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The God Impulse

The God Impulse Author Kevin Nelson
ISBN-10 9781847378323
Release 2011-03-03
Pages 336
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Why do people have near-death experiences? Are there physical explanations for those out-of-body sensations and tunnels of light? And what about moments of spiritual ecstasy? If Buddha had been in an MRI machine and not under the Bodhi tree when he attained enlightenment, what would we have seen on the monitor? In THE GOD IMPULSE, Kevin Nelson, a neurologist with three decades' experience examining the biology behind human spirituality, deconstructs the spiritual self, uncovering its origin in the most primitive areas of our brain. Through his revolutionary studies on near-death experience, Nelson has discovered that spiritual experience is an incidental product of several different neurological processes acting independently. When we feel close to God or sense the presence of departed relatives, we may believe that we are standing at the border of this world and the next as individual, autonomous, rational creatures-touching God. The reality is far different: our brain function resembles a Cubist painting by Picasso or Braque, and the experiences we regard as the height of our humanity are in fact produced by primal reflexes. THE GOD IMPULSE takes us on a journey into what Nelson calls the borderlands of consciousness. The book offers the first comprehensive, empirically-tested, peer-reviewed examination of the reasons we are capable of near-death experience, out-of-body experience, and the mystical states produced by hallucinogenic drugs



The Spiritual Doorway in the Brain

The Spiritual Doorway in the Brain Author Kevin Nelson
ISBN-10 0525951881
Release 2011
Pages 326
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A leading neurologist and expert on out-of-body and near-death experiences draws on the latest scientific research to demonstrate that spirituality is as much a part of humans' basic biological makeup as the sex drive or survival instinct.



The God Impulse

The God Impulse Author Kevin Nelson
ISBN-10 1459694295
Release 2015-04-01
Pages 486
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Why do people have near - death experiences? Are there physical explanations for those out - of - body sensations and tunnels of light? And what about moments of spiritual ecstasy? If Buddha had been in an MRI machine and not under the Bodhi tree when he attained enlightenment, what would we have seen on the monitor? In THE GOD IMPULSE, Kevin Nelson, a neurologist with three decades' experience examining the biology behind human spirituality, deconstructs the spiritual self, uncovering its origin in the most primitive areas of our brain. Through his revolutionary studies on near - death experience, Nelson has discovered that spiritual experience is an incidental product of several different neurological processes acting independently. When we feel close to God or sense the presence of departed relatives, we may believe that we are standing at the border of this world and the next as individual, autonomous, rational creatures - touching God. The reality is far different: our brain function resembles a Cubist painting by Picasso or Braque, and the experiences we regard as the height of our humanity are in fact produced by primal reflexes. THE GOD IMPULSE takes us on a journey into what Nelson calls the borderlands of consciousness. The book offers the first comprehensive, empirically - tested, peer - reviewed examination of the reasons we are capable of near - death experience, out - of - body experience, and the mystical states produced by hallucinogenic drugs.



Mortal Minds

Mortal Minds Author G. M. Woerlee
ISBN-10 9781615925988
Release 2005
Pages 282
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With its easy-to-read and personal style, this book provides some intriguing new explanations of the physiology of death and the dying experience.--Susan Blackmore, PhD, Author of Dying to LiveDying is the last conscious experience undergone by each person. But what do the dying experience? In the last few decades a good deal of publicity has surrounded people who have been close to death and then reported intense experiences that seem to suggest a supernatural existence beyond death. Does the conscious mind somehow continue to exist after the body has passed away? Mortal Minds answers these questions.Dr. G. M. Woerlee explains how the normal functioning of the human body near death can generate beliefs in the reality of the supernatural and life after death. An anesthesiologist with more than twenty years of hospital experience, Dr. Woerlee has been struck over the years by the similarities between the body's symptoms under anesthesia and its reactions near death. Among the issues he addresses are the sensations of being disembodied that those near death often describe, the perception that mind and body are separate components of existence, whether there is such a thing as a soul, the physical effects of decreased oxygen to the brain, and the visions that the dying sometimes report, from rapturous experiences of eternal peace to diabolical dreams.While not dismissing near death experiences as mere hallucinations, Dr. Woerlee is also careful to point out that even powerful psychological impressions by themselves do not constitute scientific proof of life after death. Taking this balanced, objective stance, he succeeds in conveying a better understanding of the dying process and helping us all to realize the nature of these final experiences.G. M. Woerlee (Leiden, The Netherlands) is an anesthesiologist affiliated with the Rijnland Hospital in Leiderdorp, The Netherlands, and the author of two books on anesthesiology.



