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Does Our Brain/Environment Create God?


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#1    InnerSpace

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 05:18 PM

I would like to explore the possibility that perhaps environmental and biological/neurological factors might play a major role in our belief in God.   I hope people (believers) are not offended by what I'm going to share.  I do not mean to offend in any way.  While it may seem that some of the information I'm about to share belongs in a blog, I'm sharing details and background with you so you can have a better understanding of where I'm coming from with my questions.  I apologize for the length of my post.  

When I was around 4, I started having experiences that I didn't understand.  Neither did the doctors or my parents.   I had hallucinations, sort of like night terrors, yet I was wide awake.  I use to lived close to fault-line in California.  After moving from CA, the hallucinations stopped.  I had been experiencing them on a regular basis for 5 or 6  years.  I would not experience these type of hallucinations again until I became a young adult.

I had been raised Catholic, however, I wasn't very religious... per se.  After the passing of my husband, I started having "spiritual" experiences...seeing angels, demons, etc.   As a side note:  my late husband experienced a closed-head injury, and afterwards became very religious and started seeing "demons".   Becoming very religious is common, neurologically speaking, after head trauma.   I didn’t know that at the time, and believed he was having spiritual warfare, because his pastor told him that was the case.  Before his head trauma, he was not religious at all, and bordered on being a skeptic.  

After his death, I became very involved in church.  I wanted to become a Christian counselor.  I continued to have "spiritual" experiences, and they seemed to be confirmed by religious (Christian) teachings.  I studied the Bible fervently.  I knew it from cover to cover, and could quote scripture in my sleep, lol. I ended up with a double major in Theology & Psychology.  It seemed that the more I studied the Bible,  the more I seemed to be under "demonic" attack.  When I shared my experiences with other Christians, they would tell me I was experiencing "spiritual warfare".  I believe them.  It made sense, and certainly was confirmed by what the Bible taught.

I started having sleep paralysis, but wasn't aware that I was experiencing SP at the time.  I shared these experiences with pastors and was again told I was under satanic attack.  I was put through 3 horrifying deliverance experiences.  There efforts to "deliver" me of these so called demons were fruitless, and unfortunately, I was told that I must have some unforgiven sin in my life.  I did a lot of soul searching and spent a lot of time praying and fasting.  I began to experience serious depression, and I felt like God was disappointed in me, yet I was determined to draw closer and closer to “him“.  The more I drew closer to god, the more I came under “demonic” attack, it seemed.

Believers told me this was common, as did the Scriptures.   Several years later, my studies led me out of Christianity.  I was in spiritual crisis.   Then, I had a vision of “God” and angels.  This had a profound effect on me and my depression lifted.   I was experiencing shear bliss like I'd never experience before.  I had left Christianity, so this seemed strange to me.

Because of my late husbands condition, I became very interested neurology and studied in the neurobehavioral science field.  This led me to neurotechnology.  I started experimenting with brainwave entrainment, which uses frequencies in the form of binaural beat or isochronic pulses. To my surprise I was able to induce these same "spiritual" type experiences.  I had visions of angelic beings and would become completely euphoric.  This really amazed me, and I poured myself into more neurological studies with emphasis on environmental effects on the brain.  I eventually got a degree in the neuroscience field so I could incorporate this technology in my counseling practice.  

I began to use this technology on patients/clients to help them cope with stress, etc., and I noticed that when I gave them certain frequencies between the 5 to 8 Hz range (Theta/Alpha),  some would have “spiritual” experiences just like I did.  Experienced meditators have learned to slow their brainwaves down to the Theta/Alpha states, and encounter these same type experiences.

Being a member of a neurology forum, I shared my personal childhood experiences with colleagues.   What I was to discover would change my life forever.  I was diagnosed with Temporal Lobe Epilepsy.  This isn’t the same kind of epilepsy that most are aware of, such as the Tonic Clonic aka Grand Mal, where you have outward signs of seizure activity, i.e., falling to the ground, convulsing, etc.    These microseizures were only affecting my temporal lobes, and I learned that my “spiritual” experiences were actually hallucinations caused by scaring on my temporal lobes. Hyper-religiosity is a symptom of TLE as well.  

