Author Topic: Afterlife exists says top brain surgeon  (Read 2738 times)

ramana_maharshi

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Afterlife exists says top brain surgeon
« on: October 11, 2012, 04:37:49 PM »
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/9597345/Afterlife-exists-says-top-brain-surgeon.html

A prominent scientist who had previously dismissed the possibility of the afterlife says he has reconsidered his belief after experiencing an out of body experience which has convinced him that heaven exists.

Dr Eben Alexander, a Harvard-educated neurosurgeon, fell into a coma for seven days in 2008 after contracting meningitis.

During his illness Dr Alexander says that the part of his brain which controls human thought and emotion "shut down" and that he then experienced "something so profound that it gave me a scientific reason to believe in consciousness after death." In an essay for American magazine Newsweek, which he wrote to promote his book Proof of Heaven, Dr Alexander says he was met by a beautiful blue-eyed woman in a "place of clouds, big fluffy pink-white ones" and "shimmering beings".

He continues: "Birds? Angels? These words registered later, when I was writing down my recollections. But neither of these words do justice to the beings themselves, which were quite simply different from anything I have known on this planet. They were more advanced. Higher forms." The doctor adds that a "huge and booming like a glorious chant, came down from above, and I wondered if the winged beings were producing it. the sound was palpable and almost material, like a rain that you can feel on your skin but doesn't get you wet."

Dr Alexander says he had heard stories from patients who spoke of outer body experiences but had disregarded them as "wishful thinking" but has reconsidered his opinion following his own experience.

He added: "I know full well how extraordinary, how frankly unbelievable, all this sounds. Had someone even a doctor told me a story like this in the old days, I would have been quite certain that they were under the spell of some delusion.

"But what happened to me was, far from being delusional, as real or more real than any event in my life. That includes my wedding day and the birth of my two sons." He added: "I've spent decades as a neurosurgeon at some of the most prestigous medical institutions in our country. I know that many of my peers hold as I myself did to the theory that the brain, and in particular the cortex, generates consciousness and that we live in a universe devoid of any kind of emotion, much less the unconditional love that I now know God and the universe have toward us.

"But that belief, that theory, now lies broken at our feet. What happened to me destroyed it."

Subramanian.R

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Re: Afterlife exists says top brain surgeon
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2012, 05:34:43 PM »
Dear prasanth, Tusnim.

The Primary Consciousness itself involves the following:

100,000,000,000 neurons and
1,000,000,000,0000 +  connections

plus massive hard drive
many high speed  parallel
  processors.

Then how about other aspects of consciousness?


Here, where does the 'I' stand?

in core self?
in auto biographical self?
in proto self?

The point of all this is to show that science has not been able  to find any 'single permanent place' for anything, like
a central controller, or 'I', or the self. 'I' is found only as several different places where different functions occur.

****

Please go through the beautiful article by Gary Weber, a neuro scientist in Mountain Path, October - December 2011.

Arunachala Siva.     

ramana_maharshi

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Re: Afterlife exists says top brain surgeon
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2012, 05:57:17 PM »
very well said udai garu and subramanian garu.

Subramanian.R

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Re: Afterlife exists says top brain surgeon
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2012, 06:27:19 PM »
Dear Tusnim,

Mountain Path articles are not available on line. One can send Rs 120 for a year's subscription of 4 issues. You can collect
back issues (some are available) when you go to the Asramam. I have been subscibing  since the year 2003.

The copies come in about 10 days from the beginning of the quarter to your home address.

Arunachala Siva. 

Hari

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Re: Afterlife exists says top brain surgeon
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2012, 06:42:18 PM »
Does the mental body also have 'mental brain'? If it is so why this confusion about NDE? And why we are looking for the answer in the physical brain? But if relative reality is only a product of the physical brain then all discussion about this matter are meaningless.

