Selective brain damage modulates human spirituality

Feb 10, 2010

New research provides fascinating insight into brain changes that might underlie alterations in spiritual and religious attitudes. The study, published by Cell Press in the February 11 issue of the journal Neuron, explores the neural basis of spirituality by studying patients before and after surgery to remove a brain tumor.

Although it is well established that all behaviors and experiences, spiritual or otherwise, must originate in the , true empirical exploration of the neural underpinnings of spirituality has been challenging. However, recent advances in neuroscience have started to make the complex mental processes associated with religion and spirituality more accessible.

"Neuroimaging studies have linked activity within a large network in the brain that connects the frontal, parietal, and temporal cortexes with spiritual experiences, but information on the causative link between such a network and spirituality is lacking," explains lead study author, Dr. Cosimo Urgesi from the University of Udine in Italy.

Dr. Urgesi and colleagues were interested in making a direct link between and spirituality. They focused specifically on the personality trait called self-transcendence (ST), which is thought to be a measure of spiritual feeling, thinking, and behaviors in humans. ST reflects a decreased sense of self and an ability to identify one's self as an integral part of the universe as a whole.

The researchers combined analysis of ST scores obtained from brain tumor patients before and after they had surgery to remove their tumor, with advanced techniques for mapping the exact location of the after surgery. "This approach allowed us to explore the possible changes of ST induced by specific brain lesions and the causative role played by frontal, temporal, and parietal structures in supporting interindividual differences in ST," says researcher Dr. Franco Fabbro from the University of Udine.

The group found that selective damage to the left and right posterior parietal regions induced a specific increase in ST. "Our symptom-lesion mapping study is the first demonstration of a causative link between brain functioning and ST," offers Dr. Urgesi. "Damage to posterior parietal areas induced unusually fast changes of a stable personality dimension related to transcendental self-referential awareness. Thus, dysfunctional parietal neural activity may underpin altered spiritual and religious attitudes and behaviors."

These results may even lead to new strategies for treating some forms of mental illness. "If a stable personality trait like ST can undergo fast changes as a consequence of brain lesions, it would indicate that at least some personality dimensions may be modified by influencing neural activity in specific areas," suggests Dr. Salvatore M. Aglioti from Sapienza University of Rome. "Perhaps novel approaches aimed at modulating neural activity might ultimately pave the way to new treatments of personality disorders."

Explore further: Built for speed: paranodal junction assembly in high performance nerves

More information: Fabbro et al.: “The Spiritual Brain: Selective Cortical Lesions Modulate Human Self-Transcendence.” Publishing in Neuron 65, 309-319, February 11, 2010. DOI:10.1016/j.neuron.2010.01.026

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kuro
4.2 / 5 (6) Feb 10, 2010
So, a lobotomy can make you into a prophet? Nice to know.
PinkElephant
4.2 / 5 (5) Feb 10, 2010
It would be rather difficult to damage posterior parietal cortex, via lobotomy, without destroying pretty much the entire brain in the process...

On the other hand, LSD seems to have the desired effect. And it's not even permanent (for the most part =D)

"I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together."
- John the Prophet, a.k.a. The Walrus...
otto1923
2.8 / 5 (5) Feb 10, 2010
So. In other words religionism is the result of brain damage. This explains Tammy Fay Bakker. The inability to think logically, to accept reality, to believe others can understand what you're not capable of understanding, to know the difference between fairy tales and bible stories, prayer and wishing real hard... these are indications of brain damage. Am I understanding this right?
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (4) Feb 10, 2010
^^ err... The paper only found a correlation between brain damage in a specific cortical region, and the feelings of "oneness with the universe" -- or put another way, it seems those parts of the cortex are important to the perception of the "self" as being localized to one's own body. It doesn't speak to any other aspects of religion, though it might also have relevance for out-of-body experiences. Generally speaking, the parietal cortex is where a lot of the spatial processing occurs (where we map our environment, determine our location and orientation within it, and such related stuff.)
CarolinaScotsman
1.7 / 5 (6) Feb 11, 2010
Science does not teach religion and religion does not teach science. They are two totally separate subjects with no overlap. It is impossible to prove anything by using one to comment on the validity of the other.
ormondotvos
3.9 / 5 (7) Feb 11, 2010
To the extent to which people get funny ideas about the morality of the universe and affect my life, my REAL life, there certainly IS an overlap!

I have nothing against private brain lesions, but teaching children to ignore evidence and believe claptrap merely because the parents were taught claptrap is a BAD THING.

