On Martha’s Bookshelf: Proof of Heaven

You may have noticed the kerfuffle of attention around a new book called Proof of Heaven, by Dr. Eben Alexander. The author was an academic neurosurgeon who taught at Harvard Medical School for fifteen years and published scores of articles in medical journals. He had heard some of his patients describe “near-death experiences” and was quite sure their occurrences were explained by random firing of the distressed neurons in their brains.
 
A few years ago Dr. Alexander developed a freakishly rare bacterial meningitis. By the time he was diagnosed, he was in a deep coma and the disease had literally eaten the entire cortex of his brain. The coma lasted seven days, during which Alexander was closely monitored and known to have no cortical function. This meant that he was unable to use any sections of the brain that have to do with cognition of any kind. As he puts it, his brain was not just damaged; it was off. 
 
I’m sure you saw this coming: the entire time Dr. Alexander’s brain was essentially Jell-O he was having one hell of a near-death experience. He describes entering a dimension of existence that made his “real” life as a physical being seem like a flimsy transparent dream. He learned more than his brain can presently articulate, but the most important of these lessons were these three statements: “You are loved and cherished, dearly, forever.” “You have nothing to fear.” “There is nothing you can do wrong.”
 
For fans of near-death experiences, this is not new information. However, Dr. Alexander’s experience is what he calls “the perfect storm” of near-death experiences. He is a trained neuroscientist, more capable than most of us at understanding what can happen in the brain. He was under the closest medical supervision. Unlike most people who undergo near-death experiences, his entire brain was simply not functioning during his adventure. He humbly expresses a belief that he was given this experience, on top of his lifelong training, so that he could be in a position to not only tell his story but to be believed. I highly recommend this quick and fascinating read. You definitely want to go on this ride with the good doctor. By the way his recovery of full cognitive function after such severe brain damage is virtually impossible. Go figure.

On Martha’s Bookshelf: Busting Loose From the Money Game

One of my Montana friends, a brilliant and eminently sane lawyer, lent me a book that at first glance did not appeal to me at all. It’s called Busting Loose From the Money Game by Robert Scheinfeld. I was thrilled to receive it, though, because lately I’ve been quite preoccupied with the issue of helping people make a practical physical living while entering what I call the new consciousness.
 
“Aha!” I thought, “This will give me the language to talk to businessy folks who don’t wander through my corner of Blissville even on their way to buy milk.” I was all excited to come down out of the clouds to get some firmly grounded financial strategies for my clients and coaches.
 
Well, or not.
 
Scheinfeld’s pathway to prosperity involves exactly the same kind of “woo woo procedures” I keep writing about in my own work. Essentially, Scheinfeld believes that our entire reality is a kind of movie being scripted, acted out, and filmed by pure consciousness.
 
This is not what I expected from a book whose cover depicts two businessmen and a lot of dollar bills. I would never ask you to believe what Robert Scheinfeld believes, however; I would invite you to try his methods. As always, my criterion for accepting any premise is very simple: does it work? Scheinfeld’s method has been working for me for decades now. I am relieved that someone else has been willing to codify the procedure so that I can offer it to my financially anxious loved ones—and then bounce away like Tigger to play in the fields of infinite abundance. By the way, that abundance is not in my bank account, it is in the field of consciousness itself.

On Martha’s Bookshelf: The Night Circus

The book I’m recommending this month is a delicious read, and also has educational components for any wacky tribe members. It’s called The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. The author has a delicious time creating magical realism—painting pictures with words but, paradoxically, creating a wordless response in the reader. The world Morgenstern dreams up is a place read more…

On Martha’s Bookshelf: Philip Pullman

This month, as usual, I’ve read a lot of self-help, brain research and random manuscripts given to me by hopeful coaches. The books that impacted me most, though, were recommended by my dear South African friend Kate Groch, who is not only a genius, but also one who understands enjoyment and enchantment. She recommended Philip Pullman’s trilogy read more…