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InnerSpace

Does Our Brain/Environment Create God?

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Posted (edited)

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

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Posted (edited)

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

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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. :)

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Posted (edited)

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

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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..

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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.

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. :)

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.

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.

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. :) 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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Havn't had a chance to go over it all, late for me here but it looks like you thoroughly researched this, kudos IS. :tu:

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!

Good work IS...later cool ppl :tu:

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. ~Albert Einstein

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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!!! :D

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. :)

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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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Posted (edited)

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

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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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Posted (edited)

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 :) 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.

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: 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

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Posted (edited)

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

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Posted (edited)

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

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Wonderful thread Inner Space! :tu:

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.

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*sigh* Don't ya just love smart people? lol

Inner Space - what a fantastic and interesting theory you have. Sometimes when things 'makes sense' and take into account diverse experiences, phenomena and evidence the outcome when you think about it is quite sublime. Peices of the puzzle coming together so to speak.

I am actually going to mention this to someone close to me who suffered from a hallucination in her early twenties and had corresponded it with the Devil. Even though it was one occurence it had a profound impact. (I have spend many years 'therapizing' her about it lol).

I look forward to hearing more of your insights :)

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Posted (edited)

*sigh* Don't ya just love smart people? lol

Inner Space - what a fantastic and interesting theory you have. Sometimes when things 'makes sense' and take into account diverse experiences, phenomena and evidence the outcome when you think about it is quite sublime. Peices of the puzzle coming together so to speak.

I am actually going to mention this to someone close to me who suffered from a hallucination in her early twenties and had corresponded it with the Devil. Even though it was one occurence it had a profound impact. (I have spend many years 'therapizing' her about it lol).

I look forward to hearing more of your insights :)

lol I just e-mailed a link to a dear freind of mine who would love to read Inner Space's research...it really makes sense to me ......i i will be curious as to his pov... I hope he pops into post ....

Edited by Supra Sheri

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Posted (edited)

A very interesting topic that I have puzzled over.

I did not read all the posts but apologize if someone has said this already. If there is a connection between the physical

brain and any spiritual force or understanding it would follow that there has to be a specific part of the brain that deals with that functioning. If that part of the brain was stimulated physically it would cause some kind of "confusion." What ever they perceived mentally would have to do with their beliefs, of course.

How else would anyone from anywhere communicate with anything spiritual? In the language or belief that they understand, I would say.

That's just a question more than anything. :)

P. S. Also, I believe that we create our own destiny not just as individuals but especially collectively on a spiritual level. That may be what all of the struggle between good and evil is about, to simplify.

Edited by Celtic Spirit

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It is all still about hallucinations, however they are stimulated into occurring.

Since the beginning anything that was chosen to be held in denial was accounted for as an hallucination.

It is as old as man is.

Visual and auditory witnesses still today have little respect or credibility and physical evidence is demanded, as in the case of aliens and UFOs.

Stories are just stories. You have to give most of them something they can hold in their hand or that they can take a hammer to to incorporate the new concept into their reality.

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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.

Mr. walker what evidence suggests that yours could of not been subjective experiences...I ask as i myself would like to take a look at it....thank you...

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Does Our Brain/Environment Create God?, How can we know for certain it doesn't.

we can't... it's that simple.

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Posted (edited)

Thank you for these detailed and personal posts.

Wonderful thread Inner Space! :tu:

Inner Space - what a fantastic and interesting theory you have. I look forward to hearing more of your insights :)

A very interesting topic that I have puzzled over.

I did not read all the posts but apologize if someone has said this already. If there is a connection between the physical brain and any spiritual force or understanding it would follow that there has to be a specific part of the brain that deals with that functioning.

Thank you Mr. Walker, Mabon, Belqis, Celtic Spirit & Sheri. :) I really appreciate all of your encouraging comments.

Hi Celtic Spirit, no need to apologize, as my posts do tend to be rather long, :blush: and I realize it can be quite time consuming reading them. My last post addresses the different parts of the brain and their functions. Should you find the time to read it, I think it may answer some of your questions.

Mr. Walker, I appreciate your openness and participation. As I've stated earlier, my desire is to present the research so that people can decide for themselves. Life's experiences have taught me to "never say never" with regard to my own personal beliefs, so I hope to always remain open-minded about the unexplained. I think one of the reasons I've come to my current conclusion, is that with the new neurological discoveries about why we experience certain phenomena, it doesn't make sense to me, if there is a God...a savior, or a specific path, why mankind can create the same "spiritual" experiences via neurotechnology and these experiences are always according to their culture. It almost seems like cheating, if you well, if just anyone can have these experiences, regardless of their beliefs and/or morality. IMO, it takes away from a "personal" God. It leaves a huge gap in determining what's "real" and what's not, with regard to being required to have an intimate relationship with a "creator" (according to many major religions) in order to be accepted "into the fold". If you are a believer, it's even more daunting if you are left with such bewilderment, knowing that your "eternity" (heaven/hell) hangs in the balance. jmo

I again want to clarify that it's not my intention to convince people not to believe what they believe, but to provoke thought, and perhaps offer other possible explanations for our experiences, which I will continue to address at length, as time permits.

