INACS Explores God on the Brain

Posted on March 8, 2010 by


The local non-profit for which I serve as Vice President is having a free event tomorrow night featuring a viewing of the 2003 BBC documentary, “God on the Brain” …

Consciousness Connections Meeting

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

6:30p Social, 7:00-9:00p Program

Austin Center for Spiritual Living

4804 Grover

Note – New Location

Visitors are welcome, the meeting is free.

Book donations are welcome.

Documentary and Panel Discussion

“God on the Brain”

From BBC Horizon (2003)

Rudi Affolter and Gwen Tighe have both experienced strong religious visions. He is an atheist; she a Christian. He thought he had died; she thought she had given birth to Jesus. Both have temporal lobe epilepsy.

Like other forms of epilepsy, the condition causes fitting but it is also associated with religious hallucinations. Research into why people like Rudi and Gwen saw what they did has opened up a whole field of brain science: neurotheology.

The connection between the temporal lobes of the brain and religious feeling has led one Canadian scientist to try stimulating them.  80% of Dr Michael Persinger’s experimental subjects report that an artificial magnetic field focused on those brain areas gives them a feeling of ‘not being alone’. Some of them describe it as a religious sensation.

“…a high probability [Ellen White] had temporal lobe epilepsy” says Prof Gregory Holmes, Dartmouth Medical School. His work raises the prospect that we are programmed to believe in god, that faith is a mental ability humans have developed or been given. And temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) could help unlock the mystery.

What side are you on, science or spiritualism? Be prepared to defend your position.

The documentary will be shown followed by a discussion. Is Illumination, cosmic consciousness, Kundalini and various religious sensations a spiritual manifestation, or is it simply the neurological manifestation of the brain? If there are volunteers from the audience, a panel will be selected for a debate and Q & A. Please prepare for a lively debate.