Free The Critical Book Review Of The Map Of Heaven By Eben Alexander Book Review Example

Type of paper: Book Review

Topic: People, Experience, Death, Literature, Books, Afterlife, Science, World

Pages: 5

Words: 1375

Published: 2020/11/10


The Map of Heaven is the book, written by an American neurosurgeon, from Charlotte, North Carolina. This book must be a sequel to his previous book about his near-death experience – Proof of Heaven: A neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife. The Map of Heaven: How Science, Religion, and Ordinary People Are Proving the Afterlife date of publishing is October of 2014 with the aim to prove that there is an afterlife, when the consciousness is independent of the brain. To support his point of view he cites philosophes, scientists, religious leaders, historians. One of his main proofs is a huge amount of shared letters from his readers, who has same or similar experience as the experience of Eben Alexander.
The book got its population among the housewives, science fiction lovers, people who believe in and love mystical and paranormal things, ordinary people and religion teachers. The last category uses this book to prove that the Heaven and God are real, showing the words written by a man of science – neurosurgeon. The book probably costs its price and worth to read it for a bit of joy. It is always interesting to see the opinion of another person about his near death experience, some paranormal and Heaven talks. In addition, according to the statistics, only the 7 percent of people get their near death experience, the others simply die. That is why it must be interesting to read about the experience of the neurosurgeon, who didn’t believe in afterlife earlier.
Nevertheless, how can ordinary people check this information? How do we know that Eben Alexander is not a fraud or mountebank, but a person who shares his experience of “afterlife”? In the age of IT the every source of information must be checked through the lens of critical thinking, and only after this – accurately explored and researched. Today is not the Middle Age, where the faith in God and paranormal things is unwavering while the real science is the heresy and magic, punishable by tortures and painful death.
So, is the “Heaven” series – the way to get rich and famous of the previously unknown neurosurgeon? The popularity of the “bestseller” Proof of Heaven can lead people to two conclusions: afterlife is real and Eben Alexander absolutely proved it; or just people are that easy minded so they can believe in everything without any proof. Still, I am inclined to think that there is still more people who wants to believe in something unreal, non-existent. Many people will prefer to blame gods, nature, environment and everything else – but not themselves.
The main way to manipulate this amount of people is to say that you have some special experience got through the circumstances, unavailable for ordinary people. Only the most devoted fanatics will try the near-death experience to feel themselves like in “heaven”, so as for me, if ordinary people cannot reach something – this “something” is unreachable at all. The “template” of ordinary person can support this point of view – it has a normal physical and mental activity, nothing unusual or out of order. If this ordinary person can get the special experience – everyone can get the special experience, so there will not be a doubt that this experience unreal.
However, strange things happen as well – things, beyond the human mind: unexplained events, unexplored capabilities of people, earth, and universe. I believe that the percentage of our world’s exploration is not even higher than 3 or 4. There are so many things to know, to explore, and to discover. No one still knows about the existence of gods, aliens, or any other life forms that is why there cannot be a “yes” answer for everything.
The phenomena of the clinical death is not fully discovered, even the experienced surgeons cannot explain this fact. People literally rose after their clinical death, after their heart stop for minutes or even hours there were people who turned alive. But the amount of the people who’ve got their near death experienced without the serious consequences is too low. Only about 4-6 percent of people rehabilitated after the clinical death. The 3 or 4 percent got the serious consequences with their health – often they have a serious disturbance of the higher nervous system. The others die.
The reason I can believe in the near death experience (farther – NDE) – well written book (or a want to be a well-written book) with an “experience” which looks at least real. One interesting fact – Eben is a man of science, so I doubt that one day he awoke up after an operation and believed in everything mystical and unexplained – like gods, ghosts or aliens. According to the previous sentence, Eben’s books are the source, had to be read at least to spend some free time, it’s probably a valuable work just because of the surgeon, who starts talking about some paranormal stances (it is like the priest who studies the string theory – quite unbelievable).

