http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=110997741

"More than half of adult Americans report they have had a spiritual experience that changed their lives. Now, scientists from universities like Harvard, Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins are using new technologies to analyze the brains of people who claim they have touched the spiritual — from Christians who speak in tongues to Buddhist monks to people who claim to have had near-death experiences. Hear what they have discovered in this controversial field, as the science of spirituality continues to evolve."

"At Johns Hopkins University, research suggests that chemicals that act on the serotonin system trigger mystical experiences that are life-altering. Serotonin is a chemical messenger that helps regulate mood and sleep. Now those neurologists -- and others -- are replicating studies from the 1960s in which patients with end-stage cancer were given LSD to see if they were convinced that life exists beyond death. The research raises the question, is God a delusion created by brain chemistry, or is brain chemistry a necessary conduit for people to reach God?"

Most of us who have not even studied the brain could attest to religious experiences as electromagnetic impulses, but I hope to direct some of my believing neighbors there, just to try and stimulate that very brain of theirs.

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Replies to This Discussion

this is beautiful! thanks!
NDEs are bullshit. I can speak from experience. In September 1999 I died. I had a heart attack. I knew it was on so I rang for an ambulance. I got just up the drive to the hospitel and I remember nothing until I was "rebooted' with the ZAP and saw these gorgeous faces looking down at me. I was asked how I was feeling. I felt like a bucket of shit, and was bathed in sweat. These faces were the nurses in A & E. A doctor told me I had a heart attack and died. I had NO Near Death Experience, no tunnel of light. no "god" no St. Peter at the pearly gates.

The reason for my heart attack was later put down as stress. In the last years of my mother's life she suffered from demenita and I was the sufferer. Those how have looked after peole like that know what I am talking about. My mother, brought up as a strict Roman Catholic was not very bright. She was always beligerant and that was exasperated by her dememtia. She died in 1995 and it took another for years to catch up with me in the form of the after effects of stress coupled with depression. I have been on anti-depressents since my mother dies. They replace the serotonin in the brain which is a possible explaination for my not having NDE.

Also I had left the Roman Catholic Church and became a stromg Atheist. I am now more convinced that Richard Dawkins in right "Religion is a poison." It poisoned my mother, but I cured myself.

I wish something could be done to cure Christians of this poison that is affecting their brains. A Nobel Prize should be granted to whom ever can do something.
This is so interesting. Definitely want to spend the time going through the many NPR stories relating to this topic. But that's the problem - TIME. I'll get back to this, now that I know where to find it. Thanks for posting. Great stuff.
The frontal lobe, the area right behind the forehead, helps focus attention in prayer and meditation.
The parietal lobe, located near the backs of the skull, is the seat of sensory information.; it's involved in that feeling of becoming part of something greater than oneself.
The limbic system, nestled deep in the center, regulates emotions and is responsible for feelings of awe and joy”
It would be easy for an individual to get high on their holiness.

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