The Spiritual Brain by Mario Beauregard
A Neuroscientist's Case for the Existence of the Soul

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Synopsis

Do religious experiences come from God, or are they merely the random firing of neurons in the brain? Drawing on his own research with Carmelite nuns, neuroscientist Mario Beauregard shows that genuine, life-changing spiritual events can be documented. He offers compelling evidence that religious experiences have a nonmaterial origin, making a convincing case for what many in scientific fields are loath to consider—that it is God who creates our spiritual experiences, not the brain.

Beauregard and O'Leary explore recent attempts to locate a "God gene" in some of us and claims that our brains are "hardwired" for religion—even the strange case of one neuroscientist who allegedly invented an electromagnetic "God helmet" that could produce a mystical experience in anyone who wore it. The authors argue that these attempts are misguided and narrow-minded, because they reduce spiritual experiences to material phenomena.

Many scientists ignore hard evidence that challenges their materialistic prejudice, clinging to the limited view that our experiences are explainable only by material causes, in the obstinate conviction that the physical world is the only reality. But scientific materialism is at a loss to explain irrefutable accounts of mind over matter, of intuition, willpower, and leaps of faith, of the "placebo effect" in medicine, of near-death experiences on the operating table, and of psychic premonitions of a loved one in crisis, to say nothing of the occasional sense of oneness with nature and mystical experiences in meditation or prayer. Traditional science explains away these and other occurrences as delusions or misunderstandings, but by exploring the latest neurological research on phenomena such as these, The Spiritual Brain gets to their real source.

 

About Mario Beauregard

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Dr. Mario Beauregard, PhD., is associate research professor at the departments of psychology and radiology, and the Neuroscience Research Center, at the Université de Montréal. He is the co-author of The Spiritual Brain and more than 100 publications in neuroscience, psychology, and psychiatry.
 
Published March 17, 2009 by HarperCollins e-books. 388 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Religion & Spirituality, Professional & Technical, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Business & Economics. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Spiritual Brain

Publishers Weekly

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Insisting that “we have never entertained the idea of proving the existence of God,” the authors concede that “the results of our work are assumed to be a strike either for or against God” and that “on the whole, we [don’t] mind.” Never shrinking from controversy, and sometimes deliberately provo...

Jun 11 2007 | Read Full Review of The Spiritual Brain: A Neuros...

PopMatters

Based, in part, on his study of brain activity in Carmelite nuns in the course of their deepest religious experiences, Mario Beauregard claims it is simply not possible for the matter of the brain to be all that is involved.

Oct 23 2007 | Read Full Review of The Spiritual Brain: A Neuros...

Shiny Book Review

Yet there are so very many things that cannot be explained at all unless there is a Creator at the heart of it, so says Beauregard and O’Leary — and they’re backed up by several past scientists and other allied books like THE TAO OF PHYSICS, which shows that physics has more in common with what B...

Nov 23 2011 | Read Full Review of The Spiritual Brain: A Neuros...

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