Every reader must understand from the excerpt few theses of the book:

The scientist convinces that he earned some superior experience (the first book) and has some possessors with the similar experience (the letters from the readers).
Eben strongly urges on his experience by detailed description of the events happened to him. The same thing can do the person who was involved in the event OR the person with a very good imagination.

Still, he has many errors in his story telling, about them in next paragraph.

Funny fact – if you flip top to bottom the “b” from the Eben’s name you will get “Eden”, name of the heaven’s garden. The person, with a name similar to Eden writes a bestseller about his trip to heaven. It is a coincidence, probably. Or the irony of our universe, in case of the paranormal worlds and the life after death are real.
In fact, the book is interesting during the first pages, but there are many illogical things, which absolutely spoil the main idea, as for example – the statement in his introduction about the importance of gold for its physical properties to alchemists, that is why we are both part of earth and heaven. It is something like “Human drink water because the Earth is round”. Such statements are unacceptable, especially for the person who states himself as a scientist, because science is the way of humanity to prove and explore unknown things, there is no place for such assumptions. Making statements like these Eben shows his incompetency in his own branch of science.
According to the commentaries about The Map of Heaven, the use of this book is mostly not for “revealing unknown” but for helping people in accepting the loss of relative or a close friend, giving them hope that their lost friend/father/brother is still near. I do not oppose this book at all; it is great that the book helps people with their tolls, sometimes even by fooling them in this manner. In addition, the one thing to note: you can fool the person only when he/she wants to be hoodwinked, that’s why most of people wants to believe in something unnatural and paranormal just not to face the reality. I understand the aspiration to believe in afterlife, but it must not be fanatic.
The presentation of The Map of Heaven seems to be fair and accurate enough, showing the template of the Christian heaven. Well, if I were faithful enough I would absolutely trust Eben because the way he describes the Heaven fits almost every religions’ beliefs – the bright, peaceful and beautiful place, without wars, violence, and hatred. People want to believe in the afterlife, and Eben Alexander gives them the false promises about the life after death, as no one wants to die. However, as for me, the events, happened to the author is nothing more but a very deep sleep, or a hallucination.
As I think, the aim of Eben is to share his NDE hallucinations as the proof of the existence of afterlife. In addition, his goal is to help people to accept the losses and to believe in paranormal phenomena. The aim to become famous or rich is also can be his aim – what can be easier than to talk about the things that 99% of people cannot even prove or check. People with the NDE hardly can remember what actually happened – their bodies and minds felt a greatest stress. The stress comes because of the close breath of death, which is why that would not be strange for them to see the hallucinations, something like the light in the end of a tunnel (the beam of the surgeon lamp that penetrates the darkness of the dying mind, as an example).
Eben effectively manipulates by the mind of reader, constantly repeating “we”, allegedly making feel himself as a companion. He tries to approach with the reader by this technique and after – to convince him or her in the truthfulness of his ideas. I really do not like things like that, because I feel myself as individuality and hate when someone tries to involve me in something without my permission. At the end of the book he concludes that even if the world is unexplained the afterlife still exists, showing his and his readers NDE’s as the proofs. Nevertheless, how can he prove that he is right?
The neurobiologists stated that after the death the brain lives for a while, but is it a conscious living. Probably not – I think that the processes that took their place during the last moments of the life are unconscious, in fact, similar to the dying light, when the light bulb disconnects from the electricity – there is nothing more than attenuation and fading of lamp, surrounded by the room, darker than black. That is why I think that the book is not that good to be the bestseller – it worth only to be familiar with it, not more.


1. Soto, Gary. The Afterlife. Orlando: Harcourt, 2003. Print.
2. Alexander, Eben. Into the Afterlife: A Neurosurgeon's Near-death Experience and Spiritual Awakening. London: Piatkus, 2012.
3. Alexander, Eben. The Map of Heaven: How Science, Religion, and Ordinary People Are Proving the Afterlife.
4. Zaleski, Carol. Otherworld Journeys: Accounts of Near-death Experience in Medieval and Modern times.

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