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Hey Hey
post Jul 30, 2007, 10:46 PM
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In a recent discussion with Joesus on a related topic, I mentioned an article originating from the Dawkin's website. I can't remember if it's been discussed specifically on this board, so I've posted it and a URl below. If you've seen it before, please ignore at your leisure.


http://discovermagazine.com/2006/dec/god-experiments/?page=1
The God Experiments
Five researchers take science where it's never gone before.
by John Horgan


Three years ago, the British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins became a guinea pig in an experiment. Neuroscientist Michael Persinger claimed he had induced religious experiences in subjects by stimulating specific regions of their brains with electromagnetic pulses. Dawkins, renowned for his biological theories as well as for his criticism of religion, volunteered to test Persinger's electromagnetic device—the "God machine," as some journalists dubbed it. "I've always been curious to know what it would be like to have a mystical experience," Dawkins said shortly before the experiment. Afterward, he admitted on BBC that he was "very disappointed" that he did not experience "communion with the universe" or some other spiritual sensation.


Neurobiologist Michael Persinger has devised a wired helmet that he says induces religious experiences in those who wear it.

Courtesy of Vivien Hoang, Laurentian University Neuroscience Research Group

Many researchers, like Persinger, view the brain as the key to understanding religion. Others focus on psychological, genetic, and biochemical origins. The science of religion has historical precedents, with Sigmund Freud and William James addressing the topic early in the last century. Now modern researchers are applying brain scans, genetic probes, and other potent instruments as they attempt to locate the physiological causes of religious experience, characterize its effects, perhaps replicate it, and perhaps even begin to explain its abiding influence.
The endeavor is controversial, stretching science to its limits. Religion is arguably the most complex manifestation of the most complex phenomenon known to science, the human mind. Religion's dimensions range from the intensely personal to the cultural and political. Additionally, researchers come to study religious experiences with very different motives and assumptions. Some of them hope that their studies will inform and enrich faith. Others see religion as an embarrassing relic of our past, and they want to explain it away.

"Even when the neural basis of religion has been identified, it remains a plausible interpretation of any conceivable neuropsychological facts that there is a genuine experience of God," notes Fraser Watts, a psychologist and theologian at the University of Cambridge and an Anglican vicar. A major funder of research on religion is the John Templeton Foundation, started in 1987 by the Christian financier John Templeton to promote "collaboration" between science and religion.

The theories described below illustrate the diversity of scientific approaches to understanding religion. All these theories are tentative at best, and some will almost certainly turn out to be wrong. The field suffers from vague terminology, disagreement about what exactly "religion" is, and which of its aspects are most important. Does religion consist primarily of behaviors, such as attending church or following certain moral precepts? Or does it consist of beliefs—in God or in an afterlife? Is religion best studied as a set of experiences, such as the inchoate feelings of connection to the rest of nature that can occur during prayer or meditation? Comparing studies is often an exercise in comparing apples and oranges. Nonetheless, the science merits close attention.

Inventing God

Stewart Guthrie, an anthropologist at Fordham University in New York, is in the explain-it-away camp of researchers. Noting the plethora of gods that populate the world's religions, many with minds and emotions similar to our own, Guthrie argues that the belief in supernatural beings is a result of an illusion that arises from our tendency to project human qualities onto the world. Religion "may be best understood as systematic anthropomorphism," he writes in his book, Faces in the Clouds.

Anthropomorphism is an adaptive trait that enhanced our ancestors' chances of survival, he adds. If a Neanderthal mistook a tree creaking outside his cave for a human assailant, he suffered no adverse consequences beyond a moment's panic. If the Neanderthal made the opposite error—mistaking an assailant for a tree—the consequences might have been dire. In other words, better safe than sorry. Over millennia, as natural selection bolstered our unconscious anthropomorphic tendencies, they reached beyond specific objects and events to encompass all of nature, goes Guthrie's theory, until we persuaded ourselves that "the entire world of our experience is merely a show staged by some master dramatist."



Humans are not alone in this trait. In The Descent of Man, Charles Darwin noted that many "higher mammals" share the human propensity "to imagine that natural objects and agencies are animated by spiritual or living essences." As an example, he recalled watching his dog growl at a parasol lifted off the ground by a gust of wind.

