Proof of Heaven is a book about a neurosurgeon’s near-death experience (NDE) when he goes into coma. He miraculously survives to tell us his story. What adds credibility to this book is the fact that the author/protagonist is a neurosurgeon-he knows the ins and outs of every functioning brain cell and when he comes out claiming that he had an out-of-body experience that wasn’t a ‘delusion’–you’re more likely to believe it. The author claims that his outer-brain was shut-off during his NDE and so no activity was being recorded by the brain. The book demonstrates how incapable he finds himself in describing his outer-world experience and he explains that it felt very much like trying to write a sentence with half the alphabets. He suggests that when we are out-of-body, we are brainless creatures who don’t constrain ourselves to the boundaries of space and time.
On a similar note, I recall a story our Religious Studies Prof said about when the Buddha was asked to describe the experience of ‘Nirvana‘ and he said it was impossible. He said it was like telling you which direction the flame of a candle is blowing in, when there is no flame on the candle to begin with.
In addition, during the neurosurgeon’s outer-world experience, he describes how ‘ideas’ were relayed to him without language- that he was just able to ‘understand a concept’ with a blow-its simply transferred to you. This reminded me of how the Quran was revealed to the Messenger. The Quran didn’t come down as a book-it wasn’t a parcel that God sent or hid inside a cave. It was revealed through words, verse by verse, to the Prophet (PBUH) over the course of approximately 23 years. A lot of times, these ‘revelations’ were verbally recited to him by an Angel, but a lot of times they just ‘came to him’–transferred, relayed, whatever you want to call it.
So here is the situation. We’re living this life on Earth. We know, based on Prophets and various spiritual experiences that an outer-world or after-life exists, that is far more rewarding because ‘we are not human beings having a spiritual experience, but spiritual beings having a human experience’.
When I try to wrap this idea around my head, I often end up concluding that if we know we are not equipped with the capacity to comprehend the other world, why even bother trying? But the reality is that our goal is not to comprehend the other world, but to simply believe in its existence and consequently understand that relative to what we have waiting for us, this world..is nothing.
Sure, its great when a bit of that ‘spirituality’ lends itself in our human lives–it mesmerizes us. It gives us a glimpse of what potential our brainless selves have. The essence lies in the idea that we are spiritual beings-and that we will never actually be satisfied with materialism. So stop trying to look for a key where it doesn’t exist.
P.S: 1) I am still thinking about this. 2) The idea of the ‘brain being shut down’ is debatable- many scientists argued the author’s claim.