Author Topic: "Seeing God" May Be Caused By Epilepsy  (Read 1786 times)

Offline stromboli (OP)

"Seeing God" May Be Caused By Epilepsy
« on: May 16, 2016, 06:21:56 PM »
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3592694/Seeing-God-caused-brain-damage-Scans-taken-religious-experience-reveal-neurons-light-brush-devine.ht

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Seeing 'God' may be caused by epilepsy: Scans taken during religious experience reveal how neurons light up in those who have a brush with the divine
Doctors were treating a man when he had an intense religious experience
The patient had a long-standing condition called temporal lobe epilepsy
An EEG scan was measuring brain activity at the time of the event
It showed a spike in the pre-frontal cortex, which researchers say indicated a psychotic episode following a seizure

For those who believe in a higher power, having a religious experience can be life changing.
Exactly what goes on in their brain when it happens has largely remained a mystery, with neurological studies typically based on scans taken long after the event has occurred.
But an Israeli team may have caught the brain in the act, with one man's experience of 'seeing God' being captured on the doctor's table.

Researchers at Hadassah Hebrew University report a rare case in which they were treating a patient for a form of epilepsy when he had a religious experience in which he saw and conversed with God.
The intriguing case study offers a sliver of insight into what might be going on in the brains of those who claim to have 'seen God'.


Dr Shahar Arzy and Dr Roey Schurr were reportedly treating a 46-year-old man for temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), carrying out a battery of tests including an online electro encephalogram (EEG) which measured his brain activity.
In the run up to the tests the patient, a Jewish man who had reportedly never been especially religious, had stopped taking anticonvulsant medication for seizures.

But during testing, the researchers report the man froze and stared at the ceiling for several minutes, saying he felt like 'God was approaching him', before exclaiming 'Adonai', the name of the Hebrew God.
The man then removed the wires from his head before taking off and marching around the hospital trying to recruit followers, saying 'God has sent me to you', convinced his creator had singled him out to bring redemption to fellow patients and medical staff.
Just before the incident, the doctors measured a spike in activity in the patient's left prefrontal cortex.
The prefrontal cortex is a region of the brain associated with a number of higher functions, including planning and perception, and has been previously linked to religious and mystical experiences.
However, according to The Epilepsy Foundation, case studies of patents experiencing TLE seizures report the world seeming 'more real' and a dreamlike, disconnected state, with audio and visual 'warning' hallucinations not uncommon.
The Israeli team believe the man suffered the visions as a result of a psychotic episode following a seizure.
In a blog post on the case study for Discover magazine, Neuroskeptic explained that the patient's experience of seeing and being chosen by God bears a resemblance to key religious figures, from Moses to Jesus to Mohammed.
Neuroskeptic wrote: 'Of course, this doesn't mean that any of those leaders had epilepsy, but it is interesting that this phenomenology can occur in this disease.'
The findings were published in the journal Epilepsy and Behaviour.

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COULD CLOSENESS TO GOD BE THE RESULT OF DAMAGED BRAIN REGIONS?
Previous searches for a 'God spot' in the brain highlighted three areas that control religious beliefs.
In 2009, a study of multi-faith group showed the same areas lit up when they were asked to ponder religious and moral problems.
MRI scans revealed the regions that were activated are those used every day to interpret the feelings and intentions of other people.
Volunteers were asked to think about statements about whether God intervenes in the world, such as 'God's will guide my acts'.
This activated the lateral frontal lobe regions of the brain, used by humans to empathise with each other.
Then they were asked to dwell on God's emotional state. When it came to statements such as 'God is wrathful', the areas that lit up were the medial temporal and frontal gyri, which helps us to judge emotions of others.
But additional research has indicated that spirituality is more complex, and that multiple areas of the brain are responsible for the many aspects of spiritual experiences.
Missouri University (MU) researchers replicated the initial findings, but also determined that other aspects of spiritual functioning are related to increased activity in the frontal lobe.
The study found that the participants with more significant injury to their right parietal lobe showed an increased feeling of closeness to a higher power.

Remember Our vaunted Apostle Paul? There has been a long standing belief that he was Epileptic.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1427916/St-Paul-converted-by-epileptic-fit-suggests-BBC.html

So... it is possible that Christianity may be largely based on an Epileptic having visions. And there is certainly a possibility that many of the "visions" seen by various people in history may have been because of Epilepsy or other mental conditions.

