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Re: [Meditation Society of America] Meditation is calming

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  • Santino_50
    Hello Group, My view is that science can tell us the HOW of many processes -- the step-by-step interactions that got us from crawling creatures to human
    Message 1 of 6 , Sep 28, 2004
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      Hello Group,

      My view is that science can tell us the HOW of many
      processes -- the step-by-step interactions that got us
      from crawling creatures to human beings. But the
      questions of WHY are beyond its scope. Because we can
      explain a process does not mean that we understand its
      essential substance. That's the area of religion and
      spirituality. I don't see a conflict. I wouldn't go
      to a scientist for a philosophical or spiritual
      assessment anymore than I would go to a spiritual
      guide for a scientific one.

      Just my $0.02

      thanks,

      Patrick


      --- Era <mi_nok@...> wrote:

      > New Delhi: Modern science tells us that love is
      > essentially a chemical phenomenon. All the things
      > you
      > feel when you're in love can be explained by the
      > presence of certain chemicals�-say, phenyl
      > ethylamine
      > which is associated with a feeling of bliss or
      > oxytocin that's found to be high in breast-feeding
      > mothers.
      >
      > While research on the subject is still not
      > conclusive, there are suggestions that religious and
      > spiritual experiences, too, might be built into the
      > complex circuitry of our brains. At least that's
      > what
      > research in two American universities appear to
      > indicate.
      >
      > Research at the University of Wisconsin at Madison
      > and the University of California, San Francisco, on
      > Buddhist monks showed that parts of the brain
      > dealing
      > with positive emotions and self-control were more
      > active, while those associated with memory of fear
      > were relatively calmer, leading researchers to
      > believe
      > that Buddhist monks who appear happy and calm were
      > are
      > genuinely so.
      >
      > To take the research on spiritual experience
      > further, Andrew Newburg, a radiologist at the
      > University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, scanned
      > the brains of Buddhist monks and Franciscan nuns in
      > meditation or prayer and the results were
      > fascinating.
      >
      > First, the prefrontal cortex -or the part of the
      > brain dealing with positive emotions -was seething
      > with activity. More interestingly, the parietal
      > lobes
      > showed very little activity. What are parietal
      > lobes?
      > These lobes are part of the cerebrum and are
      > associated with two functions, the orientation of
      > the
      > body in space and the perception of space and time.
      >
      > To be more precise, the left superior parietal lobe
      > creates the perception of the body's physical
      > boundaries and the right superior parietal lobe
      > creates the perception of physical space outside of
      > the body. Since, during meditation, the parietal
      > lobes
      > are unable to create the perception of space and
      > linear time that are an essential part of our
      > consciousness, it gives rise to a sensation of
      > infinity and timelessness.
      >
      > That's one take. Here's another. Dr Michael
      > Persinger at Laurentian University studied the brain
      > scans of temporal lobe of epileptic patients who
      > reported having mystical experiences. He then
      > artificially induced temporal lobe seizures on
      > volunteers and their reactions were the same as the
      > epileptics �-religious dream-like hallucinations and
      > the volunteers sensing `spectral presence� in the
      > room
      > with them.
      >
      > Dr Persinger suggests this could be because of the
      > presence of the temporal cortex inside the temporal
      > lobes. The left hemisphere of the temporal cortex is
      > responsible for one's awareness of self. When the
      > activity in this cortex gets out of sync, as happens
      > in a seizure, the left hemisphere perceives the
      > right
      > hemisphere as a `sensed presence� separate from
      > itself, which could be interpreted as God.
      >
      > Another part of the brain that could be playing a
      > role in religious experiences is the limbic system.
      > Limbic stimulation is known to bring richness to
      > experience. Jeffery Saver, a researcher at UCLA,
      > says
      > that during a religious experience the limbic system
      > becomes unusually active, which makes everything
      > that
      > happens during an experience especially significant.
      > In fact, even elaborate religious ceremonies,
      > involving things like chanting and rituals, make the
      > brain tag the rituals as different from everyday
      > activities. This, in turn, triggers activity in the
      > limbic system leading to a feeling of bliss.
      >
      > Skeptics will interpret the scientific findings as
      > proof that God does not exist, because we can
      > scientifically replicate mystical religious
      > experiences. However, Newberg himself says that
      > while
      > he has a sense of his own spirituality, his agenda
      > for
      > research doesn't include determining whether god
      > exists or not. That, according to him, is a
      > different
      > question from trying to determine the neurology of
      > spiritual and religious experiences.
      >
      >
      > metta, Era
      >
      >
      >
      >




