There is a buzz in the Spiritual Blog world on the news published last week about the findings of brain damage in certain modules of the brain causing changes in human spirituality and religion. (what a mouthful!)
Before I make a comment here is the main excerpt from the The Cell Press:
Although it is well established that all behaviors and experiences, spiritual or otherwise, must originate in the brain, true empirical exploration of the neural underpinnings of spirituality has been challenging. However, recent advances in neuroscience have started to make the complex mental processes associated with religion and spirituality more accessible.
“Neuroimaging studies have linked activity within a large network in the brain that connects the frontal, parietal, and temporal cortexes with spiritual experiences, but information on the causative link between such a network and spirituality is lacking,” explains lead study author, Dr. Cosimo Urgesi from the University of Udine in Italy.
Dr. Urgesi and colleagues were interested in making a direct link between brain activity and spirituality. They focused specifically on the personality trait called self-transcendence (ST), which is thought to be a measure of spiritual feeling, thinking, and behaviors in humans. ST reflects a decreased sense of self and an ability to identify one’s self as an integral part of the universe as a whole.
The researchers combined analysis of ST scores obtained from brain tumor patients before and after they had surgery to remove their tumor, with advanced techniques for mapping the exact location of the brain lesions after surgery. “This approach allowed us to explore the possible changes of ST induced by specific brain lesions and the causative role played by frontal, temporal, and parietal structures in supporting inter-individual differences in ST,” says researcher Dr. Franco Fabbro from the University of Udine.
The group found that selective damage to the left and right posterior parietal regions induced a specific increase in ST. “Our symptom-lesion mapping study is the first demonstration of a causative link between brain functioning and ST,” offers Dr. Urgesi. “Damage to posterior parietal areas induced unusually fast changes of a stable personality dimension related to transcendental self-referential awareness. Thus, dysfunctional parietal neural activity may underpin altered spiritual and religious attitudes and behaviors.”
Cell Press (2010, February 11). Selective brain damage modulates human spirituality, research reveals. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 20, 2010, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2010/02/100210124757.htm
I had to post this only because I have a comment on this. I am not a scientist, nor do I pretend to be one. I do not feel in any way shape or form that I have brain damage. However, I do feel that I am very spiritual. That being said, having read this over several times I feel they should have found a way to map the brain of healthy brains as well. These patients already had compromised brains in the first placed because of the brain tumors. They replaced the tumors with lesions. They changed their brains yes but the brains were not healthy to begin with. Do they know if the person wasn’t spiritual or religious before the brain tumor!
It is a fact the pineal gland has been associated with being the Third Eye or Brow Chakra, which is at the base of the brain. The Crown Chakra is at the top of the head which is associated with spirituality. I will go into this more in the coming weeks.
However, what I do think was found or confirms once again is a Scientific link to the bodies Life Force Energy and Chakras, and their corresponding functions; the Crown Chakra dealing with Spirituality and religion.
The scientists have their own way of looking at it, but I have my way of looking at it also. I feel this can be great credibility for Reiki and other energy healing modalities when it comes to naysayers and nonbelievers. And that’s alright by me!!
I would really like to hear your take on this!