The Spiritual Brain : A Neuroscientist's Case for the Existence of the Soul Paperback
Drawing on his own research along with others' work in neuroscience as well as some provocative new research in NDE (near-death experiences), Beauregard proves that genuine spiritual experiences can be documented and they generally have life-changing effects. "The Spiritual Brain" explains how such experiences work and the difference they make in the lives of the individual, powerfully arguing for what many in science are loathe to consider - that it is God that creates religious experiences, not the brain.
Most neuroscientists are committed to the view that mystical experiences are simply the result of random neurons firing, or as one scientist puts it, they are merely 'delusions created by the brain.' But Beauregard uses the most sophisticated technology to peer inside the brains of Carmelite nuns as they recall their most profound spiritual experience which they call unio mystico, the experience of oneness with God.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 384 pages, black & white illustrations
- Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Inc
- Publication Date: 15/11/2008
- Category: Religion & science
- ISBN: 9780061625985
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Review by The_Hibernator
Beauregard’s thesis is that mystical/spiritual experiences have effects on the brain that are too complex to be generalized down to a “God Gene,” a “God Switch,” or a section of the brain dedicated to religiosity. His evidence for this thesis is pretty strong—specifically, he summarizes his own neuroscience research with Carmelite nuns. This thesis does not take an entire book to prove, however, so he spends the rest of the book discussing other aspects of spirituality and neuroscience. Problem is, he’s not an exciting writer, so I really can’t remember any of his other points. I don’t recall any objectionable arguments he made…it’s just that the book is rather forgettable. Maybe worth a read if you have a specific interest in the area—but there are better books out there for casual popular reading.