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Publisher's Summary

Dr. Eben Alexander, author of international phenomenon Proof of Heaven, shares the next phase of his journey to understand the true nature of consciousness and how to cultivate a state of harmony with the universe and our higher purpose.

In 2008, Dr. Eben Alexander's brain was severely damaged by a devastating case of bacterial meningitis, and he lapsed into a weeklong coma. It was almost certainly a death sentence, but Dr. Alexander miraculously survived and brought back with him an astounding story. During those seven days in coma, he was plunged into the deepest realms of consciousness, and came to understand profound truths about the universe we inhabit. What he learned changed everything he knew about the brain, mind, and consciousness and drove him to ask a question confounding the entire scientific community: How do you explain the origins of consciousness if it is not a byproduct of the brain? His challenge relates to a revolutionary shift now underway within our modern scientific understanding. Ultimately, direct experience is key to fully understanding how we are all connected through the binding force of unconditional love and its unlimited power to heal.

In Living in a Mindful Universe, the New York Times bestselling author of Proof of Heaven and The Map of Heaven shares his insights into the true nature of consciousness. Embracing his radically new worldview, he began a committed program of personal exploration into non-local consciousness. Along the way, he met Karen Newell, who had spent most of her lifetime living the worldview he had only just discovered was possible. Her personal knowledge came from testing various techniques and theories as part of her daily routine. With Living in a Mindful Universe, they share techniques that can be used to tap into our greater mind, explore how the power of the heart, and discuss how both can enhance healing, relationships, creativity, guidance, and more. Using various modalities related to meditation and mindfulness described herein, you too can gain the power to access that infinite source of knowing so vital to us all.

©2017 Eben Alexander, MD and Karen Newell (P)2017 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved, under license from Rodale Inc. All rights reserved. Portal and Lightbody by Kevin Kossi used with permission from Sacred Acoustics LLC. All rights reserved.

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  • Diana
  • Antelope Valley, CA, United States
  • 10-23-17

An update on what's happened since Proof of Heaven

I loved this audio book. In the middle of the book I got a Light Bulb Moment when Dr. Eben Alexander shared some recent studies that gave an explanation of how he had his experience detailed in Proof of Heaven - even though his brain was not working. The explanation is excellent. And . . . it's scientific! It felt like I had been looking at Consciousness ideas through the wrong end of a telescope and at that moment when Dr. Alexander explained how these recent studies of the effects of certain substances on brains studied under FMRI machines showed how they shut down parts, yet the people experienced things . . . and he talked about the brain as a filter . . . it was a LIGHT BULB moment - it felt like Dr. Alexander reached out and turned that telescope around and suddenly I was looking at things from the other end - and seeing a lot more, clearly.

Karen Newell's contribution to this book is also interesting. I really enjoyed learning more about the use of sound and a bit about her. I've often used the Seeking Heaven cds and it is nice to know a bit about the person behind the Seeking Heaven program. And, her business partner, fellow sound explorer was introduced as well.

Especially interesting parts were when Dr. Eben Alexander explained the significance of the Double Slit Experiment and really interesting was when this book intersected with Robert Monroe's books with the story of Agnew (Bonsall?)

It is hard to believe that it was only in 2008 that Dr. Eben Alexander had his life-changing coma. It is fascinating to see his evolution and how he is using his experience to bring a lot of information to many people. Proof of Heaven was "what happened to me" and then Map of Heaven "here's what I've found by researching literature" and now Living in a Mindful Universe is "here's an update, the people I've met, the changes, and the most recent significant studies about Consciousness plus, some great suggestions for application of meditative practices along with personal stories."

It's a fun book and I learned a lot. The mention of his meeting many authors and researchers I am interested in was fun too. The movers and shakers of this reality.

Materialists who still stick to the belief that the brain creates thoughts are standing on thin ice. Read this book to find out why.

Narration: I like both Dr. Eben Alexander's voice and Karen Newell's voice. There was a review posted that was unkind toward Karen, and it is rather baffling. I have noticed that many narrators are men, and they naturally have more of a timbre. Karen's voice is feminine, soft, and direct. Both have voices with an undertone of sincerity. I enjoyed this audio book very much.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Excellent ! Coherent and insight based.

This new book by Eben Alexander is an excellent synthesis of the diversity of research from the last 100 years into the dynamics that support a conscious Universe and he asks us to live more mindfully in our actions and beliefs and awareness.
This book is a great progression from the first two and points toward more o come. I highly recommend to anyone wanting to expand their repertoire of observer-based non-dual science and living. I am glad kt is narrated by Alexander himself. He is a great narrator.
Definitely 5 stars!
more like this.
it is time though to begin basing the books on the daily practices to get back to the higher essence of living consciously including spiritual practice.if you will..regardless of what that means for you.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Who is this book for?

