Neurosurgeon's visit to heaven - proof of afterlife?

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Re: Neurosurgeon's visit to heaven - proof of afterlife?

Postby rowyourboat » Sun Oct 14, 2012 9:24 pm

I think it is not a matter of proof but a matter of faith, at this point. 50 years ago some of the subatomic particles found recently would be just theoretical. No point expecting proof when the instrument which can measure it doesn't exist. All we have now is a theory. Is this theory helpful for you and how much faith do you have in the person who proclaimed this theory? Without this faith what have you reduced this practice to?

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Re: Neurosurgeon's visit to heaven - proof of afterlife?

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Sun Oct 14, 2012 9:33 pm

daverupa wrote:Fairly useless without experimental design and predictive ability, thereby failing to distinguish itself from any other speculation.

The plural of 'anecdote' is not 'data'.

A non-material explanation is hardly discounted because material evidence cannot be found.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
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Re: Neurosurgeon's visit to heaven - proof of afterlife?

Postby helparcfun » Sun Oct 14, 2012 10:07 pm

rowyourboat wrote:I think it is not a matter of proof but a matter of faith

Exactly! People of faith, whatever faith that may be should stick to their faith and not try to prove their beliefs scientifically! Science and faith are incompatible.
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Re: Neurosurgeon's visit to heaven - proof of afterlife?

Postby ancientbuddhism » Sun Oct 14, 2012 11:38 pm

gavesako wrote: ...

Then there are other well-documented cases in the West which involve young children, consider for example the boy who remembered details of his past life as a fighter pilot shot down in WWII:

...

Someone who does not accept rebirth as the most obvious explanation should at least suggest some other way how all that information "got inside their brain" and how they acquired the special abilities which they display at a very young age.


The stories are surly fantastic, if one has not been around children much. One obvious incongruence is that “…all that information “got inside their brain”…” yet the language used to express it took the regular path of development.
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“And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Calm and insight. This, bhikkhus, is called the path leading to the unconditioned.” SN. 43.2 – Samathavipassanāsuttaṃ

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Re: Neurosurgeon's visit to heaven - proof of afterlife?

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:14 am

It's an unfortunate argument when people say there is no Santa Claus. Sorry, you skeptics--there is. In fact, as the photo below proves (third from either side), he was best man at my wedding:
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Don't be quite so quick to dismiss the existence of things just because you haven't experienced them directly.

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Heaven Is Real/Home Of God Is Dark !!??

Postby yawares » Mon Oct 15, 2012 1:54 pm

Dear Members,

Heaven is real..definitely YES. Home of God is dark...NO WAY/IMPOSSIBLE!!!
This Uposatha day I read an interesting news:

Heaven is real, says neurosurgeon who claims to have visited the afterlife
[By Eric pfeiffer, yahoo news]

Dr. Eben Alexander has taught at Harvard Medical School and has earned a strong reputation as a neurosurgeon. And while Alexander says he's long called himself a Christian, he never held deeply religious beliefs or a pronounced faith in the afterlife.

But after a week in a coma during the fall of 2008, during which his neocortex ceased to function, Alexander claims he experienced a life-changing visit to the afterlife, specifically heaven.

"According to current medical understanding of the brain and mind, there is absolutely no way that I could have experienced even a dim and limited consciousness during my time in the coma, much less the hyper-vivid and completely coherent odyssey I underwent," Alexander writes in the cover story of this week's edition of Newsweek.

So what exactly does heaven look like?

Alexander says he first found himself floating above clouds before witnessing, "transparent, shimmering beings arced across the sky, leaving long, streamer like lines behind them."

He claims to have been escorted by an unknown female companion and says he communicated with these beings through a method of correspondence that transcended language. Alexander says the messages he received from those beings loosely translated as:

"You are loved and cherished, dearly, forever."

"You have nothing to fear."

"There is nothing you can do wrong."

From there, Alexander claims to have traveled to "an immense void, completely dark, infinite in size, yet also infinitely comforting." He believes this void was the home of God.

After recovering from his meningitis-induced coma, Alexander says he was reluctant to share his experience with his colleagues but found comfort inside the walls of his church. He's chronicled his experience in a new book, "Proof of Heaven: A neurosurgeon's journey into the afterlife," which will be published in late October.

"I'm still a doctor, and still a man of science every bit as much as I was before I had my experience," Alexander writes. "But on a deep level I'm very different from the person I was before, because I've caught a glimpse of this emerging picture of reality. And you can believe me when I tell you that it will be worth every bit of the work it will take us, and those who come after us, to get it right."

*************
But I don't think the 'home of God' is dark!!
Heaven must be so bright with all beautiful/splendid celestial things/celestial angels. :anjali: :heart:
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Re: Neurosurgeon's visit to heaven - proof of afterlife?

