Jump to content
Join the Unexplained Mysteries community today! It's free and setting up an account only takes a moment.
- Sign In or Create Account -
InnerSpace

Does Our Brain/Environment Create God?

331 posts in this topic

Recommended Posts

brave_new_world
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

Wow wicked thread! This appeals to me:

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?

How do we know that a brain is giving us our reality since we can only go by an interpreted brain giving us the reality? Act of faith. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Leonardo
Wow wicked thread! This appeals to me:

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?

How do we know that a brain is giving us our reality since we can only go by an interpreted brain giving us the reality? Act of faith. :)

It is a great thread indeed! I'm glad you resurrected it from the depths of 'beyond page 1'. ^_^

What is the act of faith entail? What are the alternatives?

Either we are right, "what we see is what is real", or we are wrong "what we see is not what is real".

The first option gives us a defined reality. A focus within which to live our lives. What does the second pov provide?

Apart from a subject for ongoing debate and philosophical reflection.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
brave_new_world
It is a great thread indeed! I'm glad you resurrected it from the depths of 'beyond page 1'. ^_^

What is the act of faith entail? What are the alternatives?

Either we are right, "what we see is what is real", or we are wrong "what we see is not what is real".

The first option gives us a defined reality. A focus within which to live our lives. What does the second pov provide?

Apart from a subject for ongoing debate and philosophical reflection.

Well the first also gives us ongoing debate and philosophical reflection because even with the first being true it gives us much to reflect on. Also I think you are way to limiting with your sense of truth or possibility. Even if we cannot trust our senses completely that doesnt mean that they cant help us enrich our lives. It may be that something metaphysical gives rise to what we think is 'real'. Reality is still real whether from a physical cause or a spiritual one. A spiritual reality can still be a defined reality just not as limited to what only our senses can tell us.

Edited by brave_new_world

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
drakonwick

I think the real question is, in our current state of technology can we determine what reality actually is?

Everywhere I read I tend to notice that perceptions of reality have a philosophical background behind it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OldTimeRadio
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 very similar night terrors which began around the same age and lasted well into my teenage years (fortunately, in diminishing cycles). Two different physicians during my childhood could offer no explanation.

Decades later a psychiatrist gave me his diagnosis that these night fears were early symptoms of the Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) I developed in adult life.

But I really like your thoughts linking night terrors to earthquake faults.

Even so, there aren't many of those in my area of the Mid-West.

Edited by OldTimeRadio

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DONTEATUS

One thing for sure Inner Space is on top of the curve when it comes to this subject! I think we are very lucky to have such quality people in here. We all have situations in our past and precence thats connected to electro-related influnces.Me for one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lt_Ripley
I had very similar night terrors which began around the same age and lasted well into my teenage years (fortunately, in diminishing cycles). Two different physicians during my childhood could offer no explanation.

Decades later a psychiatrist gave me his diagnosis that these night fears were early symptoms of the Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) I developed in adult life.

But I really like your thoughts linking night terrors to earthquake faults.

Even so, there aren't many of those in my area of the Mid-West.

actually one of the biggest faults is located in the mid west - The New Madrid fault. the last time it rocked the whole country felt it.

http://www.hsv.com/genlintr/newmadrd/

Midwest Faces Quake Danger From Shifting Fault, Experts Say

Richard Lovett

for National Geographic News

May 10, 2007

New "CAT scans" of the deep Earth may help figure out why one of the biggest earthquakes in American history occurred in the Mississippi Valley heartland, far removed from seismic centers, researchers report.

The scans show an ancient piece of the Earth's crust is descending into the deep mantle beneath central North America, pulling downward on the overlying crust to create earthquake-producing cracks.

The massive earthquake, estimated at a magnitude between 7.4 to 8.0, struck New Madrid, Missouri, on February 7, 1812. The area was lightly populated at the time, but today the affected cities would include St. Louis, Missouri; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee.

Since 1812, there have been thousands of small earthquakes in the New Madrid fault zone. But geologists have long been baffled about why they have been occurring in the center of a continental plate.

Normally earthquakes happen at the margins of continents, where plates of the Earth's crust are colliding, such as in California and regions close to the Pacific Ocean. (See a map of the region.)

CAT Scan of the Deep Earth

A team of U.S. and Canadian scientists peered into the Earth's interior with a technique similar to a medical CAT scan. The technique, called tomography, studies the speed with which seismic waves pass through the deep Earth.

This allows seismologists to construct three-dimensional maps of zones through which the waves travel, helping to decipher what the interior rock looks like.

Researchers also studied the rate of continental drift, minute variations in surface gravity, and variations in the thickness of the Earth's crust to determine as much as possible about the slow motions of the underlying rock.

The study team, led by Alessandro Forte of the University of Quebec in Montreal, concluded a plume of cold, dense rock is slowly sinking beneath the New Madrid area.