Temporal Lobe Epilepsy is a very misunderstood condition, and many go undiagnosed or they are misdiagnosed as having mental illness.  The reason I brought up the fact that I use to lived close to a fault-line was because studies have shown that people with TLE or who have a low threshold due to perhaps some type of scaring in the temporal lobe regions, are especially affected by seismic activity.  I was living in an area that has some of the highest seismic activity in the world.  Isn't it odd that my hallucinations discontinued after I moved away from this seismically active area, and they didn’t start back up until after experiencing trauma in my life.  

I can’t honestly tell you if there is a god or not, due to  my own personal experiences.  How can one ever know if they’ve actually had a “spiritual” encounter, when conditions such as TLE and technology such as brainwave entrainment and magnetic signals placed on the temporal lobes can induce visions of Christ, angels, demons, etc.  In other cultures, TLE &  technology produce visions of their own version of god.  

Studies have shown that during brain surgery, doctors have induced  “spiritual” phenomena on patients by stimulating the temporal lobes, (the source of mystic and religious experiences), so how can we ever be certain that what we’ve experienced is actually a true “God” experience, and not something induced by electromagnetic/geomagnetic energies fields, neurotechnology, neurological/biological phenamena.   Through my studies, I’ve learned that most everyone has had at least one TL phenomena in their life-time, and for some it changes their personality forever.  Many become very religious, which again, can be quite common with TLE.    Also, if you look at the Middle East (the hub of 3 major religions), there is a lot of seismic activity in that region.  How do we know that those who had so called visions of god, weren’t actually having some form of Temporal Lobe phenamena brought on by neurological/environmental factors.  I find it interesting that having these types of microseizures can cause people to become compulsive writers as well.  It's called hypergraphia.  Since my TLE is now being managed, I no longer have spiritual/visual type experiences, unless I deliberately create them via technology.  

It appears to me that the brain, along with the right environmental/neurological factors may create god experiences, and that perhaps one of the reasons mankind created religion was to explain this phenomena.  I am not completely discounting the existence of God,  but in reality, how can one really be certain of their own beliefs & experiences.  Thank you for taking the time to read my post, and again, my apologies for the length.  What are your thought?

Edited:typos

Edited by Inner Space, 05 March 2008 - 09:15 PM.

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#2    InnerSpace

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 05:30 PM




THE SPIRITUAL PERSONALITY

"Summary-The personalities of people who are involved with spiritual practices like prayer, meditation and ceremony are shaped by the altered-state experiences their spirituality creates. The part of the brain that manages our states of consciousness, the temporal lobes, is a little busier in these people than most, producing personality traits that appear over and over among spiritually oriented people.

Spirituality means different things to different people. We need to find a definition for it here that will let us connect to both the scientific understanding of spirituality, and the spiritual traditions of the world. One definition that works pretty well is 'being prone to altered states of consciousness.' It doesn't matter whether a person is drawn to union with God, 'oneness with the universe', the state of total 'emptiness' of Zen, the experience of channeling the spirits as a medium, or to heal others through prayer or 'energy.' Each of these only happens when a person enters a different, 'special' state of consciousness. There are other ways of seeing spirituality, but looking at it this way will bring out some features of the spiritual process that we might miss using if we emphasize other aspects. Many people who are involved in spiritual practice object to hearing it 'defined' or 'labeled'. I would ask such people to remember that definitions will be a part of any attempts at integrating spirituality with science, because science always defines its terms.

Our states of consciousness are managed in the temporal lobes of our brains. The temporal lobes do all sorts of things including language, long-term memory storage, emotional reactions, perceiving spatial relationships, and music. Smells are interpreted here, as well as patterns, whether these are patterns in time or in space. Most importantly, the human sense of self is maintained here, in all its guises including our feelings of self-worth, and our sense of being an independent person."

Article continues/Source.

Edited by Inner Space, 05 March 2008 - 06:23 PM.

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#3    Leonardo

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 08:59 PM

An interesting and, if I might say, courageous topic to start a thread on, IS. Hat's off to you for having the courage to post what you did and for making us think about how our mind really controls who we are and what we experience.

I'd like to make a point, as well, about how our environment influences what we may experience.

I grew up without any religious influence of any kind. My family were non-religious (or extremely non-practicing of any beliefs they may have held) and none of my friends when I was young were religious. The schools I attended were secular in the extreme and I have never studied, nor even read in large parts, the bible. So the only knowledge I had of Western Christianity was the small amount I picked up from the media and from reading or social interaction with others who knew a little more than I did - but I was never curious about religion at all. All-in-all, I'm about as non-religious as a person can get...I don't consider myself an atheist, however, more a skeptical agnostic.

