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  •  I certainly appreciate the passion, (47+ / 0-)

    but have to take issue with the book title.  No, I haven't read the book.  No, I have no intention of reading the book; but I just can't accept a single human's interpretation of neurological phenomena as proof of the supernatural.  I'm happy for Dr. Alexander if this has brought joy/meaning to his life; but to suggest that his specific neurological issues present "proof" of a specific mythology is objectively unbelievable IMO.  

    "It is not, you fucking liberal prick." ..My RW friend Dave's last words to me.

    by rb608 on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:53:05 PM PST

    •  I'm with you (19+ / 0-)

      I already know that billions of people have had subjective experiences that they interpret as communication with God. But nothing that goes on inside someone else's head is going to alter my beliefs about the nature of reality.

      If I experience it myself then maybe I'll see it differently. I doubt it, though. I'm fairly certain I would still see anything I experienced while in a coma as a mental state caused by an ailing brain.

      We decided to move the center farther to the right by starting the whole debate from a far-right position to begin with. - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

      by denise b on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 08:12:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What's interesting is that the author, (12+ / 0-)

        a neurosurgeon, actually considers various neurological explanations for his experience, and concludes that none of them make sense. He explains why in terms that are easy for laymen to grasp. One is left to conclude that if he's not lying about the whole thing, then either the brain has capacities that we don't know about yet or that he did in fact experience consciousness outside of the brain's function. His point in the book is that you can't chalk up what happened to him to brain function, at least according to anything we currently understand about how the brain functions.

        Please visit:

        by Noisy Democrat on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 09:06:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I was the same way regarding healings via (10+ / 0-)

        CAMs.  Although this has nothing to do about god, I suppose it could fall under some form of "supernatural" & at least subjectivity.

        In the mid 90's a reporter friend convinced me to go along to a "healing fair" for a print series.  First & foremost, I knew zip about new agey CAMS or even what a "healing fair" was & at the time, my work revolved around objective & uber strict data collection.

        I agreed to go albeit with a closed & highly skeptical mindset.

        Once there, I discovered that one was to pick from a variety of scheduled 15 minute sessions.  Sigh, I chose the ones that did not involve needles or hypnosis or other weird (to me) shite.

        I admit to also being afraid that someone would try to do a vulcan mind meld/read my mind or something, so I purposefully did not give any of the practitioners one syllable of info or even speech & kept up a "kind-peace" mantra going in my brain at all times.  Heh, seriously like a shield.

        I cannot relate my entire experience here (too lengthy) but 3 of the 4 practitioners I had a session with altered me & my skepticism-forever.  

        Subjectively, during the sessions, different experiences ranged from feeling furnace heat coming from hands held 6 or more inches from my body to seeing either golden arcs or geometric from the others.  By lunchtime, I felt like I was muffled in cotton & in an other worldly space that lasted until the next day.  

        After lunch, I floated to my last "safe" sessions with an Asian herb doctor who could not find my pulse which sorta freaked him out & demanded that I not meditate so much.  (I did not meditate at all at the time)

        It was a weird & mind boggling experience that I will never forget.

        Objectively, I happened to have an annual exam the following week that included bone density xrays-which were compared to all prior xrays.  The bone loss-especially in the hips had completely reversed-to the astonishment of my physician.  

        Ahem, I could not bring myself to tell him about the "healing sessions" of the prior week..where two of the practitioners had concentrated on what they "felt" were issues or blockages.  (The one with the furnace hands did not do this)

        To this day, I have never gone to another healing fair nor know whose hands were ultimately responsible for my condition(s).

        However, to this day I still pursue answers, no longer am as skeptical & eventually trained extensively & was certified in a particular complementary alternative field that is currently used in hospitals around the USA & planet.  With results that cannot be quantified via current scientific methodologies.


        Mysterious realm we occupy, eh?

        •  Damn. I need some of that! (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mary Mike, worldlotus, SchuyH

          I'm REALLY suffering with some health problems.

          •  CAM=complementary and alternative medicine (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Timaeus, rb608, The Marti
            Per the NCCAM:
            Defining CAM is difficult, because the field is very broad and constantly changing. NCCAM defines CAM as a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine. Conventional medicine (also called Western or allopathic medicine) is medicine as practiced by holders of M.D. (medical doctor) and D.O. (doctor of osteopathic medicine) degrees and by allied health professionals, such as physical therapists, psychologists, and registered nurses.

            The boundaries between CAM and conventional medicine are not absolute, and specific CAM practices may, over time, become widely accepted.

            "Complementary medicine" refers to use of CAM together with conventional medicine,
            such as using acupuncture in addition to usual care to help lessen pain. Most use of CAM by Americans is complementary. "Alternative medicine" refers to use of CAM in place of conventional medicine. "Integrative medicine" combines treatments from conventional medicine and CAM for which there is some high-quality evidence of safety and effectiveness. It is also called integrated medicine.

            Emphasis is mine because I personally adhere to & personally believe in only using  "Complementary medicine" and/or "Integrative medicine" (combining conventional & CAM).  

            I'm not a doctor & would never suggest to anyone to not use/seek traditional medical intervention primarily or replace it with alternative practices.  Nor do I believe that any non medical CAM practitioner should or could "diagnose"-ever.  That is not the role of CAM.

