|People 'hard-wired' for God|
|Written by BILL RYAN Sentinel Religion Editor|
|Friday, 16 March 2012 09:04|
(This is the fourth in a series on aspects of God's energy)
While there may not be scientific proof one's soul is God's energy within us, there is evidence our brains are actually wired for the divine.
In a book published in 2001, "Why God Won't Go Away: Brain Science and the Biology of Belief," authors Andrew Newberg and Eugene D'Aquili studied brain activity when people of different faiths prayed and or meditated.
Beyond the scientific facts, there are examples all around us as to the connection to God within each of us.
Promotional material for "Why God Won't Go Away," says, "Theologians, philosophers, and psychologists have debated this question through the ages, arriving at a range of contradictory and ultimately unprovable answers."
The materials also state the authors "offer an explanation that is at once profoundly simple and scientifically precise: the religious impulse is rooted in the biology of the brain."
Their conclusions are based on a long-term investigation of brain function and behavior as well as studies they conducted using high-tech imaging techniques to examine the brains of meditating Buddhists and Franciscan nuns at prayer.
"What they discovered was that intensely focused spiritual contemplation triggers an alteration in the activity of the brain that leads us to perceive transcendent religious experiences as solid and tangibly real. In other words, the sensation that Buddhists call 'oneness with the universe' and the Franciscans attribute to the 'palpable presence of God,' is not a delusion or a manifestation of wishful thinking but rather a chain of neurological events that can be objectively observed, recorded, and actually photographed," publishers tout.
People of different faith traditions in different "religious" experiences register brain activity in the same way when engaged in a "divine" manner - the fact is significant. Such brain activity is not registered at other times so it strongly suggests our connection to God.
The authors affirm, "The inescapable conclusion is that God is hard-wired into the human brain."
They add God won't go away because our brain is connected to a divine power.
Additional studies have found Jewish rabbis exhibit the same brain activity. It thus appears all people, regardless of their faith are similarly connected to God.
Many physicians vow a person's faith belief is significant in recovery from serious ailments and diseases. Those with strong faith often recover faster and more completely. Numerous studies confirm those findings.
Both secular and faith-based hospitals have a chapel. In times of trouble, people want to connect more closely with God.
Recovery and addiction programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous incorporate a belief in a "higher power" within the various 12-step efforts. The 12-step programs are successful for many people with addictions, both believers and non-believers.
Sister Mary Kuhlman, a member of the Sisters of St. Francis, Tiffin, once described the divine connection within each of us to a group of adults studying to enter the Catholic Church.
"It's like a magnetic attraction within," Kuhlman said. "We are innately drawn towards God."
She explains our faith is a natural and automatic response within us. We are embraced by God throughout our lives - a connection very precious and essential in our lives.
A co-worker shared how in her childhood she was taught in religious education class the reason why humans are rarely satisfied in life. Her teacher explained we are always searching for greater and better things in life because our souls are constantly looking to reconnect with God.
There is an old wartime expression, "There are no atheists in foxholes."
The concept is consistent. At all times, especially in times of trouble, our human nature, our God-wired brains turn to the source of all our energy, our Creator God.
Many of us may drift away from our faith or faith traditions from time to time in our lives. There may be good cause in some cases or it may be just complacency on our part. No matter the reason for venturing off course, there is a basic need within us to be connected to God and it never goes away. A life-changing moment, a crisis, or maybe a divine revelation will bring us back to God.
Through it all, the energy of God remains within each of us. God is in our hearts, our brain and in our souls.
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