[I was busy drafting something similar to this topic but it's not necessary because it seems some folks have already tackled the subject. The kudos referral link is at the end of the piece.]
Is the brain hardwired for God?
Neuroscientists have found and measured chemical changes in the brain when a person is going through religious or spiritual experiences and keep coming back for more. It turns out religion makes us feel the same way we do when we meditate — the evolutionary explanation is these practices help us improve our mental state, so in a sense, we all believe in the same thing… only our vision of what “it” is comes in different forms. Whether it be a God or a power we have inside of us.
Dr. Andrew Newberg explains:
“… religious feeling is not invisible. The common thread among mystical and spiritual practices is that while people are engaged in them, the lobes of their brain can be seen working together to create a powerful emotional experience.
“When we looked at [subjects'] brain scans, instead of the frontal lobes going up, the frontal lobes actually went down [in blood flow]. Which makes sense in the context of what they are describing is happening to them,”
Newberg explains. “They don’t feel that they’re purposely making it [happen]. They feel that they are being basically overcome by the experience.”
“… It certainly looks like the way the brain is put together makes it very easy for human beings to have religious and spiritual experiences.”
In other words, science explains religion. Don’t you love the irony?
This concept reminds me of a quote by Dale Carnegie from his book How to Win Friends & Influence People:
“When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.”
The majority of people are driven by how they feel. Not by what makes sense. I have friends who don’t go to church or read the Bible but still preach that “there just HAS to be something more!” They want meaning. They crave explanations for uncanny occurrences in their lives or beautiful friendships they create or people they fall madly in love with.
All these things come down to the brain and what you do with it. We are born with a blank slate, and our life is defined by how we use our brains. You can insert your own meaning if you so please.
So learn to harness your thoughts and understand them, and you can make your life an open canvas! Draw. Paint. Carve. Weld. Wittle. Mold. Sculpt. Build. Use life as your own work of art.
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