It is all still about hallucinations, however they are stimulated into occurring.

Since the beginning anything that was chosen to be held in denial was accounted for as an hallucination.

It is as old as man is.

Visual and auditory witnesses still today have little respect or credibility and physical evidence is demanded, as in the case of aliens and UFOs.

Stories are just stories. You have to give most of them something they can hold in their hand or that they can take a hammer to to incorporate the new concept into their reality.

Hi Bella, I hope to address some of your questions shortly. This subject is very complex and the research I will present will hopefully answer some of the comments you've posed. Thanks for your participation.

Shortly, I will address how the earth's magnetic energy and seismic activity may play a major role in our personalities and beliefs, and through out history.

A big thank you to everyone for participating. :) I will post more research as time permits.

~V

edit:typos

Edited by Inner Space

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IS may have covered most of this in her ops;

The Neurobiology of Spiritual Purpose

Spirituality and The Brain

Antonio Damasio, in Looking for Spinoza, argues that

“…spiritual experiences, religious or otherwise, are mental processes. They are biological processes of the highest level of complexity. They occur in the brain of a given organism in certain circumstances, and there is no reason why we should shy away from describing these processes in neurobiological terms, provided we are aware of the limitations of the exercise.”

Indeed, Damasio cautions against the naïve view that we can identify “…a brain center for God…” or that we can somehow justify the tenets of religion by means of a brain scan. Nevertheless, since spiritual states represent a particular type of “feeling state”, Damasio believes that we can relate spiritual experiences to the network of brain regions we described in our discussion of empathy. Such correlations, Damasio explains, do not diminish the mystery of life. Rather, they reveal the brain’s “connection to the mystery”.

In addition to examining brain structures, researchers are also investigating the link between certain brain chemicals and spiritual or self-transcendent experiences. Recently, Jacqueline Borg and colleagues investigated the relationship between the chemical messenger serotonin and various dimensions of temperament. Once again, PET scans were used—this time, to determine the degree to which serotonin binds to specific brain regions. Subjects also completed a questionnaire aimed as assessing such personality traits as “novelty-seeking”, “harm avoidance”, “cooperativeness”, and “self-transcendence.” This last dimension is a composite of three subscales, including one called “spiritual acceptance.” The researchers found a correlation between the degree of serotonin binding in three brain regions, and self-transcendence scores. Scores for spiritual acceptance also showed a correlation with serotonin binding.

What does all this mean in terms of “spiritual purpose”? The authors concluded that “…the serotonergic system may serve as a biological basis for spiritual experiences…” perhaps explaining why people “…vary greatly in spiritual zeal.” If these conclusions are verified in larger studies, we may hypothesize that spiritual purpose is, indeed, partly a function of innate neurochemical systems within the brain. This is surely not to reduce spiritual striving to levels of a single brain chemical--nor is it an attempt to reduce spirituality to mere brain physiology. Rather, as Damasio would remind us, these findings simply link one of the mysteries of life to one of the activities of the human brain.

The Nexus of Brain and Spirit

Without empathy, emotional bonding between human beings is nearly impossible. Without the capacity for self-transcendence, spiritual experience becomes equally hard to attain.

And in the absence of all three faculties—empathy, bonding, and self-transcendence—our capacity to achieve moral or spiritual purpose must also suffer. To put the matter in mundane terms: when we see our fellow human being stumble and fall on the sidewalk, our ability to empathize with and comfort that individual is critically dependent on our brain’s capacity for extroversion. When we resolve passionately to help a homeless person, or to build a school in an impoverished country, we are also drawing on our ability to step outside of ourselves, beyond the confines of ego.

None of these observations is particularly surprising or novel. But the nexus between extroversion and innate properties of the brain is both surprising and novel. That specific regions of the brain’s right hemisphere are critical for empathic response; and that certain neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, may be linked with spiritual striving also seem remarkable. Of course, science alone cannot tell us whether these associations represent a “pre-established harmony” between the human brain and some larger cosmic purpose or power.

But science does seem to say at least this: our brains come into being with innate structures and functions that form the foundation for spiritual striving. Without these pre-existing properties of brain, it seems doubtful that human beings could ever escape the ''prison-house of self-interest''.

