Mind Neuroscience

LiveScience offers to explain mystical experiences

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As long as they are delusions caused by brain glitches:

Further investigation revealed that damage to a specific area of the brain known as the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex was linked to markedly increased mysticism. Previous research found that this brain region, located in the frontal lobes, is key to imposing inhibitions.

“The frontal lobes are the most evolved areas of the human brain, and help control and make sense of the perceptual input we get from the world,” Grafman said. “When the frontal lobes’ inhibitory functions are suppressed, a door of perception can open, increasing the chances of mystical experiences.”

Of course they do not mean a “door of perception” at all, as they make clear:

The researchers suggested that when the brain’s inhibitory functions are suppressed and then people undergo an experience without a direct explanation, the brain might then settle for supernatural explanations.

“The more we understand the brain, the more we can make fundamental advances and translate findings into clinical settings,” Grafman said in a statement. More.

Perhaps one hadn’t better ask what “translate findings into clinical settings” will mean.

In general, the best attestation of mystical experiences is a changed attitude to life, usually in the direction of valuing relationships more and external status markers less.

See also: There is a country for old men

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One Reply to “LiveScience offers to explain mystical experiences

  1. 1
    mw says:

    “When the frontal lobes’ inhibitory functions are suppressed, a door of perception can open, increasing the chances of mystical experiences.”

    So, for mystical experiences and miracles, Jesus and others had to wait for a bang on the head, or Yahweh suppressed frontal lobes in order for Jesus to ‘see’ at the well, how many husbands a woman had.

    I thought from a bang on the head you only saw stars.

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