The downward movement is caused by the collision of two extremely slow currents of material in the Earth's mantle, several hundred miles beneath the surface of the Mississippi Valley. (How does an earthquake happen?)

One current originated tens of millions of years ago, beneath what is now California, and flowed eastward. The other came from the eastern U.S.

Continued on Next Page

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/20...arthquakes.html

it moves all the time albeit very slow... but we are due for a whopper.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lt_Ripley

I think our brains and the environment is the basis for God as defined by religion. One mans ( or various ) mental illness/ delusional thinking or some other brain disorder and story telling very well could have become what we call religion. Even a high fever can have us seeing things. now is there a collective energy that we are all a part of ? who knows.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OldTimeRadio
actually one of the biggest faults is located in the mid west - The New Madrid fault. the last time it rocked the whole country felt it.

Yes, I'm fully aware of the New Madrid Fault and the horrendous earthquakes of 1812-1813 associated with it. Those tremors created Reelfoot Lake, "made the Mississippi run backwards," and even rang church bells as far away as Boston, Massachusetts.

However, the New Madrid Fault is considerably west of my area, which is Greater Cincinnati, Ohio.

While the 1813 quake did loosen a few bricks from Cincinnati-area chimneys, I fail to see why that would have anything to with my own childhood night fears during the mid-20th Century.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
HKCavalier

I have Tangerine Sheri to thank for bringing this thread to my attention today.

Thank you. :)

I see it's rather old and Inner Space hasn't posted on the board for over a month now, but I hope she's still around, 'cause I have a question for her that I think would help me not only to understand her better, but to understand my own experiences more fully. I've read many accounts of this TL stimulation inducing visions of angels and demons, etc. but very, very little of the actual substance of these induced visions. When the content of such visions is referred to, it's always very limited in duration and incident--a being appears, there's usually a very strong immediate emotional effect--as of seeing a deceased loved one--maybe it says something (but nothing is ever specified), and soon enough the thing vanishes.

The lack of detail is very striking. IS has been very open about so much of her experience, but she's said next to nothing about the actual content of her visions. I presume, given the conclusions she's reached about it all, that her "organic" visions were the same in character as her "induced" visions--but where they? Did the entities change their behavior in any way, when she changed her interpretation of the phenomenon? I'm particularly curious what these induced entities say to folks like IS who've moved out of their religious mania into a more scientific orientation to these events. If they had multiple visions, what kind of continuity did the visions have? Did they simply repeat or was the information serial and cumulative? Were the beings encountered consistent in form, or mercurial? Was it a unilateral "data dump," or was there some form of interactivity? Was the information internally consistent, or contradictory? Easily remembered, or evanescent?

One reason I ask is the unfortunate tendency for the examples people give of induced visions or NDE's or OBE's to be utterly vague, generic and short. Or, as in the case of NDE's they focus on a single detail of the experience--the bright light--and ignore any and all other aspects. When the only evidence we have to share is anecdotal, it's indeed frustrating when one side of the discussion seems so throroughly uninterested in the quality and character of the anecdotes.

When I was 2 and a half years old, I apparently had one of these NDE's. I remembered it as a particularly weird dream until I was watching Oprah in my teenage years and found out what an NDE was and what it was supposed to be like. Nowadays, when I read about NDE's being induced, I never read anything about any interactions with other sentient beings. As part of my experience, I can recall the kindly indistinct folks as saying, "It's not your time" and "go back." To someone who is not familiar with "the literature" these turns of phrase are, well, pretty odd. And as a child of fewer than 3 years, I had to be pretty unfamiliar with the NDE literature--I'm not even sure how long before the Oprah Show aired NDE's became a subject for public discussion.

Anyway. The point is, for a lot of us folks who have had paranormal experiences and still credit them with some kind of trans-personal reality, our experiences tend to be varied and highly coincidental or even prophetic in their connection with otherwise mundane reality, while these artificial TL fireworks I so often see used to debunk such experiences tend to be pretty rudimentary and uninteresting, at least in the reporting.

Very interesting thread, though, brings together a wealth of information. And I'm particularly thankful for the personal experiences shared! Thanks, one and all! :)

Couple more things, while I have your attention ;) : in considering my own "visions" I'm struck with their overall mundanity. Though I've had encounters with what I might term angels, I wouldn't associate these experiences with overwhelming bliss or religious ecstasy. I wouldn't call any of my paranormal encounters a "Damascus experience." I've been comforted when in great distress, but it never implied that there was a great big God out there. The beings that comforted me as a child in the middle of the night were simply these weird "friends" of mine. That's how I thought about them. I didn't even know if they were real, and I had built up such a system of denial (denial of my sexual abuse at the hands of my father--because he attacked me when we would take naps together, my psyche had conveniently lumped his abuse in with the really terrible, nightly nightmares I had back then--clever, clever psyche) that I didn't even understand what my "friends" meant when they told me, "You're going to get through this." And another thing: though I've communicated with powerful and kindly beings and seen astonishingly malignant shadowy critters attack people (in one case leaving physical scars), none of these experiences have lead me to a strong faith in God (less so even the Devil, for that matter). My experiences have tended to imply that love is more powerful than fear; that evil can be overcome; that there is awareness all around us, in animals, plants even objects--even that this awareness is generally benign--but nothing about a Supreme Being. I got no beef with the Jesus, I just don't find his insights all that amazing, really. I mention this, because these are the principle aspects of my personal experiences that deviate most strongly from the specifics of the experiences IS has described to us.

