I read a fascinating article in USAToday, June 22, 2009, written by Barbara Hagerty, titled, “The God choice.”
She wrote in part, “For the past century, science has largely discarded “God” as a delusion and proclaimed that all our “spiritual” moments, events, thoughts, even free will, can be explained through material means.
“But a revolution is occurring in science. It is called neurotheology, and it is sparked by researchers from universities….these scientists are peering into the brain to understand spiritual experience. Perhaps, they say, God is not a figment of our brain chemistry; perhaps the brain chemistry reflects an encounter with the divine.”
To illustrate a consciousness higher than the brain, and not dependent upon the brain, she shares the Pam Reynolds case.
In 1991, Pam Reynolds opted for a “cardiac standstill,” to allow doctors to operate for an aneurism on her brain stem. She was put to sleep, and treated until her brain no longer responded to loud clicks in her ears. Then her body temperature was reduced to 60 degrees, and the blood drained out of her head. The surgeons drilled into her skull, finished their work, and put the blood back into her body. Then her body temperature was raised, and she was brought back to consciousness. When Reynolds awakened, she went on to tell them what they had done during the operation. She had floated upward and watched from overhead, and was able to describe in detail instruments used, sentences uttered, observations made. The doctors were flummoxed. A debate rages today as to the meaning of Pam’s story.
Reynold’s experience is easy to understand in Christian Science. Mind is not in matter, and consciousness is not in the brain. Mind is God, in Spirit, independent of matter.
I could go into a long discussion about spiritual lessons to be gained, but will spare that for now. I wanted to simply share the experience with you, for it is quite interesting and metaphysically stimulating.
All the research today into the brain is a study of effect. Brain is not the source or cause of consciousness anymore than a smile on one’s lips is a source of happiness. As happiness comes first, from divine Love, and then may form a smile on the face as an impression of the human mind, consciousness comes first, from divine Mind, or God, and may evidence activity in the brain as an impression of the human mind, but the source is always God, outside of the flesh. This is one reason Jesus could resurrect from the tomb after the body and brain lay on the stone dead for three days. His consciousness was spiritual, and it never died.
3 thoughts on “God is not in the brain”
I agree with you that “scientific” findings of brain activity during spiritual experiences cannot prove the non-existence of God. Always seemed like a silly argument to me, but a lot of people believe it! I hope you’ll elaborate on the metaphysical lessons to be learned from Pam’s experience. Your riffs are extremely helpful guideposts!
Evan, I really appreciate your sharing this. It made me think also of your post on “Life After Death” in April. – Kevin
Thanks for sharing! I recently read about this, too, on the internet. Good to have the spiritual perspective, and more food for thought.