Andrew Newberg, a neuroscientist at the University of Pennsylvania, has focused on the tendency of people from different religious traditions to report similar mystical experiences, which typically involve sensations of self-transcendence and "oneness." These commonalities indicate that the visions stem from the same neural processes, Newberg hypothesizes. To test his theory, Newberg has scanned the brains of more than 20 adherents of spiritual practices, including Christian prayer and Tibetan Buddhist meditation. He uses a technique called single- photon-emission-computed tomography, or SPECT, a variant of the better-known positron-emission tomography, PET.

The chief advantage of SPECT is that it can capture the brains of meditators in a relatively natural setting. The subject meditates not in the SPECT chamber itself but in a separate room. When a subject—a Franciscan nun, in one case—feels her ordinary self "dissolving into Christ consciousness," as she describes it, a radioactive fluid is injected into her body through an intravenous tube; the fluid travels to her brain and becomes trapped in nerve cells there. The nun then goes to the SPECT chamber, where a computer-controlled camera scans her brain. The resulting image reveals levels of neural activity in the moment immediately after she received the radioactive fluid, when she presumably was still immersed in contemplation.
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Joesus
post Jul 30, 2007, 11:46 PM
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Gotta love God for always moving in so many directions. Kinda like chasing a greased pig with one hand tied behind your back.
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Hey Hey
post Jul 31, 2007, 12:44 AM
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QUOTE(Joesus @ Jul 31, 2007, 08:46 AM) *
Kinda like chasing a greased pig with one hand tied behind your back.
Always nice to see the sentiments of the religious.

Any serious replies to the article? Would especially like to see comments from Lindsay, that are typically well considered and helpful.
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trojan_libido
post Jul 31, 2007, 03:48 AM
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I actually saw Dawkins put this crazy God helmet on and he looked terrified to me. The hype surrounding the experiment was a little much since all it really did is give the wearer a sense that someone else was there or watching them. Thats not really a transcendal holy-mary-mother-of-god experience in my view.

Dawkins came out of the sealed booth and said it had felt strange but only because it was a strange helmet. He did say he felt 'something' but his later dismissal seemed a little too quick for me. All the experiment was trying to show was that our senses can be altered by magnetic fields and radio frequencies, and since he did perceive something then I guess it was successful. No God appeared though, and why would it, to someone who has denounced such things.

I've also read some details of experiments done on 'enlightened' meditators, similar to the one in the OP's post. It seems there is a physical change associated with people who have mastered meditation. Their experiences shouldn't be overlooked by modern science.
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Hey Hey
post Jul 31, 2007, 05:17 AM
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QUOTE(trojan_libido @ Jul 31, 2007, 12:48 PM) *
It seems there is a physical change associated with people who have mastered meditation. Their experiences shouldn't be overlooked by modern science.
They aren't. And, of course, the effects of mind over supposedly unconsciously controlled physiology such BP and heart rate are well known, and don't take much effort to achieve. But I think we are a way from conjuring up a deity or achieving a miracle, except in the imagination or at the cinema. Although ... some might say if its in the mind it's real. However, others say that nothing is. Uhm, where are we going here?
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trojan_libido
post Jul 31, 2007, 05:35 AM
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Well if there is physical evidence that meditation can cause spiritual nirvana/religious experiences, then these experiences are part of human physiology. The fact the experience can alter a persons outlook, behaviour and even morality points to the question of whether these experiences are necessary for our culture to exist?

I think these experiences come when the body is ready to receive them, whether we're opened up through a traumatic event (Kundalini rising), search for wisdom (mental clarity), or years of meditation (silencing the mind). There is a underlying resonance to the Universe, cosmic Aum style of thing. Maybe this resonance is tapped into when people experience this Divine spirit, or maybe they're just on the edge of a coma biggrin.gif

Its still pretty freaky how we've been revering these hallucinations in history. I wonder how many modern saints are locked up in nut-houses for their "visions".
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Hey Hey
post Jul 31, 2007, 10:19 AM
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QUOTE(trojan_libido @ Jul 31, 2007, 02:35 PM) *
There is a underlying resonance to the Universe, cosmic Aum style of thing. Maybe this resonance is tapped into when people experience this Divine spirit, or maybe they're just on the edge of a coma biggrin.gif
Is this your belief or do you have empirical evidence?
--
It's not surprising that the mind can be used to control even "unconscious physiology". After all, it controls loads of conscious physiology. So there's no real need to look for a paraphysiological or parapsycological mechanism. We could probably control much more of the unconscious stuff, but who wants to spend a lifetime practicing how to meditate just to be able cause the gall bladder to squirt some extra bile after a Big Mac. That would be almost as interesting as jogging! wink.gif
--
Back to topic, why should it mean if some magnetic helmet causes god visions that the visions/experiences that the religious say they have are invalid? That's like saying if you electrically stimulate a region of the brain or cord to cause a pain experience that the usual type of pain is also an illusion (that's a poor analogy I know). Hey, what am I saying - I just turned into a believer? blink.gif
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Enki
post Jul 31, 2007, 12:05 PM
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I think Dr. Richard Dawkins is a Great British Asshole from Oxford!