      _______________________________
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      Declare Yourself - Register online to vote today!
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    • Nina
      ... not even two cents, Nina
      Message 2 of 6 , Sep 28, 2004
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        :) Maybe the 'how' IS the 'why'.

        not even two cents,
        Nina

        --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, Santino_50
        <santino_50@y...> wrote:
        > Hello Group,
        >
        > My view is that science can tell us the HOW of many
        > processes -- the step-by-step interactions that got us
        > from crawling creatures to human beings. But the
        > questions of WHY are beyond its scope. Because we can
        > explain a process does not mean that we understand its
        > essential substance. That's the area of religion and
        > spirituality. I don't see a conflict. I wouldn't go
        > to a scientist for a philosophical or spiritual
        > assessment anymore than I would go to a spiritual
        > guide for a scientific one.
        >
        > Just my $0.02
        >
        > thanks,
        >
        > Patrick
        >
        >
        > --- Era <mi_nok@y...> wrote:
        >
        > > New Delhi: Modern science tells us that love is
        > > essentially a chemical phenomenon. All the things
        > > you
        > > feel when you're in love can be explained by the
        > > presence of certain chemicals—-say, phenyl
        > > ethylamine
        > > which is associated with a feeling of bliss or
        > > oxytocin that's found to be high in breast-feeding
        > > mothers.
        > >
        > > While research on the subject is still not
        > > conclusive, there are suggestions that religious and
        > > spiritual experiences, too, might be built into the
        > > complex circuitry of our brains. At least that's
        > > what
        > > research in two American universities appear to
        > > indicate.
        > >
        > > Research at the University of Wisconsin at Madison
        > > and the University of California, San Francisco, on
        > > Buddhist monks showed that parts of the brain
        > > dealing
        > > with positive emotions and self-control were more
        > > active, while those associated with memory of fear
        > > were relatively calmer, leading researchers to
        > > believe
        > > that Buddhist monks who appear happy and calm were
        > > are
        > > genuinely so.
        > >
        > > To take the research on spiritual experience
        > > further, Andrew Newburg, a radiologist at the
        > > University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, scanned
        > > the brains of Buddhist monks and Franciscan nuns in
        > > meditation or prayer and the results were
        > > fascinating.
        > >
        > > First, the prefrontal cortex -or the part of the
        > > brain dealing with positive emotions -was seething
        > > with activity. More interestingly, the parietal
        > > lobes
        > > showed very little activity. What are parietal
        > > lobes?
        > > These lobes are part of the cerebrum and are
        > > associated with two functions, the orientation of
        > > the
        > > body in space and the perception of space and time.
        > >
        > > To be more precise, the left superior parietal lobe
        > > creates the perception of the body's physical
        > > boundaries and the right superior parietal lobe
        > > creates the perception of physical space outside of
        > > the body. Since, during meditation, the parietal
        > > lobes
        > > are unable to create the perception of space and
        > > linear time that are an essential part of our
        > > consciousness, it gives rise to a sensation of
        > > infinity and timelessness.
        > >
        > > That's one take. Here's another. Dr Michael
        > > Persinger at Laurentian University studied the brain
        > > scans of temporal lobe of epileptic patients who
        > > reported having mystical experiences. He then
        > > artificially induced temporal lobe seizures on
        > > volunteers and their reactions were the same as the
        > > epileptics —-religious dream-like hallucinations and
        > > the volunteers sensing `spectral presence´ in the
        > > room
        > > with them.
        > >
        > > Dr Persinger suggests this could be because of the
        > > presence of the temporal cortex inside the temporal
        > > lobes. The left hemisphere of the temporal cortex is
        > > responsible for one's awareness of self. When the
        > > activity in this cortex gets out of sync, as happens
        > > in a seizure, the left hemisphere perceives the
        > > right
        > > hemisphere as a `sensed presence´ separate from
        > > itself, which could be interpreted as God.
        > >
        > > Another part of the brain that could be playing a
        > > role in religious experiences is the limbic system.
        > > Limbic stimulation is known to bring richness to
        > > experience. Jeffery Saver, a researcher at UCLA,
        > > says
        > > that during a religious experience the limbic system
        > > becomes unusually active, which makes everything
        > > that
        > > happens during an experience especially significant.
        > > In fact, even elaborate religious ceremonies,
        > > involving things like chanting and rituals, make the
        > > brain tag the rituals as different from everyday
        > > activities. This, in turn, triggers activity in the
        > > limbic system leading to a feeling of bliss.
        > >
        > > Skeptics will interpret the scientific findings as
        > > proof that God does not exist, because we can
        > > scientifically replicate mystical religious
        > > experiences. However, Newberg himself says that
        > > while
        > > he has a sense of his own spirituality, his agenda
        > > for
        > > research doesn't include determining whether god
        > > exists or not. That, according to him, is a
        > > different
        > > question from trying to determine the neurology of
        > > spiritual and religious experiences.
        > >
        > >
        > > metta, Era
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > _______________________________
        > Do you Yahoo!?
        > Declare Yourself - Register online to vote today!
        > http://vote.yahoo.com
      • Jeff Belyea
        Meat that thinks and meat that has a spritual experience? Where s the love, women? (ü) ... Santino_50
        Message 3 of 6 , Sep 28, 2004
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          Meat that thinks
          and meat that
          has a spritual
          experience?