Thanks for reading.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Br Cornelius

Does the fact that a Spiritual vision has been artificially induced invalidate the content of the vision. Does the artificiality invalidate the experience. Might we be triggering some brain circuit which is there for a reason, and that reason is to have Spiritual experiences. Are we evolving to a better use of those circuits ?

Many mystics deliberately induce Theta brain waves and then procede to systematically research the altered states and environments they encounter. Different mystics report striking similarities of tepography. Advanced Shamans undertake healing and produce physical and emotional changes in their patients. They also learn things which prove to be correct but could not be learned by trial and error.

My point is, simply because mysticism seems to be a physical aspect of the brain (and certain brain injuries), does that make it any less mystical ?

Br Cornelius

Edited by Br Cornelius

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Leonardo

Br C,

That we (various people from different cultures/backgrounds etc) seem to have very similar experiences when in altered states of consciousness might not be an artifact of a 'reality' (either spiritual or mystical) that exists beyond what we normally perceive, but might simply be an artifact of the virtually identical neurology/psychology in all humans. Of course, the nature of existence (in the sense of 'self') is mainly pschological anyway, so a psychological 'reality' is every bit as relevant to us as an actuality as the 'reality' we experience every day through our normal senses.

HKCavalier,

I believe IS has taken a hiatus from UM and I don't know how long this might last - it might even be permanent. In light of this I would recommend checking through the various links and references she left throughout this thread and you might find what you seek. Also, as you point out, the personal experiences others have related might give an insight into our own experiences when put in context of the information this thread has disseminated to us.

Saying that, IS and I shared a lot of information about our interest in this topic and I have some knowledge of the experiences she was able to induce in willing clients. Invariably, the experiences were largely dependent on the mood set and the prevailing attitude of the experiencer (i.e. what they wished to experience). I would hazard a guess that, when there is no conscious desire what experience to induce, the experience will be of what is most affecting the experiencer's psychological state. Grief from loss of a loved one will often induce an 'angelic' type experience, for example, that would be construed as a 'visitation'. I had one, particularly strong, such experience of my own that I shared with IS. In learning about what IS knew from her own experiences, I was able to put my own into perspective and learned a lot about myself from it.

The study of this phenomenon is still formative in that we don't fully understand ourselves to a degree, and questions of ethics are always there to be considered as well, so you will find a lot of generalisations at this point. The underworld of our subconscious is also an often dark and frightening place for us to venture and many are comfortable not going there - and those who don't are probably making a fair assumption of themselves in 'letting sleeping dogs lie'. Personal decisions about exploring your past is a choice only the individual can make, and there are traps (such as the infamous 'false' or 'suggested' memories hypnotic regression is tainted by) in that we are so suggestible - even by ourselves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Br Cornelius
That we (various people from different cultures/backgrounds etc) seem to have very similar experiences when in altered states of consciousness might not be an artifact of a 'reality' (either spiritual or mystical) that exists beyond what we normally perceive, but might simply be an artifact of the virtually identical neurology/psychology in all humans. Of course, the nature of existence (in the sense of 'self') is mainly pschological anyway, so a psychological 'reality' is every bit as relevant to us as an actuality as the 'reality' we experience every day through our normal senses.

I am quite willing to accept that this maybe the very extent of what mystical experiences are, a simple facet of the internal working of the brain.

What interests me is those who claim (and I am one of them) that these mystical experiences interact with external reality and produce tangible changes in that reality. This casts doubt on the purely subjectivisation of the experience. My example would be - does the Shaman heal and see omens - my experience is definitely yes. You of course may not believe that such an interaction is possible, and if so then there is no possible meeting point between our positions.

Br Cornelius

Edited by Br Cornelius

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
HKCavalier

Thanks for the prompt reply, Leo, disappointing as it is to hear that Inner Space may not be around anymore. I gotta say I'm not too excited about sifting through all those links and sources. I've sifted through a good deal of this kind of material in the past and the resulting detail has been discouragingly, consistently underwhelming. But I will check it out. Thank you.