I am sorry for vulgar language.

Dawkins begins Chapter 2 by describing Yahweh, the God of the Old Testament, as

“ arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction. Jealous and proud of it, a petty, unjust, unforgiving control freak, a vindictive bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser, a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully."

So if Yahweh exists, then I think we will be able to observe that on the life progress of Dr. Dawkins.

I regularly will look for updates of his biography. It will help to get further into understandnig of the true nature of the God.
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Rick
post Jul 31, 2007, 12:09 PM
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Have you actually read the Old Testament? Dr. Dawkins is right. The old god is a very unpleasant character with capricious whims.
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Enki
post Jul 31, 2007, 12:13 PM
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QUOTE(Rick @ Jul 31, 2007, 12:09 PM) *

Have you actually read the Old Testament? Dr. Dawkins is right. The old god is a very unpleasant character with capricious whims.


I have read it and not only.

“The roots of religion

Chapter 5 explores the roots of religion and why religion is so ubiquitous across all human cultures. Dawkins advocates the "theory of religion as an accidental by-product – a misfiring of something useful" and asks whether the theory of memes, and human susceptibility to religious memes in particular, might work to explain how religion might spread like a "mind virus" across societies.”

Religious meme - "mind virus"? It looks like Dr. Dawkins decided to declare war to all ‘Gods’ of this planet as I see.

I think it is very easy to prove that Dr. Dawkins is wrong, but unfortunately there is no time and health for such an adventure.
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code buttons
post Jul 31, 2007, 02:53 PM
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QUOTE(Enki @ Jul 31, 2007, 12:13 PM) *

Religious meme - "mind virus"?

How else would you call a mental state that causes apparently otherwise healthy individuals and entire human populations to commit acts as extreme as genocide, homicide, infanticide, suicide, ect? And worst yet, refuse to accept defeat in light of reason and objective data? Surely there are exceptions, as there are extremes. But, and this subject has been touched here many times, overall religion and religious believes have left an indelible mark in human history, and not a pretty one. http://brainmeta.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=13719
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Enki
post Aug 01, 2007, 09:29 PM
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Code,

I replied in the section you redirected me to:
http://brainmeta.com/forum/index.php?showt...420&#entry81192
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Hey Hey
post Aug 01, 2007, 09:34 PM
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QUOTE(code buttons @ Jul 31, 2007, 11:53 PM) *
QUOTE(Enki @ Jul 31, 2007, 12:13 PM) *
Religious meme - "mind virus"?
How else would you call a mental state that causes apparently otherwise healthy individuals and entire human populations to commit acts as extreme as genocide, homicide, infanticide, suicide, ect? And worst yet, refuse to accept defeat in light of reason and objective data? Surely there are exceptions, as there are extremes. But, and this subject has been touched here many times, overall religion and religious believes have left an indelible mark in human history, and not a pretty one. http://brainmeta.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=13719
Most eloquently expressed.
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Hey Hey
post Aug 01, 2007, 09:35 PM
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QUOTE(code buttons @ Jul 31, 2007, 11:53 PM) *
QUOTE(Enki @ Jul 31, 2007, 12:13 PM) *
Religious meme - "mind virus"?
How else would you call a mental state that causes apparently otherwise healthy individuals and entire human populations to commit acts as extreme as genocide, homicide, infanticide, suicide, ect? And worst yet, refuse to accept defeat in light of reason and objective data? Surely there are exceptions, as there are extremes. But, and this subject has been touched here many times, overall religion and religious believes have left an indelible mark in human history, and not a pretty one. http://brainmeta.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=13719
Most eloquently expressed. Go to the top of the class.
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Orbz
post Aug 01, 2007, 11:52 PM
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QUOTE(Enki @ Aug 01, 2007, 04:05 AM) *

So if Yahweh exists, then I think we will be able to observe that on the life progress of Dr. Dawkins.