Several years ago I was going through a very difficult time in my life and one event was mainly to blame for that - the loss of my child. Without going into details I was wracked by guilt and bordering on complete breakdown when I had what I can only describe as a vision. In this vision my child appeared to me as a figure of light and reassured me. Upon the passing of the vision I did break down, but I felt somehow emptied of all my guilt.

Now, some would suggest the vision was heavenly and angelic, and I cannot deny the imagery a figure of light conveys - however there was nothing in my vision that cried out to me "religious", and I certainly had no sense of anything divine.

Juxtaposing my experience with yours, I can see that I perhaps experienced a seizure, although there is no evidence of epilepsy in my family and I have suffered no head trauma that I know of which could induce cerebral scarring. It's likely the seizure was brought on by my extreme emotional state as a coping mechanism, inducing the imagery and the feeling of freedom from guilt in an attempt at self-redaction to allow me to move past the self-destructive negativity I was wrapping myself in.

Interesting, though, that my experience was free of religion - noting my non-religious background - whereas yours not only gave you the sense of the divine, it led you to absorbing yourself in religion. Your background, though, would seem to have impressed all the necessary imagery already into your young mind and it's probable that what you experienced was, in part, a product of your social environment.

The danger, I suppose, of discussing 'seizures' is people are going to immediately think 'epilepsy' and 'mentally ill' or 'damaged'. From my experience, and yours, though, I can see this is not necessarily the case and seizures can be the result of stress and extreme emotions. In fact this is probably more common than any other cause of seizure. I hope more people comment on what you have started here.  original.gif

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#4    Sherapy

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 09:56 PM

Inner space, excellent thread my dear friend....

yes yes yes, our culture, our conditionings, our fugues from childhood, being fed on a  steady diet of hellfire and damnation all color and shape our exerpiences, our perspectives...

I have had many visions encounters  of what  I have been conditioned to label as divine and therefore from a diety, or prophetic and of a revelatory nature, ....etc etc

the most  significant was hearing a voice in my head for several hours during a very stressful time in my life, a murdered sister and a divorce..... I will not go into much detail either but as Leo i was at a very dark place and this exeprince was ephiphanous in that it  propelled me very quicly to a new perpective, i say a rebirth of sorts  a bliss as you stated and also i was Athiest at the  time......I was most likely hallucinating or possibly   as you are describing.... IMO....very common in high stress situations....

do i consider this from  a diety heck no, no no no no not for a second  and I will tell you why... after the age of 7 I would  enter into a enviorment that   was free of religion and  great emphasis was on thinking for my self not being told what to think.....for this I am truly grateful i had the great oppourtunity to be raised by grandparents that   were wise beyond their times...

even though i defined some experinces out of the  dogmas and there attached superstitions as we can see illustrated in my post... we see culture  and conditionings  and early childhood in it..the propensity to beleive  in imaginary things as i say.is cultural ........... it leaves an  imprint... I have to be aware of this all the time....

all data is recycled  and passed on and there actually was a study done  on kids that had no religious influences that  seemed to have the same upbringings as the relgious in specific the reward punishment  construct that is used in parenting  for example)....the study inferred  that religion permeates our culture so much its effects are far reaching even  in a seemingly non religious enviorment.....( I forget the study sorry) I am paraphrasing  from memory....


IS few understand  the mind, few understand the thinking apparatus and its limitations, few understand  tactile experinces and thier limitations , few understand that logic is only as good as the one using it etc etc...  few are  not thinking at all. to be perfectly honest...few have enviorments that understand this proces, let alone cultivate a well balanced mind........Few can step back and frame arguements, few understand what arguementation actaully is and its not  personal attacks and being right ......the reason really is so many have  not been  'taught' yes its as simplistic as that  .... "how to think"( our educational systems  are set up to tell one what to think,  data is seriously limited) Many and I mean many  have been told what to think...


there in lies the greatest issue facing mankind a this point  we do not have enough humans who can think and technologys that   are beyond many..its like putting matches in a  5 year olds hands..we see the effects of this all over....

hats off to you for addressing this  with the grace and politeness that  you emote....


My philosphy proffessor told us that   95 percent of the population  have no awareness on philosophy until college level and only 5 percent then....

I concur...its a major impedement that  so few know how theri mind works  let alone how to use it....and we are approaching a point where we may not be able to think our way out of the mess we have created out of ignorance and  great misunderstandings and this huge dysfunction called needing to be right.........

sorry for the length hon....

