@Jsnsndr For Dummies: An Introduction
(Please note Dr. Snyder has absolutely no responsibility for the content of this blog. I am using him as an example of a cutting edge brilliant neuroscientist and my opinion of how his work will transform spirituality as we know it)
The Mind controls the brain. This is an obvious but often overlooked fact. You decide if you are gong to take a nap, that decision triggers massive changes throughout your brain. You decide if you want to read, causing activity in the left side of your brain. If you play music, now the right side is working and the left relatively quiet.
If you are a Reiki healer, or having sudden intuition, you are using your brain. If you are a police officer in a life threatening situation, and you suddenly had an awareness of being out of your body, and see something in that out of body state that saved your life, you have just used your brain. If you are a Shaman, or a remote viewer, or have had a transforming spiritual experience, you have used your brain to have these experiences. If we can use the mind to heal, we must also use our brains.
Consciousness came first. Yet it is expressed in this reality through our bodies and brains. When you think a mean thought, you shower your body with hundreds of neuropeptides that act in virtually every area of your body. The same thing happens when you think a happy thought.
Isn’t it time we learned how to use our brains to maximize our spiritual potential? I am tired of the “Wow” of spirituality, case studies of miraculous healings, stories of remarkable personality transformations and the like. I want to know how to do it. I want to know the “How” of how to use our brains to best understand intuition and spirituality.
The United States Military takes psychic and spiritual issues seriously. Through rigorous study and training, blending physics, science, and brain science, they can do astonishing things with the mind. Why hasn’t the civilian world kept up with these new understandings? For a simple reason. If you are going to rely on information from a remote viewer to rescue a hostage, you want to make sure that this is something real. We don’t take spiritual healing as seriously. It is sequestered in a little Office of Alternative Medicine, put in the same category as massage therapy, music therapy and herbal baths. It isn’t “real” medicine.
Understanding the neuroscience of the past 20 years will change all that. Right now, our research team can remote view and identify plants infected with viruses similar to the AIDS virus and hepatitis C, with 92% accuracy. Why would human trials be any different. How did we do it? By understanding the neuroscience of spirituality.
Aren’t you tired of hearing that it’s “just the placebo effect?” Hey, 12% of patients who have placebo rubbed on their scalp will grow hair! Don’t you want to know how that works? Aren’t you tired of reading about how severe eczema patients will respond transiently to hypnosis? Haven’t we heard enough that patients who dissociate can either develop or cause allergies to disappear when they dissociate, and it’s just in their minds?
Well, if the placebo effect and dissociative mental events that effect the body are “just in the mind”, then they are also “just in the brain”. Let’s figure out how it works!
I will be writing a series of blogs on Neuroscience and spirituality. There is a growing consensus among serious scientists that the brain itself is not adequate to describe consciousness. This information is not yet fully appreciated by physicians, alternative health care practitioners, or the general public. The profound revolution in brain science in the past 20 years has profound implications for spiritual practice, energetic healing, religion, faith, and medicine. Yet the general public still perceives science and spirituality as being separate. Far from being separate, we can now look to science to guide us in many of spirituality and religion’s most vexing issues. These series of blogs will address these issues. Ultimately I will transfer them to essays for my website, and a book. For now, these blogs serve as a rough format, and my hope is that others will comment and contribute.
Much of this revolution in brain science began in the early 1990s with work done by Karl Pribram on neural networks. An astonishing conference was held in the early 1990s, the proceedings of which were published under the title Rethinking Neural Networks: Quantum Fields and Biological Data.Dr. Pribram and Sir John Eckles were the guiding mentors of the conference. Contributions were made in areas of nanotechnology, perceptual processing, and the neurodynamics of consciousness. The word “quantum” was thrown around a lot, as it was in the 1990s, as a catch all to explain the unexplainable. Regardless of the accuracy of the perception that quantum processes can explain brain function, these papers are important in that they clearly state that previous efforts to explain consciousness fails. A dramatic new approach is needed.
The momentum of this initial conference has continued. Most recently, Robert Lanza, one of the brightest physicians alive today, published an article in American Scientist outlining what he calls Biocentrism. By this he means that consciousness is a fundamental property of the Universe. The material world evolved to support consciousness. He considers time and space to be “tools” of the brain, in its work of integrating consciousness with this material reality. Robert Lanza is one of our top scientists in cloning research. Within a decade, we may be able to grow a Universal blood supply and grow organs for transplant in the laboratory because of his research. I am glad he is also thinking about consciousness and spirituality, given the ethical implications of his research.