I regularly will look for updates of his biography. It will help to get further into understandnig of the true nature of the God.

So, by insulting God, God responds by: Granting a position at Oxford, allowing several books to be quite successful, allowing Richard to have a successful scientific career, bestowment of a number of awards and prizes, etc.... Maybe I should insult God more often?

This God's nature is either especially lenient and rewarding dissenters or Yahweh is on holiday at the moment.
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trojan_libido
post Aug 01, 2007, 11:53 PM
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QUOTE(Hey Hey @ Jul 31, 2007, 07:19 PM) *

QUOTE(trojan_libido @ Jul 31, 2007, 02:35 PM) *
There is a underlying resonance to the Universe, cosmic Aum style of thing. Maybe this resonance is tapped into when people experience this Divine spirit, or maybe they're just on the edge of a coma biggrin.gif
Is this your belief or do you have empirical evidence?

No evidence, just an educated guess after looking at the effects of cymatics and a little research. Its definately part of my beliefs, minus the strange helmet.

QUOTE(Hey Hey @ Jul 31, 2007, 07:19 PM) *

It's not surprising that the mind can be used to control even "unconscious physiology". After all, it controls loads of conscious physiology. So there's no real need to look for a paraphysiological or parapsycological mechanism. We could probably control much more of the unconscious stuff, but who wants to spend a lifetime practicing how to meditate just to be able cause the gall bladder to squirt some extra bile after a Big Mac. That would be almost as interesting as jogging! wink.gif


Experiencing Nirvana is a slightly better prize than squirting bile! Although there are plenty body functions I'd like more control of, hehe biggrin.gif

QUOTE(Hey Hey @ Jul 31, 2007, 07:19 PM) *

Back to topic, why should it mean if some magnetic helmet causes god visions that the visions/experiences that the religious say they have are invalid? That's like saying if you electrically stimulate a region of the brain or cord to cause a pain experience that the usual type of pain is also an illusion (that's a poor analogy I know). Hey, what am I saying - I just turned into a believer? blink.gif


I don't believe finding the trigger for mystical visions would invalidate them. There would still be the mystery of how they are triggered, and why they contain the imagery they do. The actual imagery has been dismissed because its obviously impossible to validate a persons experience. They are clearly hallucinations, and some people experience these visions throughout their lives naturally. Again, I dont believe this invalidates the content of the experience, it just brings it into a scientific context.
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Hey Hey
post Aug 02, 2007, 12:15 AM
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I'd like to hear more about the profound religious visions/experiences that people might have on a regular basis (i.e. not one offs), but excluding those that can clearly be put down to accepted definitions of mental illnesses. How have/are they investigated and by whom?
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trojan_libido
post Aug 02, 2007, 12:19 AM
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There are a few points that wind me up about Dawkins, points that stop me from fully supporting his agenda. One is his complete tearing down of all religions that ever were, with no reason other than to remove what he sees as the birthplace of extremist thought. Personally I feel that this is not a problem of the religious institutes, but more the splinter groups and politicians that use religion as a means of control. He debunks the stories in the Bible by not asking if any of them are metaphors, the fact he might have missed the point never comes up. After he tears it all down he doesnt leave anything in place to fill the hole. I mean there is a reason behind belief in religions, Dawkins acknowledges it but obviously doesn't know what it is.

Near the end of the book "The God Delusion", he then goes on to discuss the Zeitgeist. I simply can't see how someone whose whole point is to totally renounce anything spiritual, can then use this word:

"Zeitgeist is originally a German expression that means "the spirit of the age", literally translated as "time (Zeit) spirit (Geist)".

You can't talk about the "spirit" of something after tearing down such beliefs surely. To say that something inanimate has a spirit, or theres a spirit behind culture, is to invalidate everything said previously. Unless Dawkins believes there is no God, only toothfairies and Easter bunnies.

Also his theory on memes, the way they are described is a virus of the mind. Catchy songs and tunes, stories, seasonal colours, traditions, basically anything we pass on to each other. He describes it as though it is a biological process! I've not read his Selfish Gene book, but I have been interested in this hypothesis for a while.

My belief is the Universe is recursive, constantly looping back on itself and increasing complexity like a fractal. I have no problem with thinking of everything we do as a mind virus propagating through culture. I can see how the same pattern of life is running on all levels and so this theory actually strengthens my own beliefs. But how can Dawkins develop these ideas and not see the pattern of life etched across them? IF it turns out he is correct, then we have a process not disimilar to life and its struggles happening without biology.