Wired For God

Wired For God Author Charles Foster
ISBN-10 9781444722055
Release 2011-12-08
Pages 352
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Human religious experiences are remarkably uniform; many can be pharmacologically induced. Recent research into the neurology of religious experience has shown that, when worshipping or praying, a certain part of the brain, apparently dormant during other activities, becomes active. What does all this mean for those of faith and those with none? In this fascinating book barrister Charles Foster takes a survey of the evidence - from shamans to medieval mystics, to out-of-body experiences and epilepsy, via Jerusalem and middle-class Christianity - and assesses its significance. Written in short, accessible chapters, this is a fascinating tour of religious and mystical experiences and their relation to human physiology.



The Spiritual Brain

The Spiritual Brain Author Mario Beauregard
ISBN-10 0061752754
Release 2009-03-17
Pages 384
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Do religious experiences come from God, or are they merely the random firing of neurons in the brain? Drawing on his own research with Carmelite nuns, neuroscientist Mario Beauregard shows that genuine, life-changing spiritual events can be documented. He offers compelling evidence that religious experiences have a nonmaterial origin, making a convincing case for what many in scientific fields are loath to consider—that it is God who creates our spiritual experiences, not the brain. Beauregard and O'Leary explore recent attempts to locate a "God gene" in some of us and claims that our brains are "hardwired" for religion—even the strange case of one neuroscientist who allegedly invented an electromagnetic "God helmet" that could produce a mystical experience in anyone who wore it. The authors argue that these attempts are misguided and narrow-minded, because they reduce spiritual experiences to material phenomena. Many scientists ignore hard evidence that challenges their materialistic prejudice, clinging to the limited view that our experiences are explainable only by material causes, in the obstinate conviction that the physical world is the only reality. But scientific materialism is at a loss to explain irrefutable accounts of mind over matter, of intuition, willpower, and leaps of faith, of the "placebo effect" in medicine, of near-death experiences on the operating table, and of psychic premonitions of a loved one in crisis, to say nothing of the occasional sense of oneness with nature and mystical experiences in meditation or prayer. Traditional science explains away these and other occurrences as delusions or misunderstandings, but by exploring the latest neurological research on phenomena such as these, The Spiritual Brain gets to their real source.



The Believer s Brain

The Believer s Brain Author Kenneth M. Heilman
ISBN-10 9781317812890
Release 2014-01-21
Pages 160
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About 90% of people have faith in a supreme being, but our yearning for the divine, and whatever it promises, involves a large divergence in mental states and behaviors. Some adhere to doctrine, supplication, and fastidious religious practices; others have a strong sense they are part of something greater and more universal. However, all religious and spiritual paths are mediated by complex brain networks. When different areas of the brain are stimulated, a person can have a variety of experiences, but there is no specific ‘God spot’ where stimulation enhances religiosity or spirituality. Functional brain imaging shows that there are specific areas of the brain that ‘light up’ when subjects perform certain religious activities, but imaging only provides anatomic correlations, not functional explanations. The Believer's Brain takes a step beyond these singular methodologies, providing converging evidence from a variety study methods of how humans’ brain networks mediate different aspects of religious and spiritual beliefs, feelings, actions, and experiences. Although the book reveals how our brain is the home to the religious and spiritual mind, understanding this gift will not diminish our spirituality or our love or our belief in a supreme being, but will increase appreciation of the apparatus that mediates these mental states.