Someday it will be named what it is: child abuse!
NameIsNotNick
3.4 / 5 (5) Feb 11, 2010
"So. In other words religionism is the result of brain damage." No, except in extreme cases. A sense of wonder about one's place in the universe is an important part of our humanity... religion is one way addressing it. I'm not sure I would want to see a pill to cure religion... might not like the side effects ;-)
NameIsNotNick
4.1 / 5 (8) Feb 11, 2010
Science does not teach religion and religion does not teach science. They are two totally separate subjects with no overlap. It is impossible to prove anything by using one to comment on the validity of the other.
"religion does not teach science" Where have you been? When Religion makes claims about the physical world it is most certainly possible to verify them. If Religion would stick to the spiritual world we would all be better off... and so would Religion.
JerryPark
1.8 / 5 (10) Feb 11, 2010
Of course, spirituality is "all in your head" and is due to brain lesions. Most people are spiritual, ergo, most people are brain damaged.

Isn't it amazing how people will call such biased "studies" science?
NameIsNotNick
4.5 / 5 (13) Feb 11, 2010
Of course, spirituality is "all in your head" and is due to brain lesions. Most people are spiritual, ergo, most people are brain damaged.

Isn't it amazing how people will call such biased "studies" science?

Isn't it amazing the conclusions biased people will read into a report?
otto1923
2 / 5 (6) Feb 11, 2010
So Dr. Notnick
"So. In other words religionism is the result of brain damage." No, except in extreme cases. A sense of wonder about one's place in the universe is an important part of our humanity
-While my leap to conclusion was in part meant to be humerous, you seem entirely in earnest about yours. I suspect... Brain damage. This is huge! The idea that damage is responsible for inexplicable behaviors in a significant portion of the population... It bolsters my understanding of the human brain as overevolved, unwieldy, resource-hungry, and thus more prone to defect than not. It is an anomaly, created by artificial conditions of continuous tribal warfare over the course of a million years. The more clever were able to overrun the enemy and take his women; this process resulted in the runaway development of this fragile, flawed monstrosity in our heads.
otto1923
2.3 / 5 (7) Feb 11, 2010
And once the last vestige of natural selection was removed, defect was given free reign and soon became the norm. Malnutrition caused by agrarian diets, alcohol, domestic animal-borne disease, and so many other pollutants associated with early life... This explains the wide distribution in intelligence scores, which does not occur in the animal kingdom.

I understand certainly that the study is not definitive. But it does do much to explain why so many people have that irrational desire to jump to conclusion about the world, based upon strong inner feeling rather than observation and reason. And damage to one portion of the brain certainly suggests further damage in other areas, giving rise to similar compulsions and addictive cravings which, because they are so common, we have come to regard them as normal. There is more damage and dysfunction in this world than not; more unreason than reason. And it is why religion is so effective in organizing the people.
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Feb 11, 2010
observation and reason


How accurate is observation and the reasoning from such observations?
Jim Christy looked at a photo of Pluto and saw a moon no one else saw, looking at the same photo.
danman5000
4.8 / 5 (5) Feb 11, 2010
I bet the title was crafted to arouse controversy (and attract the attention of marjon). I'm sure any sort of damage affects some aspect of a person. "Selective brain damage modulates human (insert emotion or bahavior)"
human brain as overevolved, unwieldy, resource-hungry, and thus more prone to defect than not.

Would you prefer to have the intelligence of a fire ant? I'm pretty happy with our current hardware :)
frajo
2 / 5 (3) Feb 11, 2010
I'm sure any sort of damage affects some aspect of a person.
Is Kim Peek's brain damaged? Was Kurt Gödel's brain damaged? Is Grigori Perelman's brain damaged?
CarolinaScotsman
3 / 5 (4) Feb 11, 2010
Ormondotvos and NameIsNotNick

I didn't say that some religious people don't try to use religion to teach science. I said religion (not religious kooks) doesn't teach science. In other words, any argument about science that is based on religion is not valid. Any conclusions about the physical universe based on religion are without merit. And any argument about religion based on science is not valid. The two do not overlap and any attempt to make them overlap is faulty.
PinkElephant
3.6 / 5 (7) Feb 11, 2010
@CarolinaScotsman,
And any argument about religion based on science is not valid.

I beg to differ, in one vital aspect. When people put forth proclamations such as yours, they mostly refer to the existence of the "supernatural" or "divine" in the abstract. However, there's a very concrete assertion most religions make regarding tangible and testable reality: they claim that human mind/consciousness/self constitutes a "spirit" or "soul" that is immaterial, separate from body, and exists past death. THIS is definitely a scientific matter, and SCIENTIFIC evidence indicates that there is no such thing as souls, spirits, etc. We are our brains, and our brains don't live past death. There's no "afterlife". That's at least one case where science can make some VERY solid arguments about religion.
JayK
3 / 5 (4) Feb 11, 2010
@CarolinaScotsman

The only people that claim that science and religion have no overlap are those that don't think their religion should be answerable. Religious texts make serious claims that are scientifically testable. The "great flood" for instance is testable through geological evidence. Turin's Shroud being a religious artifact from approx 30AD is scientifically testable. Pi equaling 3, thats scientifically testable. The stars being painted onto the firmament, thats scientifically testable.