This would surely raise a few internal dilemmas to Mr. Dawkins.
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post Aug 02, 2007, 08:37 AM
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QUOTE(Hey Hey @ Jul 30, 2007, 11:46 PM) *
Afterward, Dawkins admitted on BBC that he was "very disappointed" that he did not experience "communion with the universe" or some other spiritual sensation.

He should have induced an NDE to commune with God
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Enki
post Aug 02, 2007, 10:21 AM
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QUOTE(Orbz @ Aug 01, 2007, 11:52 PM) *

QUOTE(Enki @ Aug 01, 2007, 04:05 AM) *

So if Yahweh exists, then I think we will be able to observe that on the life progress of Dr. Dawkins.

I regularly will look for updates of his biography. It will help to get further into understandnig of the true nature of the God.

So, by insulting God, God responds by: Granting a position at Oxford, allowing several books to be quite successful, allowing Richard to have a successful scientific career, bestowment of a number of awards and prizes, etc.... Maybe I should insult God more often?

This God's nature is either especially lenient and rewarding dissenters or Yahweh is on holiday at the moment.


Well. You never know, maybe by his actions he somehow popularizes the topic?laugh.gif
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post Aug 02, 2007, 10:21 AM
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QUOTE
I'd like to hear more about the profound religious visions/experiences that people might have on a regular basis

What defines an experience as religious rather than physiologically and psychologically normal?

Have you ever dropped a single stone into a quiet pond? What happens? Perfectly concentric ripples spread across the water. This is like having one thought only moving through the mind. The mind is coherent, it is orderly, and it is powerful. What happens when you drop several stones, a whole handful into the water? The waves become very choppy. Some troughs end up on tops of crests, many get cancelled out. This is like the mind when it is caught by those continually running internal programs. It just keeps going and going and going and nothing comes of it.

Scientists have actually measured this. Hooking electroencephalographic leads onto the brain, onto the temporal, parietal and occipital lobes of the left and right hemispheres, they find that the measurement of the surface thinking level of the mind looks very much like a chaotic pond: the measurements show many different frequencies in the brain waves, very little coherence.
This kind of chaotic, disordered thinking is the way most adults think, but not everyone. There has been a lot of research about the Peak Experience and what has been found is that the human mind can become completely coherent.
Do you know what Peak Experiences are? The psychologist Abraham Maslow, who was a pioneer in studying the positive aspects of human psychology, defined them. He wrote, "These moments were of pure, positive happiness, when all doubts, all fears, all inhibitions, all tensions, all weaknesses were left behind.
Now self-consciousness was lost.
All separateness and distance from the world disappeared..."
These experiences are rare, but can come at any unpredictable time and completely transform life. People have adopted whole new belief systems from one single taste beyond the veil of the senses. These experiences have a curative power.
This kind of perfect harmony in brain wave patterns is also found in small infants when they are nursing, in pets when they are being petted and in adults when they are experiencing expansion of consciousness. What is being measured is a mind that is still, a mind that is in the present moment, not caught by regret for the past or worry for the future.
A mind that is working like this is creating a healthy body. Your body is already spewing out millions of chemical reactions every second. When your mind is tense, anxious, nervous, your body responds by producing tense, anxious, nervous molecules like adrenaline and noradrenaline. When your mind is calm and peaceful, your body produces calm and peaceful molecules like Valium. Your body is already producing chemicals similar to any that your friendly neighborhood pharmacist will give you, but without the side effects. When your body produces Valium, it makes you feel tranquil but without also making you feel like a zombie. When your body produces anti-cancer drugs or anti-bacteria drugs, these drugs have no side effects. The body does this absolutely naturally, in the right amount at the right time, ideally suited for the correct target organ, and all the instructions are included in the packaging. Your body does this completely spontaneously for you when it is not stressed.
How do we unstress the body? How do we keep new stresses from accumulating? How do we learn to maintain inner peace and tranquility in the face of the hectic pace of the modern world? How do we learn to stop undermining ourselves with destructive internal programs? How do we learn to expand our minds to our full potential? This is the purpose of spiritual insight and focus.