The Neurobiology of Spiritual Purpose

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IS, this has to be thee most interesting topic on the boards....Although I have never experienced this,( at least not that I can remember) I find it most interesting...Although I did have to read it over a few times, it is now coming together...I look forward to more of your remarkable posts, and for now I'll join Mahon in the back of the class and feed off of your knowledge...You are some smart cookie :wub:

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Posted (edited)

Thanks so much for posting the article REBEL. :tu:

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 live close to fault-line in California. After moving from CA, the hallucinations stopped.

linked-image

I've done a good bit of research on geologic ‘hot spots' around the world, with regard to geomagnetic energy fields/tectonic strain, and the apparent effects it seems to have on personality, mood, well-being, and beliefs, etc. What I'm beginning to see is a pattern that seems to indicate that we are very much affected by energy fields and the frequencies they emit. Though there have been several field studies done, it's been difficult to study the geomagnetic energy fields and its effect on us with any consistency, because the energy field is always fluctuating. Maybe that might explain why ghostly phenomena are so unpredictable. ;) Below is a graphic showing the fluctuation:

linked-image

I'm going to share some studies done by Todd Murphy, a behavioral neuroscientist, with regard to the many geological features in Southern Lake County, CA. As I mentioned above, I use to live around this area as a child, and I was really surprised to discover that this area rests between two ancient volcanoes. The older one, in the Calistoga area, is almost worn down to the level of the surrounding valley (Napa Valley). The younger volcano has been building up next to one that was wearing down.

There are also two groups of geysers (called big geysers and little geysers), each with neighboring Fumaroles, holes where volcanic fumes escape, reeking horribly. There is also a line of hot spring clusters (running along the the southeastern edge of the taller old volcano to the north): Castle Springs, Anderson Springs, Harbin Springs, Howard Springs, Sieglar Springs,and the Sulfur Banks. I'm going to be focusing on Harbin Springs, as it is consider by many to be sacred land, and apparently it ‘brings out your trips.' People from all over the world come here. People are healed, and some even seem to go mad. Harbin Springs is a spiritually-oriented retreat in Middletown, California, about 100 miles north of San Francisco.

There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the lord came down from heaven...

... His appearance was like lightening and his clothes were as white as snow.

Gospel according to Matthew 28: 2,3

Murphy: The land below Harbin stretches as the Collayomi fault builds up and releases its strain. The earth's magnetic field, coming up from below our feet, picks up the signals emitted by the rock as it bends (‘piezoelectric signals') as it bends following changes in tectonic strain, like a tremor or earthquake. When the rocks change the way they bend (before or after seismic events), their signals change, too. Lightning also contributes. It puts a charge in the ground that can be released when the tectonic strain changes. This charge helps the magnetic field light up.

The parts of the brain that are the most sensitive to magnetic signals are the parts with the lowest electrical thresholds (the temporal lobes). What do these parts do? They are in charge of managing your states of consciousness, among other things. The intense magnetic fields that are around the light shows, therefore, can out you into an altered state. When you are in one of these states, it becomes much, much easier to hallucinate. You are also more suggestible. If you expect that bright lights in the sky are most likely to be spaceships, then that's what you are most likely to see. Also, these same brain structures have been found to produce the experience of The Light in laboratory settings, so that if a person is confronted with a light in the sky, and they begin to have an hallucination, they might very well find themselves seeing the light as they are seeing a light. The combined effect might be to induce a vision of a light quite beyond description.

Hallucinations are not just visual. You can hallucinate sounds, tastes, smells, touches, ‘senses of shape', memories, and even emotions. The brains uses magnetic signals. The earth produces geomagnetic signals. When the two are in phase, the earth enables an hallucination of whatever function that signal would ordinarily be matched with. My guess is that the normal range of geomagnetic signals at Harbin leave them in phase with one of the signals involved with our emotions at almost all times.

I believe that the geomagnetic signals that the land at Harbin, constantly being flexed by the Callayomi fault, are similar to the ones the brain uses to help us experience emotion. These signals are what makes 80% of the Harbin residents (who were asked) feel their emotions keep changing their default settings from week to week. If the signal coming out of the ground is like the one that your brain uses when its p***ed off, then you are going to be much more irritable than otherwise. Neuromagnetic signals interact with geomagnetic signals. Our energy changes as the signals change. The signals change as the tectonic stress on the land change. The tectonic stress changes as the fault moves, either building up or releasing stress. Where is the interface between the magnetic signals coming from the ground and consciousness?

