The recent Oprah Winfrey (OWN) series, “Belief”, stirred up an international conversation starting with the question: “What do you believe?” It’s important to be able to answer that. What do we trust in? What do we have unshakeable faith in? My California colleague, Eric Nelson, says that even such a universally held belief as death is being challenged. Here’s Eric…
“In this world nothing can be said to be certain,” wrote Ben Franklin to his friend Jean-Baptiste LeRoy in 1789, “except death and taxes.” Had he written this today, however, it’s not at all certain that death would have made the cut.
Of course, no one knows for sure what happens when we die (well, no one who’s still with us), but there are quite a number of folks who feel they’ve perhaps gotten a glimpse, calling into question the very notion of death.
After falling into a weeklong coma, Eben Alexander, author of the New York Times best-selling book “Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife,” found himself keenly aware of the fact that, as he puts it, he was loved, that he had nothing to fear and that he could do no wrong. This was pretty heady stuff, especially for someone who had always assumed that the brain – an organ that, in Alexander’s case, had completely shut down due to a rare infection – was the source of consciousness.