During the process of meditation these conditions that show up in the brainwave patters during a peak experience can be repeated.
I taught a course in Washington D.C. and one of the participants was a neurologist. When I spoke of the curative powers of the mind when it is orderly he insisted in recreating the experiment in the hospital where he worked.
He hooked another teacher and myself to an EEG and measured brainwave patterns during different phases of the mechanical techniques of meditation. With eyes open the change in brain wave coherency was clearly measurable when the mind begins to move toward stillness in applying the techniques.
Then there was another measurable difference with eyes closed as the mind stilled and the coherence of patterns showed a drop in the section of the mind where thoughts are normally seen as active brain wave patterns of a normal waking person.
Then what was also interesting to him was the section of the brain which becomes active during dreaming and those sections normally noted as being most active during intuitive processing (mostly quiet during intense activity) became more active.
The neurologist did some more experiments with others using the same process of meditation including himself and found similar results.

When the mind is stilled from its activity of thinking random and meaningless thoughts its capacity for expanded awareness is sharpened rather than distracted as it normally is during the stress of the active day.

In Expanded states of awareness a stillness begins to permeate all aspects of perception and experience.
The mind and body become more centered and the objective and subjective experience of life begin to change from being separate from ones self to being connected at subtle levels of thought and intention.

Another interest the neurologist had was the brain wave activity found in long term meditators was more coherent during normal waking states without the mechanical process of meditation than those who did not meditate showing that the process made a permanent impression to the patterns of thinking of the individual who made a regular practice of meditation.

(On Side note which I'm sure will fascinate you HH is that when the neurologist showed my brain scan to his colleague he insisted that my brain functions were evident of some physical damage because it didn't show the normal chaotic activity that he was used to seeing as a baseline for normal people.)

This perpetual coherence is the beginning of spiritual awakening and basis of all spiritual teachings and the offshoots that have become religions due to the ignorance of spiritual sciences and belief in separation from the things in the manifest world.
Religions have become alters to the messengers of human reality rather than educational doorways to the inner potential of the human condition.

There are no human conditions other than those that are self imposed.
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post Aug 02, 2007, 11:05 AM
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QUOTE(Joesus @ Aug 02, 2007, 10:21 AM) *

QUOTE
I'd like to hear more about the profound religious visions/experiences that people might have on a regular basis

What defines an experience as religious rather than physiologically and psychologically normal?

Have you ever dropped a single stone into a quiet pond? What happens? Perfectly concentric ripples spread across the water. This is like having one thought only moving through the mind. The mind is coherent, it is orderly, and it is powerful. What happens when you drop several stones, a whole handful into the water? The waves become very choppy. Some troughs end up on tops of crests, many get cancelled out. This is like the mind when it is caught by those continually running internal programs. It just keeps going and going and going and nothing comes of it.

Scientists have actually measured this. Hooking electroencephalographic leads onto the brain, onto the temporal, parietal and occipital lobes of the left and right hemispheres, they find that the measurement of the surface thinking level of the mind looks very much like a chaotic pond: the measurements show many different frequencies in the brain waves, very little coherence.
This kind of chaotic, disordered thinking is the way most adults think, but not everyone. There has been a lot of research about the Peak Experience and what has been found is that the human mind can become completely coherent.
Do you know what Peak Experiences are? The psychologist Abraham Maslow, who was a pioneer in studying the positive aspects of human psychology, defined them. He wrote, "These moments were of pure, positive happiness, when all doubts, all fears, all inhibitions, all tensions, all weaknesses were left behind.
Now self-consciousness was lost.
All separateness and distance from the world disappeared..."
These experiences are rare, but can come at any unpredictable time and completely transform life. People have adopted whole new belief systems from one single taste beyond the veil of the senses. These experiences have a curative power.
This kind of perfect harmony in brain wave patterns is also found in small infants when they are nursing, in pets when they are being petted and in adults when they are experiencing expansion of consciousness. What is being measured is a mind that is still, a mind that is in the present moment, not caught by regret for the past or worry for the future.
A mind that is working like this is creating a healthy body. Your body is already spewing out millions of chemical reactions every second. When your mind is tense, anxious, nervous, your body responds by producing tense, anxious, nervous molecules like adrenaline and noradrenaline. When your mind is calm and peaceful, your body produces calm and peaceful molecules like Valium. Your body is already producing chemicals similar to any that your friendly neighborhood pharmacist will give you, but without the side effects. When your body produces Valium, it makes you feel tranquil but without also making you feel like a zombie. When your body produces anti-cancer drugs or anti-bacteria drugs, these drugs have no side effects. The body does this absolutely naturally, in the right amount at the right time, ideally suited for the correct target organ, and all the instructions are included in the packaging. Your body does this completely spontaneously for you when it is not stressed.
How do we unstress the body? How do we keep new stresses from accumulating? How do we learn to maintain inner peace and tranquility in the face of the hectic pace of the modern world? How do we learn to stop undermining ourselves with destructive internal programs? How do we learn to expand our minds to our full potential? This is the purpose of spiritual insight and focus.