The Mind of God

The Mind of God Author Jay Lombard
ISBN-10 9780553418675
Release 2017-06-13
Pages 224
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"Lombard employs case studies from his own behavioral neurology practice to explore the spiritual conundrums that we all ask ourselves: What is the nature of God? Does my life have purpose? What's the meaning of our existence? Are we free? What happens to us when we die? For Lombard, these metaphysical questions are a jumping-off point for exploring the brain in search of the seat of the soul. It is neuroscience, the author contends, and how we and our brains interpret what's going on around us that can lead us to a deeper and more fulfilling faith"--Amazon.com.



Gray Matter

Gray Matter Author David Levy
ISBN-10 1414351704
Release 2011-02-21
Pages 320
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A perfect blend of medical drama and spiritual insight, Gray Matter is a fascinating account of Dr. David Levy’s decision to begin asking his patients if he could pray for them before surgery. Some are thrilled. Some are skeptical. Some are hostile, and some are quite literally transformed by the request. Each chapter focuses on a specific case, opening with a detailed description of the patient’s diagnosis and the procedure that will need to be performed, followed by the prayer “request.” From there, readers get to look over Dr. Levy’s shoulder as he performs the operation, and then we wait—right alongside Dr. Levy, the patients, and their families—to see the final results. Dr. Levy’s musings on what successful and unsuccessful surgical results imply about God, faith, and the power of prayer are honest and insightful. As we watch him come to his ultimate conclusion that no matter what the results of the procedure are, “God is good,” we cannot help but be truly moved and inspired.



How God Changes Your Brain

How God Changes Your Brain Author Andrew Newberg, M.D.
ISBN-10 0345512790
Release 2009-03-24
Pages 368
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God is great—for your mental, physical, and spiritual health. Based on new evidence culled from brain-scan studies, a wide-reaching survey of people’s religious and spiritual experiences, and the authors’ analyses of adult drawings of God, neuroscientist Andrew Newberg and therapist Mark Robert Waldman offer the following breakthrough discoveries: • Not only do prayer and spiritual practice reduce stress, but just twelve minutes of meditation per day may slow down the aging process. • Contemplating a loving God rather than a punitive God reduces anxiety and depression and increases feelings of security, compassion, and love. • Fundamentalism, in and of itself, can be personally beneficial, but the prejudice generated by extreme beliefs can permanently damage your brain. • Intense prayer and meditation permanently change numerous structures and functions in the brain, altering your values and the way you perceive reality. Both a revelatory work of modern science and a practical guide for readers to enhance their physical and emotional health, How God Changes Your Brain is a first-of-a-kind book about faith that is as credible as it is inspiring.



Fingerprints of God

Fingerprints of God Author Barbara Bradley Hagerty
ISBN-10 1101052600
Release 2009-05-14
Pages 336
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From the award-winning NPR religion correspondent and author of Life Reimagined: The Science, Art, and Opportunity of Midlife comes a fascinating investigation of how science is seeking to answer the question that has puzzled humanity for generations: Can science explain God? Is spiritual experience real or a delusion? Are there realities that we can experience but not easily measure? Does your consciousness depend entirely on your brain, or does it extend beyond? In Fingerprints of God, award-winning journalist Barbara Bradley Hagerty delves into the discoveries science is making about how faith and spirituality affect us physically and emotionally as it attempts to understand whether the ineffable place beyond this world can be rationally -even scientifically-explained. Hagerty interviews some of the world's top scientists to describe what their groundbreaking research reveals about our human spiritual experience. From analyses of the brain functions of Buddhist monks and Carmelite nuns, to the possibilities of healing the sick through directed prayer, to what near-death experiences illuminate about the afterlife, Hagerty reaches beyond what we think we know to understand what happens to us when we believe in a higher power. Paralleling the discoveries of science is Hagerty's own account of her spiritual evolution. Raised a Christian Scientist, she was a scrupulous adherent until a small moment as an adult triggered a revaluation of her beliefs, which in turn led her to a new way of thinking about God and faith. An insightful examination of what science is learning about how and why we believe, Fingerprints of God is also a moving story of one person's search for a communion with a higher power and what she discovered on that journey. From the Hardcover edition.