The problem is that those that believe that religion isn't testable don't want to hear the scientific answers.
frajo
3 / 5 (2) Feb 11, 2010
However, there's a very concrete assertion most religions make regarding tangible and testable reality: they claim that human mind/consciousness/self constitutes a "spirit" or "soul" that is immaterial, separate from body, and exists past death.
Your argument aims at the primitive manifestations of religion. But as in the realm of science there are simple minded and elaborate thinkers. (Ever heard of Teilhard de Chardin?)
Of course, the non-religious people don't have any obligation to deal with the differences between the believes of religious laymen and those of religious experts.
But even scientific laymen should have some perception that there is more to, say, GR than the ubiquitous formula E=mc**2.
If you really want to attack religious believes you'll have to attack the theodicies. While the existence of gods is undecidable there is no clean acceptable theodicy.
marjon
1.6 / 5 (7) Feb 11, 2010
@CarolinaScotsman

The only people that claim that science and religion have no overlap are those that don't think their religion should be answerable. Religious texts make serious claims that are scientifically testable. The "great flood" for instance is testable through geological evidence. Turin's Shroud being a religious artifact from approx 30AD is scientifically testable. Pi equaling 3, thats scientifically testable. The stars being painted onto the firmament, thats scientifically testable.

The problem is that those that believe that religion isn't testable don't want to hear the scientific answers.

How is faith testable?
Faith is the Bible's main theme. Why is faith important and how would you test faith?
Why do you have faith in science?
JayK
3.4 / 5 (5) Feb 11, 2010
How is faith testable?
Faith is the Bible's main theme. Why is faith important and how would you test faith?
Why do you have faith in science?


Read the article, for one. I know it is difficult for you, and I've pointed that out in many different threads, but unless you understand the measurements of spirituality that are being discussed, you're just wasting everyone's time with repetitious questions.

There is no faith in science. Scientific discoveries are --repeatable-- by their very nature. Faith doesn't have that feature.
frajo
3.2 / 5 (5) Feb 11, 2010
The problem is that those that believe that religion isn't testable don't want to hear the scientific answers.
The problem is that many non-religious people assume that all religious people are as simple-minded as those they attack.
frajo
2.3 / 5 (4) Feb 11, 2010
Why do you have faith in science?
Scientific thinking is sceptical by definition. Not faith, but faithlessness (is that correct English?) is the fundament of science.
The Wikipedia article on Sir Karl Popper gives an introduction to scientific reasoning.
NameIsNotNick
3 / 5 (2) Feb 11, 2010
Ormondotvos and NameIsNotNick

I didn't say that some religious people don't try to use religion to teach science. I said religion (not religious kooks) doesn't teach science. In other words, any argument about science that is based on religion is not valid. Any conclusions about the physical universe based on religion are without merit. And any argument about religion based on science is not valid. The two do not overlap and any attempt to make them overlap is faulty.


Don't tell me... tell the Creationists ;-) We are obviously on the same side of the argument...
marjon
1.8 / 5 (5) Feb 11, 2010
Why do you have faith in science?
Scientific thinking is sceptical by definition. Not faith, but faithlessness (is that correct English?) is the fundament of science.
The Wikipedia article on Sir Karl Popper gives an introduction to scientific reasoning.

From the actions of those practicing science today, skepticism is not high on their list.

"Anybody who has been seriously engaged is scientific work of any kind realizes that over the entrance to the gates of the temple of science are written the words: 'Ye must have faith.'
Max Planck "
"Whence come I and whither go I? That is the great unfathomable question, the same for every one of us. Science has no answer to it.
Max Planck
"
otto1923
5 / 5 (1) Feb 11, 2010
Is Kim Peek's brain damaged? Was Kurt Gödel's brain damaged? Is Grigori Perelman's brain damaged?
Possibly... Relatively... Most likely. I think damage of one sort or another is the norm. You read this?
 http://www.physor...059.html
-This affliction is damage whether genetic or environmental. 
otto1923
1 / 5 (1) Feb 11, 2010
The problem is that many non-religious people assume that all religious people are as simple-minded as those they attack
Depending on the location and extent of damage, a person can be relatively competent or even excel at some things while being clueless in others. This would explain the wide variation in personalities as well as similarities. Take a searching and fearless moral inventory frajo- see any evidence of damage? I think we all can. See, it's not our design which sets us apart so much as the damage we've accrued. This should be a relief to guilt-ridden closet bigots.
otto1923
1 / 5 (3) Feb 11, 2010
Notice how the troll follows Otto around to sniff his butt? Trolls remind me of those fat little baby birds that have left the nest but don't know how to feed themselves yet. Ever see them? They run around begging other birds to feed them. Ok for babies but for adults- serious brain damage. Birdbrains.
Faith is the Bible's main theme
Faith is not testable but the damage which causes faith in fairy tales now is. This is not a mental health clinic. FOAD
JayK
1 / 5 (2) Feb 11, 2010
From the actions of those practicing science today, skepticism is not high on their list.