This seeing "what they wished to experience" would certainly apply to the typical lay person, but for anyone with training, this would be difficult to predict as expectation is what needs to be rooted out if real insight is to be gained. Beliefs, expectations, desires, these all need to be cleared from the mind in order to get anything really useful. The ability to clear one's mind in this way takes a great deal of study, training and practice.

The undisciplined mind is extremely uncomfortable looking at nothing and will fill in blindspots where ever they are found. If these technological procedures can open the doors of perception automatically, and there is nothing to see or if one has not learned discernment, then the mind will create a place holder. There is some indication that schizophrenia is a malfunction along these lines; the doors are open but there is nothing out there, so the person sees their own broken psyche reflected back at them and magnified many times. Mystics have used psychoactive drugs to open the doors, but they've had extensive training in discerment so they can get the most benefit from the experience; meanwhile, anyone can get high and have a trip that teaches them exactly nothing.

I hope you can elaborate on the last paragraph of your post, because I don't follow you.

The study of this phenomenon is still formative in that we don't fully understand ourselves to a degree, and questions of ethics are always there to be considered as well, so you will find a lot of generalisations at this point. The underworld of our subconscious is also an often dark and frightening place for us to venture and many are comfortable not going there - and those who don't are probably making a fair assumption of themselves in 'letting sleeping dogs lie'. Personal decisions about exploring your past is a choice only the individual can make, and there are traps (such as the infamous 'false' or 'suggested' memories hypnotic regression is tainted by) in that we are so suggestible - even by ourselves.

What ethics would lead one to generalize and evade rather than giving a full account of one's experience? As long as one is disclosing one's own experience and not attempting to speak for another person, what ethics could possibly be involved? Do you mean that the visions may contain extremely personal information that the researcher may be uncomfortable divulging, or desire to avoid exploring? That's not an ethical issue. Or is it that the researcher may consider his experience misleading to the uninitiated and so censors himself to avoid giving people "the wrong idea?" That's certainly not ethical either, unless you're talking to children. And suggestible as we may be, don't we need to take a good look at our illusions if we are to have any hope of seeing through them?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
momentarylapseofreason
First, let me again apologize for the length of this post. :blush: This will, no doubt, be the most difficult subject for me to discuss, because it will address very personal issues with regard to our need to be loved, nurtured and accepted. It will hone in on some of our behavior ("sin"/"neediness"), and the motives behind them. This insight may cause one to truly ask themselves why they want to serve God, and the possible motives behind their desire to witness and/or become a humanitarian. My late husband also had Psychology degrees, and the one thing he told me that later caused me to question my desire/motive to serve God and mankind, was this: He said he initially went into Psychology to have a better understanding of himself. I never really gave that comment much thought until I experienced a spiritual crisis, which forced me to look deeper within myself. During this dark time in my life, I realized I had a deep longing for parental acceptance, to feel loved and nurtured, and I felt a sense of low self-worth. This turned out to be my motive for becoming a Christian counselor. I was attempting to meet my own unmet needs by meeting the needs of others.

I became acutely aware during my days of Christian counseling, that most of the people I had counseled with were racked with guilt, fear, insecurity, low self-worth, and for the most part, had not had their emotional needs met as a child. Please understand that I am not saying that this is the case with everyone involved in religion. I will discuss the "7 Deadly Sins", from a psychological point of view, and why I believe that mankind, not God, addressed these as "sin", rather than a need to be loved. The condemnation by organized religion of certain acting out behaviors as personal moral shortcomings, shows that the founders and theologians of our faiths did not recognize that these "sins" were in reality symptoms of not having one's emotional needs met, along with other possible factors beyond one's control.

The seven Deadly Sins are listed as the sins of Pride, Covetousness, Lust, Anger, Gluttony, Envy, and Sloth. They are the cornerstones on which morality, as defined by traditional religion, is based.

Pride, the first sin, can be defined as inordinate sense of self-worth or of importance. Many who succumb to feelings of pride are more likely attempting to cover up feelings of inferiority. It is not an intentional defense but again, one chosen to cover-up deep feelings of inferiority. Even its counterpart, humility, should not always be considered a virtue since profound humility is often present in people who have feelings of inferiority and inadequacy and as such can be a symptom of their emotional neediness. Behavior, driven by one's repressed pain, or exposure to environmental factors, no matter what its manifestations, cannot be considered a personal virtue for which one builds up credit. As the "sinners" of the world are not responsible for their sins (due to unawareness of cause), neither can many so called "saints" take credit for their acts of charity and moral goodness. We are, all of us, only automatons in this life, our behaviors following our early programming and again, possible physical/neurological conditions and/or exposure to environmental factors.

Pride is also defined as an excessive love of our ability rather than having the virtue of humility. The normal person does not suffer from false pride. For the so-called normal individual, those two feelings are non-existent. His abilities please him but do not make him feel unduly proud. Groveling humility is not present, either. Self-confidence is his forte.