I consider myself to be quite an open minded person.I am a believer in the "after life" so i purchased this title. I found it interesting but i also found the scientific language portions of the audio very tedious.I am not an uneducated person but i am not an academic either and i think this kind of content would be better directed to purely academic littérature.The critisism of wikapedia

was unnessasary.People who appear to be living on a "higher" spiritual level would feel no need to respond as the author does.I would not reccomend this title to the "average" reader, and that comes back to my original question.
Who is the book for?

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Stellar!

Most appreciative that Dr Alexander and Karen Newell narrated this book. Listening to it over and over again, learning more each time.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Annoying infomercial/New Age Yoko Ono

Karen’s vocal performance was excruciating to listen to. She sounds like a robot talking to a 3 year old. The whole thing felt like Dr. Alexander had found his Yoko Ono and was flaunting his new infatuation and business endeavors. For people like me, who have studied the NDE field for years, this was rudimentary information and felt like an infomercial. I did try, but it was too annoying to finish. Returned for a credit.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Disappointing narrator/ book

This book started off strong, I loved the beginning about consciousness but then it was just example after example with not much practical tips which is what I was hoping for.

What really bothered me though was the narration by Karen Newell. I enjoyed Dr. Alexander’s narration but when her started reading her voice was so robotic it didn’t even sound like a person. To me a narrator amplifies emotion and meaning and I felt like that was lost anytime she read.

Overall I did enjoy the content of the book, but I wouldn’t recommend the audio version.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Robotically-narrated infomercial

The book starts out well but turns into an infomerical for binaural beats CDs. The woman narrator is TERRIBLE. She sounds like a robot. I could not finish the book I became so disgusted.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Not Practicing What One Preaches

I'm sure, as a scientist, he could appreciate that the longer one makes observations, the more evidence there will be to support an informed conclusion. In the case of the author's writings, the longer I've become familiar with them, the more it becomes obvious how very parochial his worldview and mindset actually are, despite all that he has constantly emphasized about what his NDE had showed him regarding infinity, eternity, omni-connectedness, the nature of illusory physical reality, etc.

Throughout all of his books, but especially this one, most notable because it is the longest, he has demonstrated almost no awareness or understanding of the history on the mind-body debate and philosophies of consciousness beyond his limited interpretations from Western sources in the recent couple of centuries, for the most part, and a smattering of references supposedly from the ancient Greek perspective from time to time. In his consideration, most of human history must seem as good as a blank on this subject. It apparently escapes him that consciousness studies are not only the richest in Eastern philosophies where they originated, but the Eastern ideas were also the source for most of the Western ones, especially in recent centuries. With few exceptions, all of this author’s writings would even give any observant reader an almost unmistakable sense that he seemed to have spared no effort to contrive certain inferences and interpretations from any and all sources limited strictly to his view of Western tradition, no matter how distant the relationship, just to actively avoid mentioning anything non-Western on the subject, if at all possible. Even more absurdly, he is completely oblivious to the extreme irony of carrying on a simultaneous discourse regarding an overarching framework about the "one-ness" of all existence and the superficial reality of present worldly conventions and perceptions, while also maintaining a narrow-minded Eurocentric overview of what he deems to be the source of knowledge on the matter. Of course, no person's writings can be divorced from his personal experience. And here, perhaps echoing the point that personal experience is central to our perception of all physical reality, it should therefore be no surprise to also observe the very obvious parallel between the characteristics of those with whom he described associating and fraternizing throughout his own relatively sheltered life and that of aforementioned parochialism.

Among the exceedingly scant non-Western sources that the author mentions anywhere, the "dalai lama" figures prominently as an object of his unquestioned admiration. One wonders, then, why would a person who now claims to understand and preaches about the interconnected-ness of all souls and the grand unity of all consciousness which underlies all reality also volunteer to be the mouth-organ of someone who, before his "exile", had ruled over a slave society where the common atrocities that slave owners led by the "dalai lama" had committed against those who were deemed fit for lives of slavery from birth, all in the name of religious belief, were so unspeakably heinous, horrific, grotesques, and barbaric that only a true Nazi could love? Now, let's assume for a moment, with all benefits of the doubt for the author, that he neither supports slavery, in the name of anything, nor had any clue about the true nature of the Xizang (tibetan) society under the dalai lama's" rule, then there would still be the nagging question of why would an author who speaks of the "hyper-reality" of the "all-loving" spiritual realm being the only real existence, as gleaned from his own "transformative" experience, still even take sides on what constitutes "ours", "his", "theirs", worldly titles, boundaries, positions, authority, political feuds, and all that which bleed a primitive and un-enlightened separation between us and them throughout not only ruminations on persons, events, and discoveries in the author's own life story but also especially his fawning over a "dalai lama" who's still in pursuit of the partisan goal of regaining his worldly position of authority in a fracture piece of this physical world?

