Eben Alexander & Karen Newell Transcript

Eben Alexander & Karen Newell Interview

Rick: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer. Buddha at the Gas Pump is an ongoing series of conversations with spiritually awakening people. We’ve done nearly 600 of them now, and if this is new to you and you’d like to watch previous ones, please go to batgap.com and look under the past interviews menu. This program is made possible through the support of appreciative listeners and viewers, so if you appreciate it and would like to help support it, there’s a PayPal button on every page of the website and there’s also, a page of alternative ways if you don’t feel like dealing with PayPal. My guests today are Eben Alexander, MD and Karen Newell. Many of you will have heard of Eben. He was an academic neurosurgeon for over 25 years who had a profound near-death experience resulting in his writing a book called “Proof of Heaven” which became a New York Times number one bestseller for something like 40 weeks. I’ll let him give a bit more of his background himself, rather than me just read a bio. His partner Karen Newell is an author and specialist in personal development with a diverse body of work that rests upon the foundation of heart-centered consciousness. As an innovator in the emerging field of brainwave and entrainment audio meditation, Karen empowers others in their journeys of self-discovery, by demonstrating how to connect to inner guidance, achieve inspiration, improve wellness and develop intuition. She is the co-founder of Sacred Acoustics and co-author with Eben of “Living in a Mindful Universe” which I read cover to cover this week and really enjoyed. So welcome to both of you, good to have you here.

Eben: Rick, it’s great to be here. Thanks so much for having us on.

Karen: Yes, thank you.

Rick: You’re welcome. I tried one of those audio entrainment things this week, a couple of days. There’s one I downloaded from your website and I always take a rest or a nap before I meditate in the afternoon and so I listened to that during my rest and it was nice, it was restful. It’s an OM thing and then towards the end there’s some ocean waves and some bells and it’s the one that’s easy to download off your website.

Karen: Yeah, that’s our free download.

Rick: Yeah that’s the one I did. So we’re gonna talk about that today and a whole lot of other things. Just to give people a heads up what we’re going to talk about. We’ll certainly cover Eben’s near-death experience because we can’t presume that everyone listening to this has heard about it, although millions of people have. We’re going to talk about near-death experiences in general; we’re going to talk about consciousness, science and medicin

Eben: we’re going to talk about the themes of this book, “Living in a Mindful Univers

Eben: ” we may talk about reincarnation, suicide, life challenges, free will, death, fear, love and wherever else the conversation takes us. I didn’t take any notes while reading your book, because note-taking would have slowed me down and I really wanted to read the whole thing and also, I’m pretty confident that we’ll be able to wing it and just come up with all the important things that we want to talk about. Yeah. So, where should we start? You want to, we can start anywhere you like, but maybe it would be good to start with telling about your NDE, even though half the audience will already have heard about it, but it wouldn’t hurt to refresh their memories.

Eben: Right, I can give you a short version of that. And, of course, nowadays the story of my NDE comes with some additional kind of backstory, official objective information, because, in fact, I went through my medical records, talked with my doctors, portrayed my case as best I could in the book “Proof of Heaven,” but since then, there was a team of physicians who were not involved in my care, who studied my medical records and actually, spent about two years in writing up a case report that was published in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease in September 2018. And that case report does a lot to take my story to the next level, because they were as amazed as I was that I had such a recovery. That’s the part that any physician who reviews my case objectively is going to be shocked by, is the depth and severity of my meningoencephalitis involving all eight lobes in my brain and then having a full recovery. That part is really kind of beyond any kind of Western medical explanation. So most of what I’m going to tell you completely violates what modern neuroscience says is possible given their understanding of the brain-mind connection. And that’s one of the reasons why my story, I think, has so much value to the scientific community in trying to make sense of all this. But there are other NDEs where you have miraculous healing, just like in my case. So, for the world at large, that’s a valuable part to study. Briefly, I’d like to share with you what I went through. And, of course, when all this happened to me at age understanding of brain-mind consciousness. I’d spent more than 20-25 years as an academic neurosurgeon. But I came to realize I was completely wrong, that our models of physicalism and the brain-creating consciousness are completely false. So, the journey itself, important to point out, atypical of NDEs, mine involved complete amnesia for my life. I had no memory of Eben Alexander’s life, none of the life events. And in fact, when I came back from the coma on day seven, I didn’t even recognize my mother, sons, etc. My brain was really fried by the event. It’s the recovery over two months after that that is so shocking. So, what was it that I knew when I woke up in that ICU bed? All I knew was where I’d just been. This extraordinary journey, it started in what I call the earthworm’s-eye view, a very primitive, coarse, unresponsive, kind of subterranean realm. And that went on for a very long time. And again, it was in a setting where I had no memories of Earth or humanity or a life of Eben Alexander. It was an empty slate, which I think was very important for some of the lessons I was to learn. It turns out I was rescued from that earthworm-eye view by, basically, a light portal that came packaged with a perfect musical melody. And it opened up into a rich, ultra-real gateway valley.

Rick: Hang on a second. So when you say it was an earthworm’s eye view in a subterranean realm, can you be a bit more descriptive? Was it just dark and murky?

Eben: Yeah, it was murky. It was like being in dirty jello. And I had no awareness of any kind of body image whatsoever, but I did have awareness of existing. And what I witnessed in that earthworm-eye view was very kind of a dark realm. There were smells. I could feel things, but I had no body at all at any point in this journey. And that earthworm-eye view, for a long time I thought it was the best consciousness my brain could muster while it was soaking in pus. But I’ve come to realize that that level is much more commonly encountered. But just to briefly complete the summary, that gateway valley, it was rich with earth-like features. It was much more real than this world. That’s the thing that’s so surprising to people, is that the ultra-reality of these events, they’re much more detailed, vivacious, alive, and memorable than most of the events of our life.

Rick: And by gateway valley, you mean the beautiful place that you went to after coming out of the earthworm?

Eben: Exactly. The gateway valley was the realm where we reunite with our higher soul, with souls of departed loved ones, go through life reviews, all the stuff that involves a kind of ready reference to an earthly existence would be in that gateway valley region. And yet that is not the ultimate destination. I remember, many things I witnessed there, described in “Proof of Heaven”: the beautiful, lush of greenery around me, the plant life, the thousands of souls dancing, lots of joy and merriment. I remember children playing, dogs jumping, and that was those Souls. I remember labeling in my writings early on when I came back to this world as souls between lives. It turns out I had a beautiful guardian angel on that butterfly wing that I was riding on through this whole adventure. That guardian angel gave me a telepathic message, very empathic and emotional, of love, of comfort, of oneness, of belonging. And that particular guardian angel was very important in the story “Proof of Heaven”, and she realized later her importance in showing me the reality of the journey. But that level was only kind of a steppingstone to deeper levels. And I remember seeing all of four-dimensional, space-time collapsing down, all of that spiritual realm, what I call deep time, a completely higher order causality, a kind of transformation of consciousness, all of that collapsing down, until I reached what I call the core: this infinite inky blackness but filled to overflowing with the healing love of that God force at the core of all creation. And in fact, my memory of that core realm was one of Om, of that incredibly rich resonance throughout eternity and infinity of that Om sound. That’s what I called that deity when I came back to this world. To me, the word God was too puny, a little human word with a lot of baggage to it. Didn’t remotely come into the kind of realm of that incredibly loving sense of that God force at the core realm. And then what would happen is I would cycle, I would be taught many things at all of these levels, but I would spontaneously fall back down to that earthworm-eye view. And that was a big mystery, but I learned early on that by remembering the musical notes, the melody, I could conjure up that portal that led me up from the earthworm’s-eye view into the gateway valley. And I would always encounter that beautiful guardian angel on the butterfly wing and many other lessons that would occur in that setting, in that gateway valley. But then I would ascend through the musical portal of those angelic choirs above in that gateway valley that were emanating chants and anthems and hymns that would just thunder through me and reveal the profound majesty of this incredible loving force of God. And then use that portal yet again to ascend to the core realm. And I went through those levels multiple times. I was always told entering the core, you’re not here to stay, you’ll be going back, we’re teaching many things. But there finally came a time when trying to conjure up the musical notes, the melody to usher me out of earthworm’s-eye view didn’t work again. And to say I was sad at that moment would be a vast understatement. But I also knew I could trust in the universe. Because the deep message of that loving guardian angel was always, every time I passed through, you are deeply loved and cherished forever. You have nothing to fear. You are cared for. So anyway, that’s how it all transpired at the very end of the journey. There was a phase where I was witness to thousands of beings going off in circles around me, off into the misty distance. Many with heads bowed and with their arms up like that. This murmuring energy coming from them. And when I came back to this world, I called that the energy of prayer. Because to me it was astonishing how that loving force was so apparent, even in these murky realms, through those loving souls in the power of prayer. And then there were six faces that appeared. They provided veridical time anchors because there were people who were there in the last 24 hours in the ICU room with me. Anyway, that’s kind of a brief version of the story. But there’s, as you can imagine, a tremendous amount to it. When I came back to this world after seven days in that realm, my brain was wrecked. But it came back very rapidly. Words and language over hours. Memory of my loved ones and family relationships over days. And over two months, every bit of it came back. In fact, the memories were more complete after returning than they had been before coma. That’s another deep mystery that we explore in the book.

Rick: Interesting. So yes, the book he’s referring to again is “Proof of Heaven,” which people can obviously buy if they want to read it. And there was also, a nice talk you gave at a Theosophical Society that I listened to the other day that goes into this in a lot of detail for about an hour and a half. So if people want to hear that, you can just search on YouTube for Eben Alexander, “Proof of Heaven,” Theosophical Society or something. It’ll come right up. But that was a nice unpacking of the story. There are a couple thoughts that came as you were saying all this. One is sort of a humorous one, which is, “Boy, if we could have a recording of this and send it back in time prior to your coma and have you listen to it, you would have thought, ‘Oh my God, what happened to me? What did somebody slip in my coffee?'”

Eben: Well, except the reality is that all the data is there to fully support the amazing aspects of this. So, it’s not as if I would dismiss this case as irrelevant. Yeah, all the surrounding data is so shocking, you just have to pay attention to it.

Rick: Oh yeah, I don’t have a problem with it all, but I’m always sort of intrigued by the notion of paradigm shift and how people get locked into a certain worldview and what it might take to pry them out of it. Nothing better than direct personal experience to pry somebody out.

Eben: Personal experience, that’s something Karen and I really focus on in our workshops, because we believe everyone can come to have that kind of personal experience to support this knowledge of the higher realms in our spiritual nature.

Rick: Yeah, the other thing I found interesting was that you seem to cycle repeatedly through these different levels, and you were in this coma for about a week, so it could be that all this was going on for a long time in Earth time, although I think it must have seemed much longer in your subjective experience. But the cycling is interesting, because in a way that’s kind of the way spiritual practice works. You don’t do it 24/7, you dip into it and come out and integrate in activity and dip in again and come out. It’s sort of like, it makes the dye of the cloth color fast, as if dipping in dye and bleaching in sun and dipping in dye and bleaching in sun; eventually the color sticks. So there’s something more to be gained by that, I think, then just staying in a certain state.

Eben: Well, that’s a beautiful point, and I think to me it’s simply, especially discovering that incredible role of what we call music, vibration or frequency, being what we remember that helps us to actually navigate those realms. To me that was a very important discovery that is very much related to a lot of the work we do now with Karen and Sacred Acoustics and using sound to get into deep transcendental states, because sound can be a very effective tool to help engineer these journeys, and also that sound, for sounds in those realms are not sounds heard with physical ears, just like we don’t see with the eyes there. Our ways of knowing are through identification and much grander. That’s part of the reason these journeys are so difficult to describe, is because our very modes of knowing, are so much more kind of intense and involved with the universe.

Rick: Yeah. Mantras work on the basis of sound too, not only the ones you chant out loud, but even the ones you think mentally, because thoughts are actually a subtler aspect of the sense of hearing. And so, a mantra is a sound which can take you from a grosser level of Thinking, to subtler and then beyond to the transcendent. But you know, an external sound such as the, how do you pronounce that, binaural or something?

Eben: Binaural beats.

Rick: Binaural beats, yeah, can achieve a similar effect. And obviously everyone’s experienced this. You listen to, Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony or something, and the sound just transports you to another realm. So sounds are very powerful, and all cultures have recognized this. I remember Mickey Hart, who was the drummer of the Grateful Dead, wrote a book called “Drumming at the Edge of Magic”, and it was all about how ancient cultures from around the world have used rhythms and drumming to transport people into altered or higher states of consciousness.

Eben: Right, very much. Well, there’s no question that music, sound, vibration can be very important. And binaural beats are a very special form of sound that are dealt with mainly down in the lower brainstem. And that’s why I think they can have such a profound role in kind of releasing conscious awareness from the here and now and the kind of illusion of self.

Rick: The other thing I was wondering, as you were recounting that just now, is how much your experience concurs with other NDE experiencers and with people like Michael Newton, who wrote about the period that we spend between lives. And we can talk about reincarnation a little bit, but he found through his hypnosis of thousands of people to a period between lives that we sort of go into this realm where we kind of review our lessons from the previous life and prepare for the next one. So anyway, what do you think about that?