Edited by Supra Sheri, 05 March 2008 - 11:35 PM.


#5    Sherapy

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 11:40 PM

Inner space, I want to  be sure and tell you  i read your posts  3 times each , they are very insightful and i had no idea you were a theology major..I  will pm you why its sort of funny that we have the same interests...

I hope alot of people take the time to read this....its very exciting the new things we are discovering from research..


#6    InnerSpace

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 01:16 PM

Leonardo on Mar 5 2008, 03:59 PM, said:

An interesting and, if I might say, courageous topic to start a thread on, IS. Hat's off to you for having the courage to post what you did and for making us think about how our mind really controls who we are and what we experience.  I'd like to make a point, as well, about how our environment influences what we may experience.


Leo, I am profoundly moved that you shared something so personal.  Thank you, I know it wasn't easy, and I really appreciate that you saw the importance of bringing the "personal" element into this because I feel it's necessary when discussing such a sensitive subject.  This is why I shared so personally in my OP before I started to present the scientific data. I've walked the same paths as many here, and felt it necessary to bring my personal experiences into the picture.  I hope that it will help people to know that I can relate.  It's been rather apparent that science and religion have often been at odds with each other, so if I had of just presented the scientific data concerning religion/beliefs and the brain, I would be concerned that readers might feel the OP was insensitive to others beliefs.   This is something I've wanted to discuss for quite a while, but due to the sensitive nature of the subject, I've been reluctant.  I respect other's beliefs, and in no way want to belittle them.  I feel that beliefs help us to cope with life and death anxiety and religion contains a lot beauty, but I also feel that many people who have had "bad" experiences, i.e., feeling like they are demon possessed or tormented by them, could possibly find solace in the information I'm going to present.  I hope it will be liberating for some.  It certainly was for me.  It grieves me so to see so many here appearing to be tormented by their experiences, and perhaps if they can understand from a neurological standpoint, what's actually going on, it might relieve some of their anxiety.  

Supra Sheri on Mar 5 2008, 04:56 PM, said:

The danger, I suppose, of discussing 'seizures' is people are going to immediately think 'epilepsy' and 'mentally ill' or 'damaged'. From my experience, and yours, though, I can see this is not necessarily the case and seizures can be the result of stress and extreme emotions. In fact this is probably more common than any other cause of seizure. I hope more people comment on what you have started here.  original.gif


Yes, I can see why people would want to shy away from this kind of information, because, unfortunately, there is a huge stigma concerning the brain, and it is my hope that this thread will help to do away with perhaps some of this stigma.  Nobody should feel that if they've had visions they are "damaged".  Our brain has an amazing way of allowing us to cope with life and its sometimes unfortunate experiences.  We have an amazing ability to survive the many stresses life brings to the table, and so it is my hope that this thread will evolve and shed some light on what actually takes place in the brain and psyche with regard to our beliefs, cultural influences and environmental factors.  

Supra Sheri on Mar 5 2008, 04:56 PM, said:

Inner space, excellent thread my dear friend....yes yes yes, our culture, our conditionings, our fugues from childhood, being fed on a  steady diet of hellfire and damnation all color and shape our exerpiences, our perspectives...I have had many visions encounters  of what  I have been conditioned to label as divine and therefore from a diety, or prophetic and of a revelatory nature, ....etc etc.  The most  significant was hearing a voice in my head for several hours during a very stressful time in my life, a murdered sister and a divorce.....


Sheri, thank you so much for your support, and for also coming forward with your experiences.  I am deeply sorry to hear about your sister.   Thank you for your courage in sharing something so very painful and personal.  

Supra Sheri on Mar 5 2008, 06:40 PM, said:

Inner space, I want to  be sure and tell you  i read your posts  3 times each , they are very insightful and i had no idea you were a theology major..I  will pm you why its sort of funny that we have the same interests... I hope alot of people take the time to read this....its very exciting the new things we are discovering from research..


Wow, thank you.  original.gif  I really wavered with regard to sharing my educational background, but in the end, felt it necessary.   Neurology, psychology & theology will be incorporated in this subject, as all three play major roles in our beliefs and perceptions.

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#7    REBEL

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 02:16 PM

Havn't had a chance to go over it all, late for me here but it looks like you thoroughly researched this, kudos IS. thumbsup.gif
I admit in part it's a little outta my league in fully understanding but just for now what SS briefly stated up top of her post was the nail smack on the head...

