Just some random thoughts on the neuroscience behind religion. What is religion ? How are our religious beliefs generated? Do we have a center in the brain dedicated to religion (is there a religion center in the brain?) Role of temporal lobe and limbic structures in religion. Some patients with temporal lobe epilepsy are hyperreligious. Does the temporal lobe house the religion center of the brain?
I shall be musing about these thoughts further.
2 thoughts on “Your brain on religion”
“And the greatest of these is love”! What a wonderful concept, and it may well be that love is the answer we’ve all been looking for. As we explore living in the Kingdom, we need to do some serious introspection of our self belief system, whether the material, or earthly world, is of any lasting value, or whether the spiritual realm is to be desired and pursued. How we are bound to our own earthly existence. We perceive the physical with our physical bodies. If the Kingdom is at hand and within our reach then certainly we cannot see it with our physical sensory limitations. Christ Himself alluded in many parables that the Kingdom of God was at hand. The power of faith to move mountains at the command of our voice if only we had the amount of faith that was contained within a mustard seed; To imagine that we have the power to change the physical world but that it is conditioned by the concept of faith, belief in a power greater than ourselves; “My Kingdom is not of this earth.”. We are therefore left to explore the non-physical reality of our consciousness. We have an awareness of the universe but yet we cannot explain where this awareness derives from. Thought, although generated from within the brain, cannot be contained or effectively controlled. Emotions likewise are generated from physical interactions or exposures of our bodies and earthly existence to the perceived events around us. Again, although all physical interactions, while generating thoughts and emotions do not determine our reactions to them. (One of my pet peeves is the statement “you made me feel ….”. It is not within the power of our physical bodies to make someone feel in any particular manner. Feelings are generated from within our own earthly shells.) Perhaps this is why some individuals are able to transcend great personal tragedy and maintain a loving attitude toward others while some tend to generate hatred and hurt throughout their lifetime. We are of course addressing the metaphysical forces that we believe are driving events in the universe. Emotions, being necessarily within this realm since they cannot be explained by the laws of nature, are subject to such a greater force. And the greatest of these is love. While we cannot explain how or why we love, it generates a positive feeling of physical warmth and peace of mind and soul. Love does not need to be returned for it to exist; it is independent of the physical world to which most of our very perception of existence is tied.
Thank you writing in to me Jim.
Nitin Sethi, MD