Eben: Well, I think there’s a tremendous amount to that. The whole notion of the life review, of kind of going through the main residual teaching points of one’s life, that’s been part of near-death experiences going back at least 2,400 years to the time of Plato, when he wrote about Armenian soldier Er killed in battle who woke up on the funeral pyre before they burned his body. And his story to his fellow soldiers was when you die, your life flashes before your eyes, and what you realize is the only thing of real importance is how much love you were able to share with the world. And so, the life review, Karen and I often talk about this in our books and our works, the life review is kind of how the golden rule is written into the fabric of the universe. And I would say these experiences very broadly have that kind of life review element. And the interesting thing about the life review is you don’t really experience it from your own perspective as much as from the emotional perspective of those around you affected by your actions and thoughts. And that’s where the life review starts to become a beautiful demonstration of how we’re all in this together. And if we hurt another, we’re really hurting ourselves. And so NDEs have a lot to inform this world about how we should treat each other. and live these lives. And it really begins with a deeper understanding of that life review.

Rick: Yeah, I’m sure you’re familiar with Dannion Brinkley’s story. And he was a sharpshooter in Vietnam and killed people. And he had four near-death experiences, two because of lightning strikes, and I think two because of heart attacks or something. And in each one, he had to experience what the people connected with the persons he had killed experience as a result of his having killed them. So, in other words, he experienced the ramifications of his actions from the perspective of everyone whom they impacted.

Eben: Well, I think that’s a general feature of life reviews. The more you study these and come to an understanding of them, it’s at a soul level. So really, you’re getting at all the ramifications that we normally wouldn’t think to connect, and connecting the dots in this world. But that’s where the life review goes, far beyond simply what you could remember in trying to make amends in your life. But it really goes back into the actual events of your life, which is astonishing.

Karen: And this is why I often recommend to do this as you’re going through your life. Realize when you’ve hurt people, make the amends now, and you won’t have to go through all of that at the end of your life, because you will already have sort of dealt with it.

Rick: Yeah, I go through that quite a bit myself, especially like sometimes during meditation or something, I’ll remember something I did to somebody fifty years ago, and I’ll think, “Oh my god, how could I do that?” And I’ve even actually reached out to a couple of people and apologized for having done those things.

Karen: Yeah, so you’re doing that, and it’s interesting, sometimes you have a different perspective many years later, so that’s awesome that they come up in meditation, perfect time for them to come up, and then you realize completely differently how your behavior might have affected that person.

Rick: Yeah, well as you know, and as most people listening probably know, meditation and practices like that, definitely unearths deeper stuff that we’ve been carrying around. It’s stored, Sanskaras they call it in Sanskrit, and kind of works it out, and when enough of it has been worked out, then awakening or realization can occur, but it can’t easily occur if we’re carrying all that baggage unresolved.

Karen: It’s kind of interesting because this seems to be a natural process at the end of life that we go through, whether we really want to or not. I just finished reading a book by Christopher Kerr, a hospice doctor in Buffalo, called “Death is But a Dream,” and he talks about the only word he can really use is dream, but they’re not really dreams because these people, when they’re at the end of their life, start having experiences that are more real than real, just how near-death experiencers describe them. And it seems like the life review begins there, because people start revisiting events, some people are having beautiful experiences, others are reckoning with their past. And one was a cop who realized he was a dirty cop, and he had done all kinds of things good, but he had done all kinds of things bad, and he was really reckoning with all of this and wondering, how it was all going to turn out. And it was just before he died his dreams shifted into other types of dreams of peace and love, and he actually had that transformation right before he passed on. And so, it seems to happen automatically in a life review, but also right as we’re getting ready to transition. I find that fascinating.

Rick: Yeah, did you ever hear what Steve Jobs’ final words were?

Eben: Oh yeah, I love that. Yeah, I know what he was saying, “Wow, wow, it’s bright.” That’s just beautiful, I love that. Mona Simpson wrote that op-ed in the New York Times about his passing. She was his sister.

Rick: So, there’s a kind of a couple of underlying assumptions that, everything we’re saying is based upon, and one is that obviously we’re more than this physical body, and there’s some deeper aspect to our existence that outlives the physical body, and not everybody believes that. I don’t know what the percentages are. Do you know what percentage of the general population has that perspective?

Eben: Well, I think it depends largely on, which decade and which survey, but I would say probably more than fifty percent have had a pretty solid indication through an after-death communication or deathbed vision, shared death experience, what have you, that there’s much more to this world than just the physical. So, it’s actually fairly common.

Karen: In 1984, there was a study- had a connection with them that made them certain that their spouse had survived. That was way back in 1984, so, I’m sure it’s gone up.

Rick: And of course, I think staunch materialists would say this is just wishful thinking, we just sort of want to hang on to these hopes and dreams, but really, when you’re dead, you’re dead.

Karen: But when you start looking at the evidence, you find that this is not wishful thinking. For example, I had an after-death dream of my stepfather. It was about a year after he had died and taken his own life. So, I was concerned about him, and he showed up in this dream, a different dream, just as that hospice doctor described. It’s a little different than, well, actually vastly different than any typical dream. And when I encountered him, we had our, encounter of, yes, you’re okay, yes, everything is fine, but then he also gave me a piece of information about my mother, and he said that she had been dating a man who had been to our home, her home, for three different occasions, and he thought that maybe it wasn’t a good idea for them to keep seeing each other. And so, I spoke to my mother. I didn’t speak to her often. We lived in different cities, and she told me when I gave her this information that, in fact, she had been dating a man who had come to the home and picked her up three different times. And he turned out to be an old friend from high school, and they both had lost spouses, and they were trying to see if they might get together. And she had just decided, maybe I shouldn’t see him anymore, and that’s when the message came and validated. So, when that kind of thing starts to happen, that’s not wishful thinking, this information that you’re able to really validate. And that’s where those materialists really need to start looking at this evidence and taking it seriously.

Rick: Yeah, and of course there are thousands of accounts like that.

Karen: Thousands. When it happens to you, that’s when you know.

Rick: And then, of course, there’s, the research of Ian Stevenson and Jim Tucker with, children who remember past lives in detail, and it’s possible to go to the village or whatever, and corroborate what the kids are saying, which they have no way of knowing otherwise. It’s just they’re actually remembering this stuff, and they can go there, and they can name people, and identify objects, all kinds of things. So, yeah, go ahead.

Eben: I was just going to say that’s a very important body of research, and people can access a lot of that if you go to uvadops.org. That’s the University of Virginia Division of Perceptual Studies website, and basically, to cut to the chase, over six decades they’ve identified more than of past life memories in children where a very, the best explanation is one of true reincarnation. Of course, they originally thought they would just disprove all these cases, but no. What happened was there was too much evidence supporting true reincarnation. I think you cannot possibly discuss consciousness in the current era, as a scientist or philosopher, without having a ready kind of knowledge of that data that Ian Stevenson and now Jim Tucker have uncovered. It’s astonishing, and very strong support of the reality of the primacy of consciousness.

Karen: And what I love is how Ian started with the sort of Indian type cultures, the societies that already sort of believed in reincarnation, where these stories were more common. But I know Jim Tucker, he has spent a significant time trying to find stories here in the United States, in this culture, and he’s finding them. The most famous one that I’m familiar with is “Soul Survivor,” about the boy who is having dreams, about being in a plane, on fire, and turns out he was a World War, he found out through all kinds of veridical information that he was in fact a World War II pilot who died in a plane crash. So, this kind of thing, you just can’t continue to deny it. I could rattle off some interesting facts there. Oh, I’ll just give you one fact. This boy had three G.I. Joes, and he named them Leon, Walter, and Billy. Later on, his family was able to connect with a man who was still alive, who apparently knew this boy when he was the other person, validated that three other men who died on that same day were named Walter, Leon, and Billy. And he even had named them according to their hair color in real life. Yeah, amazing.

Eben: But there’s a lot more to that story. It’s a book called “Soul Survivor,” S-O-U-L Survivor,

Karen: And James Leninger. And Jim Tucker validated all of that.

Eben: He vetted that case.

Rick: Yeah the kid remembered the name of the ship that his plane had taken off from.

Eben: Right, the Bay, the Casablanca-class aircraft carrier. He knew so much. He knew he’d been flying a Corsair, which was an unusual plane to be flying off that carrier, but the history was actually that. So, there’s a lot of facts that line up in that case, but there are other cases, too. There are plenty of other cases that Jim Tucker has written about in the U.S.

Rick: And I think the reason we’re interested in this and that we’re spending so much time on it is that, if this is the way life works and millions and hundreds of millions of people don’t realize it, that’s a huge blind spot. It’s a huge misunderstanding. And what kind of effect does it have on one’s life to either realize or not realize that this is the way life works? I think it’s huge. If you think that you’re going to just cease to exist when your body dies or you feel like, okay, my life is a vast continuum and I change bodies from time to time, like I change clothes from time to time, those two perspectives would, in my opinion, radically influence the way you feel, the way you live your life.

Eben: Absolutely. And just the deathbed visions, people witnessing loved ones, and sometimes those are shared and bystander events where someone else at the bedside might also see the loved one appearing. And it just gives us such a beautiful lesson about how the deeper aspects of this kind of revolution in the science of consciousness is really all about our relationships and about love and about, helping each other. So, there are tremendous lessons there that can inform our kind of materialist sodded world and help us come to a richer understanding of a reality that’s much more comforting and where we really do reincarnate with our loved ones and things like that.

Karen: But I think you make an interesting point. You you really live your life differently, whether you’re in one or other at those camps. And I know when I first met Eben, and this was before his, it was after his near-death experience, but before his book came out. So, I didn’t really know his story, but I knew he’d had a near-death experience. We happened to both be attending a workshop related to using sound to achieve altered states of consciousness. But I asked him, just making conversation, I’d known others who had near-death experiences, I said: what was the big lesson that you learned? I thought I would cut right to the chase because these experiencers come back usually with these deep, profound spiritual lessons. And he says to me, what I learned is the brain does not create consciousness. And I was very confused by that and I said, well why would anyone think that it does? And so that shows you the camp I was living in where Eben thought this was just this huge discovery and I thought, well that’s just how it worked my friend. And so, when I think back, where did that feeling come from? Where did I learn that? And I don’t believe I learned it, I believe I knew it when I was born. And when I was presented with information say, about the Christian religion or how what science said, I just knew that certain things were incorrect and I think a lot of children know these things and somehow it gets conditioned out of us as we grow older. Many, many, many of us but it’s really our birthright to understand how our consciousness works. There’s a reason why that ancient maxim “Know Yourself” is so significant, because if you know yourself as a biological being that will just disintegrate in a few decades, very different from living your life as if you will continue, as if you will return. My father was telling me how concerned he was about climate change because of his children, his grandchildren and now he has a great-grandchild, my grandson. And he’s so worried and I said “But Dad, you’re going to come back too. You’re going to have to come back and see what we’ve done with this world at some point and so wouldn’t you want to be concerned about the earth for your own reasons so that when we come back again and again, we still have this beautiful place to really learn these lessons of love and life?”

Rick: And he said, “No, no, I’m going to open a beach resort in Antarctica.” [Laughter]

Karen: Actually, my dad has, a very skeptical mind, but the one thing, he’s a military officer but the one thing that he believes is that he has past life memories of living in Scotland for whatever reason he’s pretty certain he has this connection to it. And so that feeling is really what convinces people, whether they talked about it or not with their friends. Many people walk around knowing this but they don’t necessarily reside in company that wants to hear about it. 00:34:43.800 –>00:34:45.320

Rick: Several threads here we could pursue, another one is that, we could think of life as having strata, and there’s the grossest, most superficial, most obvious level and everyone perceives that, but then there are subtler levels which, the subtler you go, the fewer people perceive them. And so, we could sort of understand the spiritual enterprise as being the exploration of all these various strata and the incorporation of them into our ordinary everyday awareness and,

Karen: One model I have, we’ve discussed along those lines is really three strata or three realms. The physical realm which is that gross realm you spoke of, then there’s the mental realm, and the spiritual realm. So, the mental realm, that’s where we are right now. That’s our thoughts, our emotions, everything we can encounter, our Unconscious, our transcendental state and meditation. But then there’s the spiritual realm and that’s more elusive, that’s not so easy to get To, except when we’re in those higher transcendental states. So, it’s really that mental state, mental realm that has all of the capacity to do everything and that’s us. So I think that “Know Yourself” comes in really handy when you realize that your mental space you spoke about, thoughts being forms, but your mental space is really, according to Eben, what is creating all of our physical reality. And it’s our mental space that allows us to have an awareness of that spiritual realm. So yeah, this way of looking at things, this paradigm shift…You’ve been at this a long time, Rick, when’s it gonna really break through to the mainstream, do you think?

Rick: It’s breaking, If you compare where things are now to where they were in the ’60s or early ’70s, there’s been huge progress. A lot of the things we’re discussing here were very unfamiliar to most people 50 years ago but, now they’re more or less mainstream. Eben’s book was on the bestseller list for 40 weeks and a lot of books like it have been and there’re all kinds of things on TV and everything, and all kinds of great movies that explore these themes. So, it’s really seeping into the popular culture.

Karen: It’s happening. We’re probably in the midst of it and just don’t realize.

Eben: Of course, you got to remember there’s also a background of experiencers, so people out there literally by the millions having these experiences and kind of coming back shocked but, often not willing to tell people. That was one of the main reasons I wrote “Proof of Heaven,” because I wanted to take the lid off so that the medical profession, for one, would take these seriously, but also other people would too, so they’d share their stories more. Because the more we can do that, allow all the people who have these experiences to talk about them and honor them as experiences that tell us something about humanity at a very deep level, I think that’s what will help the world to change. It’s just that natural background incidence of these extraordinary experiences.