            My own initial research many moons ago led me (amongst others) to the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine, co-founded by the The Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine.

            Heh, it was much smaller then as opposed to today:

            Developed the first and most comprehensive academic curriculum in integrative medicine.

             Co-founded the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine, with Duke University and the University of Massachusetts. The Consortium has 46 member institutions engaged in clinical, educational, and research programs in integrative medicine.

            Created the first Integrative Medicine in Residency program, which is a national model for training of all physicians in integrative medicine.

            Offers the largest Fellowship in the world, having graduated nearly 1000 Fellows in integrative medicine by 2012, with 120 new practitioners accepted to the Fellowship each year thereafter.

            Has trained doctors from 47 U.S. states and 15 countries and territories.


            Read  further synopsis of CAMs here:
            or here:
            or here:

            There are tons more.

            Depends on what state you live in & which CAM appeals to you; the probability exists that there is a practitioner, University or conventional medical hospital nearby that offers CAM.  Beit Minnesota, Johns Hopkins, Duke, etc.

            FWIW, religion nor belief systems play a role in the majority of CAMs....or the results.

            Be prudent. Select CAM practitioners with great care & always find out about the practitioner's training and experience-just as you would with a conventional medical practitioner.

            Best to you, Timaeus!

    •  The author didn't choose the title (10+ / 0-)

      He wanted it to be called "An N of 1" -- a reference to the fact that he seems to be a unique case in medical history in many ways. He bowed to his publisher's superior wisdom in marketing. He has commented in interviews that he believes that what he has offered here is evidence that requires careful consideration.

      Please visit:

      by Noisy Democrat on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 09:03:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's the thing that bothers me about this author (14+ / 0-)

        If he really wants to spread this "knowledge", why is he selling a book? Why not just make his story available under creative commons, let people do free downloads, print & distribute?

        Now he's on a media blitz telling people that he's offering evidence that requires careful consideration. Why not make it freely available?

        I've had several things happen throughout my life that I can't explain. I don't really try. It bothers me that someone that says they have such an important message for humanity, "evidence" that everyone really should consider, will only share that message for a profit. People have to spend money to find out what he supposedly had freely shared with him during his "experience".

        I make no judgement on an "afterlife". Like I said, I've had some inexplicable things happen to me. Ultimately, if these things are true, it'll be wonderful. If they're not, it really won't matter because we won't be conscious of any disappointment.

        Timaeus, I truly wish you the best in your upcoming surgery & a full and speedy recovery. I'm glad you found comfort in this. I just wish the author had been open to sharing it freely.

        "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." ~ Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama -7.88, -6.21

        by Siri on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 09:51:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  why not? A lot of people write books. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SoCalSal, Siri, SchuyH, The Marti

          I've been working on some self-development issues and, if I succeed, have thought about writing an article for the Am. Journal of Psychology, and maybe a book one day as well.

          I probably won't (eihter one) but what's the harm in marketing a book?

          •  No harm at all (6+ / 0-)

            But you yourself state that you are working on these issues. Any conclusions you draw will be the fruit of your time and research.

            This author has a message for all humanity that was supposedly bestowed upon him freely by a being of infinite love. A message that profoundly transformed his life and allowed him to see that everything is part of connected whole. He'll share it with you for $8.84 on Amazon. There's nothing inherently wrong with it. He did put the time into writing it. I just wonder why something so profound wouldn't move him to share freely under creative commons in order to reach as many people as possible. It would allow for translations into many different languages and sharing of the message. This limits his audience due to copyright restrictions.

            Then again, I would also hope that if someday, someone invents a vaccine that prevents cancer, that vaccine would be made widely available. But that's just me. He has a right to charge money for this and I hope those that read it do find comfort in his words.

            I wish you success with your work and hope you do get published.

            "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." ~ Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama -7.88, -6.21

            by Siri on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 10:56:08 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  well---he has. He's made several appearances, (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Siri, Noisy Democrat, The Marti

              there was that Newsweek article, etc. etc.  He's not offering a ticket to heaven--just sharing his experiences--we can make of it, believe, disbelieve, what we will.

              It's not that he's withholding information that will grant us redemption or anything.

              I just don't see anything wrong with writing and publishing a book about it...

        •  Nonsense. He has a story to tell. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Thank you very much for your kind words!

    •  Yeah, I've had out-of-body experiences (17+ / 0-)

      in near-sleep conditions and seen people in a few vivid dreams who I feel are instantly recognizable in real life, years later.

      The imagination and our ability to manipulate ideas beyond the visual into the emotional and other ephemeral spectra is amazing - we're incredibly imaginative creatures.  And, I hope that many other animals are, too . . . even if we don't yet have a means to fully understand their own creativity in a way that registers as subtly as ours.

      God, heaven, etc. are highly convenient metaphors, IMHO.  I have no problem with people believing in them or their variations, but tend to concentrate on this life and fairness with others enough such that when I hear these types of extraordinary personal tales, which fit easy patterns despite the changes in details, I feel that they say more about our biological capabilities than anything else to be of concern in this life.

      "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

      by wader on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 09:08:56 PM PST

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