20 February 2003
Finding Happiness: Cajole
Your Brain to Lean to the Left
All too many years ago, while I was
still a psychology graduate student, I ran an experiment to assess how
well meditation might work as an antidote to stress. My professors were
skeptical, my measures were weak, and my subjects were mainly college
sophomores. Not surprisingly, my results were inconclusive.
>> Read More
Tracing the Synapsis of Our Spirituality
Philadelphia, a researcher discovers areas of the brain that are activated
during meditation. At two other universities in San Diego and North
Carolina, doctors study how epilepsy and certain hallucinogenic drugs can
produce religious epiphanies. And in Canada, a neuroscientist fits people
with magnetized helmets that produce "spiritual" experiences for
the secular. Learn
more about neurotheology in this Washington Post article.
Argues That Shamanism is the Original Neurotheology
"Neurotheology" is a new concept given widespread
exposure in the recent Newsweek article (5/7/2001) God and the
Brain How We’re Wired for Spirituality. "While the term
neurotheology is new, the basic ideas have been around for thousands of
years" says Dr. Michael Winkelman, Department of Anthropology,
Arizona State University. "Many cultures have developed technologies
for altering consciousness and inducing spiritual experiences."
Winkelman describes shamanism- an ancient healing practice- within the
context of neurotheology. >> Read More.
This is Your Brain on God
new field of neurotheology is examining what specifically happens within
the brain when a person has a “religious” or “spiritual”
experience. Early research is showing that not only does a person’s
brain activity change in particular areas while that person is
experiencing a religious epiphany, but such epiphanies can be occasioned,
for some people, by stimulating various parts of the brain by various
means. These findings underscore the importance of permitting individuals
unfettered access to the full-spectrum of consciousness, and the freedom
to achieve various states of mind by various means. Newsweek’s May 7,
2001 issue features a good summary of what’s happening in the field of
the Newsweek article online.