The second Deadly sin is Covetousness, which is an excessive desire for material things. Covetousness is a common symptom for many, and can also be a "god given" instinct in our need to survive in an hostal environment. Money and possessions are sometimes defenses which help a person with low-self worth to not feel his insecurity, but since he cannot feel his early deprivations which caused him to feel insecure, he continues to want to accumulate an inordinate amount of possessions. Since the things he owns do not quell his unfelt needs, he is on a perpetual treadmill seeking more and more of everything. It means that for him, savings and accumulations do not take on a symbolic meaning.

Lust, or the desire for illicit sexual pleasures, is the third Deadly sin. It is well known that a large amount of sexuality is purely for the relief of tension. For others, hypersexuality and the perversions may also be symbolic attempts to meet unfelt needs or neurological conditions. The equating of sex with love is common and operates on both a conscious and an unconscious level with a higher degree of strength than would normally be justified by the sexual instinct alone.

The desire for revenge, or excessive negative feelings directed against a person or thing, is termed Anger and is the fourth Deadly sin. Anger can be a normal and appropriate emotion. It is only when the feeling is triggered by an early repressed need from the past or neurological/environromental factors that it may be termed "unhealthy". Its twin feeling of jealousy is closely related to anger and usually has its origin in childhood/infantile deprivation. When early needs have been met, there is no jealousy.

Gluttony, the excessive desire for food or drink, is the fifth Deadly sin. Here again we have the desire for excessive food, alcohol, or drugs used as a defense against feeling the real underlying primal feelings. Without repressed needs, one is not anxious for more food than one's body requires and hunger and food intake remain in equilibrium. As with other unreal needs, the hunger for more food than is needed shows that the food is a symbol for another need, which need, whose origins when felt over time, ultimately reduces the need for overeating. Alcohol/drug abuse or the excessive consumption of food are not used by someone for thrills, but for the relief of mental and/or physical suffering. Without nervous tension or depression the person would have no need to tranquilize oneself with overeating or excessive alcohol/drugs.

Envy, the sixth Deadly sin, is the sorrow at another's good fortune or being happy at the misfortune which befalls someone and is another example of a misplaced feeling. Without repressed hurts, one cannot be happy at another's misfortune, nor sorrowful when someone is happy. The normal person's peace of mind is not disrupted by another's good fortune; when one is gladened by someone's misery, he has projected his early repressed feelings on the wrong person. The well-adjusted person is without envy and hatred.

Sloth, the seventh Deadly sin, is laziness of mind and body, resulting in neglect of ones duties. From a psychological viewpoint, laziness is a psychosomatic illness. A healthy body, one not burdened by tensions or depressions, will automatically operate at an optimal level which will assure proper functioning. Neurasthenia, nervous fatigue, is a common condition among chronic sufferers, and can readily be cured by making the blocked feelings felt so that their energy will be dissipated and not exhaust the energy level of the person.

It appears to me that man seems to have created God in "his" own image, rather than the other way around. No "all knowing" God would subject his children to such rules, having a lack of understanding of instinctive human nature, knowing the "true" nature of one's actions, be it biological, neurological, psychological, and/or environmental. jmo

God, according to traditional religion, is omniscient and therefore should know that this kind of behavior is not subjectively sinful behavior, but in reality, is an acting-out behavior by persons who were exposed to any number of neurological, psychological and/or environmental factors in their lives. But God, through religion, condemned these "sins" as behavior to be punished either now or after death. And the more severe the deprivations and exposures to other factors a person suffers, the more serious the "sin" and the more severe the punishment will be due for his/her moral transgressions.

The "sinner" thus suffers a triple whammy!

He/she suffers initially from the original trauma(s).

He/she suffers from their mental anguish and shame during his/her lifetime because of his physical and/or psychological trauma.

He/she suffers from everlasting hell in the hereafter because of his acting-out behaviors while on earth.

The person who has had a good intrauterine life, a subsequent gentle birth, and loving parents who met his/her needs, who was never exposed to negative physical/environoment factors, will have a happy life and again wins the sweepstakes and goes to Heaven when he dies. Hmmm, that's some justice system!

But some will counter-argue that even a "sinful" person can change his behavior through prayer, penitence, sacrifice, or accepting their version of "God" as his personal savior. This perhaps may work for the person suffering from slight deprivations but this hit-or-miss approach may or may not work to defend against the force of psychological, physical or environmental factors effecting compulsive behavior. Why would God have placed so much emphasis on proper behavior and say nothing at all about those factors which drive behavior?