One would have to wonder why one that is so anti-intellectual would keep coming back to web site that must be so frightening for them.

Tell me, marjon, can you tell me?
frajo
3 / 5 (4) Feb 11, 2010
One would have to wonder why one that is so anti-intellectual would keep coming back to web site that must be so frightening for them.

Tell me, marjon, can you tell me?
I don't know about marjon's motivation but I know by experience how keeping one's self-control amidst an insulting pack of offenders gives a rather enhanced self-esteem.
otto1923
1 / 5 (2) Feb 11, 2010
Personally I don't like being used by people who act like they are here for discussion when they are obviously here for something else. This one has a long track record- many complaints by many people, some of them most certainly women. Your altruism is misplaced. You feed a trolls cravings and you are an enabler.
PinkElephant
3.7 / 5 (3) Feb 11, 2010
@frajo,

Teilhard's noosphere and phenomenology in no way supports either "souls" or "afterlife". He was concerned only with increasingly complex arrangements of *matter*, and therefore not with anything "supernatural".

Attacking theodicy is pointless, as various religions give rather self-consistent accounts. For example, Cabbalists believe that there is no supernatural "evil": there are only angels whose job it is to test the faith and fidelity of man (without travail, there is no growth.)

Far more central to ALL religions (as opposed to just some), are the concepts of afterlife and the notion of souls. These concepts stand in STARK contradiction with existing and expanding scientific knowledge; they are in fact by now clearly failed hypotheses, and from a scientific point of view, must be summarily discarded.
marjon
1.8 / 5 (5) Feb 11, 2010
It is interesting that the comments about science, from a practicing scientist, like Planck, are discounted.
But the comments about science, from a non-scientist, Popper, are praised.
marjon
3 / 5 (2) Feb 11, 2010
From the actions of those practicing science today, skepticism is not high on their list.


One would have to wonder why one that is so anti-intellectual would keep coming back to web site that must be so frightening for them.

Tell me, marjon, can you tell me?

I am amused by those 'moderate' 'tolerant' 'intellectuals' that call me names instead of discussing the issues raised by my comment.
marjon
2 / 5 (4) Feb 11, 2010
Notice how the troll follows Otto around to sniff his butt? Trolls remind me of those fat little baby birds that have left the nest but don't know how to feed themselves yet. Ever see them? They run around begging other birds to feed them. Ok for babies but for adults- serious brain damage. Birdbrains.
Faith is the Bible's main theme
Faith is not testable but the damage which causes faith in fairy tales now is. This is not a mental health clinic. FOAD

You still have not defined 'FOAD'.
marjon
2 / 5 (5) Feb 11, 2010
How is faith testable?
Faith is the Bible's main theme. Why is faith important and how would you test faith?
Why do you have faith in science?


Read the article, for one. I know it is difficult for you, and I've pointed that out in many different threads, but unless you understand the measurements of spirituality that are being discussed, you're just wasting everyone's time with repetitious questions.

There is no faith in science. Scientific discoveries are --repeatable-- by their very nature. Faith doesn't have that feature.

I think I have seen a few studies that suggest people who have religious faith and those that are optimistic have better health and have happier lives. Sounds repeatable and testable.
JayK
2 / 5 (4) Feb 11, 2010
nice try, marjon. I would actually rate that comment as a two, but you still fail to understand my comments or the actual studies that you attempts to recall.
PinkElephant
2.5 / 5 (2) Feb 11, 2010
Self-correction:
For example, Cabbalists believe that there is no supernatural "evil": there are only angels whose job it is to test the faith and fidelity of man (without travail, there is no growth.)

Aside from misspelling (Kabbalists is the proper rendering), I think I actually meant Gnostics. I'm actually not sure what the Kabbalistic view of evil is...
marjon
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 11, 2010
http://www.mayocl.../SR00009
http://www.health...r-health
"An analysis of 42 studies involving 125,286 patients, published in the June 2000 issue of Health Psychology, found that those with some sort of religious involvement live longer -- "
http://www.medici...ey=50846

"Science is heuristic." Discussion of the Method, Koen, p.173
PinkElephant
3.7 / 5 (3) Feb 11, 2010
^^ this goes only to benefits of generic meditation and communal cohesion (i.e. positive thinking, and a "sense of belonging", respectively.)