Rick: Yeah, and I think it’s more than just on the level of talking, because I think when people have these subtle experiences or when they, meditate or do whatever they do, it kind of enlivens the the morphogenetic field, to coin, to quote Rupert Sheldrake. It, it somehow saturates the, the subtle atmosphere with just a little bit more whatever, and it, one way of looking at it is, well, let’s use the metaphor of a forest. So every time somebody has one of these experiences, whether through a spiritual practice or an NDE or whatever, I think it kind of fertilizes the ground of the forest and then all the plants are a little bit more nourished and they can grow a little bit more vibrantly and healthily. So, I think that that’s building up and building up and building up and, to switch metaphors, there’s the idea of phase transition where something in a system will build up to a point where there’s a sudden phase transition and everything changes, like even boiling water. You can get it to 99 degrees centigrade, nothing much seems to be happening, one more degree and it boils. So, we don’t know how close we may be to a kind of a boiling, so to speak, of a collective consciousness where there’s a radical shift, and not just this really almost imperceptible incremental shift.

Eben: Well, I would, say I sense that we’re getting very close to that inflection point. And I would say that it involves a history and a destiny that goes back at least 5,000 years in in human understanding and there’s kind of a coalescence going on now. And in many ways as a neuroscientist studying the nature of consciousness and the mind-brain relationship, to me, the astonishing thing is how some of the deepest truths we seem to be coming to in neuroscience and philosophy of mind about the oneness of consciousness, about that binding force of love, it’s so apparent in NDEs about all of that, is that in many ways some of the spiritual traditions both East and West have known these deep truths forever. But I think what will make it different this time, is this alignment with kind of the scientific investigation of consciousness. And science is a method of objective kind of comparison of information and sharing, that I think will trump the past centuries efforts by, say, religious leaders and prophets, to get us to this realm of truth. But now, with this kind of a study of scientific study of consciousness, we’re coming to kind of agreed upon territory. And that’s where the afterlife and reincarnation seriously discussed and studied in scientific and philosophical circles is where this revolution will now finally, truly happen, as opposed to what might have happened over these 5,000 years from various leadership and spiritual traditions.

Rick: Yeah. Did you want to add to that Karen or? No, never mind, you don’t have to because I was just going to say something but I wanted to give you a chance. Yeah, I think that’s really important and really exciting and I know you talk about this in your book, but I think that the the cooperation or collaboration of science and spirituality will give us something much more profound than either has been able to give us separately.

Karen: It’s interesting, Eben and I were just speaking about this this morning, how some modern clergy, some modern ministers, kind of doubt the reality of God and the afterlife. That’s how powerful the materialist culture has really been, because they don’t have that support. And so, if science can come out and really support that this is real, there’s, there should be a renaissance around it all, not necessarily religion, but this spiritual but not religious kind of thing that’s taking on more and more.

Rick: Yeah, and it is happening. And there are a number of organizations like the Galileo foundation and the Science and Medical Network, and the Institute of Noetic Sciences, and all the science and non-duality conference, and all kinds of things that discuss this kind of stuff and popularize these ideas. And then naturally there’s a whole faction that have their heels dug in and, and resist this sort of notion, but that’s kind of typical of the history of development of ideas in the world.

Eben: Well, I would say the kind of, in science, in the world of science and philosophy, what it really boils down to is whether someone is basically a Newtonian Determinist who thinks, okay, the brain creates all conscious phenomena and that the brain behaves like a Newtonian system of billiard balls and all that. That’s where they get misled, is they’re still living in a model of science that’s been disproven for more than 80 years now through quantum physics and the emerging kind of world of quantum mechanics, which very clearly opens up fully, not only to allow for the reality of an afterlife and reincarnation, but in many ways to insist on it because of what modern quantum physics says about the nature of reality and consciousness for a sentient being, going all the way back say to John Wheeler’s Participatory Anthropic Principle. He was the head of Physics at Princeton. He talked about how astonishing it was, this feature of contextuality where the mental processes of the investigating scientist actually play such a deep role in what emerges in the results of the experiments. You cannot deny the kind of prime role of that mental layer of the universe, and that’s where I would say I love that quote from Werner Heisenberg who won the Nobel Prize in 1932 for his foundational work as a father of quantum physics. And he said, your first sip from the glass of natural sciences will lead you towards atheism, but at the bottom of the glass, God is waiting. And that is absolutely the deep truth of quantum physics. And the people who have resisted so hard in the scientific community keep insisting on explanations of, say, the measurement paradox in quantum physics by assuming infinite parallel universes. And to them, that works just fine and it gets rid of the having to invoke consciousness. But infinite parallel universes don’t seem to be the world we really live in, and so, the alternate answer that makes much more sense is objective idealism. That is the primacy of consciousness in the universe and that sentient beings, simply have access to that mental layer of information assimilation and integration. And that’s where it starts to open up to a much fuller vision, of course. That’s what we talk about in “Living in a Mindful Universe”, our chapter five, The Primordial Mind Hypothesis: looking at the brain as a filter, a reducing valve that allows primordial consciousness to manifest. So, we’re really all part of that one mind, that infinite God force that NDErs have experienced and, in fact, that God force, I would say, is the very source of our conscious awareness. And, and so really, this is a journey of discovering a much richer kind of relationship with the mind of the universe. So, it’s very rewarding and satisfying as an individual who’s been through this kind of experience, that the scientific community is actually, we’re making progress in kind of a theoretical system that would support it all.

Karen: I would just like to add that many of us in the world aren’t really waiting for science to come up with these theories and data: many of us who have had these experiences, who have this understanding, we don’t need science, but it’s very important for society’s culture to understand this. So, institutions and government and civic societies, they make decisions, important decisions, about how we’re gonna, run our cities and so on and just having this understanding to, it seems to me, would just change everything. So while individuals maybe we don’t need science so much, many of us, the society in general truly does need that because we, science is having a bad rap these days among some, right? So sometimes there’s a anti-science crowd is out there but most of the secular society trust science to tell us. And if science can come through there…

Eben: Which I think they are. I believe ever since, months after my experience that these kind of questions are part of the scientific paradigm. One example of that is all the recent studies in the last eight years using functional MRI to look at the brain of people under the influence of Psilocybin or LSD or DMT, you know, these powerful psychedelic substances and plant medicines. And what you find is the brain gets less active, it goes dark. It’s not creating those phenomenal extraordinary experiences, it’s getting out of the way so they can happen. This is a perfect example of where the scientific community needs a bigger model than physicalism to try and explain, for example the influence of such plant medicines and psychedelics on the human psyche. It just makes much more sense to broaden to a bigger vision where you realize it’s not created by the brain at all but the brain is simply serving as a filter that allows presentation of conscious experience, and you have the ultimate origin of memory and of experience is beyond the physical realm.

Rick: Yeah, oh, there’s so many great things we’re talking about each one of them could take us off for a half an hour on a discussion of this or that but …

Karen: And you thought two hours was long enough.

Rick: No, it never is, but it’s sort of like I gotta give them a… All right, so, one thing is you’re talking a minute ago about this infinite parallel universe, this thing, and I was reminded of the word “parsimonia” which I learned from Bernardo Kastrup. I hadn’t really been familiar with the word before but it just means, the simplest, most elegant explanation of a thing. And it reminds me also of, medieval astronomy where they thought the earth was the center of everything and they had to really do backflips to understand why the planets moved as they did, with taking all these little extra loops and doing all these strange things, it didn’t make sense. But obviously when you put the sun in the center, ah, the planets just fell into these beautiful elliptical orbits. So, it’s kind of funny how, materialists struggle and strain to come up with extremely un-parsimonious, un-simple, un-elegant explanations of of how consciousness relates to the brain, where so much simpler explanation is just that the brain is like a transmitter receiver radio. A radio intermediate with the electromagnetic field which is more or less everywhere and the brain does that with consciousness and boom, such a simple explanation.

Eben: Right, and that’s where I think the science is, finally starting to prepare for that. The evidence is overwhelming. In fact, the biggest problem of looking at our culture and society in terms of this debate and especially, for people out there who think oh, well scientists, real scientists, will tell you NDEs are possible because that implies some kind of spirit or consciousness independent of the brain. Well, that’s the fact, that’s actually what the empirical data shows us and the good news is that the scientific world is coming up with ways to make plenty of sense of all this.

Karen: Some of the scientific world, some of the scientific organizations Rick just rattled off.

Eben: Yeah, like galileocommission.org, as you point out, noetic.org, the Institute of Noetic Sciences. These are beautiful, reputable scientific organizations that have a lot to say about this because they study the evidence. In fact, I’ve come to realize that those out there, the kind of lay press and scientific community who claim to have a contrary evidence to all this, most likely are pseudo skeptics, they have already made up their mind. They’re they’re not willing, they don’t care about empirical data and about rational argument. They simply have made up their mind that these things are impossible because the physicalist model must be true. And that’s where i think the world is certainly growing beyond that kind of simplistic nonsense of the debunkers and deniers of pseudo- skeptical camp.

Rick: Yeah, and “my attitude towards those people is not altogether unappreciative, like I’ve read most of Sam Harris’s books and I’ve been listening to his podcast for years and he’s a brilliant guy. I would be totally intimidated to interview him, he’d probably make mincemeat of me. But he’s just locked into this way of materialist thinking. Despite all of his spiritual exploration and psychedelic exploration, he somehow hung on to that.

Karen: And one thing I read in one of his books was that he, and he may have grown since then – I forget which the one we have?

Eben: Oh, “Waking Up”.

Karen: “Waking Up,” yeah. He speaks of one very specific Buddhist practice that’s allowable and all the rest are, not allowable in his mind.

Rick: By whom? Who said they’re not allowed?

Karen: By Sam Harris. He found the technique that worked for him which I maintain, we’re all going to find a slightly different kind of combination of techniques that work the best. He found the technique that worked for him and then claimed that was the only technique that the rest of us can use.

Rick: I thought that was kind of fundamentalist.

Karen: Yeah

Rick: Go ahead.

Eben: I was just going to say that I know Sam discusses my case in his book, he’s discussed it in other places, and he pretty much dismisses it. He tries to say it was simply a DMT experience, as if he has the evidence that DMT does all of this.

Karen: But not to take away from your point that Sam does bring some value to the world, even though we’re picking on him for these things. Yeah, I agree.

Eben: But I think, for example, his critique of my case that Sam did in his podcast, Pales when you compare it, for example, to Bernardo Kastrup and the way he treated my case. And he completely eviscerated Sam Harris’s analysis of my case, tore it apart, based on very factual and modern scientific arguments. So, it’s a shame that Sam Harris, claiming to be a neuroscientist, a lot of people pay attention to what he says, and he’s certainly entitled to his opinion. But I think if you read Bernardo Kastrup’s criticism on Bernardo’s blog at bernardokastrup.com of Sam Harris, the way he had kind of attacked me, you realize how weak Sam Harris’s position is and how poorly thought.

Rick: I should read that. he also, Sam Harris also did a a podcast episode recently explaining why he felt free will does not exist. And it was a really detailed materialist it really was, but as I listened, it was, all of his arguments were predicated on what I would consider fundamental misunderstandings. For instance, he would say, well you can’t choose your parents obviously so that’s one. And I thought, of course you do!

Karen: It’s funny, it goes back to the do you believe in, we disintegrate at the end of life or do we continue? It goes back to that. In a scientific world, you can have these other types of assumptions that take you way down the road, like only the physical world is real. You don’t choose your parents, I love that he said that because we know, of course, we choose our parents.

Eben: Yeah, there’s so much more going on when you study this, bigger world of consciousness studies, like the reincarnation work and the serious afterlife work and all of the work from Stan Grof and Michael Newton and Brian Weiss about trans-personal psychology, the whole realization that to fully explain the events that our psyche is involved in in a human life. We have to realize that the soul has been through other facets of existence, other lifetimes to contribute to the issues involved in this lifetime. So, in other words, you come into this world packed with the prior history. So, it’s not just nature and nurture, as I used to believe, the DNA of nature and the nurture of your upbringing. But that there are other features involved and I’d say an astonishing feature of all of this is what I call programmed forgetting, that sitting here in our bodies in this kind of mental state, we don’t necessarily have ready access to all those memories of past lives. It takes real work to uncover them. just as Jim Tucker and Ian Stevenson would tell you about past life memories and children, you have to harvest them before age of five or six because after that their natural process is where they get covered over. So, you don’t as an adult generally, remember all about between lives and past lives that you do when you’re a young child, and this program forgetting, I think, is kind of built into the System. Just like we don’t remember our dreams for most of us, even though dreams and sleep are critical, you’ll die in a few weeks if you’re unable to sleep and dream and yet we don’t remember the content. And likewise of the way the system is set up, we’re supposed to live these lives without necessarily having all that ready access to that information. That’s where our meditation, centering prayer, hypnotic regression, all these techniques of kind of Uncovering, removing those overlying layers, can be so helpful

Rick: yeah two points one is that what we were just saying a minute ago, kind of loops back to what we were saying in the beginning where having an understanding of the kind of stuff we’re talking about has a huge impact on one’s orientation to life. I think it also has a huge impact on a scientist orientation to how he pursues Knowledge, because if you’re starting assumptions are erroneous, then it’s like you’re not aiming the arrow at the target. There’s no way you’re going to hit it. So, you’re going to end up pursuing hypotheses that takes you down dead ends or and this could open up a whole area of discussion. You’re going to accomplish things and perhaps technologies will arise out of out of your study, out of your findings, but those technologies could be extremely mixed blessings. Unintentionally they could have an extremely destructive influence, which I believe wouldn’t be the case if you know the foundation from which those technologies arose was a state of enlightened consciousness. We can flesh that out in some detail- we can do it right now if you want to.