Perhaps "right" behavior can be compelled by fear, but how, other than making one feel ashamed and unworthy, can such change be enforced? The words "love" and "compassion", come to mind. Would the founders of religions, and their writtings, if truly inspired by God, not have known these "sins" for what they really are? Would "God" have condemned "sinners" to everlasting damnation because they became automatons and engaged in behaviors compelled by their earlier traumas or environment? The philosophical problem of the existence of evil has certainly troubled many throughout history. It would appear that an all knowing God allows great suffering. One should not expect a god to act as a human who can so easily tolerate the sufferings of others. But if we're created in the image of God, as my religious indoctrination has taught me, then we, like God, must have an extraordinary capacity for indifference towards human suffering.

I'm not a Buddhist, but I agree with this saying from the Buddha". . . if God permits such misery to exist, He cannot be good; if He is powerless to remedy it, He cannot be God."

Respectfully,

~V

Edited for modifications & to say thank you to Sheri and Gregg for your comments, and for sharing so personally. :)

Sheri, I'm sending you a PM shortly. :wub:

Excellent IS !!I love this thread !!!

As I got older I figured out for myself the triggers/causes of some of my personal "seven deadly sins". I have overcome most of them, but still struggle with some, but seem to have a much better grip on them than before. My biggest one is still sloth. I get tired so easy, even though I'm healthy and live accordingly. It's a psychosomatic thing. I'm still so drained from all the trauma and instability of my childhood. I'm physically and mentally so very tired

My childhood is so crazy and dysfunctional that it would be hard to believe . There was no peace, no safety, no quiet, no security, no rest

Almost my entire childhood and young adulthood was spent with either neurotic, schizophrenic, alcoholic, mentally/physically abusive people (but it was almost never intentional and actually most were loving caring people-I think you know what i mean) and it made me dysfunctional and affected my school/social life terribly foe many years. So I am extremely hyper-vigilant and intuitive. I have met so many types of people, and have lived in such contradictory circumstances, that sometimes I feel like I am hundred's of years old and as if I have lived many lives as different people.

Many of these 7 Deadly Sins can turn into a domino effect, that can be completely devastating.

I needed this god fixation to cope.

But at the same time, my demons and rage inside made me get through it. My rage would give me energy-but it didn't get me anywhere in the bigger picture of things

Once I felt truly empowered and realized -that I from now on- had most of the cards in my hand-and could control most the circumstances in my life and choosing those who took part in it-everything changed. :tu:

It's so good to have you on here. You bring light and sunshine !!

A lack of lust isn't healthy either though, is it ? That can also be triggered by negative experiences-or does it fall under the other categories.

Edited by momentarylapseofreason

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
greggK

I came up with some more thoughts concerning cell phones and Ella Fitzgerald.

Watching that documentary about frequencies below the signature of InnerSpace, it talks about why the glass shattered when Ella sang at such a high pitch. And the thought that molecules absorb energy and return the same energy and the energy that was being put into the glass was just too much and to return the energy, the molecule broke apart. Transfer that thought to cell phones. The voice from a cell phone is electronic energy waves at such a high rate of vibration. Consider the molecules of your ear glass goblets.

Edit: I see ear cancer. The cells of the ear of a continual user of a cell phone will cause the cells to adapt to to the charge and not die. Well, when it comes time for the body to replace those cells, they will not die and that causes cancer.

Edited by greggK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lt_Ripley
Does Our Brain/Environment Create God?, How can we know for certain it doesn't?

we really don't know either way if the brain/environment does or if God exists as something more than a chemical reaction . no one does no matter how much they say otherwise.

Edited by Lt_Ripley

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
greggK
we really don't know either way if the brain/environment does or if God exists as something more than a chemical reaction . no one does no matter how much they say otherwise.

It makes life more enjoyable as we go through the killing fields of negativety to propose questions as to why we are being killed and those who don't question are more readily killed. The answer to the question is much greater than one person can describe but that does not prevent the answer from being there. I do not include myself in the unknowing, but part of the knowing.

If you want to substitute Life for God, the question makes more sense and creates more thought.

You can do 1 of 3 things. You can run from the question, you can look at the question and pass it off, or you can use the question to help you grow.

We know we are bioelectric biochemical beings controlled by those processes. Is God in the chemical or the electricity? Or is God an inanimate object or a figment of the imagination? I am not a figment of my imagination and I have gone beyond questioning to experiencing the answer. There will be other questions, but like the guy says, 'The closer you examine a subject, the more parameters are discarded because they have been discovered.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
HKCavalier
we really don't know either way if the brain/environment does or if God exists as something more than a chemical reaction . no one does no matter how much they say otherwise.

Y'know, Ripley, we read this sentiment again and again on this board and elsewhere. It boils down to this: we don't know and we can't know. No one knows and no one can know.

I wonder what folks think they're saying when they write that.