Postby gavesako » Mon Oct 15, 2012 5:52 pm

Whatever problems arise, they arise right
here. “Is death followed by rebirth? By annihi-
lation? Is there a next world? Does hell exist?
Does heaven? Does evil exist? Does merit?” Ev-
erywhere I go, there’s the same question: “Do
heaven and hell exist?” I never feel like answer-
ing. I don’t see any reason to answer it, because
that which is burdened with heaven and hell
is the heart, which everyone already has. So
why waste time answering? After all, I’m not a
record-keeper for heaven and hell! Living beings
are reborn in various realms of existence through the power
of the good and bad kamma within the heart. The heart itself
is what’s reborn into those realms. If we don’t solve the
problem right in the heart, we’ll never be able to escape
the bonfires of suffering and anxiety.


-- Luangta Maha Boowa, "Samana"
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Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: Neurosurgeon's visit to heaven - proof of afterlife?

Postby gavesako » Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:21 pm

Here is a nice short video by Dr Woraphat Phucharoen, a Thai scientist who used to work for NASA in America. He was a Christian first, but when he discovered Buddhism, he was so attracted by it that he wanted to study it deeply, and so he calls it the Inner Science as opposed to Outer Science. He became a monk and was experimenting with natural truth by practice. Now he is a popular lay Dhamma teacher, quite funny too:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cq2LW2CC ... ure=colike (English subtitles)

:clap:
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Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: Neurosurgeon's visit to heaven - proof of afterlife?

Postby drifting cloud » Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:50 pm

Alex123 wrote:
gavesako wrote:When a neurosurgeon found himself in a coma, he experienced things he never thought possible—a journey to the afterlife.


It is interesting that these "journeys" tend to occur in hospital when a person is pumped with drugs or when brain malfunctions...

How do we know that these memories are not by-product of the brain and/or its malfunction?


Because in many cases of reported OBE or NDE, the individual is not "pumped full of drugs", they are clinically dead. It's not a question of "brain malfunctions"; there is literally no detectable brain function. And yet these people continue to experience.

How is it possible that a person has conscious experience, and can sometimes even report things that were said and done in their presence, with no brain function?

Now, while this does not necessarily validate any of these particular experiences, it does seem to indicate that consciousness is not simply reducible to the brain, and can operate independently of it. At the very least it suggests that present scientific models do not adequately account for consciousness.
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Re: Neurosurgeon's visit to heaven - proof of afterlife?

Postby Alex123 » Tue Oct 16, 2012 1:16 am

drifting cloud wrote:Because in many cases of reported OBE or NDE, the individual is not "pumped full of drugs", they are clinically dead.


What happens chemically when the brain is about to shut down or restart?

drifting cloud wrote:It's not a question of "brain malfunctions"; there is literally no detectable brain function. And yet these people continue to experience.


How do we know that this eхperience doesn't happen prior to brain shut down, and/or after brain restarts?


drifting cloud wrote:How is it possible that a person has conscious experience, and can sometimes even report things that were said and done in their presence, with no brain function?


It would be interesting to study this thing. Did they guess or someone told them? Did their brain work at that instant of time?
Can dying brain record some data to be used when/if brain restarts to fully functioning?
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
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Re: Neurosurgeon's visit to heaven - proof of afterlife?

Postby daverupa » Tue Oct 16, 2012 1:50 am

Time dilation effects and created memories need to be ruled out as well.

So many variables... and, if as this guy says “There is nothing you can do wrong.” - well that's just swell!

(It's part of the primary source here; let's not discount it, as it has rather dire ethical consequences...)
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Neurosurgeon's visit to heaven - proof of afterlife?

Postby m0rl0ck » Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:53 am

gavesako wrote: so he calls it the Inner Science as opposed to Outer Science


That seems to me a good way to think about it. Western science disregards subjective experience and subjective experience (of suffering) is why we are all here.
Come to think of it, there is just as much objective proof of NDE's as for jhana or other meditative states, maybe more, because NDE experiencers can report events around them when they were technically dead. So in as far as we ask for proof of such experiences, arent buddhist meditators living in the proverbial glass house?
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"And you'll be able to gain release from suffering only when you know the one mind."

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Re: Neurosurgeon's visit to heaven - proof of afterlife?

Postby marc108 » Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:58 am

sounds like an OBE to a heaven realm. i think a lot of religious mythology has developed around those types of experiences.
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Re: Neurosurgeon's visit to heaven - proof of afterlife?

Postby Mal » Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:45 am

Mawkish1983 wrote:I used to be very troubled by these discussions. I've come to realise that whether there is an afterlife or not, whether consciousness is brain-made or not, whether rebirth occurs or not, I am still going to die. Regardless of my beliefs or otherwise, death will take me.


