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