Dr. Eben Alexander Has a New Book Out – ‘The Map of Heaven: How Science, Religion and Ordinary People are Proving the Afterlife’

You surely think that Eben Alexander is either a fraud or sent from Heaven, but there’s little middle ground. Ironically, it’s Alexander who says it’s middle ground we badly need.

Hmm. This is tricky. How to review The Map of Heaven: How Science, Religion and Ordinary People are Proving the Afterlife, best-selling author and neurosurgeon Eben Alexander’s new book, which presents a cartography of heaven?

It makes a lady’s head spin as she contemplates the bitter divide in the audience.

One side of the readership has their ears perked up; they know what Alexander—who had a Near-Death Experience in 2008—is exploring. They have had a spiritual or numinous or paranormal experience at some point in their own lives. And, actually, they cross every demographic line you can name. They aren’t the Christian right. They aren’t the “wishful” grieving. They aren’t some special group of American Stupid. They include scientists and doctors, as Alexander himself is. They feature philosophers, and journalists, and engineers, and musicians.

They just happen to have encountered something singular and startling, not materially explicable—which we might once have called an intimation of the Divine.

Statistically, this group touches roughly 50 percent of Americans, at least in terms of the research I’ve surveyed on extraordinary perceptions around death or dying. The number who have had Near-Death Experiences (NDE), as defined according to the Greyson Scale (developed by psychiatrist Bruce Greyson at the University of Virginia to demarcate agreed-upon characteristics of NDE), sits at around 17 percent, no small figure.

So, there’s that curious and eclectic audience, on the one hand. And on the other are the folk, numbers unknown, who would pretty much say to Alexander, WTF are you talking about? There is no God, there is no Flying Spaghetti Monster, belief is not an evidentiary bedrock you can stand on, look at all the crazy shit happening in the world today as a result of religion. Sod Off with your silly map of heaven.

I don’t know how many members of this side of the debate post items on Facebook from popular social media groups like “I Fucking Love Science,” as if science itself were a faith, rather than an array of measuring cups and microscopes with which to test hypotheses. But I certainly see them in my news feed.

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Source: The Daily Beast | Patricia Pearson

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