Why God Won t Go Away

Why God Won t Go Away Author Andrew Newberg, M.D.
ISBN-10 9780307493156
Release 2008-12-10
Pages 240
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Why have we humans always longed to connect with something larger than ourselves? Why does consciousness inevitably involve us in a spiritual quest? Why, in short, won't God go away? Theologians, philosophers, and psychologists have debated this question through the ages, arriving at a range of contradictory and ultimately unprovable answers. But in this brilliant, groundbreaking new book, researchers Andrew Newberg and Eugene d'Aquili offer an explanation that is at once profoundly simple and scientifically precise: the religious impulse is rooted in the biology of the brain. Newberg and d'Aquili base this revolutionary conclusion on a long-term investigation of brain function and behavior as well as studies they conducted using high-tech imaging techniques to examine the brains of meditating Buddhists and Franciscan nuns at prayer. What they discovered was that intensely focused spiritual contemplation triggers an alteration in the activity of the brain that leads us to perceive transcendent religious experiences as solid and tangibly real. In other words, the sensation that Buddhists call "oneness with the universe" and the Franciscans attribute to the palpable presence of God is not a delusion or a manifestation of wishful thinking but rather a chain of neurological events that can be objectively observed, recorded, and actually photographed. The inescapable conclusion is that God is hard-wired into the human brain. In Why God Won't Go Away, Newberg and d'Aquili document their pioneering explorations in the field of neurotheology, an emerging discipline dedicated to understanding the complex relationship between spirituality and the brain. Along the way, they delve into such essential questions as whether humans are biologically compelled to make myths; what is the evolutionary connection between religious ecstasy and sexual orgasm; what do Near Death Experiences reveal about the nature of spiritual phenomena; and how does ritual create its own neurological environment. As their journey unfolds, Newberg and d'Aquili realize that a single, overarching question lies at the heart of their pursuit: Is religion merely a product of biology or has the human brain been mysteriously endowed with the unique capacity to reach and know God? Blending cutting-edge science with illuminating insights into the nature of consciousness and spirituality, Why God Won't Go Away bridges faith and reason, mysticism and empirical data. The neurological basis of how the brain identifies the "real" is nothing short of miraculous. This fascinating, eye-opening book dares to explore both the miracle and the biology of our enduring relationship with God. From the Hardcover edition.



The Physics of Angels

The Physics of Angels Author Rupert Sheldrake
ISBN-10 9781939681294
Release 2014-09-29
Pages 256
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"Matthew Fox might well be the most creative, the most comprehensive, surely the most challenging religious-spiritual teacher in America."—Thomas Berry "Rupert Sheldrake continues to chart a new course in our understanding of the non-local mind that connects all of us."—Deepak Chopra Many people believe in angels, but few can define these enigmatic spirits. Now visionary theologian Matthew Fox and acclaimed biologist Rupert Sheldrake—pioneers in modern religious thinking and scientific theory—launch a groundbreaking exploration into the ancient concept of the angel and restore dignity, meaning, and joy to our time-honored belief in these heavenly beings.



Living Well and Dying Faithfully

Living Well and Dying Faithfully Author John Swinton
ISBN-10 9780802863393
Release 2009-11-10
Pages 287
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Living Well and Dying Faithfully explores how Christian practices love, prayer, lament, compassion, and so on can contribute to the process of dying well. Working on the premise that one dies the way one lives, the book is unique in its constructive dialogue between theology and medicine as offering two complementary modes of care.