          Where's the love,
          women?

          (ü)


          --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "Nina"
          <murrkis@y...> wrote:
          > :) Maybe the 'how' IS the 'why'.
          >
          > not even two cents,
          > Nina
          >
          > --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com,
          Santino_50
          > <santino_50@y...> wrote:
          > > Hello Group,
          > >
          > > My view is that science can tell us the HOW of many
          > > processes -- the step-by-step interactions that got us
          > > from crawling creatures to human beings. But the
          > > questions of WHY are beyond its scope. Because we can
          > > explain a process does not mean that we understand its
          > > essential substance. That's the area of religion and
          > > spirituality. I don't see a conflict. I wouldn't go
          > > to a scientist for a philosophical or spiritual
          > > assessment anymore than I would go to a spiritual
          > > guide for a scientific one.
          > >
          > > Just my $0.02
          > >
          > > thanks,
          > >
          > > Patrick
          > >
          > >
          > > --- Era <mi_nok@y...> wrote:
          > >
          > > > New Delhi: Modern science tells us that love is
          > > > essentially a chemical phenomenon. All the things
          > > > you
          > > > feel when you're in love can be explained by the
          > > > presence of certain chemicals—-say, phenyl
          > > > ethylamine
          > > > which is associated with a feeling of bliss or
          > > > oxytocin that's found to be high in breast-feeding
          > > > mothers.
          > > >
          > > > While research on the subject is still not
          > > > conclusive, there are suggestions that religious and
          > > > spiritual experiences, too, might be built into the
          > > > complex circuitry of our brains. At least that's
          > > > what
          > > > research in two American universities appear to
          > > > indicate.
          > > >
          > > > Research at the University of Wisconsin at Madison
          > > > and the University of California, San Francisco, on
          > > > Buddhist monks showed that parts of the brain
          > > > dealing
          > > > with positive emotions and self-control were more
          > > > active, while those associated with memory of fear
          > > > were relatively calmer, leading researchers to
          > > > believe
          > > > that Buddhist monks who appear happy and calm were
          > > > are
          > > > genuinely so.
          > > >
          > > > To take the research on spiritual experience
          > > > further, Andrew Newburg, a radiologist at the
          > > > University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, scanned
          > > > the brains of Buddhist monks and Franciscan nuns in
          > > > meditation or prayer and the results were
          > > > fascinating.
          > > >
          > > > First, the prefrontal cortex -or the part of the
          > > > brain dealing with positive emotions -was seething
          > > > with activity. More interestingly, the parietal
          > > > lobes
          > > > showed very little activity. What are parietal
          > > > lobes?
          > > > These lobes are part of the cerebrum and are
          > > > associated with two functions, the orientation of
          > > > the
          > > > body in space and the perception of space and time.
          > > >
          > > > To be more precise, the left superior parietal lobe
          > > > creates the perception of the body's physical
          > > > boundaries and the right superior parietal lobe
          > > > creates the perception of physical space outside of
          > > > the body. Since, during meditation, the parietal
          > > > lobes
          > > > are unable to create the perception of space and
          > > > linear time that are an essential part of our
          > > > consciousness, it gives rise to a sensation of
          > > > infinity and timelessness.
          > > >
          > > > That's one take. Here's another. Dr Michael
          > > > Persinger at Laurentian University studied the brain
          > > > scans of temporal lobe of epileptic patients who
          > > > reported having mystical experiences. He then
          > > > artificially induced temporal lobe seizures on
          > > > volunteers and their reactions were the same as the
          > > > epileptics —-religious dream-like hallucinations and
          > > > the volunteers sensing `spectral presence´ in the
          > > > room
          > > > with them.
          > > >
          > > > Dr Persinger suggests this could be because of the
          > > > presence of the temporal cortex inside the temporal
          > > > lobes. The left hemisphere of the temporal cortex is
          > > > responsible for one's awareness of self. When the
          > > > activity in this cortex gets out of sync, as happens
          > > > in a seizure, the left hemisphere perceives the
          > > > right
          > > > hemisphere as a `sensed presence´ separate from
          > > > itself, which could be interpreted as God.
          > > >
          > > > Another part of the brain that could be playing a
          > > > role in religious experiences is the limbic system.
          > > > Limbic stimulation is known to bring richness to
          > > > experience. Jeffery Saver, a researcher at UCLA,
          > > > says
          > > > that during a religious experience the limbic system
          > > > becomes unusually active, which makes everything
          > > > that
          > > > happens during an experience especially significant.
          > > > In fact, even elaborate religious ceremonies,
          > > > involving things like chanting and rituals, make the
          > > > brain tag the rituals as different from everyday
          > > > activities. This, in turn, triggers activity in the
          > > > limbic system leading to a feeling of bliss.
          > > >
          > > > Skeptics will interpret the scientific findings as
          > > > proof that God does not exist, because we can
          > > > scientifically replicate mystical religious
          > > > experiences. However, Newberg himself says that
          > > > while
          > > > he has a sense of his own spirituality, his agenda
          > > > for
          > > > research doesn't include determining whether god
          > > > exists or not. That, according to him, is a
          > > > different
          > > > question from trying to determine the neurology of
          > > > spiritual and religious experiences.
          > > >
          > > >
          > > > metta, Era
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > > _______________________________
          > > Do you Yahoo!?
          > > Declare Yourself - Register online to vote today!
          > > http://vote.yahoo.com
        • Nina
          Hehe, I got plenty of love, right here in my luteinizing hormones. Surge, baby, surge! If you can t see the love in the how , then I might ask you the
          Message 4 of 6 , Sep 28, 2004
          • 0 Attachment
            Hehe, I got plenty of love,
            right here in my luteinizing
            hormones. Surge, baby, surge!

            If you can't see the love
            in the 'how', then I might ask
            you the similar:

            "Where's the love, man?"