...our culture, our conditionings, our fugues from childhood, being fed on a steady diet of hellfire and damnation all color and shape our experiences, our perspectives...

loosing our true sense of reality & self worth early on in our mental and or even physical development of who we really are as spiritual human beings as opposed to human doings. If we're all 'conditioned' to think alike & or in a certain way then who's really thinking?. <--read that somewhere lol!


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#8    InnerSpace

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 06:13 PM

REBEL on Mar 6 2008, 09:16 AM, said:

loosing our true sense of reality & self worth early on in our mental and or even physical development of who we really are as spiritual human beings as opposed to human doings. If we're all 'conditioned' to think alike & or in a certain way then who's really thinking?. <--read that somewhere lol!


Hey REBEL, it's great seeing you around these here parts, you brave soul, you!!!   grin2.gif

Yes, I couldn't agree more with you and Sheri. You brought up a great point with mentioning losing our true sense of reality and self worth, especially self worth, and I plan to address that, because that does seem to play a part in our beliefs.  

Hope you plan on hanging out some, as I always enjoy your input and fresh perspective!!  Thanks for the kudos.  original.gif


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#9    Bella-Angelique

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 06:26 PM

Inner Space on Mar 5 2008, 12:18 PM, said:

How can one ever know if they’ve actually had a “spiritual” encounter, when conditions such as TLE and technology such as brainwave entrainment and magnetic signals placed on the temporal lobes can induce visions of Christ, angels, demons, etc.


There was a lot the ancients did not know but the basics they were aware of.
There was a big difference between what they called visions and visitations.
Visions would fall under what you have described, but not the visitations.
Visions did not alter or destroy objects and people while many visitations did tend to do this.

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#10    Leonardo

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 06:50 PM

I'm going to make an assumption on the part of IS here and state that I don't consider this thread to be an attempt to 'destroy' God or religion, but a discussion that might evoke thought about specific experiences people have had and provide some comfort that those experiences are related to how our mind responds to extreme situations in creating an internal environment in which that situation can be tolerated or understood/translated.

The purpose in understanding that some of these experiences are entirely within ourselves is allowing the experiencer to recognise they are actually in control and so can alleviate the stress the experience promotes. In the case of 'demonic visitations' for example, the sense of lack of control (as the 'demon' is perceived to be an entity separate from the experiencer) heightens the fear and stress. Recognising symptoms of seizures and relating them to our own experiences can help others relate their experiences and perhaps ameliorate them somewhat.

There is no suggestion that ALL such experiences should be considered seizure-related, and I can see no pressure or argument here telling people their experiences weren't exactly as they thought them to be.

Edited by Leonardo, 06 March 2008 - 06:50 PM.

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#11    InnerSpace

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 06:53 PM

linked-image~ ~ ~ ~ ~ linked-image

First, I'd like to address what is known as a "sensed presence".  This is a rather common phenomena, especially when someone is meditating or using some form of neurotechnology, i.e., brainwave entrainment.  This has happened often with some of my clients, and this is due to the fact that some are more susceptible to experience a "sensed presence" than others.  When they do experience this during a session, it's very difficult to convince them in the beginning that it was all in their head, so to speak, and that no one was actually in the session room with them.  Some have gotten really creeped out and never returned, because they were truly convinced that someone was indeed in the room with them.  This often happens during sleep paralysis as well.

The Amygdala is an emotional structure,a control centre for the emotions. The left is specialized for positive emotions, and the right for negative ones.  The Anterior Commisure is dedicated to two-way communication between the two amygdala(s).  It's 38% larger in women than men.  The Hippocampus is a cognitive structure. The one on the right is specialized for positive expectations (and cognitive style) and the one on the left for negative ones.  These structures are the foundation of the limbic system, there coded with the ones that feel positive when activated

Ordinarily, our two 'selves' (left and right hemispheres of the brain) work in tandem with one another. The one on the left is sort of in charge of things, but constantly gets input from the sense of self on the other side. Both of them are accustomed (or habituated) to this arrangement. But, once in a while, (or for some people, quite often) the two fall out of phase with one another, and the left-sided 'self' manifests by itself. When this happens, we experience our own, right-sided, silent sense of self coming out where the left sided sense of self can and does experience it. The experience has many forms...possibly a different form for each person who has it. And maybe a slightly different one each time they have it. Dreams do that too. And so does the sensation of having a self...f being 'me'.

