Neural Correlates of the Religious Experience. Biology and God. Religious Experience & Neurotheology. Neurotheology history (Aldous Huxley to Newsweek to Rappaport to D’Aquili) Key questions for anthropology Cross-cultural neural basis for religious experience?
Biology and God
Load these into your browser and watch…~ 5 min each…
Epileptic fits and religious auras triggered by heredity and/or psychedelic intake
Ergot wheat fungus: lysergic acid
Disease of the kings
Seizures and god experiences
Two continents (Asia, Americas)
Two mushrooms (Amanita, Psylocybe)
Similar art forms? (hyperdetail, pattern
Cognitive experiments interpret increase
in loose pattern association as “creativity”
Different plant, similar artistic forms: hyperdetail and hyperredundancy of simple patterns
Evidence of cultural transmission? Evidence of cross-cultural psychedelic expression? A little of both?
Shamans and the politics of potions:
Question: how are such complicated plant combinations and preparations discovered?
One theory: shamans must distinguish themselves from one another by salience – they invent and utilize unique potions and techniques in order to demonstrate their unique ability to confer magic which heals or kills. Some of these inventive combinations produce particularly powerful results…which give extra credence to a shamans role in the eventual death/life of sick friends or offending enemies.
Biogenetic structuralism: cross-cultural neural patterns responsible for religious phenomena associated with epilepsy, meditation, and psychedelics?
Feelings of ecstasy
loss of self
Sense of unity;
identity w/ non-self