            ;) Nina

            --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "Jeff Belyea"
            <jeff@m...> wrote:
            > Meat that thinks
            > and meat that
            > has a spritual
            > experience?
            >
            > Where's the love,
            > women?
            >
            > (ü)
            >
            >
            > --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "Nina"
            > <murrkis@y...> wrote:
            > > :) Maybe the 'how' IS the 'why'.
            > >
            > > not even two cents,
            > > Nina
            > >
            > > --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com,
            > Santino_50
            > > <santino_50@y...> wrote:
            > > > Hello Group,
            > > >
            > > > My view is that science can tell us the HOW of many
            > > > processes -- the step-by-step interactions that got us
            > > > from crawling creatures to human beings. But the
            > > > questions of WHY are beyond its scope. Because we can
            > > > explain a process does not mean that we understand its
            > > > essential substance. That's the area of religion and
            > > > spirituality. I don't see a conflict. I wouldn't go
            > > > to a scientist for a philosophical or spiritual
            > > > assessment anymore than I would go to a spiritual
            > > > guide for a scientific one.
            > > >
            > > > Just my $0.02
            > > >
            > > > thanks,
            > > >
            > > > Patrick
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > --- Era <mi_nok@y...> wrote:
            > > >
            > > > > New Delhi: Modern science tells us that love is
            > > > > essentially a chemical phenomenon. All the things
            > > > > you
            > > > > feel when you're in love can be explained by the
            > > > > presence of certain chemicals—-say, phenyl
            > > > > ethylamine
            > > > > which is associated with a feeling of bliss or
            > > > > oxytocin that's found to be high in breast-feeding
            > > > > mothers.
            > > > >
            > > > > While research on the subject is still not
            > > > > conclusive, there are suggestions that religious and
            > > > > spiritual experiences, too, might be built into the
            > > > > complex circuitry of our brains. At least that's
            > > > > what
            > > > > research in two American universities appear to
            > > > > indicate.
            > > > >
            > > > > Research at the University of Wisconsin at Madison
            > > > > and the University of California, San Francisco, on
            > > > > Buddhist monks showed that parts of the brain
            > > > > dealing
            > > > > with positive emotions and self-control were more
            > > > > active, while those associated with memory of fear
            > > > > were relatively calmer, leading researchers to
            > > > > believe
            > > > > that Buddhist monks who appear happy and calm were
            > > > > are
            > > > > genuinely so.
            > > > >
            > > > > To take the research on spiritual experience
            > > > > further, Andrew Newburg, a radiologist at the
            > > > > University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, scanned
            > > > > the brains of Buddhist monks and Franciscan nuns in
            > > > > meditation or prayer and the results were
            > > > > fascinating.
            > > > >
            > > > > First, the prefrontal cortex -or the part of the
            > > > > brain dealing with positive emotions -was seething
            > > > > with activity. More interestingly, the parietal
            > > > > lobes
            > > > > showed very little activity. What are parietal
            > > > > lobes?
            > > > > These lobes are part of the cerebrum and are