P.S. I have not found any consensus even among spiritual masters about these experiences.
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Nagaraj

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Re: Afterlife exists says top brain surgeon
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2012, 07:03:19 PM »
Some useful quotes of Sri Bhagavan, for contemplation:



Rebirth means discontent with the present state, and desire to be born where there will be no discontent. Births, being of the body, cannot affect the Self. The Self remains over even after the body perishes. The discontent is due to the wrong identity of the Eternal Self with the perishable body. The body is a necessary adjunct of the ego. If the ego is killed the eternal Self is revealed in all its glory.

D.: Do you not uphold the theory of rebirth?
M.: No. On the other hand, I want to remove your confusion that you will be reborn. It is you who think that you will be reborn. See for whom this question arises. Unless the questioner is found, the questions can never be set at rest.

Birth and rebirth pertain to the body. You are identifying the Self with the body. It is a wrong identification. You believe that the body has been born and will die, and confound the phenomena relating to the one with the other. Know your real being and these questions will not arise.

Birth and rebirth are mentioned only to make you investigate the question and find out that there are neither births nor rebirths. They relate to the body and not to the Self. Know the Self and be not perturbed by doubts.

D.: What is karma and rebirth?
M.: See the karta (doer) and then the karma (action) becomes obvious. If you are born now, rebirth may follow. See if you are born now. Rebirth is due to vasanas which are binding.

D.: The knot is concomitant with the body. The body is due to birth. How is rebirth to cease?
M.: Who is born? Is the Self born? Or is it the body?
D.: It is the body.
M.: Then let the body ask how its rebirth may cease.
D.: It will not ask. So I am asking.
M.: Whose is the body? You were without it in your deep sleep. After the ‘I-thought’ arose the body arose. The first birth is that of ‘Ithought’. The body has its birth subsequent to ‘I-thought’. So its birth is secondary. Get rid of the primary cause and the secondary one will disappear by itself.

Rebirth means discontent with the present state, and desire to be born where there will be no discontent. Births, being of the body, cannot affect the Self. The Self remains over even after the body perishes. The discontent is due to the wrong identity of the Eternal Self with the perishable body. The body is a necessary adjunct of the ego. If the ego is killed the eternal Self is revealed in all its glory.

D.: Do you not uphold the theory of rebirth?
M.: No. On the other hand, I want to remove your confusion that you will be reborn. It is you who think that you will be reborn.

G. Mehta: Is there a rebirth?
Bhagavan: If there is birth there must be not only one rebirth but a whole succession of births. Why and how did you get this birth? For the same reason and in the same manner you must have succeeding births. But if you ask who has the birth and whether birth and death are for you or for somebody distinct from you, then you realize the truth and the truth burns up all karma and frees you from all births. The books graphically describe how all sanchita karma, which would take countless lives to exhaust, is burnt up by one little spark of jnana, just as a mountain of gunpowder will be blown up by a single spark of fire. It is the ego that is the cause of all the world and of the countless sciences whose researches are so great as to baffle description, and if the ego is dissolved by enquiry all this
immediately crumbles and the Reality or Self alone remains.

॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

Hari

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Re: Afterlife exists says top brain surgeon
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2012, 07:10:02 PM »
Dear Tushnim,
my point was different. We assume that the world exists only until the senses and the brains are active. Sri Bhagavan accepts that clearly. The problem here is on another level. It is clear that when Bhagavan talks about body, He means the physical, the mental and tha causal bodies. Physical body is clear for everyone. But some Sages say that even after the death of men jivatmas continue to experience worlds - astral, heaven and so on due to the senses of the mental body. This is my impression from what I have read from Indian teachers, Sages and so on. So are NDE due to residual of physical brain acticities or are experiences of the so called 'mental body', this is what I am interested. Are all experience due to taking psycho active drugs as LSD, psylocibin, ketamines and so on from the physical brain or are due to shifting the consciousness to the mental body? I agree that neuroscience can give very interesting theories about our relative perceptions.
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Nagaraj

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Re: Afterlife exists says top brain surgeon
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2012, 07:18:45 PM »
Sri Hari, your question got smiles in my face, the way you expressed your question was fun :) :

Does the mental body also have 'mental brain'? If it is so why this confusion about NDE? And why we are looking for the answer in the physical brain? But if relative reality is only a product of the physical brain then all discussion about this matter are meaningless.