It has absolutely nothing to say regarding any truth value in any religious framework. The same effects will be manifested by practitioners of Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Santaria, Satanism, Judaism, Falun Gong, Islam, Wicca, Bahai'ism, Shintoism, or pick your favorite 'ism. And again the same effects will be manifested by socially well-connected nonreligious practitioners of meditation.
ununhexium
3.7 / 5 (7) Feb 12, 2010
The "believers" should be rejoicing, this new understanding of the brain would allow them to "fix" their son or daughter who isn't religious enough (or at all). Imagine a couple who's son or daughter who subscribes to logic and reason (as opposed to religious beliefs) being diagnosed with scientist-itis. The parents could take them to the local neurologist and have their brain fixed (damaged) in the left and right posterior parietal regions thereby repairing their son or daughter and rendering them religious and spiritual.
Parents pre-op:
Mathew: isn't the procedure expensive, complex and dangerous?
Mary: yes, but it's worth the risk for our child's salvation
Mathew and Mary together: Praise to our deity
Parents post-op:
Mathew: look our child is drooling and speaking in tongues
Mary: Praise to our deity, the procedure was a success
Mathew: oh Mary
Mary: oh Mathew
(okay, this was just for laughs) Although, I could see someone thinking it could actually be a good idea. YIKES!
otto1923
1 / 5 (2) Feb 12, 2010
Living in a irrational religionist environment during ones formative years could produce the kind of confusion, stress, and anxiety which causes this kind of damage. A specific type of emotional abuse, being forced to accept nonsense as reality. The epiphany is actually the sensation of neurons popping.
ThisArisingThatArises
1 / 5 (1) Feb 12, 2010
Let's see if we get this straight: the "brain" is the source of spirituality. Now, I didn't read where anyone actually "saw" a physical entity clearly defined as "spirituality" so I'm left to conclude we are speaking of.....what? A non-existent form? And if it is non-existent, then-we-can-say....it's just an illusion? But wait....what does tham make other brain-based entities, such as..........? Why don't we just cut to the chase and say what we mean? Hello.
samba
5 / 5 (1) Feb 13, 2010
Looks like two wobbly legs to this stool. Self Transcendence, as a measure of spirituality may or may not be useful. Several cultures of spirituality seem to have beliefs that support the notion, but that doesn't mean those belivers have self transcended to spiritual attainment, understanding or whatever.Second,if ST scores are obtained through questionaires, how are the criteria established? Very difficult to avoid assumtions in such a process.What is this Self? Memories emotions repetetive thoughts?
I suppose I shouldn't be but I'm amazed by how many people here seem to think there is sufficient data from which to draw conclusions. Seems quite irrational .
NeptuneAD
3 / 5 (2) Feb 13, 2010
I see the same trend here as the last article.
Bloodoflamb
1 / 5 (1) Feb 13, 2010
On the other hand, LSD seems to have the desired effect. And it's not even permanent (for the most part =D)

Oh my. What a wonderful substance.
Parsec
5 / 5 (1) Feb 13, 2010
Much of the known functionality of the brain has been determined by correlating brain damage with corresponding damage to specific neurological functioning.

This article is somewhat vague on this issue, but since most people know this, I would assume that the brain lesions they are discussing are disabling the sense of self-awareness, and destroying any spiritual sense.