In June, 2010, mainstream scientists from all over the world will meet at George Washington University School of Medicine to discuss brain science and consciousness. The fact that the meeting is organized by the US Spiritist Organization is astonishing. The Spiritists are an organization of scientists and physicians, primarily from Brazil who believe that spirits are real forces in this reality. That such a group could attract major scientists who are only being paid expenses to attend shows how deep this new understanding of the brain has penetrated into the scientific world.
Why am I calling this effort @jsnsndr For Dummies? Dr. Snyder is a post PhD fellow at the National Institutes of Health. He studies the hippocampus of man, specifically neuro-regeneration. This means new brain cells growing within the brain. Not only within the brain, but the specific area of the brain having to do with memory, learning, our sensory stream of information from reality, and in turn time and space.
(Please note: Dr. Snyder has nothing to do with this blog. I have no idea if he shares my ideas. He may be a rigid materialistic thinker of the Old School for all I know. It doesn’t matter. His research typifies the type of cutting edge research of this century that will ultimately revolutionize spirituality.)
Think about it. An area of the brain having to do with memory and learning. That doesn’t mean much to the average person reading these words. That’s why I am calling this For Dummies, after the popular “For Dummies” books.
Our personalities, who we are, are all about learning and memory. If we did not have continuity of memory, we would not be the unique persons we are. Mediums, who purportedly contact the Dead, are claiming to access the memories of Dead people. Those who have near death experiences say that they learn something at the end of life. Regardless of what they learn, the fact that they are conscious and learning something implies the hippocampus is involved.
Memory and learning! The hippocampus has been called “the man in the machine”. Who we are, our dreams, our aspirations, our sense of connectedness to life, has everything to do with memory and learning.
If this new understanding of the brain has anything to do with god and spirituality, then the hippocampus is where we need to look first.
I picked @jsnsndr simply because I follow him on Twitter. We must personalize this new science of spirituality, in my opinion. I am tired of the “great man” or “guru” approach to spirituality. One message of the New Paradigm is that we are all directly connected to a “god” or source of spiritual inspiration. For too long, we have depended on charismatic individuals who tell us what to think, what is right, what is wrong. I even cringe at the Depok Chopras and Michael Sherman’s of our current society. To be sure, they do good work. But they in turn have inspired people who study them, instead of studying this new information on how science can help us understand our own spirituality.
We live in exciting times. This is not the time for dogma, or to blindly follow our elders or those who have gone before us. This is a time for new thinking and new approaches, combining ancient wisdom with new science. I recently reread The Mysteries of the Mind, by Wilder Penfield. Perhaps we need to go back several generations, to learn again from giants like Penfield, to understand this new science.
Yet the dry academic approach will not work either. My approach is a different one. My wife and I have simply decided to let all you in on our live, see for yourself how this information has effected us, as normal ordinary human beings. So far, it has worked. I am thrilled at the letters and emails I get that both tell me how wrong we are and yet how the information we shared meant something to the writer’s life in their own personal terms.
New mediums such as Twitter encourage this blend of personality and information being shared. I don’t want to be a “guru” in this field, even though I published four best selling books. It is precisely because I published four best selling books that I see clearly the limitations of that approach, that one person has all the answers.
I don’t have all the answers, or even all the questions.
So, I picked on Jason Snyder because he is on Twitter and for me, is a symbol of what spirituality will look like 20 years from now. We must move from the WOW to the HOW. We must learn to use this new information to transform our spiritual practices and our medical system.
Sam Harris wrote an astonishing book The End of Faith. He is both a neuroscientist and religious philosopher. But he didn’t tell us what will replace blind faith in authority figures. Hopefully, @Jsnsndr will begin to show us what the future will look like.
Check out Jason Snyder’s website at
http://functionalneurogenesis.com/. It may not seem like the spirituality you are comfortable with, but it is the building blocks of the spirituality of the future.
No worries, I am going to explain it all to you. Once you understand it, in plain English, soon,you will be talking in tongues, raising the Dead, remote viewing your neighbor’s bedroom, and healing your Uncle Mike of lung cancer. Well, maybe not yet.
But you will certainly understand your own spirituality better. You will be able to understand what is an intuition and what is a fear anxiety based decision. You will be able to understand your own spiritual intuitions, visions and dreams. You will be able to sort out what part of them was from a “god” and what part you just invented to make sense of it all!
Wow, all that, and Dr. Snyder has really cool pictures on his website too!!