I wonder what sort of positive contribution you imagine you are making to the human struggle when you write this. And my question to you is: how can you know that? Folks who arrogate the authority to tell others that no one knows and no one can know, seem to be making the self same error that Oedipus made in interpreting the Sphinx. When the Sphinx asks him what walks on 4 legs in the morning, 2 legs at noon and 3 legs at night, the answer is not simply "man" as he says, but "Oedipus," himself. Psychologically, he never realizes that the Sphinx's words even include him really. He sets himself apart, above the rest of us in his "wisdom" and that, in part, dooms him.

And so here you are, on the face of things, expressing the great agnostic truth as you see it: no one knows and no one can know, "no matter how much they say otherwise." But in saying it, you have arrogated metaphysical authority that undercuts your pose of agnosticism. The truth of what you say is only that you do not know. The rest is pure arrogance, and a strange sort of arrogance it is, that stabs in the heart any hope of human progress toward knowing. But really, what you honestly cannot, at the moment, know is whether or not anyone else knows. You need to own your limitation and not comfort yourself with the fiction that your personal limitation is shared by all of humanity. For all you know, no one else knows, but you may be mistaken.

I'm sorry, but you cannot know that no one else knows.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sherapy
Y'know, Ripley, we read this sentiment again and again on this board and elsewhere. It boils down to this: we don't know and we can't know. No one knows and no one can know.

I wonder what folks think they're saying when they write that.

I wonder what sort of positive contribution you imagine you are making to the human struggle when you write this. And my question to you is: how can you know that? Folks who arrogate the authority to tell others that no one knows and no one can know, seem to be making the self same error that Oedipus made in interpreting the Sphinx. When the Sphinx asks him what walks on 4 legs in the morning, 2 legs at noon and 3 legs at night, the answer is not simply "man" as he says, but "Oedipus," himself. Psychologically, he never realizes that the Sphinx's words even include him really. He sets himself apart, above the rest of us in his "wisdom" and that, in part, dooms him.

And so here you are, on the face of things, expressing the great agnostic truth as you see it: no one knows and no one can know, "no matter how much they say otherwise." But in saying it, you have arrogated metaphysical authority that undercuts your pose of agnosticism. The truth of what you say is only that you do not know. The rest is pure arrogance, and a strange sort of arrogance it is, that stabs in the heart any hope of human progress toward knowing. But really, what you honestly cannot, at the moment, know is whether or not anyone else knows. You need to own your limitation and not comfort yourself with the fiction that your personal limitation is shared by all of humanity. For all you know, no one else knows, but you may be mistaken.

I'm sorry, but you cannot know that no one else knows.

HK this entire thread is about your kind of experince and many others ...on a personal note I at one time had what is called a OBE, very profound and included a voice telling me the wisdoms of the universe and for a few years i seriously looked at the validity of such beliefs ..

its fun, its "comforting'" boy is iit comforting to think you got the inside scoop and have it all figured out.. but, its also limiting in many ways you can only live and operate within your little security blanket and you will be on damage control always ...the fear will creep in and the doubt for very good reason ..one really isnt questioning they are wishful 'faithing ...."

i love your posts,, i read em all, i actaully think something happened but, science is beginning to explain these sorts of things and they are in our head....on the plus side it lead me to become the crtical thinkier I am .....I put my beliefs on the chopping block and am better for it and really kool with alot of things that I wasn't ....

if you read my earlier posts you will see yourself I bet, my suggestion would be go for it really look at your exeprince and see what it reveals for you......who i am now as to who i was then , no comparison...the person i am now is alot more humble and alot more able to say i don't know because HK noone wants to hear it but, we dont know hun it doesn't have to be hopeless only fair to you....... and the type of inquiry its a good chance we can't....

lady R was you too and she has also put her pet belielfs on the chopping block too .. we still do both her and i ... they have to be able to hold up if they can't they just can't .... no matter how much we one wish they could..... :cry:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Agent. Mulder
Y'know, Ripley, we read this sentiment again and again on this board and elsewhere. It boils down to this: we don't know and we can't know. No one knows and no one can know.

I wonder what folks think they're saying when they write that.

theyre thinking its the truth. for right now, at this point in time anyways.

I wonder what sort of positive contribution you imagine you are making to the human struggle when you write this. And my question to you is: how can you know that[/i]? Folks who arrogate the authority to tell others that no one knows and no one can know, seem to be making the self same error that Oedipus made in interpreting the Sphinx. When the Sphinx asks him what walks on 4 legs in the morning, 2 legs at noon and 3 legs at night, the answer is not simply "man" as he says, but "Oedipus," himself. Psychologically, he never realizes that the Sphinx's words even include him really. He sets himself apart, above the rest of us in his "wisdom" and that, in part, dooms him.

because its the truth, and a logical way of thinking. thats how the Lt. as well as many others know.

