Book review by Steven Neubauer
Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife
by Eben Alexander, M.D. Copyright 2012.
In this book Eben Alexander III, a practicing neurosurgeon for 25 years and in good health,
recounts the story of how he suddenly became ill with severe flu-like symptoms and quickly fell
into a coma with what was diagnosed as an extremely rare and severe brain infection, a form of
E. coli gram-negative bacterial meningitis. Within days, monitors were recording the activity, or
the lack of activity, occurring within what Dr. Alexander described as “my now all-but-destroyed
As his family gathered around in his intensive care hospital room, his doctors determined his
higher brain functions had ceased working and began discussing with his wife the possibility of
removing the ventilator and allowing him to die naturally. Even if he survived, his wife was
informed by the finest specialists, Dr. Alexander’s brain had suffered irreparable damage and he
would never regain enough function or awareness to even feed himself, much less live any sort
of productive or meaningful life.
Then, after seven days in coma, Dr. Alexander suddenly awakened. He began speaking
immediately and following weeks of therapy had recovered nearly all of his brain function and
memory and, eventually, all of his skills and training as a neurosurgeon. He also experienced a
profound near-death-experience (NDE) and retained a vivid memory of an extended tour
through heaven, guided by a beautiful angel-like woman who rode on “the wing of a butterfly,”
and spending a virtual eternity communicating with God before returning to his body and waking
up in the hospital.
According to Dr. Alexander, the spiritual realm exists over and above the material universe. In
fact, the innumerable material universes are but a minute part of the spirit universe, what Dr.
Alexander described as “punctuation marks, the purpose of which is to bring beings into
existence and allow them to participate in the glory of God.” “The Big Bang that created our
universe,” wrote Dr. Alexander, “was one of these creative punctuation marks.”
Dr. Alexander goes on to explain that the human brain is not the source of human
consciousness, rather the brain is really a limiting factor in consciousness, a filter of sorts that
was designed to prevent people from attaining knowledge of the spirit universe and keep us
focused on the material universe in which we live, until we die and are lifted into the spirit realm,
where our true, far less limited true consciousness actually resides.
Following his return to our Earthly realm, Dr. Alexander, formerly a self-described agnostic and
skeptic, not only wrote of his heavenly experiences in Proof of Heaven, but also travels around
the country attempting to convince people that God exists, that God created the material
universe and humans for the purpose of creating loving beings who will share in Gods glory,
that religions are valid and that prayer works, and that everything that exists is made of love.