During the process of meditation these conditions that show up in the brainwave patters during a peak experience can be repeated.
I taught a course in Washington D.C. and one of the participants was a neurologist. When I spoke of the curative powers of the mind when it is orderly he insisted in recreating the experiment in the hospital where he worked.
He hooked another teacher and myself to an EEG and measured brainwave patterns during different phases of the mechanical techniques of meditation. With eyes open the change in brain wave coherency was clearly measurable when the mind begins to move toward stillness in applying the techniques.
Then there was another measurable difference with eyes closed as the mind stilled and the coherence of patterns showed a drop in the section of the mind where thoughts are normally seen as active brain wave patterns of a normal waking person.
Then what was also interesting to him was the section of the brain which becomes active during dreaming and those sections normally noted as being most active during intuitive processing (mostly quiet during intense activity) became more active.
The neurologist did some more experiments with others using the same process of meditation including himself and found similar results.

When the mind is stilled from its activity of thinking random and meaningless thoughts its capacity for expanded awareness is sharpened rather than distracted as it normally is during the stress of the active day.

In Expanded states of awareness a stillness begins to permeate all aspects of perception and experience.
The mind and body become more centered and the objective and subjective experience of life begin to change from being separate from ones self to being connected at subtle levels of thought and intention.

Another interest the neurologist had was the brain wave activity found in long term meditators was more coherent during normal waking states without the mechanical process of meditation than those who did not meditate showing that the process made a permanent impression to the patterns of thinking of the individual who made a regular practice of meditation.

(On Side note which I'm sure will fascinate you HH is that when the neurologist showed my brain scan to his colleague he insisted that my brain functions were evident of some physical damage because it didn't show the normal chaotic activity that he was used to seeing as a baseline for normal people.)

This perpetual coherence is the beginning of spiritual awakening and basis of all spiritual teachings and the offshoots that have become religions due to the ignorance of spiritual sciences and belief in separation from the things in the manifest world.
Religions have become alters to the messengers of human reality rather than educational doorways to the inner potential of the human condition.

There are no human conditions other than those that are self imposed.


Excellent Joesus!

Now all is clear. Thank you for the clarity.

Let me to make some Practical Synergy.

So now we need to find the keys to the brain which will Turn the Divine Mechanism On.

It may turn so that some set of words (with certain sequence) can trigger that wonderful state of mind.

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Joesus
post Aug 02, 2007, 01:31 PM
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QUOTE


It may turn so that some set of words (with certain sequence) can trigger that wonderful state of mind.

That and a sincere desire to rise above ones limitations.
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Enki
post Aug 02, 2007, 01:56 PM
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QUOTE(Joesus @ Aug 02, 2007, 01:31 PM) *

QUOTE


It may turn so that some set of words (with certain sequence) can trigger that wonderful state of mind.

That and a sincere desire to rise above ones limitations.


Quite correct.
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Enki
post Aug 02, 2007, 01:58 PM
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And I should say that it is a good Project Proposal subject by the way. wink.gif

And only few can find those words and only few know them. laugh.gif
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Orbz
post Aug 02, 2007, 10:17 PM
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QUOTE(Enki @ Aug 03, 2007, 02:21 AM) *

Well. You never know, maybe by his actions he somehow popularizes the topic?laugh.gif

Ha yes, they always say any attention is good attention!!
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Enki
post Aug 04, 2007, 05:13 AM
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QUOTE(Orbz @ Aug 02, 2007, 10:17 PM) *

QUOTE(Enki @ Aug 03, 2007, 02:21 AM) *

Well. You never know, maybe by his actions he somehow popularizes the topic?laugh.gif

Ha yes, they always say any attention is good attention!!


So Dr. Dawkins is an option of the Divine Marketing.

I call such people\things Contralabus.

Contralabus (word invented by Enki) n. Something, somebody being con but afterall helping to promote pro.
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