Eben: Well, I would simply add to that in terms of the scientific perspective. From my point of view, one of the biggest challenges of quantum physics and of the modern scientific world understanding the deepest lessons, it’s trying to teach us, is this refusal by materialist scientists to acknowledge the reality of the mental realm of mind of the kind of realm of consciousness is having its own fundamental existence, because quantum physics pretty readily starts to resolve and become more understandable when you realize there’s this top-down causal principle from the mental layer of the universe.

Karen: Spiritual, mental, physical.

Eben: that it originates in spiritual level of Oneness, of connection where we all have kind of similar purpose and we’re all in this together to help each other grow and live and learn and transform in these bodies in this material existence and that’s where I think you’re exactly right that the assumptions if they’re false -if they’re off target all that does is lead to a life of misery trying to connect the dots,

Karen: you mean like you before your coma?

Eben: Like me before my coma, exactly like all of your science that’s still stuck in physicalism and believing the brain is the creator of consciousness. Of course not and the evidence is all over that with this broader model of primordial mind and consciousness as we discuss in “Living in a Mindful Universe” with that primordial mind hypothesis looking at the brain as a filter and consciousness is a fundamental property of the universe- that’s a very facile explanation for the measurement paradox in quantum physics and helps us move to a whole other level of understanding. So those false assumptions can be very damaging and they’re especially bad for individuals who had their own experience in showing them the bigger aspects of the spiritual realm and their involvement with the universe at that level. And yet they come back and try and tell their story or fit it in with a scientific community and find that some of the materialist scientific camp are trying to refute it because it’s Impossible. No, it’s not impossible, this is what most human experiences involve and the science needs to grow up to explain that and quantum physics takes us a long way towards that growing up, but it’s not that infinite parallel universe explanation as much as… for those who want the quantum physics, I would steer you to Carlo Rovelli’s Relational Interpretation, modified by Bernardo Kastrup’s metaphysics and you’ll start to realize how all of it makes sense, especially if you combine it with our use of filter theory in “Living in a Mindful Universe,” you see how all of that can fit together and explain all this much more readily and allow fully for free will.

Rick: For those listening. I’ve interviewed Bernardo a couple of times, so you’ll find him in the past interview section if you want to check him out. Why do you think it is that materialists or physicalists are so entrenched and so fearful and so defensive about the kind of perspective we’re discussing here? What have they got to lose if they were to shift to this perspective? Why are they hanging on for dear life?

Eben: I think from their perspective they have a lot to lose, especially those who are journalists, who are scientific and academic writers. They may have spent decades writing about all of this, for example Christoph Cox spending all those decades studying memory in mouse brains, assuming that memories are stored in the human brain in the same way and they spend all this time for this tremendous amount of effort into those scientific studies and then to find that it is all for naught, can a be terrible problem for them.

Rick: Well haven’t there been great thinkers and scientists who, at some point towards the end of their lives realized that they’ve been wrong all the way and admitted it and it was like a relief for them in a way? I’ve heard of examples of That, but I can’t name a name at this Point.

Eben: well, there are I think many scientists at the end of their life kind of come to …so one story that comes to mind is Roger Ebert who was the

Rick: The film guy?

Eben: Yeah, Siskel and Ebert, and in fact, the end of my second book “Map of Heaven,” recounts the story of his kind of deathbed vision of seeing that this is all a sham. That this physical world is only a tiny part of the picture that there’s so much more to our existence.

Karen: But didn’t Einstein, also, when he got near the end of the life, after his friend died and all that?

Eben: I think Einstein, we cover that in our book “Living in a Mindful Universe”, when Einstein was within months of his own death, which happened in April of 1955, one of his nearest and dearest childhood friends Michele Besso who had been instrumental in his first job working in the Swiss patent office, His, Besso’s father, I think, had been helpful in that – but the reality is that Einstein, there’s a beautiful quote from him where he says that time to those of us who study physics and I’m paraphrasing here, but he said time is simply an illusion, the past and future are a very persistent illusion but that this friend of his who had passed a little bit before him, he said that’s of no real concern because he realized there were deeper aspects of this universe that time flow as we saw it in the material world as we saw it, was not the be all and end all, and he sensed in that quote- you can tell that that Einstein is kind of teasing the idea that he and his friend Michele Besso will be together again in an afterlife.

Karen: And also, this just reminds me, are you familiar with the work of Gary Schwartz?

Rick: yes. I interviewed Mark Pitstick not long ago who does mostly interviews these days because Gary’s behind the scenes

Karen: Well, I’ll just bring this up, I don’t know if the scientific validity of all of this for certain, but part of his research is actually reaching out to scientists who have already passed on to -get the,

Rick: oh yeah, the soul phone

Karen: to help us

Eben: Yeah, it’s amazing work

Karen: But he’s doing it from these scientists who are on the other side, helping to advise the project.

Eben: He calls them the A team, but it doesn’t need people like Einstein,

Karen: Bohm

Eben: Yeah, David Bohm’s a very important player.

Rick: We talked about that.

Karen: Fascinating, if that’s the case that’s pretty fascinating.

Rick: Yeah, and with a point like that my attitude is I give everybody the benefit of the doubt but I take everybody with a grain of salt and proportions vary. So, I hear something like that and I think Yeah, maybe, it’s not like I’m just going to believe it hook line and sinker, but it’s an interesting area of exploration.

Karen: Which is exactly how I kind of prefaced, because I don’t necessarily either, but nonetheless if he’s successful and can document all of this eventually, I think we’ll all be-

Eben: Well, that’s the key. The proof is in the pudding. So, we’ll see what they come up with, but

Karen: fascinating premise.

Eben: There certainly is nothing that we know in modern science and philosophy that prevents the reality of that kind of an information exchange.

Rick: yeah

Eben: in many ways it’s kind of reassuring because their general ideas in science and philosophy that information in many ways is conserved in this universe in very profound ways and I think that’s exactly what we’re talking about here. That kind of conservation and growth or transformation of information, goes far beyond any kind of conservation principles of energy or mass or any of those things in terms of explaining the deeper running of the universe

Rick: let’s talk about memory for a few minutes. You cover this a bit in ”Living in a Mindful Universe.” To use a computer metaphor, obviously, memory isn’t just stored in the brain, otherwise we wouldn’t be able to remember past lives because we have a different brain now. oh To use a computer metaphor, I have stuff stored on my hard drive here but I also have it backed up to the cloud and so there’s kind of, and I wouldn’t want to have to access all my data off the cloud all the time because that would be slow compared to accessing it off the hard drive, so there’s a value to both. Do you think that there’s something like that going on where things are stored in the brain in some way that we don’t understand, but they’re also stored in the cloud or maybe some things are stored here, and some things are not, because some things aren’t worth storing in the cloud or whatever? Well go ahead.

Eben: I can tell you looking at it as a neurosurgeon and being aware of all the work over the last century and a half by neurosurgeon to tease out this issue of memory in the brain and in our book “Living in a Mindful Universe,” we talk a lot about contributions of Dr Wilder Penfield. He’s one of those renowned and respected neurosurgeons of the 20th century. He was Canadian, spent a tremendous amount of his career electrically stimulating the brain in awake patients. Now I’ve done hundreds of those cases myself, so I know all about the technical details of how it’s done and what the potentials are, but I certainly defer to his kind of scientific expertise, because he made a career of this and he wrote a book in 1975 called “Mystery of the Mind,” where he made it very clear that you cannot explain the workings of conscious awareness and of memory just based on the workings of the brain alone, and there are many reasons why that’s true, and he had been chasing this chimera of memory assuming it would be in the neocortex and by the end of his career in 1975 he made it very clear, no memories are not stored in the neocortex at all. It’s crystal clear to neurosurgeons, that if you operate and interfere with the medial temporal lobe the hippocampus, especially if there’s bilateral damage, you can greatly impair a person’s ability to convert short-term to long-term memory, but that’s not the same as identifying storage sites of long-term memory. And in fact, neurosurgeons for decades have mused over that issue, because in spite of a more than a million resections of brain done over the last century, there’s never been a reported case of demonstrable lapse in specified long-term memories that occurred with a specific region of brain being removed. And we’ve come to realize that this very notion that memories are somehow stored in the brain, is very suspect. There’s no real evidence to support it based on a neurosurgical experience and all else that we know about the brain, and as you point out the reincarnation cases make it crystal clear that looking at the brain as a repository doesn’t work, because you don’t have a brain intact between those lifetimes and important to point out for the listeners who may not be aware, but only about 20 percent of those cases studied by UVA docs, involve the same family, so the majority of them would not be any kind of hereditary DNA type memory transfer either, and especially when you then look at NDE’s writ large and look at life reviews and look how detailed they are. This goes far beyond anybody’s ability to what they’d like to remember about their life.

Karen: So the brain is really the receiver.

Eben: The brain’s the receiver, but in fact being fully liberated from the brain gives you far greater access to memory. That’s what happens in a life review. People talk about being able to count the mosquitoes in the air around the scene that happened when they were a young child and drowned, that’s an example from Bruce Greyson’s new book, “After.” That’s an extraordinary level of detail, but you often hear that kind of story, so these are not just vague sepia tinted memories. These are extraordinary reliving’s in a way that show you that the universe has the power, by having access to these multiple layers of our experience, to completely relive everything we’ve ever been through in our life. In many ways it shows us that our notions of time flow, are completely erroneous, because time flow in the earthly realm, is set up to allow this stage setting for this drama to unfold. But what you see when you leave the physical body at the time of death in a near death or a dying experience, deathbed vision, things like that, is this far more robust kind of access to the events of life. They go far beyond what any individual could remember. And so, memory is not stored in the brain, this is one of the biggest nails in the coffin of materialist neuroscience. That’s why we don’t hear it broadly discussed in scientific circles, because it really kind of sets you completely adrift from any kind of physicalist rescue in terms of a potential explanation. When you realize that there’s much more going on here to understand, to explain all these kinds of phenomena,

Rick: Do some people try to argue that actually, the memory of how many mosquitoes were hovering around, was in your brain, but it just got finally triggered under this unusual circumstance, but it was there. Does anybody try to argue that kind of thing?

Eben: I’m sure somebody would try and argue that, but the more you work with the brain and realize what’s involved in synaptic transmission in the interaction of these hundred billion neurons and each one with their 10,000 connections to the rest of the brain, that’s when you start realizing that to presume that some very minutiae detail of a memory from early childhood, would live in a physical system of synapses and all that over all these years with all the kind of vagaries and a chance for noise in those physical systems. You start to realize that to try and pin it all on materialist models of synaptic connections between neurons, really just doesn’t work to explain memory in that big sense.

Rick: And of course, what we’re alluding to here, is some kind of akashic record field, or something like that, in which everything is stored.

Eben: Well, I tend to call it the quantum hologram. I love how Edgar Mitchell and Bob Skerrett choose that term in one of their papers on consciousness years ago, and I think that’s a better way of looking at it, as an information field of all potential.

Karen: That’s what I would say is the spiritual realm. That’s where all that information is and we can access it. When we use that word Spiritual, so many people want to go right to God, religion, some kind of deeper meaning, but what if it’s just the information field that provides the blueprint for this world,

Eben: All of conscious awareness and all of memory?

Rick: yeah it seems like there would be different aspects of this field because we don’t necessarily have to share everybody else’s memories, so there must be sort of an individual one, then there must be some that overlap, because sometimes we do share and then there must be some kind of collective memory, perhaps even in concentric circles where you have family memory fields and national memory fields and the whole global memory.

Karen: I think Bernardo talks about that when he talks about how consensus reality could exist and that’s where all of us kind of agree on some level- that mountains are a mountain.

Eben: Well, I think you’re right. I like to look at it as if we’re kind of like drops falling in the ocean and yet there’s a certain viscosity to those drops so that they tend to kind of stay together. There’s a sense of information,. Interrelationship, I’ll say

Karen: resonance-

Eben: yeah resonance -kind of like constructive interference or what have you of information that allows us to identify with energy signatures in that spiritual realm of close kind of relatives and soul mates and that kind of thing. We can tend to recognize them in that space through this kind of overlap of energy signature and yet, there’s that broad kind of spreading out,

Karen: Not even just recognize, that being drawn to

Eben: yeah I think those principles are very operative in that kind of quantum hologram and that’s how souls identify in their Journey, as they relate to certain souls. To me, one of the kind of sidelight that that makes the point here, is if you look at windbridge.org. That’s a group that scientifically studies psychic mediums.

