Try this, try closing your eyes and focusing on the random imagery floating through your perception. You’ll notice that your conscious filter will try it’s damndest to eliminate the image, but you can calibrate your conscious to allow it through, and when you just let go and let it all through, it pours. Until you do this, you will always misunderstand that what you are worshiping is in fact your own subconscious biochemistry, which is a database of every single experience you’ve ever had, regardless of memory, all of the mundane stuff is in there too, even if you (your conscious perception) didn’t notice it at the time. To have that thrust into your conscious seemingly out of nowhere does seem magical but it’s not.

  • daisy65014

    Micheal Shermer wouldn’t know the truth if it flew in is face….he is our generation of Carl Sagan. Most of the stuff that Carl said was nothing but crap and so for this guy…I will give you an example of Sagan great work….remember the Cosmos one he went through this long math problem on the show showing that is was next to impossible to have planets outside our solar system with life…Well now what do we have Hundreds if not millions of planets that could have life….scientist’s is nothing but government paid bully’s and if you Don’t go with their religion, you are out of their circle like a school fight.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    I’ve had OBEs (out of body experiences) a few times, albeit quite awhile ago. I dismissed the early ones as weird dreams mixed with sleep paralysis. I’d wake up paralyzed, conscious but immobile, and then ‘sit up’ and look down at my sleeping body. I’d float around a bit, aware of ‘bodilessness’ and suffused by a curious calm (which I assume is because of the lack of hormones and glands that comes of not being attached to a body), then decide it was a hot idea to get my brain and my body back together again, lie down right where my body was, and wait for the two to stitch themselves back together on their own.

    Mind you, this was when I DIDN’T use drugs for recreation, drink or take medication for anything. Oddly, I’ve noticed that since I became a nicotine and caffeine junky…these things never happen anymore. I find that really interesting.

    More to the point, I’m not even sure why the book deserved debunking…it was pretty obviously a load of deluded horseshit for profit spewed onto paper by a hack who knew how to squeeze a few dollars out of plump Christian housewives who like tales of new-agey mysteries and magic…but only if its ‘safe’ and vaguely reassuring of Christianity in a nice general sense. There’s plenty of loot to be legally made swindling goobers for 19.99 a copy.

    As for my own experiences above…all I ever got out of them is the vague sense that consciousness isn’t quite as limited as I originally assumed. What that means, I have no idea, but it sure was fun and I kinda miss it. I’ve had many dreams of flight, but they were different…true dreams in deep REM. I’ve even had lucid dreams, and can recognize that semi-state…but in the last 15 years I haven’t had a single OBE, with the accompanying total and complete rational consciousness that came with it. If there’s a heaven or a hell, I’ll only find out if or when I arrive…and I doubt that altered states of consciousness have nothing to with it.

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