P.S. I have not found any consensus even among spiritual masters about these experiences.

i think, you have yourself answered well, when you observed - "But if relative reality is only a product of the physical brain then all discussion about this matter are meaningless."

॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

Subramanian.R

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Re: Afterlife exists says top brain surgeon
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2012, 07:27:33 PM »
Dear Nagaraj,

Yes. Sri Bhagavan says that when the body dies, mind carries with it prana and occupy antother bod. (Who am I?)   

Arunachala Siva.

Nagaraj

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Re: Afterlife exists says top brain surgeon
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2012, 07:29:52 PM »
Sri Tushnim, Sri Hari,

Even the explanation given by vedanta can only be verified actually, only when we ourselves die, until then, its just knowledge hearsay!

But, can we know when we die? can we know the moment we were born really? This is what Sri Bhagavan focuses on, he asks, if you are born now? know yourself, and so on...

Basically, he wants us to stop speculating about these things (they are actually useless) and bring back the outgoing mind, inwards, to its source.

॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

Hari

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Re: Afterlife exists says top brain surgeon
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2012, 08:01:30 PM »
Dear all,
I agree that all these are speculations. But what if some of you have this profound experience? Will you so lightly say that this is just brain's play? Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Gita says that there is heaven and hell. Lord Jesus teaches us the same. I cannot deny these places and to reject the possibility that one day we all may go in such place just because it does not seem reasonable.
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Nagaraj

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Re: Afterlife exists says top brain surgeon
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2012, 08:29:16 PM »
Sri Hari,

the point is about faith here. it is about the trust we have on the words of the Guru who advises us the way that we have to go. what ever else the scriptures declare, be it the Gita, Bible or the Koran, let it happen in its own course. Our bounden duty at the moment is to blindly follow the Guru's advise.

i would go on further to say, who knows what truth, really is, who really knows, if it is advaitA, or dvaitA or visishtAdvaita or what the Koran says or what the bible says or what ever the other great schools have to say, who can say?

It is purely and simply like resting all our faith on our mother, and rest our faith on her without any questions, whatsoever! We know, the mother will not fail us, no matter wherever she goes, she will protect us, she will give us what ever the best she has, what ever best she knows.

Without the mother (Guru), it is only going to be chaos, why to remain in a speculative realm? rather the words of the Guru who is verily the mother is the only thing that can be trusted upon blindly.

When we are under the shadow of the Guru, there is no question of what if... what He says, I do, and I leave all the "what if's" to the Guru!

This is the spirit that brings me solace!

« Last Edit: October 11, 2012, 08:34:23 PM by Nagaraj »
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

Hari

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Re: Afterlife exists says top brain surgeon
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2012, 08:34:48 PM »
Dear Najarajji,
I agree completely about the Guru. My opinion is just the same!
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sanjaya_ganesh

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Re: Afterlife exists says top brain surgeon
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2012, 11:01:33 AM »
Udai garu

This is cyclic dependency :)

Quote
An Experience, however exotic, is only a figment of imagination.
Remaining as the "Experiencer" is being the Self.
That alone is the True Experience where one sees oneself as the Experiencer of all experiences that is changeless.

"That alone is the True Experience" you say and you also say "experience is figment of imagination" :)
Salutations to Bhagawan

Subramanian.R

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Re: Afterlife exists says top brain surgeon
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2012, 01:52:23 PM »
Dear sanjaya-ganesh,

Attain that Experience. You will realize that this is not a figment of imagination but the happiness which the word happiness
really denotes. It is therefore called Bliss.

Arunachala Siva.