Rick: Julie Byshall

Eben: They validate Julie Byshall etc., and you look at their quintuple blinded protocols for assessing mediums, where basically the medium only gets a first name, Ralph and then somehow the medium is able to track through their processes and get to the correct Ralph in the afterlife, but the key ingredient that makes it Work, is that the sitter- that’s the person who has lost the loved one -in their prayer or meditation they invite the loved one to connect the dots for the psychic and so in other words, it’s simply by putting that will into the universe to connect the dots to help make the realization and the loved one does that from the other side. And to me, that’s what makes it all work. That’s why you can have any psychics that have any kind of ability to do this, because there are real connections going on, on the other side and my point is simply, that that shows you this kind of power of resonance and of familiarity and how these soul lines can actually direct their kind of understanding and relationships and come to a deeper knowing. So, it’s not just a raindrop falling into the ocean and diffusely spreading into all of consciousness in that primordial mind, but actually, having some viscosity that preserves relationships between incarnations for the benefit of soul groups that are growing through these multiple incarnations.

Rick: I think one key point that is integral to the teaching of Vedanta and many other schools of thought is that, and we’ve kind of touched on it but it might be good to hit it more clearly, is that we have a subtle body in addition to our gross body, and it’s kind of like a Russian dolls thing, where the subtle body is contained within the gross body, but it can also become independent of it, as happens in an out-of-body experience and as happens when the gross body dies. It’s like when the gross body dies it’s considered in the Vedanta model only one of five different sheaths, and so now we have four sheaths instead of five because the gross body died. So that explanation helps a lot in terms of understanding how the soul, which I guess you could call this subtle body, migrates from life to life or retains memories or anything like that and to my way of thinking it’s not a really weird far-fetched idea, it just sort of fits in with everything else.

Eben: And I think that makes perfect sense, but again it’s this notion of seeing that there’s kind of an essence of our soul that goes through these multiple lifetimes in a process of growth and transformation, I would add, so from our point of view this notion of reincarnation is not about trying to get off the wheel of suffering after multiple incarnations, but that the goal is actually a growth and transformation. I would say the big picture view would be that Pierre Taylor de Chardin who wrote his book “The Phenomenon of Man”, in the mid 20th century, he was a scientist, a paleontologist, he was also a French Jesuit priest and spiritually advanced, and he realized that this talk of evolution of Darwinian evolution as it was discussed in the mid 20th Century, actually had a bigger context in which all of consciousness was doing the evolving and I think that that essentially is what’s truly going on, and so just like that old saying in Realist, in politics, all politics is local, well likewise all evolution of consciousness of the universe is nothing more than individual sentient beings coming into a deeper understanding of their own purpose for being in relationship with the universe.

Karen: I just want to add that this this evolution we don’t think of as a linear evolution going from primitive to advanced, but a cyclical evolution, a spiral evolution, where we go through cycles of evolution, where we do dip down into not so fun and then maybe more fun and enlightening. But this reminds me of RickTarnas, because in “Cosmos and Psyche”, he does an incredible job of explaining how the rotation of the planets around earth seems to mark-

Eben: around the sun

Karen: thanks, Eben

Rick: flashback to her medieval lifetime

Eben: she discovered-

Karen: No, I have this this weird verbal dyslexia, so thank you Evan.

Karen: Anyway, so Rick Tarnas has marked these cycles that seem to match up with the cycles of the planets around the sun and so Eben has even come on board that some of this might even some of this astrology might actually have some validity to it, just because he realizes in science they use fourier Waves- oh fourier Transforms.

Eben: Basically, it just has to do with understanding those deeper relationships and not just the fourier transforms,

Karen: but how you use fourier transforms to predict cycles.

Eben: Right. Just accepting that there are cycles large and small that involve individuals, their lifetimes and involve societies, ethnic groups, that this very notion of cyclicity is part of the dynamic of growth and increasing understanding and transformation and yet that cyclicity in many ways could be measured by the movement of planets and moons and all that kind of thing in orbital cycles. They’re all just harmonic oscillators. So, in many ways you can look at astrology as simply being an admission that these oscillating patterns that manifest in human existence at various levels, are oscillations and you can measure them with any clock and that includes anything that’s cycling and orbiting.

Karen: And we can look at this in our own lives really, because we all have patterns, patterns in our relationships, patterns in our jobs, the job we hold or something and certain troublesome Issues that we think we might have resolved early in life, seem to come back to us.

Eben: In a different form

Karen: Yeah, and then we have an opportunity to address it in a different fashion, so if you look at that from an individual perspective, we can see that easily in our lives, and yet from a larger perspective, that could absolutely be what’s going on and it speaks to the holographic principle where everything in the whole can be found in the piece, right, so if our individual lives work that way, why wouldn’t all of the evolution of consciousness work in the same sort of cyclical fashion?

Rick: Are you saying- and incidentally for those listening I’m going to be interviewing Rick Tarnas next week, but are you saying that with the cyclical thing, I might have completely Misunderstood, that rather than sort of progressing through higher and higher stages of evolution over the course of the existence of our soul -if we want to use the word soul- that it even cycles so we go back to being troglodytes and and dinosaurs and tree sloths and stuff and then work our way up and go through the whole thing again?

Karen: In theory, yeah. But can i just mention the yugas- the yuga cycles of the Hindu tradition speaks of different interpretations of how many years this cycle is, but the the one I’m speaking of, is 20 roughly a which just happens to match up with the astronomical precession of the equinoxes. So, the yuga cycle does have us moving from a very spiritual higher realm and of course the Greeks talked about that golden age, many cultures talked about this golden age, and that we seem to have lost knowledge. Then you go all the way into the dark ages, in in a book called “the Yugas,” where two people really go through all of this, but the dark ages were really the bottom of that material realm and now we’re on our way back up to that spiritual. But each time we go through that cycle, in theory we’re doing a little bit better job. I would assume to be some judgment on how well we’re doing or how well we’re succeeding at whatever goal we set out to learn and the one we feel that that goal that we’ve set out to learn is all about love and so many of us think we understand, but our society is not really based on love as a founding principle, so this lesson is the one revolving and

Eben: I would simply add from my perspective this is why we often describe it as a spiral evolution, is because you come back around to similar issues but there’s a certain amount of growth between rotations, so that you’re actually progressing and learning more, but just like that old saying there’s nothing new under the sun. Likewise, some of the challenges that engender certain growth and understanding, can represent themselves at a whole new level of this evolution of all consciousness.

Karen: And also there’re some traditions who say, I think it’s the theosophists and some others, who talk about these grand cycles that we go through and that when we reach that darkest point or really when we start to figure out how the material world works as we’re coming out of it, we usually end up destroying ourselves and that this time around we have much better chance at making it through without destroying ourselves and so, that’s the cyclical spiral nature that may be going on.

Rick: Yeah, a couple thoughts there. One is I remember some Vedic story where some master was talking to a disciple or something and there was a line of ants walking along the ground and the master pointed to them and said at one stage all those ants were Lord Shiva. So, in other words they had gone cycled around and now they’re ants. I don’t know about that, it’s just a story but another thought I have as you’re saying that is that there’s what happens to the whole culture, the whole society, and then what happens to individual beings. And maybe it’s that individual beings cycle back around have to go through the whole thing again, but maybe there is a sort of an ascending trajectory that just continues on and eventually we don’t even get born on earth as a human being anymore because we’re sort of living in higher realms, but nonetheless the cycle of yugas continues and and the various cycles earth goes through. And a couple of the quick points on this: one thing Maharishi Mahesh Yogi used to say is that it takes a long time for what he called natural law to sort of descend and descend and descend and eventually when it reaches its nadir it shoots back up to 100% in one generation, in a short amount of time. So that’s hopeful.

Karen: Yeah there are some who say that that golden age is right around the corner, but others say no it’ll take us a little time to get there.

Eben: I must say I feel I’m so close to this, maybe I have to take my own vision on it with a big grain of salt, but the reality is I do believe in the last decade or two we’ve made tremendous progress along these lines and I believe that humanity is truly headed for a kind of a golden age of transformation and understanding that will in many ways be a complete and wonderful kind of resolution of all the kind of human conflicts and confusion of the last five to seven eight millennia. I believe we’re headed for a true inflection point that will be just astonishing and I believe it has to do with the fact that this is all about the scientific study of consciousness and the nature of reality that goes far beyond the simplistic conventional materialist science and physicalist science because you cannot explain consciousness, the hard problem of consciousness – it was defined by David Chalmers in the mid 90s- is a very deep challenge to materialism. In fact, it’s probably a fatal challenge to materialism. You cannot explain consciousness totally within this physical realm. We really must kind of have a broader vision of it all and that’s where I think the scientific contribution is going to make this revolution be something truly phenomenal from the viewpoint of human destiny over many, many millennia.

Rick: Yeah, I agree. I think I’ll shift the topic unless Karen wants to add to that because I want to make sure we cover everything, we might cover but I agree. I think it’s a very exciting time to be alive and there are various scenarios on how it might play out and if you don’t have the full picture of what’s going on with the kind of the spiritual renaissance that’s taking place, you could become very pessimistic and I know people who have moved to Australia in order to just sort of live out the rest of our lives before everybody on earth dies, but I somehow think that God has a few tricks up his sleeve and that this sort of spiritual epidemic which seems to be welling up is the perfect and essential kind of antidote to what ails us and that it may just save the day in ways that we can’t fully elaborate yet.

Eben: Well, I would just share with your thoughts on that. I have a tremendous amount of optimism about this and I know that people- especially in our polarized society with a COVID challenge, the economic collapse, the racial disparity in our country that’s kind of in bundled with all that conflict- from my point of view of when you’re getting close to an inflection point where you have true change, that’s where the fundamentalists that had so much invested in the old worldview, rise up and recoil and kind of with outrage, kind of pounding their chest.

Karen: It’s kind of like a healing crisis.

Eben: But it is a healing crisis.

Karen: Right? Where someone- an individual is going through a health challenge and sometimes the treatment makes you feel a little bit worse before you feel better.

Rick: Yeah

Eben: It’s kind of like the fever breaking and a bad Infection. You have that night where you’re in cold sweats and a hot fever and then the next day you’re done.

Rick: Yeah

Karen: Or that collective gift of desperation.

Eben: Yeah Karen and I often talk about kind of the parallels with the addiction and the whole world of addiction and alcoholism all that- there’s this notion of the gift of desperation that if you hit a low enough bottom, that actually energizes your bounce and your incredible recovery and kind of ascendance. And in many ways we’re facing a collective gift of desperation and that’s what I think COVID and a lot of the economic challenge is related to, is the fact that these fundamentalists of the old era, are kind of rising up and recoiling, because it really is time for them to go.

Karen: Not to go, to join us.

Eben: To transform and resolve and come to resolution, I should say. Not go.

Karen: Yes.

Eben: But we’re all in this together and they serve a role. I would say that the true skeptics serve a role. I’m not too sure about the the pseudo skeptics out there in the kind of lay press and some of the scientific community who don’t really care about the empirical data or the hypothetical models that support all this, they’ve made up their mind already so, but to the rest of us into the world at large I think that there’s a tremendous amount of reason for optimism, that we’re finally really learning this deep and profound lesson that we’re all in this together, we need to take care of each other. It’s all about kindness, compassion, love, forgiveness, gratitude, these are the qualities of our spiritual selves that help us to grow into the grander beings that we all truly are.

Karen: And these qualities you’re speaking of, I think of as very feminine qualities and our world our materialist world is very much filled with masculine quantities. What we can see, all the action, what we can do, all the focus on the external world and the feminine is more about going within, the inner world, the more sensitive part of us, and I love how the women leaders of countries during the COVID crisis, the women who really have these, embody these feminine characteristics, have done a really beautiful job of taking care of their citizens and it’s not men and women necessarily but those qualities that all of us really need to find balance

Rick: yeah I saw a graphic of about seven or eight countries that have women leaders and their COVID statistics in comparison to a bunch of countries comparable countries that have male leaders, Jacinta Aldrin or whatever her name is in New Zealand and other ones that much better outcome.

Eben: Absolutely

Karen: yeah and when they did their lockdowns, they actually, made every effort to be sure and certain that everyone was cared for, that they weren’t at risk and that’s that’s the world I want to live in.

Eben: That’s kind of world where that feminine energy is doing a lot of healthy work to help transform and grow all of us together. So, I think there’s no question when I look back on human history, especially the last few centuries, what I see is homo sapiens- sapiens means wise- well, yeah we’ve had a lot of beautiful developments in science about medicine and communications and transportation. Science has really benefited us in many ways and yet there’s that dark underbelly. For example, our addiction to fossil fuels, climate change, more than 35,000 species threatened with immediate extinction because of our irresponsibility as a species for the planet at large and I would say a lot of that comes from a false sense of separation that is inherent in that materialist model of who we are and the nature of reality, whereas a more quantum informed version that acknowledges this oneness of mind and consciousness that we all seem to share that’s revealed through NDEs and that kind of manner of understanding of the nature of reality, that’s where we can really grow with this to a much deeper level, is that kind of understanding. It really is all being fostered through the science of consciousness and yet individual seekers can come to know that in meditation and centering prayer, just through living their lives and the way they deal with people, that kind of deeper understanding of how we’re really here to care for each other and take care of all fellow beings and of course, it’s not just about the consciousness of humans because that one mind involves animals, ,plants, that one mind involves all of life forms and it really is becoming apparent to us that If we want to consider ourselves homo sapiens, wise, we really need to do a much better job of serving as stewards for the world and for each other and that involves tremendously this notion of the oneness of all that we’re in a shared existence.

