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 <> wrote:

From: Edgar Owen <>
Subject: [Zen] Fwd: [evol-psych] News: Selflessness, core of all major world 
religions, has neuropsychological connection
Date: Thursday, 18 December, 2008, 9:37 PM

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Robert Karl Stonjek" <ston...@ozemail.>
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 

( -- 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
Posted by
Robert Karl Stonjek


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