Reading into this that the study discovered that brain damage CAUSES religious feeling or spiritual sensitivity is ludicrous.
Bloodoflamb
1 / 5 (1) Feb 13, 2010
Removing one's sense of self is a very spiritual experience. Perhaps you should attempt it.
otto1923
1 / 5 (1) Feb 15, 2010
@parsec
brain changes that might underlie alterations in spiritual and religious attitudes
The basis, the proximate cause... Spirituality is not favorable to survival in the sense that people who leap to conclusions would be less apt to learn why things actually happen around them. Praying for food is not as rewarding as actually going out and looking for it. This indicates pathology, a degradation of function giving rise to compulsion and psychosis. Animals may not be religious because any tendency to ignore reality would quickly be bred out of a species. It was only when communal farming allowed a few people to supply a much larger number with a chronically substandard diet, that an idle population could develop this sort of pervasive defect. Alcohol and noxious substances of early industry (mercury, lead, cadmium in paints and dyes, arsenic etc) along with lack of basic nutrition might be responsible for the birth of religion.
A defect, a sickness, not something beneficial.
otto1923
1 / 5 (1) Feb 15, 2010
But extremely exploitable and therefore beneficial to the social construct in a larger sense. Point out to people their various defects (sins), convince them it's their fault, and then tell them you and your god are the only ones who can fix them (provide salvation). This study does indicate spiritual sensations of some sort are caused by damage. Other damage may explain the entire religious experience.
ch4o7ic
1 / 5 (1) Feb 16, 2010
So ST is apparent in nearly all religions (besides Satanism, but I'm sure there's an equivelent there too), as is the concept of a soul and an eternal after-life (besides Satanism - oh no, I think I may have made my point prematurely). Perhaps you can make a logical conjencture based on these two factoids alone regarding the merit of believing in the Psyche existing outside/beyond time/space - do you mind (oh, I'm full of puns) if I use the Greek word for soul? Isn't logic really the root of science? Then again...things that we can describe scientifically, and perhaps even a primitive form of science itself, led to the proliferation of our attraction to logic. But I digress. It's quite logical then, if you've experienced ST or are experiencing it, to believe that who "you" are (you may see yourself as your family/dynasty or your entire species - both of which from my understanding could have an evolutionary role - or as something far beyond that - again having its own role in evolution
ch4o7ic
1 / 5 (1) Feb 16, 2010
at a grand scale) is eternal, immortal. Because who are you really, if not your impact on the world? I don't mean that in a superficial sense...I mean the thoughts you have are electrical impulses as is every little twitch you make - that's a more acceptable understanding of your "self", isn't it? Much better than, "what you consider to be yourself," because as we've said, we're all very flawed, from our brains to our perceptions (more irony!) - so, from my (mis?)understanding, that creates a magnetic field (or do certain magnetic fields create electricity?) which will interact with other forms of matter and manner (sorry, i mean energy - not the very dense kind though. Not related to Mana, either), leaving a permanent and yet transient mark in this close-minded, open system, hence tying you/connecting you to it (what are we but a loose collection of ideas, thought and cells). If you can find any mistakes in my logic, do tell. Maybe my premise is wrong but isn't there only ONE premise?
ch4o7ic
1 / 5 (1) Feb 16, 2010
In the sense of the Big Bang being a premise...the premise to contain all premises (encapsulating all premises into the one "original" allows me to gain the support of Big Bang Theory opponents as well as the proponents - if anyone's still reading.)

To give you a simple example. Right below the comment-entrance box there's a string of words: Brevity is the soul of wit. This states that to do things in a brief manner creates the matter of wit. Using this definition of soul, which is quite common sense to me if no-one else, allows for a peaceful blending of the concepts of the psyche, the soul, ascension [in vibrational energy (and yet I'm confused, since matter contains so much energy, it must actually be a million-fold higher in vibration than free-form energy, right? Sometimes logic can be confusing - i.e. it brings together the natures of - as in the Latin con and maybe the greek physion - before the two have been properly understood individually)], chaos theory, etc.
Le finn!...
otto1923
3 / 5 (2) Feb 16, 2010
So... whats ST?
the Psyche existing outside/beyond time/space
It doesnt. People shouldnt post here when drunk or stoned)]
ch4o7ic
1 / 5 (1) Feb 17, 2010
Self-transcendance. I was reffering to the Soul, calling it the Psyche, and people claiming that it exists outside/beyond time/space. If the inner workings of our minds, hence our personhood, affects and is affected by - or related to - everything else through interactions of EM waves (not all simultaneously, of course) and the beginings and ends of the universes both (the alpha and the omega?) being related to an existence where there is no time or space, then our psyche (again, the greek word for soul) is also connected - however paradoxical this seems - to an existence outside/beyond time/space. If an elimination of a restricted sense of self, and an expansion of the feeling of self to include the infinite past, the infinite future, and the infinite lateral variations of time is acheived, then one could have an accurate facsimile of the apparent connection there-in. Those claims of the soul existing beyond time/space are not invalidated, by this definition. What's the real premise?
ch4o7ic
1 / 5 (1) Feb 17, 2010
Anyway, the real clincher is the (as far as I know) scientific theory of the universe (time/space) being a "2-D" projection on the event horizon of THE singularity (One-ness?). I'll be the first to admit I picked most of this stuff up on science channels and such...hell, I'm the only one who can admit and attest to that. I've picked up the things that interest me...and a conviction in the existence of God or not does not. What does is the incredible overlap between ancient sciences (such as the art and science of dying and "religions" that predated and influenced it) and modern science. The word science means knowledge, or knowing, correct? As far as I can tell, if you whole-heartedly believe in something, you also believe you know it. Is that still belief? Because YOU believe you know what you think you know...but do you know that you know this (you probably do)? So, it seems to me that the whole scientific, un-biased affair is a load of bollox. Just as much as goodwill and love is BS
CDClock
1.5 / 5 (2) Feb 17, 2010
Wow! I find it very interesting that the "self-transcendence" described by this article accurately describes feelings experienced during extremely deep meditation or while under the influence of psychedelic drugs. I am excited for a time when the stigma of these drugs is reduced so that we can research their effects on the brain - as they are really quite fascinating.
CDClock
3.7 / 5 (3) Feb 17, 2010

I also find it sad that people need to argue over the subject of spirituality and science. Yes, religion has and does cause a lot of problems - this doesn't mean that spirituality is useless. Spirituality and science go hand-in-hand in describing the beauty of the universe we live in. I don't see how someone can appreciate the incredible world around us without realizing the beauty of the science that describes it, and I don't see how someone can look at that beauty and not be filled with an immense sense of the fact that there is something amazing going on. Just because you're scientific doesn't mean that you have to discount the merits of spirituality, don't let ignorant religious-types ruin it for you.