Its a fact. The brain has about five million (very small) magnetite crystals per gram, and it averages about 1400 grams. That's enough crystals to make all kinds of things happen, if you believe in ‘crystal power.' I suspect that these crystals work to help brain centers talk to one another, by organizing themselves to flash little signals to one another. When the brain wants to call up an emotion, it uses its little magnets to do it. Magnetic signals travel much faster than If a signal from outside is close enough to one that an emotion center responds to, the outside signal will turn on that emotion. The signals from the Harbin land, are close to the ones the brain uses to create and maintain emotions. These signals don't make you feel emotions. They act more like default settings, so that one emotion or another is always the easiest to fall into.

The Earth's magnetic field changes all the time. About 80% of the field stays the same (is steady-state). The remaining 20% is the variable part. When we speak of geomagnetic quiet, or intense geomagnetic activity, we mean within its variable range. The field itself, even at its peak, is very weak. The measure is called a nanotesla. A nail, magnetized to a strength of a hundred nanoteslas, wouldn't even pick up an iron filing.

Dr. Michael A. Persinger, director of the Behavioral Neurosciences Laboratory at Laurentian University (and my mentor) writes:

‘The tendency for ... telepathic experiences concerning death or crisis to occur on days when the geomagnetic activity is significantly quieter than the days that precede or follow the experience have been found for collections of experiences that occurred during the latter quarter of the last century and this century. This pattern is not unique to spontaneous cases. Over six decades, larger effect sizes for psi experiments occurred during years of quieter geomagnetic activity. ...analyses of [certain] dream telepathy studies also indicated that the geomagnetic activity on nights in which the contents of were most strongly correlated with the target stimuli had been significantly quieter than the nights in which the dreams did not match the target pictures."

What's it mean? When a mother in San Diego just ‘knows' that her daughter is in danger at the same moment that she is really having a car accident in New York, its a good bet that the Earth's magnetic field was quiet at the time. Quieter then the days immediately before and after. It also means that if someone had a dream about the end of your relationship just when your girlfriend was packing her last box into her new boyfriend's van, its a safe bet that the geomagnetic field was quiet for that dream, too.

Here's another quotation from the same Ph.D. guy, working with two other Ph.D. guys about precognition:

‘ ...(156 legitimate) first hand precognitive cases that contained the days, months, and years of the experience and the event were obtained from all of the publications of FATE magazine (approximately 450 issues). ...(these cases were analyzed against) measures of global geomagnetic activity for the years 1867 to the present. ...values were obtained for the day of the experience (of precognition) and the day of the event (that validated the precognition) and for each of the three days before and three days after the experience and the event....These results support the hypothesis that precognitive experiences tend to occur during periods when the geomagnetic activity is similar to what the geomagnetic activity will be at the time of the event (it predicted).

And now for something completely different. Out-of-body experiences (OBEs). Dr. Persinger:

‘...the greatest subjective intensity of out-of-body-like experiences was reported primarily for those subjects who ...(were most prone) ... on those days when the geomagnetic activity ranged between 16 nT (nanoteslas) and 45 nT. ... (There is a) concurrence between daily geomagnetic activity and the enhanced experiences of detachment of the self from the body for individuals whose brain's are most prone to generate these experiences.' [Earlier]...'The results of this study support the hypothesis that sensitivity or lability of portions of the brain which are most correlated with the reports of ...(subtle altered states of consciousness)... are sensitive to a component of geomagnetic activity ... The likelihood that there is some particular frequency or pattern of information which is probabilistically associated with this range of intensity variation in global geomagnetic activity must be considered.'

...'(An) exploratory hypothesis (to explain the result) is that the neurocognitive processes which are associated with the generation of the sense of self are coherent or intercalated with some unspecified feature of the steady-state or quiet component of the geomagnetic field. During periods of perturbation (increased geomagnetic activity) ... the sense of self can ... be discriminated as different from the body ...'

M.A. Persinger, ‘Out-of Body -Like experiences are More Probable in People With Elevated Complex Partial Epileptic-Like Signs During Periods of Enhanced Geomagnetic Activity: A Nonlinear Effect' Perceptual and Motor Skills, 1995, 80, 563-569

What does this mean?, you might rightly wonder. It means that OBEs are more likely on days when the variable 20% of the earth's magnetic field is up in its higher ranges, but only for those who are prone to the experience. This proneness is measured using questionnaires that ask about feelings that often precede OBEs.

Source

IS, this has to be thee most interesting topic on the boards....Although I have never experienced this,( at least not that I can remember) I find it most interesting...Although I did have to read it over a few times, it is now coming together...I look forward to more of your remarkable posts, and for now I'll join Mahon in the back of the class and feed off of your knowledge...You are some smart cookie :wub:

Wow, thank you Goalie. :wub:

Edited by Inner Space

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