Obviously. But where will death take you?

Mawkish1983 wrote:I'm coming to terms with that now. Nothing I have yet perceived is eternal or permanent.


How do you know? You haven't been around eternally to tell whether "something" is permanent or not. There are some objects that are always there to our perception - the sun for instance. Astronomical theory suggests that the sun will die, but that's a theory, not anything you have perceived.
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Re: Neurosurgeon's visit to heaven - proof of afterlife?

Postby Mal » Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:00 pm

gavesako wrote:Then there are other well-documented cases in the West which involve young children, consider for example the boy who remembered details of his past life as a fighter pilot shot down in WWII:

http://www.reversespins.com/proofofreincarnation.html



The father might be seeking fame - if people believe him imagine the book sales!
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Re: Neurosurgeon's visit to heaven - proof of afterlife?

Postby Aloka » Tue Oct 16, 2012 3:20 pm

.

A lot of these cases can be cryptomnesia. This is why a hypnotherapist with any principles wouldn't encourage clients to have "past life regression," because it's incredibly unreliable. People can be just making things up from muddled memories of films, TV, things they've read, seen and heard etc, without fully realising that's what they're doing.
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Re: Neurosurgeon's visit to heaven - proof of afterlife?

Postby Mawkish1983 » Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:56 pm

Mal wrote:
Mawkish1983 wrote:Regardless of my beliefs or otherwise, death will take me.
Obviously. But where will death take you?
Colloquialism; I mean, "I will die."
Mal wrote:
Mawkish1983 wrote:I'm coming to terms with that now. Nothing I have yet perceived is eternal or permanent.
How do you know? You haven't been around eternally to tell whether "something" is permanent or not.
A joke or a serious question? My answer, Occam's razor. Natural phenomena and their driving mechanisms can be predicted reliably to a reasonable degree of accuracy if the delusion of permanence is abandoned.
Mal wrote:There are some objects that are always there to our perception - the sun for instance. Astronomical theory suggests that the sun will die, but that's a theory, not anything you have perceived.
I'm a physicist. The physical mechanisms driving the sun are familiar to me. I have very directly perceived those mechanisms in a different context.

I'm scratching my head trying to understand what it is you're trying to tell me, Mal. I'm sorry.
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Re: Neurosurgeon's visit to heaven - proof of afterlife?

Postby Kusala » Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:07 am

Ven. S. Dhammika wrote an interesting article on rebirth.

You have talked a lot about rebirth but is there any proof that we will be reborn when we die?

Not only is there scientific evidence to support Buddhist belief in rebirth, it is the only after-life theory that has any evidence to support it. There is not a scrap of evidence to prove the existence of heaven and of course evidence of annihilation at death must be lacking. But during the last 30 years parapsychologists have been studying reports that some people have vivid memories of their former lives. For example, in England, a 5 year old girl said she could remember her other mother and father and she talked vividly about what sounded like the events in the life of another person. Parapsychologists were called in and asked her hundreds of questions to which she gave answers. She spoke of living in a particular village, in what appeared to be Spain. She gave the name of the village, the name of the street she lived in, her neighbours’ names and details about her everyday life there. she also tearfully spoke of how she had been struck by a car and died of her injuries two days later. When these details were checked, they were found to be accurate. There was a village in Spain with the name the child had given. There was a house of the type she had described in the street she had named. What is more, it was found that a 23 year old woman living in the house had been killed in a car accident five years before.

Now how is it possible for a five year old living in England who had never been to Spain to know all these details? And of course, this is not the only case of this type. Professor Ian Stevenson of the University of Virginia’s Department of Psychology has described dozens of cases of this type in his books. He is an accredited scientist whose 25 year study of people who remember former lives is very strong evidence for the Buddhist teaching of rebirth.


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Homage to the Teachings
The Dhamma of the Blessed One is perfectly expounded; to be seen here and now; not delayed in
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Re: Neurosurgeon's visit to heaven - proof of afterlife?

Postby ground » Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:22 am

That is cultivation of self view. :sage:
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Re: Neurosurgeon's visit to heaven - proof of afterlife?

Postby whynotme » Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:04 am

The truth is, quite frankly we don't need proof of afterlife. Quite the opposite, we need proof of death is the end, let the scientists prove this. And it is impossible to prove death is the end.

Atheist, believes in materialism, and he identifies himself with material. But the material world is not stopped after his death. His body will come into decomposition, to basic elements like hydro, oxygen and carbon and will go everywhere, follow the rivers, follow the rain, go to the air.. and become part of plants and then animal, and then become part of future humans. Materialist, you should prove that life is ceased after death. But be inclined with the identify of the material self, they believe death is the end, a very unfair opinion.

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