But that's just my $0.02; have fun arguing with each other.
otto1923
1 / 5 (1) Feb 17, 2010
Spirituality and science go hand-in-hand in describing the beauty of the universe we live in.
Beautiful or ugly and distasteful- our subjective reactions to what we discover should not color their interpretation, nor should we allow aesthetics to lead us in the search for Knowledge. Religions seem to bathe in beauty, it leaves their constituents blind to some very disturbing and uncomfortable, yet absolutely certain, truths. For instance any omniscient 'god' would necessarily need to be evil as well as good, and that evil is only our objection to things we dont like. The good in 'evil' is that we are given an invaluable chance to learn from it and to avoid it in the future.

Religionists object to the realities of evolution or genetics basically because the idea that we came from animals is distasteful to them.
marjon
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 17, 2010
Spirituality and science go hand-in-hand in describing the beauty of the universe we live in.
Beautiful or ugly and distasteful- our subjective reactions to what we discover should not color their interpretation, nor should we allow aesthetics to lead us in the search for Knowledge. Religions seem to bathe in beauty, it leaves their constituents blind to some very disturbing and uncomfortable, yet absolutely certain, truths. For instance any omniscient 'god' would necessarily need to be evil as well as good, and that evil is only our objection to things we dont like. The good in 'evil' is that we are given an invaluable chance to learn from it and to avoid it in the future.

Perception is reality.
All individuals perceive the world differently so how can 'Knowledge' be same for everyone?
otto1923
1 / 5 (1) Feb 17, 2010
Spirituality and science go hand-in-hand in describing the beauty of the universe we live in.
Beautiful or ugly and distasteful- our subjective reactions to what we discover should not color their interpretation, nor should we allow aesthetics to lead us in the search for Knowledge. Religions seem to bathe in beauty, it leaves their constituents blind to some very disturbing and uncomfortable, yet absolutely certain, truths. For instance any omniscient 'god' would necessarily need to be evil as well as good, and that evil is only our objection to things we dont like. The good in 'evil' is that we are given an invaluable chance to learn from it and to avoid it in the future.

Perception is reality.
All individuals perceive the world differently so how can 'Knowledge' be same for everyone?
Hmmm... trolls and stalkers are evil, but what is it that we can learn from them so as to avoid them in the future?
otto1923
2.8 / 5 (6) Feb 17, 2010
1 We could ignore them. Hard for newbies tho

2 We could point out their unfamiliarity with the subject matter or inability to understand it, but they dont appear able to learn from their mistakes

3 We could attempt to embarrass them in this, but they only see this as a challenge

4 We could insult them but they only regard this as a form of attention

5 We could again try to ignore them but they see this lack of attention as insulting

6 Or we could use their compulsion as a continuing demonstration to newbies and seasoned posters alike, of the bizarre and neurotic nature of trolls and stalkers. Besides its fun, and it reflects on religionists in general. It shows us the kind of people they tend to be.
ch4o7ic
1 / 5 (1) Feb 17, 2010
I hope you're not talking about me. For the most part I was just playing the Devil's advocate in regards to spirituality (psychosis?). I totally agree with otto's comment on God. If we're going to bring God into this, I think it's been our own incredible, over-evolved brain and it's various structures and capabilities (empathy and related imaginative abilities) that we couldn't (and can't) understand, that we created this entity.

If any sort of observation creates the daemons associated with quantum theory, however, then perhaps even plants, rocks and atoms have their own forms of observation, lending credence to the connection I've personally made between quantum theory, the merkabah and the seed of buddha.

Are the micro-tubular structures in every neuron of our brains capable of a sort of quantum computation?

The new-age trend of using pseudo-scientific ideas to explain traditional spiritual beliefs does bewilder, baffle and bother me quite as much as it does you, I'm sure.
otto1923
Feb 17, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
ch4o7ic
3.3 / 5 (3) Feb 17, 2010
Religionists object to the realities of evolution or genetics basically because the idea that we came from animals is distasteful to them.


As it must be to you to make the distinction between coming from and still being animals (you could have just as easily said "because the idea that we are animals is distateful to them". Clearly you were highlighting religious rebellion regarding the theory of evolution, but I had to give you some $#!%, man). So even scientists can, to some degree, object to those realities. Whether that objection is in their thoughts or merely in their words.