And so here you are, on the face of things, expressing the great agnostic truth as you see it: no one knows and no one can know, "no matter how much they say otherwise." But in saying it, you have arrogated metaphysical authority that undercuts your pose of agnosticism. The truth of what you say is only that you do not know. The rest is pure arrogance, and a strange sort of arrogance it is, that stabs in the heart any hope of human progress toward knowing. But really, what you honestly cannot, at the moment, know is whether or not anyone else knows. You need to own your limitation and not comfort yourself with the fiction that your personal limitation is shared by all of humanity. For all you know, no one else knows, but you may be mistaken.

how can anyone else know about a made up place?

you Only Know about this place, from religion and what they came up with. you need to think logically, and youll come to the same conclusion that "i dont know, so how the **** can you know? how can you tell me im wrong about a made up place in a 2000 yera old book? based off nothing but a 'personal experience' that counts for nothing"

Edited by Agent. Mulder

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lt_Ripley
Y'know, Ripley, we read this sentiment again and again on this board and elsewhere. It boils down to this: we don't know and we can't know. No one knows and no one can know.

I wonder what folks think they're saying when they write that.

I wonder what sort of positive contribution you imagine you are making to the human struggle when you write this. And my question to you is: how can you know that? Folks who arrogate the authority to tell others that no one knows and no one can know, seem to be making the self same error that Oedipus made in interpreting the Sphinx. When the Sphinx asks him what walks on 4 legs in the morning, 2 legs at noon and 3 legs at night, the answer is not simply "man" as he says, but "Oedipus," himself. Psychologically, he never realizes that the Sphinx's words even include him really. He sets himself apart, above the rest of us in his "wisdom" and that, in part, dooms him.

And so here you are, on the face of things, expressing the great agnostic truth as you see it: no one knows and no one can know, "no matter how much they say otherwise." But in saying it, you have arrogated metaphysical authority that undercuts your pose of agnosticism. The truth of what you say is only that you do not know. The rest is pure arrogance, and a strange sort of arrogance it is, that stabs in the heart any hope of human progress toward knowing. But really, what you honestly cannot, at the moment, know is whether or not anyone else knows. You need to own your limitation and not comfort yourself with the fiction that your personal limitation is shared by all of humanity. For all you know, no one else knows, but you may be mistaken.

I'm sorry, but you cannot know that no one else knows.

yes I can say no one knows. there is no proof . an experience is not proof. hence no one knows. The positive contribution ? is for people to think and not just wish or follow whatever is being fed to them. The truth is that no one knows ... I'm sorry if you can't deal with that. I'm sorry if that shakes your faith , but it's the truth. One of the few that is known.

There is no proof anywhere that I'm mistaken. All is opinion and personal experience that can not be proven as real. I do believe in God , but am honest enough to admit that what I feel may not be what I call God , but nothing more than a chemical reaction . A response from social conditioning and the effect religion has on it. A gene that causes us to feel good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rosewin
Y'know, Ripley, we read this sentiment again and again on this board and elsewhere. It boils down to this: we don't know and we can't know. No one knows and no one can know.

I wonder what folks think they're saying when they write that.

I wonder what sort of positive contribution you imagine you are making to the human struggle when you write this. And my question to you is: how can you know that? Folks who arrogate the authority to tell others that no one knows and no one can know, seem to be making the self same error that Oedipus made in interpreting the Sphinx. When the Sphinx asks him what walks on 4 legs in the morning, 2 legs at noon and 3 legs at night, the answer is not simply "man" as he says, but "Oedipus," himself. Psychologically, he never realizes that the Sphinx's words even include him really. He sets himself apart, above the rest of us in his "wisdom" and that, in part, dooms him.

And so here you are, on the face of things, expressing the great agnostic truth as you see it: no one knows and no one can know, "no matter how much they say otherwise." But in saying it, you have arrogated metaphysical authority that undercuts your pose of agnosticism. The truth of what you say is only that you do not know. The rest is pure arrogance, and a strange sort of arrogance it is, that stabs in the heart any hope of human progress toward knowing. But really, what you honestly cannot, at the moment, know is whether or not anyone else knows. You need to own your limitation and not comfort yourself with the fiction that your personal limitation is shared by all of humanity. For all you know, no one else knows, but you may be mistaken.

I'm sorry, but you cannot know that no one else knows.

Supporting this!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lt_Ripley
Supporting this!

but still not proof.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sherapy
yes I can say no one knows. there is no proof . an experience is not proof. hence no one knows. The positive contribution ? is for people to think and not just wish or follow whatever is being fed to them. The truth is that no one knows ... I'm sorry if you can't deal with that. I'm sorry if that shakes your faith , but it's the truth. One of the few that is known.

There is no proof anywhere that I'm mistaken. All is opinion and personal experience that can not be proven as real. I do believe in God , but am honest enough to admit that what I feel may not be what I call God , but nothing more than a chemical reaction . A response from social conditioning and the effect religion has on it. A gene that causes us to feel good.

@ am and lady R...beautiful posts both of you.... :wub:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.