            > > > > associated with two functions, the orientation of
            > > > > the
            > > > > body in space and the perception of space and time.
            > > > >
            > > > > To be more precise, the left superior parietal lobe
            > > > > creates the perception of the body's physical
            > > > > boundaries and the right superior parietal lobe
            > > > > creates the perception of physical space outside of
            > > > > the body. Since, during meditation, the parietal
            > > > > lobes
            > > > > are unable to create the perception of space and
            > > > > linear time that are an essential part of our
            > > > > consciousness, it gives rise to a sensation of
            > > > > infinity and timelessness.
            > > > >
            > > > > That's one take. Here's another. Dr Michael
            > > > > Persinger at Laurentian University studied the brain
            > > > > scans of temporal lobe of epileptic patients who
            > > > > reported having mystical experiences. He then
            > > > > artificially induced temporal lobe seizures on
            > > > > volunteers and their reactions were the same as the
            > > > > epileptics —-religious dream-like hallucinations and
            > > > > the volunteers sensing `spectral presence´ in the
            > > > > room
            > > > > with them.
            > > > >
            > > > > Dr Persinger suggests this could be because of the
            > > > > presence of the temporal cortex inside the temporal
            > > > > lobes. The left hemisphere of the temporal cortex is
            > > > > responsible for one's awareness of self. When the
            > > > > activity in this cortex gets out of sync, as happens
            > > > > in a seizure, the left hemisphere perceives the
            > > > > right
            > > > > hemisphere as a `sensed presence´ separate from
            > > > > itself, which could be interpreted as God.
            > > > >
            > > > > Another part of the brain that could be playing a
            > > > > role in religious experiences is the limbic system.
            > > > > Limbic stimulation is known to bring richness to
            > > > > experience. Jeffery Saver, a researcher at UCLA,
            > > > > says
            > > > > that during a religious experience the limbic system
            > > > > becomes unusually active, which makes everything
            > > > > that
            > > > > happens during an experience especially significant.
            > > > > In fact, even elaborate religious ceremonies,
            > > > > involving things like chanting and rituals, make the
            > > > > brain tag the rituals as different from everyday
            > > > > activities. This, in turn, triggers activity in the
            > > > > limbic system leading to a feeling of bliss.
            > > > >
            > > > > Skeptics will interpret the scientific findings as
            > > > > proof that God does not exist, because we can
            > > > > scientifically replicate mystical religious
            > > > > experiences. However, Newberg himself says that
            > > > > while
            > > > > he has a sense of his own spirituality, his agenda
            > > > > for
            > > > > research doesn't include determining whether god
            > > > > exists or not. That, according to him, is a
            > > > > different
            > > > > question from trying to determine the neurology of
            > > > > spiritual and religious experiences.
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > > metta, Era
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > _______________________________
            > > > Do you Yahoo!?
            > > > Declare Yourself - Register online to vote today!
            > > > http://vote.yahoo.com
          • Jeff Belyea
            In the dewing. (ü) ... Belyea ... can
            Message 5 of 6 , Sep 28, 2004
            • 0 Attachment
              In the dewing. (ü)


