After reading 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper, it seems clear to me that Eben Alexander was accurate when he wrote: “At the risk of oversimplifying, I was allowed to die harder, and travel deeper, than almost all NDE subjects before me” (Proof of Heaven 78).
Don Piper arrived at a place that contained all the overtones of what he believed. This included a “pearlescent” gate and streets paved with “literal gold” (34). Perhaps that happened because his brain wasn’t as “dead” as Alexander’s was. To a certain extent, we could say that Piper’s brain “filter” (Alexander’s word) was still somewhat operational and still organizing reality into constructs that Piper, an ordained pastor, was comfortable with.
One of the commonalities of many NDE’s is that the people have trouble putting what happened into words. They offer images that they say are weak comparisons to what they saw and heard. Not so Piper. I find this interesting.