On Unconditional Love … by Anil Maheshwari
Dr. Eben Alexander is a Harvard-based neurosurgeon who went through a Near-Death Experience and wrote a very insightful book, called “Proof of Heaven”, about the experience. From a materialistic paradigm, his brain got infected with E.Coli bacteria. His brain’s cortical surface tissue was completely shut down as a result of the bacterial attack. He was brought back to normal brain functioning in a few days through antibiotics. During these few days of non-normal brain functioning, he saw things that could materialistically only be described as hallucination. Without new inputs coming into his brain, he was perhaps experiencing self-reflective memories from the still functioning middle part of the brain, the thalamus and the brainstem.
He describes himself at one point as just a point-like primordial awareness without access to language or emotion. Then he vividly saw creepy-crawly earthworm-like creatures and grotesque animal faces moving around him, kinda representative of hell. Then he saw ‘a beautiful, incredible, dream world’ … filed with angel-like golden-haired pretty women floating around him along with butterflies and beautiful sounds. He specifically remembers messages of feeling loved, safe, and free from mistakes. He then felt a sense of place, as a fetus in a protective womb of Om the primordial sound. He says he received so much knowledge, effortlessly and for good, which will take more than a lifetime to unpack. He concludes that ‘unconditional love is the greatest scientific truth’.
From a spiritual perspective, Eben was able to experience the mystical totality that each one of us is. He was reporting what might be called super-normal experience in spiritual parlance. With sensory inputs cut off just like in meditation, he was perhaps able to transcend to a higher state of consciousness, where he saw a complete oneness of the universe, which he felt was better than 1000 times the best scenario he could ever describe in English language. This resembles the infinite creative unmanifest potential value of transcendental consciousness. With the body not functioning, he could be realizing his atman (soul), the ‘dweller in his body’.
I feel that Eben is in a unique position to speak from both paradigms, materialistic as well as transcendental. His statement that ‘unconditional love is the greatest scientific truth’, resonates aligns with all spiritual traditions especially Vedic and Buddhism. However, from a physio-causal perspective, it is not clear how he can remember all these fantastical multi-dimensional experiences so vividly, so much after the actual accident happened. I would still not doubt the veracity of his self-reported experiences, as Vedic Science values on the subjective experiences of the observer, under proper circumstances.
Love is all that is. Love conquers all. Unconditional love conquers unconditionally. There is usually no unconditional love except from a mother. King Solomon’s story is an allegorical proof of this wisdom. Be like a nurturing mother to all around you. Like the Buddha, help everyone and refuse no one. Giving them love will bring you more love. We are all one. Recognize that, see all as part of us, and deal with all as kindly and lovingly as one can.