              --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "Nina"
              <murrkis@y...> wrote:
              > Hehe, I got plenty of love,
              > right here in my luteinizing
              > hormones. Surge, baby, surge!
              >
              > If you can't see the love
              > in the 'how', then I might ask
              > you the similar:
              >
              > "Where's the love, man?"
              >
              > ;) Nina
              >
              > --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "Jeff
              Belyea"
              > <jeff@m...> wrote:
              > > Meat that thinks
              > > and meat that
              > > has a spritual
              > > experience?
              > >
              > > Where's the love,
              > > women?
              > >
              > > (ü)
              > >
              > >
              > > --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "Nina"
              > > <murrkis@y...> wrote:
              > > > :) Maybe the 'how' IS the 'why'.
              > > >
              > > > not even two cents,
              > > > Nina
              > > >
              > > > --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com,
              > > Santino_50
              > > > <santino_50@y...> wrote:
              > > > > Hello Group,
              > > > >
              > > > > My view is that science can tell us the HOW of many
              > > > > processes -- the step-by-step interactions that got us
              > > > > from crawling creatures to human beings. But the
              > > > > questions of WHY are beyond its scope. Because we
              can
              > > > > explain a process does not mean that we understand its
              > > > > essential substance. That's the area of religion and
              > > > > spirituality. I don't see a conflict. I wouldn't go
              > > > > to a scientist for a philosophical or spiritual
              > > > > assessment anymore than I would go to a spiritual
              > > > > guide for a scientific one.
              > > > >
              > > > > Just my $0.02
              > > > >
              > > > > thanks,
              > > > >
              > > > > Patrick
              > > > >
              > > > >
              > > > > --- Era <mi_nok@y...> wrote:
              > > > >
              > > > > > New Delhi: Modern science tells us that love is
              > > > > > essentially a chemical phenomenon. All the things
              > > > > > you
              > > > > > feel when you're in love can be explained by the
              > > > > > presence of certain chemicals—-say, phenyl
              > > > > > ethylamine
              > > > > > which is associated with a feeling of bliss or
              > > > > > oxytocin that's found to be high in breast-feeding
              > > > > > mothers.
              > > > > >
              > > > > > While research on the subject is still not
              > > > > > conclusive, there are suggestions that religious and
              > > > > > spiritual experiences, too, might be built into the
              > > > > > complex circuitry of our brains. At least that's
              > > > > > what
              > > > > > research in two American universities appear to
              > > > > > indicate.
              > > > > >
              > > > > > Research at the University of Wisconsin at Madison
              > > > > > and the University of California, San Francisco, on
              > > > > > Buddhist monks showed that parts of the brain
              > > > > > dealing
              > > > > > with positive emotions and self-control were more
              > > > > > active, while those associated with memory of fear
              > > > > > were relatively calmer, leading researchers to
              > > > > > believe
              > > > > > that Buddhist monks who appear happy and calm were
              > > > > > are
              > > > > > genuinely so.
              > > > > >
              > > > > > To take the research on spiritual experience
              > > > > > further, Andrew Newburg, a radiologist at the
              > > > > > University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, scanned
              > > > > > the brains of Buddhist monks and Franciscan nuns in
              > > > > > meditation or prayer and the results were
              > > > > > fascinating.
              > > > > >
              > > > > > First, the prefrontal cortex -or the part of the
