Do the origins of some religions relate to epilepsy?
See my most recent YouTube video:
Two of my other YouTube videos that are very relevant to this topic:
Please let me know what you think.
I recently purchased the book "Sleep Paralysis: Night-mares, Nocebos, and the Mind-Body Connection", by Shelley R. Adler. I haven't read all of it, but it seems pretty good so far.
"Paralysis" occurs to almost everyone during REM sleep (in order to prevent the acting out of dreams). It is a problem if it DOESN'T occur. The sleep paralysis that you refer to seems to be when someone becomes conscious during this paralysis. It is absolutely harmless... unless people harm themselves by fearful reaction to it. Much of the response to it is cultural, especially the dream accompaniment. Some Japanese horror fans have reported seeing Sadako--of The Ring (Ringu)--and get a big thrill out of this! When I had my own sleep paralysis experience, I already knew about the paralysis that accompanies REM and so it just amused me to finally experience it.
Adler thinks that the sleep paralysis experience you are talking about occurs primarily when people sleep on their backs. This was the case with me (and I rarely sleep on my back), and when I asked a friend about his own experiences he said that this was the case with him as well. Perhaps there is something to that idea.
Your video "Heaven within You: Ecstatic Seizures" is quite remarkable. When you asked the question at the very end of if the experience of heaven can be experienced again without a living brain, it reminded me of something I heard last summer. Apparently, the religious may be changing their tone about their traditional views of the afterlife.
Last summer, I was house-sitting for my father while he was in Montana. I was visited at his door by two Jehovah's Witnesses who wanted to talk to me about the afterlife. Although I don't believe in the afterlife, I'm not rude, especially since he seemed to be with his son at the time. I stood in the doorway and listened to his speech. He said that the dead are not really conscious of anything. According to him, upon reaching heaven the soul exists in an eternity of mindless bliss.
To me, this view of the afterlife begs a question; if this is what we have to look forward to in the afterlife, then why even have an afterlife at all? Why would a god give us life after death if that life is essentially the same as being comatose for the rest of eternity?
I always bring this point out when Johovah's Witnesses come to my door. I ask them, quite honestly, "Aren't you diminishing your own odds of getting to heaven by trying to convert more people?"
Mark- I think your You Tube videos are fascinating, and I thank you for taking on this study. I've said for a long time that I think some day, we will look at religious people as having a form of mental illness. Your study, however, illustrates that it may be a neurological effect (at least in forming religions... I still think people willing to follow the "enlightened ones" must have some form of mental issues to continue to buy into these ideas).