So we don't have to practice zen, christianity, islam, Judaism, or anything
like that, just wait for science to develop, so you will have all you want, or
don't want. Lets go home and enjoy ourselves.
--- On Thu, 18/12/08, Edgar Owen <edgaro...@att.net> wrote:
From: Edgar Owen <edgaro...@att.net>
Subject: [Zen] Fwd: [evol-psych] News: Selflessness, core of all major world
religions, has neuropsychological connection
To: zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com, spacetimeandconsciousn...@yahoogroups.com
Date: Thursday, 18 December, 2008, 9:37 PM
Begin forwarded message:
From: "Robert Karl Stonjek" <ston...@ozemail. com.au>
Date: December 18, 2008 1:32:15 AM EST
To: evolutionary- psychology@ yahoogroups. com
Subject: [evol-psych] News: Selflessness, core of all major world religions,
has neuropsychological connection
Reply-To: evolutionary- psychology@ yahoogroups. com
Selflessness, core of all major world religions, has neuropsychological
(PhysOrg.com) -- All spiritual experiences are based in the brain. That
statement is truer than ever before, according to a University of Missouri
neuropsychologist. An MU study has data to support a neuropsychological model
that proposes spiritual experiences associated with selflessness are related to
decreased activity in the right parietal lobe of the brain. The study is one of
the first to use individuals with traumatic brain injury to determine this
connection. Researchers say the implication of this connection means people in
many disciplines, including peace studies, health care or religion can learn
different ways to attain selflessness, to experience transcendence, and to help
themselves and others.
This study, along with other recent neuroradiological studies of Buddhist
meditators and Francescan nuns, suggests that all individuals, regardless of
cultural background or religion, experience the same neuropsychological
functions during spiritual experiences, such as transcendence. Transcendence,
feelings of universal unity and decreased sense of self, is a core tenet of all
major religions. Meditation and prayer are the primary vehicles by which such
spiritual transcendence is achieved.
"The brain functions in a certain way during spiritual experiences, " said
Brick Johnstone, professor of health psychology in the MU School of Health
Professions. "We studied people with brain injury and found that people with
injuries to the right parietal lobe of the brain reported higher levels of
spiritual experiences, such as transcendence. "
This link is important, Johnstone said, because it means selflessness can be
learned by decreasing activity in that part of the brain. He suggests this can
be done through conscious effort, such as meditation or prayer. People with
these selfless spiritual experiences also are more psychologically healthy,
especially if they have positive beliefs that there is a God or higher power
who loves them, Johnstone said.
"This research also addresses questions regarding the impact of neurologic
versus cultural factors on spiritual experience," Johnstone said. "The ability
to connect with things beyond the self, such as transcendent experiences, seems
to occur for people who minimize right parietal functioning. This can be
attained through cultural practices, such as intense meditation or prayer or
because of a brain injury that impairs the functioning of the right parietal
lobe. Either way, our study suggests that 'selflessness' is a
neuropsychological foundation of spiritual experiences. "
The research was funded by the MU Center on Religion and the Professions. The
study – "Support for a neuropsychological model of spirituality in persons with
traumatic brain injury" – was published in the peer-reviewed journal Zygon.
"Our research focused on the personal experience of spiritual transcendence and
does not in any way minimize the importance of religion or personal beliefs,
nor does it suggest that spiritual experience are related only to
neuropsychological activity in the brain," Johnstone said. "It is important to
note that individuals experience their God or higher power in many different
ways, but that all people from all religions and beliefs appear to experience
these connections in a similar way."
Provided by University of Missouri-Columbia
http://www.physorg. com/news14873687 6.html
Robert Karl Stonjek
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