              > > > > > brain dealing with positive emotions -was seething
              > > > > > with activity. More interestingly, the parietal
              > > > > > lobes
              > > > > > showed very little activity. What are parietal
              > > > > > lobes?
              > > > > > These lobes are part of the cerebrum and are
              > > > > > associated with two functions, the orientation of
              > > > > > the
              > > > > > body in space and the perception of space and time.
              > > > > >
              > > > > > To be more precise, the left superior parietal lobe
              > > > > > creates the perception of the body's physical
              > > > > > boundaries and the right superior parietal lobe
              > > > > > creates the perception of physical space outside of
              > > > > > the body. Since, during meditation, the parietal
              > > > > > lobes
              > > > > > are unable to create the perception of space and
              > > > > > linear time that are an essential part of our
              > > > > > consciousness, it gives rise to a sensation of
              > > > > > infinity and timelessness.
              > > > > >
              > > > > > That's one take. Here's another. Dr Michael
              > > > > > Persinger at Laurentian University studied the brain
              > > > > > scans of temporal lobe of epileptic patients who
              > > > > > reported having mystical experiences. He then
              > > > > > artificially induced temporal lobe seizures on
              > > > > > volunteers and their reactions were the same as the
              > > > > > epileptics —-religious dream-like hallucinations and
              > > > > > the volunteers sensing `spectral presence´ in the
              > > > > > room
              > > > > > with them.
              > > > > >
              > > > > > Dr Persinger suggests this could be because of the
              > > > > > presence of the temporal cortex inside the temporal
              > > > > > lobes. The left hemisphere of the temporal cortex is
              > > > > > responsible for one's awareness of self. When the
              > > > > > activity in this cortex gets out of sync, as happens
              > > > > > in a seizure, the left hemisphere perceives the
              > > > > > right
              > > > > > hemisphere as a `sensed presence´ separate from
              > > > > > itself, which could be interpreted as God.
              > > > > >
              > > > > > Another part of the brain that could be playing a
              > > > > > role in religious experiences is the limbic system.
              > > > > > Limbic stimulation is known to bring richness to
              > > > > > experience. Jeffery Saver, a researcher at UCLA,
              > > > > > says
              > > > > > that during a religious experience the limbic system
              > > > > > becomes unusually active, which makes everything
              > > > > > that
              > > > > > happens during an experience especially significant.
              > > > > > In fact, even elaborate religious ceremonies,
              > > > > > involving things like chanting and rituals, make the
              > > > > > brain tag the rituals as different from everyday
              > > > > > activities. This, in turn, triggers activity in the
              > > > > > limbic system leading to a feeling of bliss.
              > > > > >
              > > > > > Skeptics will interpret the scientific findings as
              > > > > > proof that God does not exist, because we can
              > > > > > scientifically replicate mystical religious
              > > > > > experiences. However, Newberg himself says that
              > > > > > while
              > > > > > he has a sense of his own spirituality, his agenda
              > > > > > for
              > > > > > research doesn't include determining whether god
              > > > > > exists or not. That, according to him, is a
              > > > > > different
              > > > > > question from trying to determine the neurology of
              > > > > > spiritual and religious experiences.
              > > > > >
              > > > > >
              > > > > > metta, Era
              > > > > >
              > > > > >
              > > > > >
              > > > > >
              > > > >
              > > > >
              > > > >
              > > > >
              > > > > _______________________________
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