All together, they're called 'visitor experiences'. In it's most subtle form, it appears as the feeling that one is 'not alone' or that they're 'being watched'. They might feel a 'presence' in the room with them. When they turn to look to see who's there, they find themselves alone.  How 'powerful' the experience is will determine the outcome. The Sensed Presence is at the lower extreme. It's easily 'shaken off'. However, if there is enough electrical activity in these structures...( the experience gets more intense), it will 'spill over' into other, nearby structures.

How the experience unfolds from here depends on which brain parts the activity spills into.

If it catches some of the visual areas, the experience can become a vision of an entity of some kind or other.

If it involves the olfactory areas, the person can find that the visitor has a unique smell.

If it involves the parts of the brain that help us perceive our own bodies from within, we might find ourselves having tingly feelings. Or that we are being lifted up, or thrown down.

If it involves the language centers, we might hear a voice, or music, or noise.

If it involves areas that deal in long-term memory, we might find that the experience includes an episodic 'vision'. Not just a flash of an image, but an inner world where the person interacts with others, feels real emotions, an so on.

There doesn't seem to very much in the middle of this one. Just at the extreme ends. On one extreme, there is the 'demonic' or evil visitor, and on the other extreme, there are more angelic visitors. It depends on which emotional center (amygdala), left or right, is more active.  If the negative one (meaning the one that supports fear) is more active, the visitor experience will become a visitation by a demon, Satan, or a terrifying ghost. On the other extreme, it could be an angel, a spirit protector, or even God.

These two brain parts are next to each other. Intergrown, in fact....and a normal brain has a positive and a negative one on each side. However, some people have 'left-handed' limbic parts. For them, the positive amygdala will be intergrown with the positive hippocampus. Communication between the two will be much easier than in a normal brain. The other side of the brain will have strong communication between the negative hippocampus and the negative amygdala.

Such an individual might find themselves very emotionally labile, negative and/or sensitive. People who tend to look at the glass half-empty...those who often think about "evil", demons, etc., have shown that their right amygdala (negitive emotions) is very active.  Another limbic phenomena is hallucinations. Limbic stimulation has elicited hallucinations (demons) in scores of studies, using a variety of stimulation techniques. The limbic system is heavily intergrown with the surface of the temporal lobes...and there are even maps of the temporal lobes, showing what areas are most likely to yield which kinds of hallucinations.

Now what happens when the right amygdala remains the most active...? A phenomena call "interhemispheric intrusion" occurs. That's when the activity in one brain structure becomes so elevated that it goes past a certain threshold, and needs to escape or vent into another...the right-hemispheric phenomena temporarily crowds out phenomena from the left. The right-sided phenomena intrudes on it, so to speak.  As the right hippocampus becomes more active...the fearful over-activation of the right amygdala will take on a visionary component.Now, what do you get when you 'socialize' a 'vision' with an extremely elevated ("maxed-out") right-amygdaloid emotion?

A vision of another person. One that you don't like. Like a demon. The hippocampus is important in contextualization, a crucial component of almost all cognitive processes. When the negative emotions from the right amygdala spill into the right hippocampus, they are given a context. A demon of one sort or other. The amygdala's social functions favor anthropomorphic hallucinations, so the appearance of a 'bad guy' becomes more likely as the experience gains in intensity.  Source





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#12    InnerSpace

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 07:25 PM

Bella-Angelique on Mar 6 2008, 01:26 PM, said:

There was a lot the ancients did not know but the basics they were aware of.
There was a big difference between what they called visions and visitations.
Visions would fall under what you have described, but not the visitations.
Visions did not alter or destroy objects and people while many visitations did tend to do this.


Hi Bella original.gif  Thanks for your comments.  Leo has expressed very eloquently what my intentions are.  I would like the opportunity to present the research so that people can read and explore other possible explanations for their experiences.  I realize this is a sensitive subject, so therefore I want to reiterate that I respect your beliefs and those of others,  and will attempt to tread lightly.  This is the reason why I put this thread in the "friendly discussion" forum.  

As far as alterations and destroying objects, I'm not going to have all the answers, certainly, but I will attempt to address how geomagnetic fields can cause very strange phenomena, such as what you briefly described.  

