So far, I am eighteen chapters into Proof of Heaven, and so far, I don’t like what I’m seeing. Up until this point, Eben Alexander’s main message has been that heaven “was real”, which he states about eight times from chapters ten to eighteen. He admits several times that his beliefs are hard to support, and that he can only insufficiently describe what he learned in his journey into heaven. Alexander asserts that heaven is real because of how vivid his journey was, from the woman that was flying alongside him in the bright world to the orbs of light that acted as his guide through the core.
Additionally, Alexander relies on analogies to supports his beliefs. For example, in chapters eight and nine, Alexander compares The Core to a human womb, explaining that God is the mother, the place is the womb, and he is the child that is floating around through the placenta, which in his case was the woman and the balls of light that acted as his guide.
Alexander asserts in chapters eleven through fourteen that his main point is to “prove that science and spirituality can coexist”. Despite being an neurosurgeon – someone who is extremely knowledgeable – Alexander’s writing seems vague and lacking in detail. The only times in which Alexander is specific is when he is talking about his background; in other words, Alexander only provides details when he is talking about his family. Alexander spends pages and pages discussing his birth parents. According to Alexander, his birth parents loved him dearly, but had to give him up. One of Eben Alexander’s sons, Eben IV, in 1999 did a research project on Eben’s birth parents. Eben Alexander tried to contact the adoption agency in hopes of reconnecting with his birth parents, but they originally refused. This refusal was what apparently convinced Eben that no God or heaven could exist. If his parents did not want to contact him, Eben explains, then love cannot exist. And if love cannot exist, then God and heaven cannot exist.
I feel as though Alexander relies too much on emotional appeal to prove his thesis that science and spirituality can coexist. Through his talking about how his family felt hopeless and powerless, it seems as though Alexander is simply trying to get the reader to feel sorry for him rather than actually accept his thesis. Rather than provide evidence of how science and spirituality can coexist, Alexander simply shifts between relating his spiritual journey, in which he emphasizes the importance of love, and talking about the conscious world- his family trying to reach out to him. To put it shortly, Alexander relies too much on premise and not enough on explanation to support his views.