Offline Baruch

Re: "Seeing God" May Be Caused By Epilepsy
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2016, 07:12:57 PM »
Yes some people, even some religious people ... mistake abnormal psyche events with religion.  Been happening since shamen-hood was invented during the Stone Age.  But not all perception is abnormal.  I don't have visions, but I see G-d when I see a human being ... the incarnation thing is something I take seriously.
שלום

Re: "Seeing God" May Be Caused By Epilepsy
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2016, 07:40:38 PM »
I see G-d when I see a human being ... the incarnation thing is something I take seriously.
So, your deism is more than intellectual?

Offline stromboli (OP)

Re: "Seeing God" May Be Caused By Epilepsy
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2016, 09:24:29 PM »
Just based on what the article states it is quite conceivable that any number of religious scenarios, from ecstatic spasms to declarations of visions and pronouncements of the truthfulness of belief could stem from it. People like Elton John, Prince, Theodore Roosevelt and (possibly) Napoleon have suffered from it. It is one of the most common neurological diseases with 50 million sufferers worldwide. So the likelihood of seeing god by many people is certainly there.

Offline aitm

Re: "Seeing God" May Be Caused By Epilepsy
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2016, 09:58:44 PM »
The concept of gods can as easily be referred to  a simple human condition commonly referred to as mass hysteria, I personally have seen it in young girls in sleepovers who buy completely into the idea that one girl saw a ghost and the rest became so hysterical that parents had to return from vacations to calm them. True dat brothers and sisters. Peeps be fucking crazy.
A humans desire to live is exceeded only by their willingness to die for another. Even god cannot equal this magnificent sacrifice. No god has the right to judge them.-first tenant of the Panotheust

Offline Baruch

Re: "Seeing God" May Be Caused By Epilepsy
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2016, 11:42:00 PM »
So, your deism is more than intellectual?

Life is more than intellectual ... unless you are a Vulcan.  The ancient Greeks debated whether or not a life without emotion is the good life.  There are few new ideas, just recycling and repackaging.  Being in touch with your emotions is hard, particularly for men, because it is not approved, and it is painful.  In ancient psychology there are several levels of human experience ... body, emotion, intellect and spirit.  intellect is only one level, and each level isn't more important than the others, they are a harmony.  But most of us are bohemians, who are in disharmony with ourselves and each other ;-)

Technically, I am a humanist panentheist ... not a classical theist, hence your detection that I am different from Randy etc.  Classical theists aren't mystics.  A pantheist doesn't accept anything transcendent, just what is immanent.  And a panentheist admits to at least the possibility of the transcendent.  I am agnostic about the transcendent.  About the immanent, I could no more deny it than deny myself.  We can both see the same real thing, but my perception isn't the same because my personal culture isn't the same.

I have experience direct and anecdotally with the paranormal, but that isn't important to me ... I think it can be a hindrance to spiritual practice ... as Patanjali, the writer of the Yoga Sutra mentions (they are called siddhis by both Hindus and Buddhists).

So what does immanent mean?  What is it like to be mystic (as an experience, not as a concept to be discussed)?
« Last Edit: May 16, 2016, 11:44:11 PM by Baruch »
שלום

Re: "Seeing God" May Be Caused By Epilepsy
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2016, 11:56:20 PM »
Technically, I am a humanist panentheist
OOPs, it says "theist" on your avatar. I knew that. I must have been wanting you to be a deist because I consider it more rational than being a theist. My bad.

Offline Baruch

Re: "Seeing God" May Be Caused By Epilepsy
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2016, 12:02:55 AM »
OOPs, it says "theist" on your avatar. I knew that. I must have been wanting you to be a deist because I consider it more rational than being a theist. My bad.

Not bad.  Technically I am irreligious, a freethinker.  That isn't too far from deist.  Freethinking led to deism ... that and the mechanical universe of Newton.  Theist is more misleading, contrary to my intention, because for most people here, it implies a person like Randy.

Classical deism is defined as ... G-d at the beginning, but not since, and not in the future either.  Today it would be a G-d of the Big Bang ... which is ironical, because one form of Kabbalah says that G-d created by mistake, because of a laboratory accident, like Egor dropping the brain that Dr Frankenstein wanted, and then choosing another brain labeled Aby Normal.
שלום

Offline SGOS

Re: "Seeing God" May Be Caused By Epilepsy
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2016, 05:39:19 AM »
Yes some people, even some religious people ... mistake abnormal psyche events with religion.