FYI, the Buddha reportedly once said that he himself is nothing more than a "shit-stick". Compare the reflection inherent from that statement with the behavior of the "dalai lama", a self-proclaimed "reincarnation" of the Buddha's representative on Earth who, along with the exiled former class of slave owners which he truly represents, trots around the globe constantly campaigning for sympathies from China's political rivals on the world stage with tales full of deceit, and it shouldn't be that difficult to see the difference between the real and the fake, even if you were not that observant or smart. Or, look at it another way. Ordinary people in the lower classes, especially the slaves, in Xizang (tibet) at the time, neither had such motivation nor the means to escape from Xizang. So, most of those who did manage to escape had to be the richest and most powerful slave-owning "elites". Of course, the "dalai lama" always presents himself as possessing more awareness about the nature of consciousness than the average person, as did virtually all such religious leaders throughout the history of all religions in this world. Yet, if you ever studied history, you would realize that all such leaders used their "understandings" of reality for personal advantage to further their very worldly agendas of grabbing political power, subjugating those who were born less fortunate, and perpetuating tribalistic conflict. I think, even far worse than being un-enlightened is pretending to be "enlightened" in words but not action.

As a person, if the "dalai lama" were genuine in his religious beliefs, then how come he does not dare to continue his religious practice of slavery and such grotesque behaviors as selling his feces as "medicine" to his subjects while exiled in more religiously "tolerant" countries, in the same way that he used to do with impunity in the old Xizang society under his slave rule?

I could forgive the author for his ignorance and lack of intelligence or observational acuity to read the charlatan, hypocrite, and political hack so obvious in the "dalai lama's" character when gleaned from even one look at the person. But what about Karen Newell? Does Karen Newell, the co-author who is supposedly a "pre-cog", "telepath", or perhaps clairvoyant and the like, also not have any sense about the wolf in "lama's" clothing? (Pun intended) That would seriously compel me to doubt the authenticity of the person whom she claims to be and the "aura" that someone ascribed to her in the book. So, the author has apparently surrounded himself with people who can instantly identify the easy prey in his weakness for the "aura" of appearances and inability to see through the veneer of innocence among the likes of the "dalai lama" and Karen Newell. Furthermore, how could an author who implores others throughout the book to keep their minds open in the spirit of scientific inquiry decide, a priori, to only believe unquestioningly an one-sided story when it comes to the "dalai lama"? That's very un-scientific and closed-minded, indeed! Where's the author's "spirit" of scientific inquiry? Does the author think that the "spirit of science" should only be narrowly tailored to investigations of the "natural sciences" and consciousness, but not that of everything else, including human events? That would certainly contradict the spirit of the author's message from this book at its essence. Unless, we would entertain the possibility that the author is a kindred hypocrite as the "dalai lama", which might explain the apparent kinship between them. After all, let's not forget the common sense embodied within such timeless adages as "like attracts like" or "birds of a feather flock together".

I would like to hear from the authors on whether they would still be as enamored with the wolf in "lama's" clothing if they were born slaves of the "dalai lama" in the old Xizang society, or had to consume the "dalai lama's" feces as "medicine".

Thus, one possible conclusion from all these observations is that although the author had cogently argued the case for the nature of reality, it also seems pretty obvious that having intelligence in some areas (e.g. the "natural sciences", consciousness studies, neurosurgery...etc) does not automatically translate into having intelligence in other areas(e.g. ability to read people, thinking critically in general, etc.). No matter how much the author believes his NDE experience to have "transformed" him, it apparently did not change his nature as a person at the core. That is, the same Eben Alexander who used to naturally shut his mind off to anything not conforming to his prejudices still retains the same basic qualities and presumptuous predispositions. Although his mind is now more open than before, it is only so in a narrowly confined way to specific areas of his thoughts such as those of paranormal phenomena, the nature of reality and consciousness as far as he's now familiar with. In other words, no matter how many superlatives he uses to describe the extent of his experience at the "core" of the spiritual realm, there is only an incremental but no fundamental change in how his brain functions as a filter of the higher mind which could have provided a much more open source of intelligence and insight, even though he may now be able to appreciate this concept and contemplate its potential.

I used to like the author's writings until these patterns became all too obvious to ignore. In hindsight, I shouldn't have discounted the instinctive feeling I got from my first glance at a photo showing his gaze, one of presumptuous small-mindedness at best and a presence of evil and crookedness at worst. If it hadn't been for some positive influences from people like his dad under the circumstances of his upbringing, Eben Alexander's nature might have led him to do abhorrent things instead of becoming an accomplished neurosurgeon. Though I learned quite a bit from this book, especially in the first five chapters which discussed the current quantum-physical underpinnings for the clues to the problem of consciousness, I have lost almost all respect for the author himself in view of the totality of observations which I have made above, so much so that I wouldn't even feel comfortable to address him by his title of Dr. as a result.

2 of 11 people found this review helpful