Alexander's second book, The Map of Heaven: How Science, Religion, and Ordinary People Are Proving the Afterlife, was published in October 2014, where he again asserted the existence of an afterlife and that consciousness is independent of the brain. Alexander framed his observations with quotations from spiritual teachers and paired them with the recent work of scientists with the aim of bridging religion and science. He cross-referenced spiritual experiences from readers and different religions to build his case on what heaven looked like. The Map of Heaven was number 12 on the New York Times bestseller list during the week ending November 2, 2014.
The basic story is that Alexander, a neurosurgeon, was infected by a virulent strain of bacterial meningitis and was put in intensive care for seven days in 2008. Doctors also used drugs to induce a coma, which shuts down part of the brain. After his infection had subsided, he awoke from his coma, sure that he had experiences of heaven. He gave an elaborate account of it which takes up most of the book, complete with descriptions of millions of butterflies, and seeing his late sister in a peasant dress and having a conversation with her. He asserts that he was medically dead during this time, that his cerebral cortex was shut down, and that he miraculously came back to life with a memory of a pleasant short trip to celestial paradise. 153554b96e