Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Spiritual Experiences : Brain's Neurological Disorders

Brain has been a mysterious organ for a long time. We still know very little about this magic box. But its mysteries are now starting to reveal by advance scientific knowledge and research. 

Our brain is apparently divided into two parts : the Right hemisphere and the Left hemisphere. Left side of the brain controls right side of the body and right side of the brain controls left side of the body.

Each hemisphere have specific duties to perform. Language,Logic,Reason,Mathematics,Reading and Writing, Analysis are performed in Left hemisphere. While Right hemisphere is bound to perform recognitions of faces/patterns, rhythms, visual images and depth, creativity, parallel processing, synthesis, and emotions like : happiness,sadness,fear,disgust....

These two hemispheres are joined by corpus callosum, a huge collection of neural fibers. This joint is important for mind to make sense of our everyday life problems and experiences. If this joint is removed as the last resort of severe epilepsy, two main hemispheres have no more communication. Now if patients will see some written world on the left side of any center point he might not be able to utter words but he or she can draw the picture of the word shown to left side of the center point. This is because two hemisphere are unable to communicate with each other.

Scientists found that after operation, if a patient is trained to answer questions from left and right parts of bodies as they are controlled by different parts of brains. They found that when asked the most important question : Do you believe in God? Patient's Right hemispheres believe in God while his/ner Left part do not believe in any God...

Scientists found that Temporal Lobe epilepsy causes religious experience. Many Patients of temporal lobe epilepsy reported to be visited by god or some times they feel themselves a God. Some believe that many of the great religious figures had epilepsy.

Dr. Jordan Grafman of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke once said:

"There's a neurological disorder that sometimes leaves people seeing god, or at least claiming to. Problems in Temporal Lobes of your brain can cause illusions of seeing god or even being god yourself. Brain is inherently sensitive to believing in almost anything if there are grounds for doing so, but when there is a mystery about something, the same neural machinery is co-opted in the formulation of religious belief. When we have incomplete knowledge of the world around us, it offers us the opportunities to believe in God. When we don't have a scientific explanation for something, we tend to rely on supernatural explanations."

1 comment:

  1. I just found your blog and very much appreciate your thoughtful analysis of these topics. I've subscribed to your feed and look forward to hearing more. By the way, I became an atheist a few years ago and was diagnosed with temporal lobe epilepsy earlier this year. It's interesting to think the two may have been related...