Rick: Yeah and it reminds me of that quote from Jesus: ‘Whatsoever you do unto the least of these, you do unto me”. If we’re in that sort of unity consciousness, then we realize that whatever we harm or help, we’re harming or helping ourselves, because it is ourselves, really, literally.

Eben: Right, yeah, exactly.

Rick: Okay, speaking of the pandemic and you mentioned this earlier about the importance of science and thinking scientifically, as you know, there’s a lot of confusion around the pandemic and the vaccines and everything else and there are people who seem to have significant credentials saying things that conflict with other people who seem to have significant impressive credentials and so I’ve given this a lot of thought and paid a lot of attention because I don’t care if somebody thinks the earth is flat, or we didn’t land on the moon, those are sort of amusing perspectives, but I do care if people are saying things that end up killing hundreds of thousands of people unnecessarily. So somehow clarity of thinking discernment, discrimination, respecting science and not sort of just going by your own individual perspective to the exclusion of the shared perspective of the whole scientific community, seem like very important things, more important than ever at this moment. Do you have any thoughts about that?

Eben: Well I think discernment is certainly, a very crucial ingredient to any of our dealings with the world and that certainly includes the spiritual realm and our encounters there. We need to use discernment. I think Karen has taught me a lot about that whole process of the vaccine, but in terms of the vaccine and in terms of modern science, I think people need to remember that science basically has self-corrected mechanisms built into it to help nudge it towards truth, nudge it towards the real answer and you’re right, there are people out there who claim to have certain credentials. The reality is in our modern era unfortunately, you have to use your discernment again because just having those credentials is not necessarily enough. But for me, for example, Dr. Fauci, everything he has said about this virus and the vaccine and everything about it going all the way back to the beginning, has been right on the bark and there’s never been any kind of reason to doubt it. Now some people bring up the fact that early in the pandemic experts were not recommending masks and then they moved to recommending masks, but a huge part of that was that there weren’t enough masks for the medical profession.

Karen: And there wasn’t enough data.

Eben: And there wasn’t enough data.

Karen: As the data comes in the science,

Eben: As the data comes, in the science ,mproves, the science kind of bends towards the truth and in our modern society it’s really a shame how some people very publicly doubt the science and challenge the science and just because somebody is a scientist, that’s enough to kind of put them on the on the chopping block in some people’s Views.

Karen: But also, you’ve also spoken because we’ve discussed this quite a lot because of all these varying viewpoints, but we’ve also discussed how the science community, that occasionally there is disagreement. Or not occasionally, there is disagreement and then what you find is the consensus- what do most of the scientists believe.

Eben: And it’s because the scientific method has a lot to be said for it and so, when you see science being followed in these discussions of the of the virus and the vaccine, what you find is that over time, month after month, we get closer and closer to what appears to be the actual answer and the actual truth.

Karen: And Eben has actually read, because I’m not a scientist, I don’t know some of the language that’s used in some of these papers that are circulating around, and he comes in so handy, because when I’m ever concerned about a scientific claim, I ask Eben and he is so broadly informed about science that he’s able to tell me, “Well here’s where they made their step in logic that I wouldn’t agree with.” And once they make that step in logic, then he can’t really follow what the rest of them are saying and one of the papers that is out there circulating, Eben looked at it and that was one of the cases that that the logic that that scientist was using, Eben didn’t agree with and so it just comes down to that and I agree with you Rick, I think this is terribly damaging because it does have such an effect on other people. It’s not just a choice we’re making for ourself, it’s a choice we’re making for our whole Community.. That’s how viruses work. Everyone seemed to be on board when polio was killing all of the children and paralyzing them and I don’t recall any concern back then, except that people got the shots and polio went away so.

Eben: It’s very unfortunate when our political leaders end up sacrificing science on the altar of public opinion because science ultimately is our best way of getting to all these answers and of course when I say that I’m not saying materialist science or physicalist science. I’m looking at science at large, the whole process of scientific investigation which just as an example, we mentioned a little while ago about the psychedelic plant medicines shutting the brain down. Where does the scientist go who wants to get to deep answers when all you’re demonstrating is that your brain is going dark under the influence of these substances that create the most phenomenally rich experiences that many people have ever had? So, we need to reach beyond materialism and physicalism for our answers. But that doesn’t mean we have to reject science at all. I would consider all of those past life memories and children studied by the UVA Ggoup, in many ways to have been scientifically and philosophically validated and studied

Rick: yeah, remember that book “The Structure of Scientific Revolution“ by Thomas Coon? I love that book and one point he makes, is that there’s sort of a value to the fact that paradigms don’t just flip with the slightest provocation. In other words, there needs to be a sort of certain stability and almost a resistance to change, because otherwise we’d have total chaos where every little bit of information that came, “oh that must be wrong,” we wouldn’t have any kind of edifice or foundation upon which to build our structures of knowledge, but the point he makes, is that with enough anomalies, with enough things contradicting the established paradigm, they eventually topple. And the reason I’m bringing this up is that this it’s good to understand how science works and to understand that science can be wrong about things, but it eventually self-corrects as time goes on and I think it’ll self-correct with regard to all the sort of more esoteric topics we’ve been discussing today. But with regard to the pandemic and all, it’s a learning process, it’s a novel virus and a lot is being learned as we go along, but to just throw out blatant disinformation, it’s dishonest and irresponsible. I know a few people who say a vaccine didn’t cure smallpox, it was just a coincidental improvement in public hygiene that cured smallpox. Alot of questions. I’m getting, I’m starting to rant. I do this. Anyway, it bugs me because people are dying and that’s real and if you talk to people who are working in ICU’s who have to watch them die, I wish everyone could have that experience there. I think there’d be a lot less bullshit flying around.

Eben: right, well I think you’re absolutely right about that and what people need to remember is that kind of self-corrected mechanism built into the scientific method and the scientific community is made of human beings. They have the same frailties and kind of wishes and wants and desires and foibles as is any human being and yet the community at large and the techniques that science uses, are something that can help lead us towards truth and in fact I’m very frightened by the notion that some people believe that anti science is the answer for something like the covid Pandemic. We’ve had 560,000 Americans die in a little over a year-

Rick: three million worldwide, I just heard.

Eben: Three million worldwide. This is,

Karen: but then you have the naysayers who say those are made up numbers and we know people who’ve died,

Eben: in fact you look at excess deaths, what you find is those numbers are probably an under call of the true ravages of the covid Pandemic. It’s probably been much worse than the official numbers because of the number of deaths. Now some of those of course would be people who are having a heart attack who didn’t go to the hospital because of covid and died because of that, but I think even more of those numbers could be explained by the fact that covid is more extensive and out there, than we’ve come to recognize.

Rick: yeah okay we could go on this topic but I’m going to switch it because now the questions are starting to come in because people are emailing them to Irene because the form wasn’t working so I’m going to ask you some questions and they won’t necessarily be in any logical order, so we might jump around a little bit. First question from Danette in Sacramento “Do you still have conscious contact with your sister?”

Eben: I’m not sure. Yes, beautiful question and that’s something we discuss a lot in “Living in a Mindful Universe.” I use meditation, sacred acoustics of binaural brainwave and binaural beat brainwave entrainment, an hour to a day. I’ve been doing that for more than a decade now, so, it’s really about going within developing a much richer relationship with all the denizens of that realm and that includes of course my birth sister who I’m now very close to because of ongoing meditation gotten over much better and many other facets. My father’s soul now engaging after meditation, etc so yes, and it all depends on my use of meditation to return to the realm.

Rick: yeah, so just to highlight a point you just made, so when you do the binaural beats thing, which you say you’ve done a couple hours a day for years now, you very often go into very deep states that kind of approximate your near-death experience where you’re in transcendental realms and you’re meeting subtle beings and all kinds of stuff like that.

Eben: right absolutely and in fact I would say it’s my work with Karen, who’s never had an NDE and also with all of her people who use sacred acoustics around the world and there are many of those people and they’re sharing with us that their experiences, That’s what leads me to know that the meditation is an equally valid pathway to getting to this knowledge as a profound NDE. Now I’ve not yet experienced the full-blown ultra-reality that I sensed in the in the gateway valley and in the core realm, but it could be that I have to wait till the next time that my brain is pretty much completely offline for that to happen, but through meditation I’ve come very close and developed a very rich relationship with my NDE.

Rick: yeah, well let’s hope your brain doesn’t go completely offline anytime soon, because that wasn’t the picnic.

Eben: No, but it was a blessing.

Rick: One curiosity I have, which you might be able to speak to is, I’ve interviewed Chris Bache a couple times who did some very deep psychedelic- had some very deep psychedelic experiences and he was always listening to music during them like Beethoven or whatever. He had this whole playlist and he would lie there and listen to music and I don’t know if I quite asked him “Why not just lie there in silence maybe even with noise cancelling headphones, why do you want some kind of music going on you?” Do you have a thought to that?

Karen: That’s a natural question from a TM teacher because it’s interesting, I have people who practice TM and they have been told by their teachers that they cannot use sound while they’re practicing their TM. But the sound actually for me, the binaural beats in particular, offer an opportunity to help quiet the mind, a little more quickly than just standard silent meditation- especially for those who are just starting out and I think Christopher Bache also used Hemisync- another form of binaural beats and

Eben: He describes it.

Karen: Yeah, but all different kinds of music can help people get into those states but I know you probably want to,

Eben: Yeah, in fact, in his book “Dark Night, Early Dawn,” Christopher Bache talks very specifically- does a head-to-head comparison of his work with high dose LSD for spiritual investigation, with his use of hemi sync binaural beat brainwave entrainment that I would say is kind of a more primitive version than what I would view sacred acoustics but just that’s just my opinion and of course, the sacred acoustics is a more modern version of all that. But Christopher Bache said that you could use the sound and get as far, if not farther, than you could with the high dose LSD. He was very respectful of how, and when you think about it that makes sense because in essence the serotonin drugs of like LSD, psilocybin DMT, things like that are really having an effect through parts of the neocortex. That’s where most of those receptors are and that’s a very kind of superficial connection of the brain to consciousness and what I would say is the binaural beats, by going after this target way down in the lower brainstem, they’re going- there’s a circuit that arose more than 300 million years ago and I believe that’s one of the reasons why binaural beat brainwave entrainment can take you so far in separating from our everyday consciousness itself and that false sense of here and now and help us to escape that so brainwave entrainment, by going at consciousness at this primitive level in the lower brainstem, can be extraordinarily powerful.

Karen: And I’ll just- you may have intrigued some listeners so anyone who’s curious can go to sacredacoustics.com, look for the free download link and we’ll send you a 20-minute recording and also look for the whole mind bundle. This is a collection of recordings that we reduced drastically in price at the beginning of the covid pandemic and there’s also a free option for those in financial uncertainty. We thought that was incredibly important, because these recordings were actually used in a pilot study that showed a 26 percent reduction in anxiety and so many people who have anxiety, just by listening to these recordings you can sort of help to reduce and calm yourself into a calmer state and that of course for some people helps to take them into deep states of meditation. But others all they need is that anxiety reduction and so we accept anyone who can’t afford to pay because even if you cannot, you have our gratitude for taking time to quiet the Mind, simply because we know we are all in this together and each person who who does that contributes to our well-being .

Rick: I’ll be linking to that website and to your other websites on your page on batgap.com and I just want to add that I listened to that free download one last two days in the afternoon and had a nice effect. I really enjoyed it. I’d like to listen to some more.

Eben: It’d be very relaxing and we would invite people to really explore sacredacoustics.com. Karen has put a lot of work into some free training videos and other things that help people with all the tools and kind of practical techniques to help them get up to speed on all this.

Rick: Yeah, I know for a year before I had learned to meditate I spent a lot had a lot of deep experiences under the influence of various chemicals while listening to music and I, in a way I think that contributed to the fact that when I finally did learn to meditate it was like “boom”, falling off a log.

Karen: You had that practice familiar with it.

Rick: Okay, more questions here we go. So this one is from -hang on a second -this one is from Jay in Victoria would be British Columbia: Could you please elaborate how a person would choose their parents? I had parents that were abusive and I was wondering what the point would be to choose abusive parents? Good question.

Karen: Would you like me to take that?

Eben: Yeah, you take that.

Karen: Yeah, that’s a very good question and a lot of what Michael Newton who Rick brought up talks about, is that we do make choices about how we’re going to live our life that’s upcoming before we incarnate into a body and so those choices are based on particular lessons we want to learn- particular things we feel we’re lacking and I’ll just give you one very brief example there was a- this was actually an example from Paul Aurand. another “Life between Lives” regressionist. He was regressing a woman who had incredibly low self-esteem and she was unattractive, had a big nose and was overweight and in her life between lives she ran into her deceased uncle and she didn’t like her uncle because her uncle teased her all the time and what she learned was that she wanted her uncle to treat her that way because in her previous lifetime when she was going through her life review she was an incredibly beautiful woman who looked down on others who weren’t attractive and she was actually rude to them and when she realized that what she had done, she wanted to experience that from another perspective.

Rick: Yeah, she wanted to be on the receiving end of that.

Karen: Yeah, and some of these issues like why you would have chosen your parents to have that abusive experience, sometimes we don’t necessarily have those ready answers that Rob Schwartz who wrote a book called “Your Soul’s Plan” does a beautiful job of explaining why we might have made those choices.