Leonardo on Mar 6 2008, 01:50 PM, said:

I'm going to make an assumption on the part of IS here and state that I don't consider this thread to be an attempt to 'destroy' God or religion, but a discussion that might evoke thought about specific experiences people have had and provide some comfort that those experiences are related to how our mind responds to extreme situations in creating an internal environment in which that situation can be tolerated or understood/translated.

The purpose in understanding that some of these experiences are entirely within ourselves is allowing the experiencer to recognise they are actually in control and so can alleviate the stress the experience promotes. In the case of 'demonic visitations' for example, the sense of lack of control (as the 'demon' is perceived to be an entity separate from the experiencer) heightens the fear and stress. Recognising symptoms of seizures and relating them to our own experiences can help others relate their experiences and perhaps ameliorate them somewhat.

There is no suggestion that ALL such experiences should be considered seizure-related, and I can see no pressure or argument here telling people their experiences weren't exactly as they thought them to be.



Leo, thank you for sharing that on my behalf.  I really appreciate it.  You've been researching this for quite sometime as well, and I really look forward to reading what you've research.   yes.gif  As you are aware, this is a very comprehensive subject, and will take some time to unfold.

Respectfully,

~V

edited for grammer

Edited by Inner Space, 06 March 2008 - 08:33 PM.

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#13    Sherapy

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 09:39 PM

Inner space, thankyou for the data I look forward to the next installment....

having had personal experinces myself , I am still in the midst of collecting the  data and weighing it before I conclude  that  there is  only one possible  explaination...

conditioning plays such a core part of the way we define ourselves, in order to get any kind of a picture at all we have  to look at all the data  we  can't just  pick and choose what we agree with... this is validating a belief system not using our thinking apparatus. to its capabilitys ..IMO...

it's very difficult to trace the origins of the observed phenomonon called 'the hand of god" ....we just  don't take wild flying leaps to explian things anymore....If we do there has to be very very special reasons for doing so....Otherwise we have  things such as treeing the devil, or speaking in tongues or getting an autographed picture of jesus as claims of validity.... etc etc... ( true story as told to me by my relgious  philosophy proffessor)  we now have a 'way ' to marshall out and pare down data for its soundness.........  
Theresa of Avila who I  highly  respect   was very concerned with her vision (seeing the color of god if memory  serves me)   she didn't immediately call this from  god in any way....she did question its source .....based on the tools available to her and the authoritys that  were upheld in those days of course  we know lots more and adjsut ourselves accordingly or self correct that is the reason/use for/of  science....


...Very very interesting read V....

Edited by Supra Sheri, 06 March 2008 - 09:57 PM.


#14    Mr Walker

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 11:33 PM

Thank you for these detailed and personal posts. In any debating forum it helps make debate both clearer, and less emotive, if people have an honest and complete understanding of where people are coming from, and why they may hold/develop diametrically opposed world views.  (Of course many people are not comfortable with such disclosure, while others have not yet come to a self awareness of the forces constructing their world view)

I now have a much better appreciation of many of your posts and the logic behind them. It is hard to see how you could have come to any different conclusions given your experiences. I can better understand now that some of our differences are because you have shared many similar experiences to me , but have been able to establish scientific causes for them. My one sticking point is that many of my experiences have been shared or involve observable physical interference with the objective world., and the éxperts'have been able to suggest no medical /scientific explanation for them. This prevents me from coming to the same conclusions/resolution as you have.

I have also investigated the science behind this. While a layman, it is of both personal interest, due to my experiences, and professional interest as a teacher, and counsellor, of adolescents. For example, I was aware of all the technical information you provided about brain function, and had considered brain "malfunction" of some form as one cause of my life long experiences.
In my case, apart from the lack of discoverable cause, or evidence of its physical existence, the ancillary evidence suggests that my experiences can not be the purely subjective experiences generated from any brain malfunction or abnormality.

I can understand how, more than most, you would believe that I am mistaken, and only need a good dose of scientific rationalism to bring me to my senses. I found these very brave and helpful posts.

Edited by Mr Walker, 06 March 2008 - 11:54 PM.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#15    Mabon

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 12:09 AM

Wonderful thread Inner Space! thumbsup.gif

I am enjoying the information that you are providing, it is important to explore all the options before settling on a conclusion.
So for now I'm just going to sit in the back of the class and try to learn something!

Warm regards,
Mabon.

One need not be a chamber to be haunted;
One need not be a house;
The brain has corridors surpassing
Material place.  ~ Emily Dickinson





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