Neurotheology

Discussion in 'Theology' started by TealLeaf, Jan 23, 2009.

  1. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist Staff Member

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    They are right there, all one one page. It's not as if I told you to go educate yourself by throwing a whole book at you like this:
    However, I will copy and paste some excerpts here for you:
    1 Corinthians 12
    6 Now there are different gifts, (C) but the same Spirit. 5 There are different ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are different activities, but the same God is active in everyone and everything. 7 A manifestation of the Spirit is given to each person (D) to produce what is beneficial:
    8 to one (E) is given a message of wisdom (F) through the Spirit,
    to another, a message of knowledge by the same Spirit,
    9 to another, faith by the same Spirit,
    to another, gifts of healing (G) by the one Spirit,
    10 to another, the performing of miracles, (H)
    to another, prophecy, (I)
    to another, distinguishing between spirits, (J)
    to another, different kinds of languages,
    to another, interpretation of languages.
    <...>
    27 Now you are the body of Christ, (Q) and individual members of it. 28 And God has placed these in the church: (R)
    first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, (S) next, miracles, (T)
    then gifts of healing, (U) helping, managing, various kinds of languages.
    29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets?
    Are all teachers? Do all do miracles?
    30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in languages?
    Do all interpret? (V)
    31 But desire (W) the greater gifts. And I will show you an even better way.
    1 Corinthians 13 (which I believe should be part of chapter 12--testing the spirit and the Spiritual gift that does not pass away like prophesy, xenoglossy, gifts of healings, etc...)
    1 If I speak the languages of men and of angels, but do not have love, (X)
    I am a sounding gong (Y) or a clanging cymbal.
    2 If I have [the gift of] prophecy, (Z)
    and understand all mysteries and all knowledge,
    and if I have all faith, so that I can move mountains, (AA)
    but do not have love, I am nothing.
    3 And if I donate all my goods to feed the poor,
    and if I give my body to be burned, [c]
    but do not have love, I gain nothing.
    <...>
    8 Love never ends. (AI)
    But as for prophecies, they will come to an end;
    as for languages, they will cease;
    as for knowledge, it will come to an end.
    9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
    10 But when the perfect comes, the partial will come to an end.
    Gifts like prophesy, etc, can be examined to determine whether it is a product of mind, or a product of transcendence. It serves as a sign which helps us to recognize and cultivate the greater, more subtle gifts that are less recognizable as being a product of transcendence:

    1 Corinthians 13:13
    13 Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love.
    But the greatest of these is love.
    More products of transcendence are described in Tantric Buddhist and Hindu literature. (Perhaps some who are more familiar with these and other traditions would like to post some of the spiritual gifts (or siddhas, etc.) recognized within their traditions.)
     
  2. TealLeaf

    TealLeaf Soul Adventurer

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    Prophecy, faith, hope and love are in no way incompatible with the fact that the mind is a function of the brain in fact they are more or less sub-functions.

    How do you determine whether prophecy is a product of the mind or a product of transcendence?

    Also who or what is doing the transcending? God? The individual?

    And what are they transcending? Physical reality? Human nature? The rules of society?
     
  3. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist Staff Member

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    Process of elimination. If you determine that something that could not have possibly come from the mind, then it must have come from somewhere else, no?

    Good question. {That's why many traditions say to "test the Spirits, to see if they are from God. (Not every Spirit is from God.)}

    That is a question that many have made a variety of speculations on: What is mind? Not many of these various speculations are very satisfactory, imo.
     
  4. TealLeaf

    TealLeaf Soul Adventurer

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    LOL. Well alright then how do you determine whether something that indicates transcendence is not a product of the mind?

    I didn't ask "What is mind?" I asked
    Anyhow this is getting silly. At this point I am prepared to just agree to disagree.
     
  5. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist Staff Member

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    It would depend upon the boundaries and definition you place regarding mind. It might just be a case of transcendance of self-imposed boundaries regarding mind.





    Th perceived boundaries of mind, at the very least.

    As you wish. **bows out.**
     
  6. TealLeaf

    TealLeaf Soul Adventurer

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    That's some mighty fine dodging you do there. Have you ever considered a career in politics?
     
  7. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist Staff Member

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    Bite your tongue! :eek:
     
  8. TealLeaf

    TealLeaf Soul Adventurer

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    Don't look so shocked.
     
  9. Netti-Netti

    Netti-Netti New Member

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    There are obviously definitional issues regarding what "transcendence" is. But potentially the more basic question is whether "transcendence" is a necessary element in the so-called "mystical" experience. A Zen Buddhist would likely argue that there is nothing to transcend and, based on NO-SELF doctrine, not even a person to experience it!

    Btw, has anyone read the actual study yet? Seems hard to vouch for a study you haven't actually read.
     
  10. TealLeaf

    TealLeaf Soul Adventurer

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    I still haven't had time to get a copy of the original scientific article on the JHU study but I have read fairly lengthy summaries of it and as I have said before the peer reviews of the study speak very well of it. Also as I have said before the results of this study jive well with other previous studies and my own personal experience.

    Again I'll try to get a copy of the original article as soon as I have time so that we can fully dissect. To be honest I am not that motivated to read the original as more follow-up studies need to be done and I would just as soon wait to see the results of those. Unfortunately because of the stance of the government studies in this area tend to advance rather slowly.
     
  11. TealLeaf

    TealLeaf Soul Adventurer

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    I thought folks here might be interested to know that there is a new book out that deals with the scientific study of religion and neurotheology in particular. It is:

    FINGERPRINTS OF GOD
    The Search for The Science of Spirituality
    By Barbara Bradley Hagerty


    While I have yet to get my hands on a copy there is a major review of this book in the Washington Post. The review seems very positive.

    washingtonpost.com
     
  12. shawn

    shawn New Member

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    As with other experiences in life....you get out of it according to what you put into it.

    Entheogen experiences are no different, that is why there is such a wide spectrum of personal results.
    For some it is heaven and for others it is hell, but that is each persons choice.
    You are ultimately responsible for your experience.

    Spirituality is IMO just awareness.
    Things like prayer and fasting or meditation or yoga or drugs or trauma can initiate an opening of the reducing valve.
    It doesn't always do so, nor is there only one window of perception to look at things from.

    One may theorize that all religious experience is merely a chemical state in the brain which produces the visions etc.
    This is undoubtedly true about many altered states.
    They are not called mystery religions for nothing, and the current legal situation is not conducive to helping shed any light upon those mysteries.
     

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