The problem is not mistaking them for religious experience, but mistaking abnormal psychological events as real.  In what they used to call manic depression, religious experiences would often manifest themselves during the manic phases.  But they were not real.  They were delusional.  They were abnormal.

But not all perception is abnormal.

No, only abnormal perception is abnormal.

I see G-d when I see a human being ...

This is abnormal.  What you describe is not real.  The reality of humans as god exists only in your mind.

Now, I'm going to cut you a little slack so that I don't have to recognize your perception as that of an outright whack job.  Deep down you are emotionally stimulated by poetical sounding bullshit philosophy, and if you can confuse others enough with it, it helps present yourself as a mystic seer type person.  Which is pretend cool and all, but it's not real.

Alternatively, you can just admit that you have bamboozled yourself with your own imagination.  But you can't pass that off as normal.  It's not.  It's just an area where you have lost control of reason.

Offline Baruch

Re: "Seeing God" May Be Caused By Epilepsy
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2016, 07:06:09 AM »
SGOS ... so you are Vulcan ... or Romulan ;-)

There is only one POV, conveniently held by Randy, no ... SGOS, no ... and that is "normal"?

Define normal for me ... since we live in an irrational world (on the human level).  The majority of USA citizens are R or D ... should the I folks be locked up as a public health hazard?

People who post here are bohemians, a minority, without any unity.  We are all Aby Normal.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2016, 07:07:44 AM by Baruch »
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Offline SGOS

Re: "Seeing God" May Be Caused By Epilepsy
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2016, 08:13:33 AM »
All men are created abnormal.  Some are just more abnormal than others.

Re: "Seeing God" May Be Caused By Epilepsy
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2016, 02:43:22 PM »
This falls into the same category as any other claim to an exclusive divine experience.   You know.......................like being descended from the Dog, a prophet of the Dog, Mother Mary (or magical fairies for that matter) appearing before you with a divine and s/inpirational message.  Great!  Now they're the GUI for the Dog.  Good work/fame/aclaim/special status if you can get it. 

And, it bears a suspicious similarity to the exclusive communications from aliens from another galaxy my late psychotic brother used to receive from the furniture.   

Well............................he was their Designated Rep on earth due to his unique alien communication reception ability after all.     

I've seen stars before a couple of times when I got smacked in the head pretty hard............................does that count?       
« Last Edit: May 17, 2016, 02:45:56 PM by Flanker1Six »

Offline Baruch

Re: "Seeing God" May Be Caused By Epilepsy
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2016, 07:06:06 PM »
If anyone assumes, that everyone else, sees the world just like they do, or they should ... then they are clearly ignorant or ego-maniacs.
שלום

Re: "Seeing God" May Be Caused By Epilepsy
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2016, 10:28:24 AM »
Yes some people, even some religious people ... mistake abnormal psyche events with religion.  Been happening since shamen-hood was invented during the Stone Age.  But not all perception is abnormal.  I don't have visions, but I see G-d when I see a human being ... the incarnation thing is something I take seriously.

What, in your opinion is the definition of God?

Another popular scientific explanation for NDEs is the fact that the oxygen derived brain begins to hallucinate and, most importantly, when the brain is under stress it releases large quantities of N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) which is a substance with much stronger hallucinogenic properties of LSD. DMT can also cause ego death (complete loss of sense of self) which makes some people believe that they are dead. There is also a scientific explanation for why people see "the light".

There's an explanation for everything, if it weren't true it'd violate the laws of physics.
The fireworks in my head don't ever seem to stop

Offline SGOS

Re: "Seeing God" May Be Caused By Epilepsy
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2016, 11:35:16 AM »
What, in your opinion is the definition of God?

Another popular scientific explanation for NDEs is the fact that the oxygen derived brain begins to hallucinate and, most importantly, when the brain is under stress it releases large quantities of N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) which is a substance with much stronger hallucinogenic properties of LSD. DMT can also cause ego death (complete loss of sense of self) which makes some people believe that they are dead. There is also a scientific explanation for why people see "the light".

There's an explanation for everything, if it weren't true it'd violate the laws of physics.


Also, people don't seem to understand the difference between the near death experience and the death experience.  The near death experience is a living experience, not a death experience.  And the death experience is something else entirely.  Although Christians will tell you that when you die, you really go on living.  This assumes that you must believe in Jesus, who apparently had a near death experience on the cross for everyone, so that when you really do die, you can actually still be alive.  It's a really good deal, but no one who is dead has actually been able to report the specific details first hand.