I’m reading Eben Alexander’s Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife (currently #1 on Amazon). It tells the story of his profound near-death experience while in a deep, 7-day coma due to bacterial meningitis that basically shut down the human part of his brain. It’s a terrific read and I wanted to mention some parts that sound remarkably Course-like:
A pivotal point in his experience is when he encounters a girl who seemed to be a kind of guide for him. He said:
She looked at me with a look that, if you saw it for a few moments, would make your whole life up to that point worth living, no matter what had happened in it so far. It was not a romantic look. It was not a look of friendship. It was a look that was somehow beyond all these…beyond all the different types of love we have down here on earth. It was something higher, holding all those other kinds of love within itself while at the same time being more genuine and pure than all of them. (p. 40)
Of course, this reminded me immediately of what the Course says about the real nature of love:
Perhaps you think that different kinds of love are possible. Perhaps you think there is a kind of love for this, a kind for that; a way of loving one, another way of loving still another. Love is one. It has no separate parts and no degrees; no kinds nor levels, no divergencies and no distinctions. It is like itself, unchanged throughout. It never alters with a person or a circumstance. It is the Heart of God, and also of His Son. (W-pI.127.1)
When Alexander encounters God, he has this to say:
…the “voice” of this Being was warm and—odd as this may sound—personal. It understood humans, and it possessed the qualities we possess, only in infinitely greater measure. It knew me deeply and overflowed with qualities that all my life I’ve always associated with human beings, and human beings alone: warmth, compassion, pathos…even irony and humor. (p. 48)
If you know how the Circle characterizes the Course’s teaching on God, you will immediately recognize the close similarity.
Though I’m not implying that everything he experienced is in line with the Course (I’m only on page 50), both of these quotes touch on the same essential worldview that we see in the Course. That worldview is not about a cool, impersonal oneness in which all distinction is wiped out, and with it, all trace of relationship. Rather, it is about love, a love that is greater than our most expansive imaginings and beyond our deepest hope. And, like the dominant values in a company, this love comes from the top.