Eben: You got to remember, it’s not our ego that made the choice, it’s our higher soul and kind of soul group that made the choice

Karen: From a much broader,

Eben: From a much broader perspective of seeing multiple lifetimes and of realizing a growth, a transformative pathway forward and that’s where people really run into trouble and that’s where meditation can be so handy because in meditation you can put that little voice in your head, your ego mind, the annoying roommate as Michael Singer calls it, you can put that into time out and start exploring your relationship as that Kind of neutral observer connected to that primordial mind with a higher sense of purpose and growth.

Rick: Good. Okay. I’m just going to move right along. Next question from Matthew in Indonesia: “Do you think that within the next few decades the materialists will be able to explain how NDE’s happen?” If there is a biological marker, will that establish causation rather than correlation?

Eben: Well I would say materialists are in fact going extinct because they don’t have any answers relevant to consciousness

Karen: So they won’t find a biological,

Eben: No, you’re not going to find some biological molecular trigger that makes all this Happen. Again, you have to look at the giant picture.

Karen: Don’t they call that promissory material?

Eben: Promissory materialism that’s what Sir John Echol’s called it. He was a Nobel laureate back in the mid-20th century and he thought it was ridiculous that materialists would promise that someday all the extremely fascinating spiritual features of human existence would someday be reduced to the movement of particles and atoms and molecules in a physicalist model. I’d say that the trend in modern Neuroscience, especially over the last few decades, has been away from materialism. Materialism is kind of the low-hanging fruit, what we can measure in the lab and all that and yet in explaining it all, just like those FMRI cases that show that psilocybin makes the brain go dark, not get active anyway, but the entire brain – there’s no region in it, that has increased activity under the influence of psilocybin so we need bigger explanations and they’re not going to be from the world of materialism.

Rick: Which is not to say that all this research on the neurophysiological correlates of meditation and higher states and all that, is not a valuable thing. That’s great. It just doesn’t explain everything about it. It just gives you some indication of what’s going on in the brain when you have that and who It’s a little bit with NDE’s and OBE’s would be a little harder to study that because they’re hard it’s harder to predict when those are going to happen.

Eben: Well it is, but you could do things like target where the body is going in an out of body experiment. You can measure photons at the target site there are many ways to scientifically take this to the next level.

Rick: yeah, okay, here’s one from Felix. I don’t know where Felix is located but um the question is: “How do we know we’re aligned with what we came here to do and what tips can you give us to stay on track or read the signs to stay more aligned? “Lots of good questions.

Karen: Yeah, so this is, I know you’re wanting us to answer quickly,

Rick: we have about one, two, three, four, five, six left and we don’t have to end exactly at two hours, we can go a little long, so just do justice to them.

Karen: yeah so I think what you’re asking about is being aligned with your purpose. We all seem to feel as though we came here for a purpose and people who have NDE’s come back sometimes knowing their purpose, sometimes not knowing, but knowing that they have one. So, it’s good that you’ve asked. The way that you would know that you were aligned, is “How’s your life going? Are you happy? Do you have what you wish to have? Are things, when you set projects in motion, do they come about very easily or do you have a lot of roadblocks? Do you have resistance to something that continues to come to you over and over again?” Sometimes what you resist is what you really need to dive into so there’s lots of ways to cook to kind of understand this. It’s hard to explain, it would be easier to explain if I knew more about this person’s situation. But one way that I personally have felt as though I am fulfilling my purpose is that- I used to have a lot of anxiety around: “What is my purpose? What should I be doing? What activities will I do to perform my purpose?” What I eventually realized is that I could just generate this feeling within, that I was living my purpose and as I started to generate “I am living my purpose, I’m living my purpose,” and just really feeling as if that was the case, the external world around me completely changed and I found myself in a completely different life that I never could have imagined. And while I was living the purpose, my purpose previous to my life completely changing, all of that was necessary to get me to where I am now. Now I definitely feel like I’m in the flow of my purpose and so just kind of aligning yourself; having a personal practice really going in to know yourself is really the biggest key.

Eben: I would say the value of meditation and centering prayer cannot be overstated in this discussion. It’s important spend at least some time on a frequent basis, going within and being with yourself in that kind of silence and meditative Mode. I believe that that’s been tremendously helpful to me in coming to live my life purpose since my NDE.

Rick: When you have a spiritual practice or and you’re spiritually growing like that, it really lines your ducks up, in a relative sense in terms, of all the all the sort of circumstances of your life.

Karen: Yeah, I often say, that if you want to make a change in the outer world, pay attention to your inner world and that’s when you’ll start to make progress.

Rick: I heard Swami Sarvapriyananda talking about this just last night. He was talking about what they call Swadharma, which means your dharma, purpose or that course of action which is really what you’re cut out to do and there are so many different variables and stages of life and all kinds of considerations. It’s a little bit hard to work it all out intellectually, but if you get in the flow of God’s will, we could put it, you end up serving your purpose quite nicely and that doesn’t mean, I’ve spent many times, many years where I was doing stuff that had no ultimate profundity for me. I was a computer consultant, I was crawling around under people’s desks, pulling out wires and stuff even after I’d been meditating for decades and I had to earn some money. So, okay, it wasn’t something I thought I would be doing all my life and it wasn’t. Sometimes you just have to be patient and do what needs to be done.

Karen: Yeah, it’s more about how you are being, rather than how you are doing. It’s another way to look at it.

Eben: But of course ultimately the beautiful lessons of this kind of discussion and sharing of these profound spiritual experiences like NDE’s, inform all of us how to live our lives better day to day. iI’s not just about what happens when I die, but far more important in this discussion is how do I make my choices and live this life day after day after day to reflect my greater knowledge and wisdom. So, it’s not just about meditating and centering prayer, but it’s about living that life that you discover as you come into more alignment with your higher soul.

Rick: “Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven and all else should be added unto thee.” Okay, here’s a question from Ravi in Sharjah, which I guess is in India. He, Ravi says: “I too am a neurosurgeon and can only imagine how your NDE must have changed your life. For those of us who are not fortunate to have had your experience, can you help us understand and reconcile these two Dimensions?” I suppose he means the worldly dimension with the sort of world spiritual dimension

Eben: It’s to realize first and foremost, we are spiritual beings in a spiritual universe and I think this gets back at what Karen was talking about earlier where she talked about the three planes of spiritual, mental and physical and I would simply argue that modern kind of physics and study of the physical world is showing us very clearly that there’s a top-down causality involved. It’s not all bottom up. That’s where some quantum physicists get , they think it’s understanding electrons, quarks, protons, atoms, molecules, all doing their dance according to the laws of physics chemistry and in our case biology and that gives you all the answers. Well in fact, no. The answers come from a deeper understanding of a top-down set of causal principles. This is something that’s perfectly at home in the kind of quantum physics world, this notion of the mental layer of reality and we’re simply taking that to the next level so in terms of being a scientist and trying to understand the modern version of kind of the overlap of the spiritual and the physical, is to remember it’s all ultimately kind of that spiritual mental universe giving this top-down causal kind of impetus to all the events that we see emerging in the physical world. And I mean we get into our in our book “Living in a Mindful Universe,” we talk a lot about how those relationships work. There are, I would especially recommend for the scientific mind, the works from Ed Kelly “Irreducible Mind”, his book in 2007, “Beyond Physicalism” his book from 2015 and the most recent book that just came out a month or two ago from Ed Kelly and the UVA Dobs group called “Consciousness Unbound”, and those three volumes together are very deep scientific philosophical dive into the modern evidence showing the reality of what we’re speaking of here. And I would highly recommend those for the kind of scientific crowd that wants to go deeper.

Rick: Sounds like I should check out this Ed Kelly guy.

Eben: Yeah, you should check out Ed Kelly. Ed Kelly knows what he’s talking about. He’s the lead editor of those three books,

Karen: but he likes to be under the radar.

Eben: Yeah, he’s under the radar. It’s hard to find Ed, but in many ways, he’s the magician behind the scenes for a lot of this.

Rick: Cool

Karen: Maybe he’ll come out from behind that curtain.

Eben: He might but I was one of the main endorsers for his newest book of “Consciousness Unbound,” and I will tell you, that book goes light years towards taking the whole scientific community on this pathway.

Rick: Great Next question from Omkar, What happens to the individual consciousness when one is under anesthesia and when one is in deep sleep?

Eben: Well, that’s a beautiful question, but I would say that it is often in realms that are not this physical realm. In fact, Karen can talk about the ancient notions of our souls every night

Karen: Yeah, some people will say and I know people where they actually remember this happening, where every night when we go to sleep, apparently our energy leaves our body and interacts in the spiritual realm, but we don’t always remember. And of course sometimes that’s where some dream fragments come from, some would say, but we’re doing this every single night and sometimes people when they have that sleep paralysis, that some people theorize that your energy hasn’t come quite back into the body yet after having left, but it is a mystery though with anesthesia.

Eben: Well what I would say to that, is you’ve got to remember that the time clock of earth time, is a supporting element that supports the fiction of each and every one of our sentient being kind of incarnations and living in this physical world but it is not an ultimate arbiter of the flow of time from the higher perspective of our consciousness in those realms, and if I would tell you the life review is a perfect example of how time flow when you realize in a life review that very major events can be represented to you in such detail that it rivals even the kind of detail and information content of when you live through it, the first time in the material realm in this life you start to realize that this earth time is not the ultimate arbiter of the existence of consciousness and of its transformation.

Karen: I will tell you, I just remembered there’s a woman called Michelle Small Wright, W-r-i-g-h-t, and she’s written some books. She has a nature conservatory called Perelandra here in Virginia and she actually has written books that talk about how every night when she goes to sleep, she is in another realm interacting with other people and she never has a sleeping moment and so, because she always maintains her awareness in one realm or the other. Fascinating read. Very fascinating and she’s she seems credible.

Rick: Yeah i have a friend named Harry Alto whom I’ve interviewed on this show three times and he said he hasn’t slept in about 60 years,

Karen: Same thing!

Rick: Body sleeps, he probably snores but he never loses pure awareness.

Karen: Most of us don’t remember.

Eben: That’s entering that realm of no time.

Rick: Right.

Eben: When our soul is in that dreamland and likewise, I would say during Anesthesia, our soul and conscious awareness in a very different aspect, it’s not in four-dimensional space-time, but it’s certainly out in that realm of more primordial consciousness.

Rick: And of course some people, go ahead.

Karen: You probably are going to say the same Thing. Some under anesthesia do maintain awareness.

Rick: Yeah, they see the the surgeons from the perspective of the ceiling or they see a red sneaker on the roof of the hospital or something like that.

Eben: Well certainly that stuff happens in the setting of an NDE and I would say an NDE kind of resets what is possible, just like terminal lucidity that often happens to a patient who might have been demented for months or years, comatose, what have you, but the phenomenon often witnessed in a hospice or in a dying setting, is that the soul can come back and reanimate, kind of take over that body again, even in spite of the fact that Doctors, physicalist, materialist doctors would say there’s no way,

Rick: Because the brand is so deteriorated, yeah. Yeah.

Eben: You know that the soul comes back in and manifests and has this beautiful access to memory and often at a time when they’re witnessing souls of departed loved ones, so that’s when, like my mother who passed over two years ago, she was deeply unresponsive for four days straight, but at 2:30 in the morning on the second of those days she woke up and was totally convinced her own mother was there in her presence and she wanted to call all her children. “Get the nurse in here, call my children, tell them my mother’s here.” And to me when I heard that, I knew, okay she’s getting very close, that’s an authentic sign that she’s really very close to leaving this world, when she had a very real connection and I’m not just saying that she thought it was real. It was real. Her mother was actually there, so that’s kind of the sine qua non, of those experiences, to tell us of their reality.

Rick: Another quick question from Omkar: “Why do NDE’s happen to only some people?”

Eben: Well, it’s a great question and I suspect it has to do with memory and that if you look at the numbers, it’s somewhere between 18 and 20 percent of people who say, for example have a cardiac arrest, and are clinically dead for a period of time roughly one in five of them will have something that qualifies as a near-death experience. And I would say that the other cases, are incomplete or kind of a failure of memory to recall it.

Karen: But also Paul Aurand, the hypnotherapist I mentioned earlier, he has been regressing people who had cardiac arrest with no memory of anything happening. He’s regressing them back to that moment and finding that they are able to retrieve some memories. So, I think you’re Right.

Eben: And also, there’s certainly a common story that sometimes people who have an NDE, say in midlife, will remember the events of an NDE when they were a child, where they didn’t remember any of the NDE events after that first NDE. So, in other words, the second NDE kind of restirs their memory of events that happened that for whatever reason, they didn’t bring back to this world after the first NDE.

Rick: I have a weird thing sometimes. This happens once in a while. I’ll remember some dream I had 40 years ago. I hadn’t remembered it the next morning but all of a sudden, “oh yeah, that dream it’s kind of cool.”

Eben: Well that’s because of the richness of that kind of realm of the one mind of our higher soul and we have access to all manner of information important to us.

Rick: Okay, here’s one from Matt in Vermont: ”Program forgetting of our real nature as spirit, of our eternal being, past lives, etc. seems to serve an important purpose- that life lessons are more meaningful when we aren’t aware of the true context of human life- but it seems that the veil of program forgetting is thinning. Ithe increased seeing through the veil an intended new phase of the program? Is the program changing?

