Manual The Spiritual Doorway in the Brain: A Neurologists Search for the God Experience

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Near-death experiences -- Periodicals. Parapsychology -- Periodicals.


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Language English. Item Type Review. Identifier Unique identifying numbers for this review in the Digital Library or other systems. Collections This review is part of the following collection of related materials. In particular, the author is sensitive to the intensity of a transcendent moment, how it "deeply moves us or transports us and connects us in one way or another with something larger than ourselves.

Nelson builds the explanation slowly, presenting current thinking behind consciousness and self "mysterious and elusive, hotly debated and now awesomely arcane" ; introducing appropriate anecdotal material to illustrate a variety of spiritual encounters and milieus; and taking lay readers into the brain's architecture. The author is especially interested in the borderland created when "[p]art of the dreaming brain erupts in a brain already awake," blending REM dream states with waking consciousness and provoking hallmarks of the near-death or spiritual experiences, such as the tunnel, the blinding light, life review and bliss.

The Evidence

Each of these experiences is known to have a physiological basis, and they conspicuously overlap in that fuzzy space where the REM features of visual activation, paralysis and the dream narrative, among others, intrude into the waking state. Of course, this does not touch upon other varieties of spiritual experience? And not just the mind? Those experiences are described in a variety of ways: as a sense of flying a jet aircraft, or walking on the beach, or watching the universe synchronize with a ball bouncing in a pinball machine.

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Nelson spends a great deal of the book examining dynamics of the brain and how memory functions; he includes chapters on sleep and taking drugs. He presents the brain as a spiritual organ full of wisdom. The borderlands of spiritual experience affect a very special expression of consciousness, the sense of our individual selfthe first person perspective of the me which is, except in rare cases, where most of us live, he writes.

This book presents a number of diverse occurrences but will not touch the nerve of the spiritual reader. Copyright Reed Business Information. I got depressed.

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I really can't recommend the book unless you're into brain study. I don't think there is any real discussion of spirituality here. Jan 21, Rose rated it it was amazing.


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Although it took me quite a while to finish this book, I think it is really high quality. The author seems to do a really great job of trying to be true to the scientific method and scientific way of thinking while approaching the idea of spirituality with an open mind and curiosity. He does not sacrifice his scientific thinking to try to understand this human experience. Nor does he seem to denigrate the idea of spirituality or seem to be set out to prove it all silly. Instead, the author seems Although it took me quite a while to finish this book, I think it is really high quality.

Instead, the author seems really keen on using science to understand this as well as other aspects of our human lives. The book is well written, and for the most part seems written in a way that the lay person can grasp it even if there is a lot of neuroscience and neurobiology in it. I enjoy that the author paid attention to the writing of the book and made it so that many of the more complex concepts might be just a little easier to grasp through clear explanation.

I would recommend this to anyone interested in the subject. The author touches on spiritual experiences mediated through near death experiences, spontaneous occurrences, in the lab, and through psychoactive drugs. The book feels fairly thorough in that regard. I'm very glad to see writing like this around. It is encouraging. Dec 25, Marc rated it really liked it Shelves: religion , neurology , own. This book gives a nice overview of how our brain can cause many if not all of the symptoms of near-death experiences NDEs. This doesn't prove yet that NDEs are caused by your own brain, just strongly suggests it.

It does show that NDEs certainly do not prove the existence of an afterlife. With all the evidence for the former, and little or none for the latter, the afterlife hypothesis seems very far-fetched. The book could have been organised better, and much of the evidence presented is anec This book gives a nice overview of how our brain can cause many if not all of the symptoms of near-death experiences NDEs.

The book could have been organised better, and much of the evidence presented is anecdotal. As the author concludes: more data are needed to strengthen the neurological explanation of NDEs.

May 10, Mary rated it it was ok. A bit too clinical for what I was looking for and expecting. It felt like a textbook at times. I'm sure it simply was just not a match for me. Jun 06, Buddy Don rated it really liked it Shelves: neurology. Those who wish to believe there is something more to the universe than what we can observe with our instuments and reason have focused a lot of attention of near death experiences NDE as phenomena that support the idea of surviving death.

This book will not be reassuring to people who wish to believe such survival is proven.

The Spiritual Doorway in the Brain - A Neurologist's Search for the God Experience (Paperback)

By testing the behavior of humans when various portions of their brains are injured or suffering loss of oxygen or under many other circumstances that happen during the st Those who wish to believe there is something more to the universe than what we can observe with our instuments and reason have focused a lot of attention of near death experiences NDE as phenomena that support the idea of surviving death.

By testing the behavior of humans when various portions of their brains are injured or suffering loss of oxygen or under many other circumstances that happen during the stress of accidents. Everything experienced in NDEsis a natural bi-product of what our brains do. There is nothing in the NDE that cannot be explained by regular brain activity. That written, as the author points out, such proof that the brain can naturally create all the phenomena of a NDE does not mean that separate existence aside from that provided by the brain and body is disproven.

Seeing God in the Third Millennium

It could still happen and still rely on natural brain processes to happen. Amazingly, most of the "hardware" creating such experiences are from the most primitive parts of the brain, those we share with most of our mammalian relatives. Dec 06, Wendy Capron rated it really liked it. Interesting book Also, why have I never heard of the locus coeruleus before?

But his title is a bit misleading, since the book is primarily about near death experiences and what causes them. Spoiler alert - it's low blood flow to the eye's retina and a bunch of REM-related stuff. Only in the last few pages does he talk about other God experiences - mainly through the use of hallucinogens. Apparently, the God experience needs Interesting book Apparently, the God experience needs a lot of help. Aug 11, Michelle Monticello rated it it was amazing Shelves: non-fiction.

Nelson explains a difficult and hard to explain topic, in an easy to read and understandable manner. Though, I had to reread parts to get a better grasp, the concepts in this book were written so people without medical backgrounds could understand them. It was a highly readable book and I enjoyed it very much. Jul 08, Carol rated it liked it. Interesting insights into how the brain functions, but not conclusive in forming a junction of spirit and neurology.

Oct 18, Lawanda rated it really liked it. The author makes a good deal of the complexity of the brain understandable and rightly does not go beyond what scientific experiments have shown to be true. There remains much to be learned. Dec 15, Ci rated it really liked it Shelves: how-to-books. The title " The physical aspect of the apparatus is emphasized while the philosophic and religious discussion can be slyly inserted. As the author said, this is a bottom-up approach, hence not starting with the grander top-down hypothesis of human consciousness.