Science, transcendence, and belief: commonalities in our neurology and psychology

5 Feb

Interesting article.

Statement form articles ~: “There are populations who spend their lives in deep meditation seeking transcendent phenomenon, a conversation with or a phone call from a god, and with these activities they are activating specialized neural pathways in their parietal lobes and interpreting it as supernatural or mystical. It’s probably pleasurable, making the activity more likely to be repeated.”


Transcendent experiences

As I’ve written about previously, belief in ideas may be innate aspect of our psychology and neurology, and this may be an evolutionary byproduct. To understand belief, understanding transcendent experiences is important, and a search on the internet will provide thousands of alleged supernatural encounters with god, Jesus, Vishnu, angels, and other related experiences. There are new research instruments and adapted old tools that allow investigation into these phenomenons, such as fMRI, nMRI, SPECT and PET scans, which allow cognitive researchers and neuroscientists to further elucidate these claims.

For example, the ancient Greeks called epilepsy the sacred disease because those afflicted frequently suffered with transcendent experiences during their auras and described their post ictal or after seizure period in mystical terms. Now of course, we understand the uncontrolled electrical spiking pattern that occurs on an EEG as resulting from epileptiform activity that gives rise to these altered states…

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