Eben: I would say absolutely! That’s part of this awakening we’re talking about. The veil is thinning globally. More and more people are coming out and sharing these experiences. they’re being put out in the literature, put out in videos, put out for all the world to embrace, assemble, learn from, and I do believe the veil is very much thinning. You have to wonder how is the system even set up in the first place, that we’re not supposed to remember our dreams or remember our past life and between life memories beyond age five or six and I believe that the questioner here has hit the nail on the head in many ways, that serves the purpose of giving a skin in the game and some buy-in to these lives and in many ways NDE’s have kind of short-circuited that whole process, because up until the late 1960s, most cardiac arrest patients went on to die. Since we developed a resuscitation techniques in the late who have been to the other side and come back to share the tale and that I believe is an intentional part of the awakening that’s happening

Karen: And in terms of the veil thinning, the theory of the yuga cycles would say that’s actually very expected right now, because we’re in the energy age where we start to really identify with ourselves as energy and of course, that’s what’s happening in science since the electron was discovered back in the 1800s and so we’re rapidly moving into that energy age. We’re actually right in it, according to the yugas, and that is exactly what should happen, is the veil should start to thin.

Rick: Another sense in which I think the veil is thinning, which is actually related to the name of this program Buddha at the Gas Pump, is that I think, maybe a long time ago, a couple thousand years ago, it took a superman like the Buddha to break through the- it wasn’t even a veil, it was like a thick curtain that was blocking enlightenment, but these days it’s thin so much, perhaps because of the efforts of people like the Buddha or perhaps because like you say, the cycles of time, the yugas, that the veil is quite diaphanous now and lots of people are having spiritual awakenings. So, you may encounter a Buddha at the Gas Pump

Karen: Yeah and the lesson is: what do you do with that information? And they talk about this in the yugas how we end up destroying ourselves because we’re not using that power for good and so this power to interact with the energy created the nuclear bomb.

Rick: Yeah.

Karen: So, what have we done since then? We’ve avoided them and so if we can keep doing that and use this power only for good I would say then, we’ll go a lot further.

Eben: one of the deepest lessons, is through that binding force of love that is so apparent to virtually all near-death experiencers and other spiritual journeyers who have been that deep, that power of love is a very important feature and what I believe is we’ve been challenged to learn for thousands of years and yet humanity has not taken that lesson of love and the infinite healing power of love to heart and that’s why the scientific revolution is so important, because by bringing science and spirituality back together we’ll begin to refocus on that kind of prime directive of of love and kindness and compassion and forgiveness dominating our world.

Rick: K, next question from Nicole in Kansas City: “You mentioned dogs jumping in the place you went during your NDE. Did you see any animals you personally knew from your life? I ask this because I consider pets just as close as human family members”

Eben: I did not and I can tell you though, k that’s because you had amnesia.

Eben: I had amnesia, that’s an important piece of it and even though it’s an atypical feature, you don’t usually find that in NDE’s, I’ve come to realize in the months and years since my coma, that the amnesia was very important for some of the deepest lessons that that I gleaned from the experience. But that amnesia prevented me from having such recognitions

Karen: But I will tell you that Paul Aurand, one of the cases I’m recalling that he regressed a a cardiac arrest patient to a near-death Experience, this man, this Canadian, big hunter type guy encountered his hunting dog who had died, and it just put him into tears

Eben: And it was really kind of a funny story because he would, every time his heart would stop, he’s there in the spiritual world reuniting with his beloved pet and then the doctors would resuscitate him and he’d come back and he’s like “No! I don’t want to be here! I want to be with my dog!”

Karen: Yeah, so it’s funny but yes, all evidence courts points towards pets being there,

Eben: Yeah, it’s one of the biggest myths of 20th century science, that animals don’t have a rich, spiritual existence and I think that’s a huge lesson that needs to come from this scientific revolution about the nature of Consciousness, is we need to treat all animals with that respect because they are spiritual beings too. They share in this one mind experience that we’re in.

Rick: Yeah. I saw a sweet cartoon the other day. It was like the gates of heaven and St. Peter’s standing there and then there’s a dog and a cat sitting outside the gate and they’re kind of looking off in the other direction and St. Peter’s like: “Come on in” and they said: “No we’re waiting for someone.”

Eben: That’s right.

Karen: We hope we’ll see copper there’s Copper.

Rick: He was just sleeping on the floor here.

Karen: Yeah so it’s this one

Rick: Okay here comes another question. This one is from Ravi from Rajkumar in Delhi: “Please ask Eben about his profound encounter with God or Om as he puts it and the wisdom that can be shared from that encounter.”

Eben: Well, I would say what I’ve come to realize is that infinitely loving and healing force of love of God it doesn’t matter if you want to call it God or Brahman or Allah Vishnu, Jehovah, Yahweh, Great Spirit, all those names are misleading because there’s really a one unifying force of love and connection of kindness, compassion, acceptance, right at the core of this universe that I would say is the very source of our conscious awareness. It’s a complete redefining of the nature of God and consciousness that in many ways emerged from my journey, but it showed me that the apparent darkness and evil in this world is really just the lack of the light and love of that infinitely healing power of that God force. Any of us can recover that force of love and another important corollary to this, is there’s not an actual opposing spiritual force of darkness or evil, those are just the absence of that light and love. That’s why unconditional love has such infinite power to heal all wounds and to heal this world.

Karen: And why did you call that deity Om?

Eben: I call that deity OM, because that was the sound that was so deeply memorable from that core version of the experience, the core realm as I call it, was dominated by this. For one thing I had the higher dimensional multiverse there it collapsed down into these eternal over spheres are the lessons I was to learn, but that was in the midst of this infinite dimensional infinity and eternity, that gave me that resonant sound of OM, that’s what I called that deity when I came back to this world and it has nothing to do with any kind of religious predisposition it just is the natural groundwork of my journey and of my realization of the kind of personal linkage of that infinitely loving god force.

Rick: Yeah, it’s interesting to consider that we don’t have dark bulbs that emit Dark, we have light bulbs. And if we have a dark room, no matter how long it’s been dark, as soon as you turn on a light bulb you’re adding a second element, so to speak, and the darkness is Dispelled.

Karen: That’s a great analogy. I love that.

Eben: That’s what it’s all about, that spiritual realm has an infinite supply of love and light and any of us can serve to bring that into our own lives and to this world at large.

Rick: Yeah. Okay this may be the final question. Another…. okay, this is from another Ravi but it’s a different Ravi than the previous one Ravi Dadlani. Okay, yes, the first question was asked already so the second question is: “As a physician, how has your understanding of disease changed after your NDE? Do you still believe in the germ theory as an etiology for infectious disease? What’s your take on the karma theory of disease?”

Eben: Well I would say there’s a much more along the lines of the karma notion and for in my own life and looking back on it for example, there’re several things where at the time I might have thought i was going through a real hardship. For example, in 1991 my family and I came to a decision that I needed to stop drinking alcohol. I never had any trouble at work, but on my nights off I tended to rely too heavily on a drink and so I stopped. I look back on the gift of that -not being that i stopped drinking alcohol, but the gift was that I was born alcoholic in the first place because that gave me a stage setting and a certain set of hardships that actually enabled me to grow. Likewise, my meningoencephalitis in a weakened coma due to a disease that should have killed me was a tremendous gift and of course many people would say “Well, it’s a gift because you came back.” Well Yeah, that’s very true because when you look at near-death experiences with this kind of healing, you realize that miraculous a kind of extraordinary, unexpected healing is within the realm of human potential when we have this kind of overlap with our spiritual self. So, it’s a deeper knowing of “connected with the universe” in a sense of purpose. In fact, there’s a book by a friend of mine Dr. Nauman Naeem, N-a-e-m, called “The Healing from the Inside Out.” He’s a pulmonologist intensivist so he spent all his time working with extremely sick people in ICU’s and his book is a beautiful example of how illness can actually lead your soul into tremendous growth that really couldn’t be accomplished any other way, so these hardships can be tremendous gifts when looked at in the proper way and I’ve come to fully believe that in many ways our higher souls and soul groups do select the challenges and hardships in life and in many ways those are the true kind of mileposts and indicators of a pathway forward. It’s how we deal with those hardships and challenges, are we able to recover a sense of love and purpose with the universe in the midst of these challenges and that’s where I believe we can really grow and come to see the hardships as gifts and in many ways, that’s altered the wayI look at kind of disease and illness and injury and all of that, is to look more kind of the gift nature of these challenges.

Rick: Yeah, and I don’t think everything you just said would contradict germ theory. It’s, like, a person can’t …

Karen: germ theory’s still valid.

Eben: Germ theory is still very valid but they’re just like those FMRI’s of people on Psilocybin. It’s not going to give you all the answers. You need to dig deep.

Rick: Yeah,

Eben: And likewise, that’s why I love Anna Yusim, who we work with. She’s a psychiatrist who wrote that pilot study looking at sacred acoustics and relief of anxiety but she wrote a beautiful book called “Fulfilled” and it’s about a spiritual approach to psychiatry that I think is incredibly valuable in the current era to help people kind of come into alignment with who they truly are with this higher soul notion of self with a very optimistic way of looking at the hardships and challenges in life, as opportunities for growth and Transformation.

Rick: Yeah well the reason I said that, is that these days there’s some people walking around who say things like “oh I don’t need to wear a mask, I don’t need to social Distance, I don’t need to do this or that. I just have a strong immune system, I believe in myself.” and stuff like that, so obviously strong immune system and not having underlying …

Karen: What about not infecting others if you’re an asymptomatic carrier?

Eben: there are some holes in that argument.

Rick: Dyou ever see that graphic about, if everybody walked around naked -this is a little gross- but if everybody walked around naked and some guy peed on you, you’d get wet. Now, if you had pants on and he peed on you, you’d get less wet but if he had pants on, you wouldn’t get wet at all. The example of why wearing a mask works.

Eben: Well for the mask issue I would say, we drive on the right side of the road and we all kind of accept that that keeps us safer than if we just drive on any side of the road we want to drive on I would say mask wearing is like driving on the right side of the road

Karen: Or seatbelts

Eben: It’s just good public health. Just do it. It’s not a political.

Rick: Yeah

Eben: And it’s just to protect each other

Rick: right and we don’t say that not being allowed to drive 90 miles an hour on the highway is a restriction of my freedom, If I’m the only car on the highway then maybe I could do that but obviously, there are other people involved

Eben: Exactly, good point.

Rick: All right … if that’s kind of a weird note to end on but we’ve covered a lot of ground

Karen: Yeah,

Eben: We have. You’ve done an excellent job.

Rick: You’ve done all the work, I’ve just asked a few questions.

Eben: questions and you’ve kind of steered it in a beautiful direction.

Karen: I takes a good interviewer, to make a good interview.

Eben: We do a lot of these so, we recognize when somebody is an expert and you were definitely…

Karen: And Rick, I just want to thank you. I’ve heard of your program for many years and I just want to thank you for doing all of this and now I’ve learned a little bit more about you and people like you are critical to helping the world awaken and to move forward and bringing all of the varied voices that you bring to your program is just so inspiring and helpful. So thanks for all that you do.

Eben: We really appreciate …

Rick: And thank you. You must experience when people say “Oh thank you so much”, you must feel like ”Am I really doing anything? I’m just doing what I love and it’s not even me doing it” and it’s just so it’s almost inappropriate to accept thanks.

Eben: Well it really is, you’ve hit the nail on the head. This is an authentic kind of heartfelt way of living life, helping others, helping the world to wake up and to me it just goes far beyond what I could ever do as a doctor trying to help individual patients as a Neurosurgeon. I feel like I’m able to help more in this particular fashion so I’m doing what I love to do.

Rick: That’s great

Eben: And you seem to be the same.

Rick: Yeah ,sometimes I feel like people who have NDE’s, it was almost a Setup. It’s like “We’re going to give this guy an NDE, we’re going to send him back and then he’s going to be an emissary for what he’s going to learn.”

Karen: A lot of NDErs end up telling saying- Anita Moorjani being one of them and Mary Neal especially, I don’t know if you know Mary Neal’s case, an orthopedic surgeon but she was told you’re going to come back and share this with people and she really didn’t want to. She still doesn’t want to but

Eben: She’s doing a beautiful job.

Rick: That’s great. All right, well thank you so much and thank you for those, to those who’ve been listening or watching, sorry we had a little glitch with our question form. We’ll figure what the problem with that was and there are many more Scheduled. If you look at the upcoming interviews page you’ll see what we’ve got coming up and usually scheduled two or three months in advance and just keep pushing it forward. This is our 12th season now of doing this and I hope to at least do another 12 I don’t know how he feels about that

Eben: Well keep it up you’re doing a great job.

Rick: And for people who want to stay in touch with us on a reasonable basis with us, beyond eben alexander.com and sacred acoustics.com. I would suggest our bi-weekly webinar that Karen and i have been doing for more than a year now, interviewing guests and you can access that unitedinhopeandhealing.com.

Rick: Okay, send me a link to that

Eben: Well, we’ll send you a link…

Rick: because I don’t think I have that on my list of things to link to so send me a link to that and I’ll put that on the show notes and

Eben: All right Rick, thanks so much

Karen: Thank you so much

Rick: Okay thank you and we’ll hopefully we’ll run into each other in person

Eben: All right. We’d love it

Karen: all right thanks

Rick: All right bye

Karen & Eben: bye bye