And I see now that your little list and comments regarding trolls and stalkers (though I may be a troll and a stalker, I didn't see myself as having said anything that was to a greater degree, religious so I'd taken offense to your perception of me as a religionist (not because I see religionism as bad, but because I don't like being misunderstood)) was probably a dis to marjon [of error]. Peace!
ch4o7ic
1 / 5 (1) Feb 17, 2010
No sir or madam

This is in reference to the micro-tubules, yes? Yes. Obviously it was a wild conjenctural leap. I didn't mean much by it, except that there could possibly be a correlation...

As a note to what you said about being drunk or high and posting on here...I was most deffinitely drunk when I wrote most of those comments. Unfortunately not high.

But the irony is in the fact that when creating my account, solely so I could comment on this thread, I noticed that ch4o7ic could, in 1337sp33k, not only say chaotic, but also chronic, if you look at it right.
JayK
1 / 5 (3) Feb 17, 2010
@ch4o7ic:

Marjon is one of our resident religious trolls that posts one line questions or statements that tend to be built of crude woven straw and dressed up in finery, ready to be knocked down.

Keep up your commenting, please.
ch4o7ic
1 / 5 (1) Feb 17, 2010
Perception is reality.
All individuals perceive the world differently so how can 'Knowledge' be same for everyone?

Close. I think you mean what we call reality is merely our perception of it, meaning that our conception of reality is an illusion. Well, a concept. Language is far more adequate in its accuracy than I previously thought. The subtleties of it are there for thoe who choose to be sharp (anal) enough to see them. Reality is the same for everyone, though. Even if the physical universe changes according to how we perceive it, the reality is then that "the physical universe changes according to how we perceive it," and that is the same for everyone. So the Truth is that there is nothing (ONE is close enough to nothing relative to the infinite possibilities of perception) and we're all experiencing the various permutations of nothingness.

I'm just arguing for the sake of it. I don't have any [other] personal reason for arguing the points you've all made. Love you all!
otto1923
1 / 5 (1) Feb 17, 2010
make the distinction between coming from and still being animals
Otto thinks we are special.
This is in reference to the micro-tubules, yes? Yes. Obviously it was a wild conjenctural leap.
re; trolls
Close. I think you mean what we call reality is merely our perception of it
Actually I think what she meant was 'feed me!'
...I was most deffinitely drunk
Ah. Otto is also very perceptive. 'Beer drinkers are incapable of subtle thought.' -Nietzsche
ch4o7ic
1 / 5 (1) Feb 17, 2010
It was wine! Hence my whining? It was box wine at that...so I suppose the subtlety implicit in it was cancelled out.
marjon
2.5 / 5 (2) Feb 17, 2010
Reality is the same for everyone, though.

That's an interesting heuristic.
I don't know for sure what you mean by reality.
I do know that it has been proven that astronauts experience time dilation. If reality involves time, then their reality is different than those that are not experiencing high velocities.
otto1923
1.5 / 5 (2) Feb 17, 2010
'Experience time dilation' -is that like moving and talking real slow like on star trek or the outer limits?
Disorder Of The Brain - Clinically Proven Brain Fitness Programs. Play a Free Game Now!
marjon
3 / 5 (2) Feb 17, 2010
All inputs to the brain are electrical. The brain is our connection to 'reality'. Does it matter whether the source of the signal is from some transducer like the retina or from an signal generator? With a sophisticated signal generator, how could anyone tell the difference?

The first Star Trek pilot, The Cage, discussed this issue of what is 'real'.
otto1923
not rated yet Feb 18, 2010
But you didn't answer the question. Do you think that time dilation is something you would actually experience? Is that what you meant by your comment?
marjon
3 / 5 (2) Feb 18, 2010
But you didn't answer the question. Do you think that time dilation is something you would actually experience? Is that what you meant by your comment?

You first. What is FOAD? You continue to ignore that question.
otto1923
1 / 5 (1) Feb 18, 2010
http://www.bing.com/
http://www.google.com/
-I'll give you a hint- it's spelled F-O-A-D
rickschettino
not rated yet Feb 27, 2010
This might be like saying a broken radio gets all radio stations - sort of. If consciousness arises in the brain, then transcendent experiences might well be a delusion. However, If the brain is a consciousness tuner then a broken brain will have a different type of conscious experience depending on how it's broken.
marjon
2.5 / 5 (2) Feb 27, 2010
http://www.bing.com/
-I'll give you a hint- it's spelled F-O-A-D

Are you embarrassed to define the term?
My guess it is insulting or derogatory so why should I bother?
frajo
1 / 5 (1) Feb 27, 2010
One possible explanation (which happens to fit the faible for violence) for the abbreviation FOAD is "fall over and die".
ch4o7ic
not rated yet Feb 28, 2010
hahahaha. hey i think i like marjon. he's got those wicked associative skills. he's like a meaning making machine

oh sry this post is not properly written
bye

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