Switch On Your Brain

Switch On Your Brain Author Dr. Caroline Leaf
ISBN-10 9781441244642
Release 2013-09-01
Pages 240
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According to researchers, the vast majority--a whopping 75-98 percent--of the illnesses that plague us today are a direct result of our thought life. What we think about truly affects us both physically and emotionally. In fact, fear alone triggers more than 1,400 known physical and chemical responses in our bodies, activating more than thirty different hormones! Today our culture is undergoing an epidemic of toxic thoughts that, left unchecked, create ideal conditions for illnesses. Supported by current scientific and medical research, Dr. Caroline Leaf gives readers a prescription for better health and wholeness through correct thinking patterns, declaring that we are not victims of our biology. She shares with readers the "switch" in our brains that enables us to live happier, healthier, more enjoyable lives where we achieve our goals, maintain our weight, and even become more intelligent. She shows us how to choose life, get our minds under control, and reap the benefits of a detoxed thought life.



The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down Author Anne Fadiman
ISBN-10 9780374533403
Release 2012-04-24
Pages 368
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A study in the collision between Western medicine and the beliefs of a traditional culture focuses on a hospitalized child of Laotian immigrants whose belief that illness is a spiritual matter comes into conflict with doctors' methods.



The God Part of the Brain

The  God  Part of the Brain Author Matthew Alper
ISBN-10 9781402236372
Release 2008-09-01
Pages 288
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Is Man the product of a God...or is "God" the product of human evolution? From the dawn of our species, every human culture-no matter how isolated-has believed in some form of a spiritual realm. According to author Matthew Alper, this is no mere coincidence but rather due to the fact that humans, as a species, are genetically predisposed to believe in the universal concepts of a god, a soul and an afterlife. This instinct to believe is the result of an evolutionary adaptation-a coping mechanism-that emerged in our species to help us survive our unique and otherwise debilitating awareness of death. Spiritual seekers and atheists alike will be compelled and transformed by Matthew Alper's classic study of science and religion. The 'God' Part of the Brain has gained critical acclaim from some of the world's leading scientists, secular humanists, and theologians, and is as a must read for anyone who has pondered the question of God's existence, as well as the meaning of our own. Praise for The "God" Part of the Brain "This cult classic in many ways parallels Rene Descartes' search for reliable and certain knowledge...Drawing on such disciplines as philosophy, psychology, and biology, Alper argues that belief in a spiritual realm is an evolutionary coping method that developed to help humankind deal with the fear of death...Highly recommended."— Library Journal "I very much enjoyed the account of your spiritual journey and believe it would make excellent reading for every college student - the resultant residence-hall debates would be the best part of their education. It often occurs to me that if, against all odds, there is a judgmental God and heaven, it will come to pass that when the pearly gates open, those who had the valor to think for themselves will be escorted to the head of the line, garlanded, and given their own personal audience." — Edward O. Wilson, two-time Pulitzer Prize-Winner "This is an essential book for those in search of a scientific understanding of man's spiritual nature. Matthew Alper navigates the reader through a labyrinth of intriguing questions and then offers undoubtedly clear answers that lead to a better understanding of our objective reality." — Elena Rusyn, MD, PhD; Gray Laboratory; Harvard Medical School "What a wonderful book you have written. It was not only brilliant and provocative but also revolutionary in its approach to spirituality as an inherited trait."— Arnold Sadwin, MD, former chief of Neuropsychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania "A lively manifesto...For the discipline's specific application to the matter at hand, I've seen nothing that matches the fury of The 'God' Part of the Brain, which perhaps explains why it's earned something of a cult following." — Salon.com "All 6 billion plus inhabitants of Earth should be in possession of this book. Alper's tome should be placed in the sacred writings' section of libraries, bookstores, and dwellings throughout the world. Matthew Alper is the new Galileo...Immensely important...Defines in a clear and concise manner what each of us already knew but were afraid to admit and exclaim."— John Scoggins, PhD "Vibrant ... vivacious. An entertaining and provocative introduction to speculations concerning the neural basis of spirituality."— Free Inquiry Magazine