The article itself then goes on to state that Boyer is not alone BUT..."Newberg (poster comment - other researchers) asserts that these findings do not necessarily mean that religion is no more than an artifact of our brains. He says that it is possible that we create religious experiences in our heads, but equally possible that we are detecting a spiritual reality that actually exists".
This artcle is just another vapid attack on religion, and the writer of the article twisted the headline to his own ends. Actually the writer is probably just out of school, green as heck and trying - and failing - to be clever in concocting a hook.
Be that as it may what I find really interesting is the reference to the "Thomas Pulse".
"He has found a way of inducing religious experiences, or a "sensed presence", simply by bathing the skulls of volunteers in a mild but precisely controlled electromagnetic field called the "Thomas pulse", named after the researcher who developed it.
Four out of five of those who don the magnet-laden helmet in Persinger's human consciousness laboratory report some kind of mystical experience while wearing it".
Does anyone else remember the mid '60's song "Mellow Yellow" by Donovan?
Maybe "Electric Banana" is finally here.
Plus, is the term "neurotheologist" a replacement for "mind burned out on drugs and I'm-feeling-guilty-about-all-the-free-love-and-sex-and-no-morals dippie hippie"? If so how does one actually obtain employment in that field?
This happened in history, not in the mind.
The jealous and the morally-blind would like to think that a moral life coupled with the reception of real grace, which results in supreme happiness, is all just a mental construct easily replicated with a magnetic helmet. I'll hold my formless, shoreless Ocean of blissful, conscious, loving Light against their magnets any day.
One day a frog from the ocean fell into a deep well. Inside the well was a well frog, who asked the newcomer where he came from. "I came from the ocean," said the ocean frog. "And how big is this ocean of yours?" Stepping from side to side, the well frog asked, "Is the ocean this big?" "No," said the frog from the sea, "The ocean is much bigger than that." So then the frog from the well leaped from one side of the well to the other, and asked, "Is the ocean as big as this?!" "Oh, no," said the frog from the sea, "The ocean is much bigger than this well." At that the frog of the well declared, "That's impossible! There is nothing bigger than this well!"
The science is merely discovering the architecture, but reveals little of the Architect, God Himself. Carl Yung, the noted Swiss Physician and Psychologist, opined that there was within all humans, a collective subconscious. He was onto the same thing.
Most organised religions tap into this architecture, for good purpose, much of the time. Religous belief systems, evolved into civil laws, structure many aspects of man's lives. True in primitive and advanced societies, for good and for evil.
* * * * * * *
There....my mind, my HEART, AND my SOUL... all feel MUCH BETTER now...
BTW this morning instead of thanking God for another day, why not thank your local neurotheologist?
It's in your mind, IOW science can come up with physical eveidence, but religion exists outside of it too.
2. A whole bunch of the eastern philosophies have various practices to induce the 'mystical' mind state, and at least until the Renaissance so did Christianity ... there are plenty of accounts of monks or even ordinary people who through devotional exercises had religious experiences. I would say by the Enlightenment this had largely died out as a regular practice. BUT neither Christian or other regarded this state as the end-goal. Great, you had a vision of Christ, fine, but what are you going to DO with it? ... and the Middle English Christian accounts always have them putting experience into practice.
3. However all these systems insist that the mind must be prepared for this experience (symbolic framework), and they say so using some sort of metaphor or another. Without that the result is chaotic and possibly ruinous (as in the example provided by um, my opposite "number" here). So although I fully expect that people will be making 'Thomas pulse' machines not too long from now, we might see a backlash and call for regulation not long after that.