Dr. Peter Cummings is a neuropathologist from Maine – a brain guy – who didn’t believe in God.

Unfortunately, this is a trait of too many scientific types.

They are blinded by carnality, which the Church, in its wisdom, calls “materialism”.

It’s not just money (although that plays a big role, too). It is complete preoccupation with the material world: only what can be seen, heard, touched, tasted and smelled, and nothing more.

One would think that being a scientist, and especially a doctor—immersed in the intricacies and wonders of the human body, not to mention the countless other creatures and plants of Creation—would let you know that all that intricacies could not possibly be the result of random events (what Darwin called natural selection and evolution).

In any case, Dr. Cummings was a nonbeliever who put all his trust in the brain.

Cummings was extremely successful as a neuropathologist.

“My career was really on the rise and was the main focus of my life,” he explains. Work, work, work, work. “Philosophically, I was an atheist. You couldn’t convince me otherwise. I could open my brain and show you where the thoughts come from. Where was the soul? For me, it didn’t exist.”

He experienced the feeling of out-of-body love

Let’s get to the point: Dr. Cummings went with his family to Costa Rica, where he went rafting with his wife and son. During that excursion, the raft capsized and he found himself trapped underwater – at the bottom of the river – and then headed for the rock.

“I knew I was drowning,” he says. “That’s it. This is the end. Shouldn’t I be more afraid of this?”

Nevertheless – and this was the first doubt – he felt complete peace. And he could see everything around him – 360 degrees – at once.

It was as if he was out of his body.

It was as if he was both a participant and a spectator of his misfortune.

He saw light breaking through the darkness and bubbles of water appearing in front of the rock. It was as if time slowed down or stopped – “beyond human experience”.

“I was enveloped by this incredible feeling of love and this voice appeared that said, ‘You’re going to be okay.’ I was instantly one with this beauty.”

At last the raft arrived and a voice told Dr. Cummings to grab the oar handed to him by the person on the raft or he would not return to this earthly life.

“I was absolutely different when I came back,” he told a group studying near-death experiences.

“I became uncomfortable with my pursuit of a career,” he says, “and I could no longer identify with it, and this intense Boston malignant academic environment. It made me physically sick. I just couldn’t be there anymore. I wrote some very bad books and those things didn’t matter to me. I was like a piece of paper.”

His life has completely changed. As he testifies, he gave up everything material and moved with his family to the woods in Maine, where he still lives today, “a wonderful life.” But he says, it was not easy, the consequences of the old life were terrible.

Seeing the eternal, he felt the transcendence of time.

Past, present and future were suddenly one.

We cannot imagine that feeling while we are within the confines of the material world. That is why God calls us to a new birth.

God is eternal, and the fact that He has no beginning and no end makes sense to us on the other side, as does our own eternal existence.