Close Encounters: Medjugorje and the Harvard Brain Doctor Who Died and Went to Heaven

By Stephen Ryan

In his blockbuster bestselling book, Proof of Heaven, an autobiographical account of a near-death experience, Harvard University neurosurgeon Dr. Eben Alexander writes about “journeys” to another realm, encountering love ones after death, and meeting a beautiful lady in “Heaven”.

With the Virgin Mary and Medjugorje in the back of my mind as I read the doctor’s account of going to “Heaven”, I was astonished by the similarities of the doctor’s testimony with the statements made by the Medjugorje visionaries about Heaven and the after-life.

Dr. Alexander’s riveting details of the beauty of Heaven in the after-life are at the heart of his book but the Harvard neurologist takes the reader farther on his journey into another realm by revealing that we also meet our loved ones after death – a component to the after-life experience that is hugely important to those left behind. Everybody wants to live on after death here on this earth, but most us want to meet their loved ones – people they cared about on earth afterward. Dr. Alexander says:“Death is just a transition; it is the journey and it does not end anything. Our relationships with loved ones continue. We can connect with our loved ones after they have passed over; believing that and then seeing evidence with that is such a gift. It’s a very powerful gift.”

Medjugorje Visionary Ivanka Ivankovic-Elez at Medjugorje Youth Festival in 2001, spoke about meeting loved ones in the after-life as well and her words very much parallel Dr. Alexander’s renditions. In a wonderful revelation to a surprised crowd at the Medjugorje Youth Festival, Ivanka told the spellbound audience:
“Because every single human being is asking is there a life after this life on earth, I am standing before you here today, I am standing before the entire world and I can easily answer that question. Yes, there is a life after this life, because by God and Our Lady I was given this great grace, that I was able to see my late mother during that apparition time and my mom told me: “My dear child, I’m proud of you.” Ivanka Ivankovic-Elez

“Life, after this life” – It is how the visionaries describe what happens after our time on earth comes to an end, but it is also a reminder that this life is not the end, and it is a reminder that this life on earth is part of an eternal journey.

Dr. Alexander says, “Death is just a transition; it is the journey and it does not end anything.” The Virgin Mary has said often that we transition from this world to the eternal world. She literally calls us on earth “travelers”. In a message to the visionaries, the Virgin Mary said “Do not forget that you are travelers on the way toward eternity.

In a separate message, the Mother of Christ said “be real with yourselves and do not bind yourselves to material things but to God. And do not forget, little children, that your life is as passing as a flower. Vicka Ivankovic-Mijatovic, with knowing authority, states unequivocally that “We were created for eternity.”

The dominant theme of Dr. Alexander’s book is that “eternity” exists. “Death is just a transition”, he says, adding, “I can tell you that my journey in coma showed me very clearly the existence and power of that Divinity that exists and is very real. It also proved to me beyond any doubt the eternity of our souls. I know that physical death of the body and brain is not the end.  In fact, I think many will be quite surprised to find that their conscious awareness actually expands greatly when they leave the confines of the physical limits of human brain and body.

Medjugorje visionary Marija confirms Dr. Alexander’s themes that life on earth is transitional and eternity is our destiny. Marija says “And through the message that she gave us she said that our lives must be like a flower and that we are here just in a passing way. Only eternal life does not pass. For that reason she urges us, and she asks us, to think more of the spiritual life and of paradise. She said our life will be very different; our attitude toward life will be very different when we think of the life after this one. And she said we shall really, truly understand that this life is only passing like a flower and that here we are in this world in a passing path.”

Eternity in an unknown domain. Do we go to the next life with the same consciousness we had on earth? What happens to us after we die? Is there a soul? Does our consciousness come to an end?
Harvard neurologist, Dr. Alexander is as qualified as anybody on the subject of consciousness, and he covers the topic extensively in his book. Once more, with eerie similarity, the Medjugorje visionaries describe the state of our conscious after we die in terms very close to Dr. Alexander’ descriptions. The Harvard doctor says “In the fall of 2008, after seven days in a coma during which the human part of my brain, the neocortex, was inactivated, I experienced something so profound that it gave me a scientific reason to believe in consciousness after death.” Medjugorje Visionary, Ivanka, says that Mary told her, “You go to Heaven in full conscience: that which you have now. At the moment of death, you are conscious of the separation of the body and soul. It is false to teach people that you are reborn many times and that you pass to different bodies. One is born only once. The body, drawn from the earth, decomposes after death; it never comes back to life again. Man receives a transfigured body.”

Dr. Alexander says profoundly: “What that scientific module fails to tell you is they have gotten closer to realizing that the origin of consciousness is probably forever beyond our understanding. They have gotten closer to realizing that, in fact, we have no clue how consciousness could come out of the physical brain. The boundaries of science must be broadened greatly. Don’t believe for one second that the physics community is close to explaining the consciousness out of the physical brain.

“It’s the most profound mystery ever known.”


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