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Neuroscientists have recorded the brain activity of a man at the exact moment he 'saw God'

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posted on May, 17 2016 @ 08:51 AM
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Fascinating tale here, where scientists had a person plugged into a brain scanner at the exact time he had a religious experience.

www.sciencealert.com...




This week, Israeli researchers report how a patient experienced an intense religious experience while undergoing treatment for epilepsy, causing him to 'see' and converse with a figure he took to be God. And the best part is he happened to be plugged into a brain scanner at the time.

What’s perhaps most curious about this particular case is that the 46-year-old patient had never been especially religious, though did identify as Jewish. So what prompted a 'non-believer' to suddenly have an intense religious experience in front of a couple of neuroscientists?



Here’s what happened when he was strapped into an EEG (electroencephalogram) scanner at the hospital in front of his two doctors:

"While lying in bed, the patient abruptly 'froze' and stared at the ceiling for several minutes, stating later that he felt that God was approaching him. He then started chanting prayers quietly, looked for his Kippa and put it on his head, chanting the prayers more excessively.

Then, abruptly, he yelled 'And you are Adonai (name of the Hebrew God) the Lord!' stating later that God had revealed to him, ordering him to bring redemption to the people of Israel."

Pretty scary stuff, and even after the patient had ripped the EEG electrodes off, he proceeded to trawl through hospital, telling whomever he could find that "God has sent me to you," the Hadassah Hebrew University researchers report.



The abstract of the article discussing the observation goes into a little more detail.

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...


Religious experiences have long been documented in patients with epilepsy, though their exact underlying neural mechanisms are still unclear. Here, we had the rare opportunity to record a delusional religious conversion in real time in a patient with right temporal lobe epilepsy undergoing continuous video-EEG. In this patient, a messianic revelation experience occurred several hours after a complex partial seizure of temporal origin, compatible with postictal psychosis (PIP). We analyzed the recorded resting-state EEG epochs separately for each of the conventional frequency bands. Topographical analysis of the bandpass filtered EEG epochs revealed increased activity in the low-gamma range (30-40Hz) during religious conversion compared with activity during the patient's habitual state. The brain generator underlying this activity was localized to the left prefrontal cortex. This suggests that religious conversion in PIP is related to control mechanisms in the prefrontal lobe-related processes rather than medial temporal lobe-related processes.


The study does not do any favours do those who believe in mysticism or religion (although no doubt many on ATS will disagree), but rather, it shows how complicated the human brain is, and how conditions which affect the mind can affect our very perception of reality.
edit on 17-5-2016 by cuckooold because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 17 2016 @ 08:58 AM
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Then, abruptly, he yelled 'And you are Adonai (name of the Hebrew God) the Lord!' stating later that God had revealed to him, ordering him to bring redemption to the people of Israel."


The prefrontal cortex (the area that was highlighted) is majorly involved with planning. This area of the brain was activated because God was showing this person His plan. You can't make this stuff up.
edit on 17-5-2016 by cooperton because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 17 2016 @ 08:59 AM
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All in all it is interesting, but auditory or verbal hallucinations seem to be pretty common in people that suffer from epilepsy so yes, all this can be explained in rational terms.
Still it's amazing how little we know about the one thing all of us use (sometimes at least) just to go about our daily business.
hopefully they will be able to sort this guy out before his "vision" makes him do something that might endanger him


+1 more 
posted on May, 17 2016 @ 09:01 AM
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Very interesting topic, but the story sounds too convenient to be considered authentic. I would like to believe it, I just can't...

ETA:

"While lying in bed, the patient abruptly 'froze' and stared at the ceiling for several minutes, stating later that he felt that God was approaching him. He then started chanting prayers quietly, looked for his Kippa and put it on his head, chanting the prayers more excessively.


If he was a non-practising Jew, why did he have his skullcap nearby? It would be an extremely unusual item to carry with you if you are not highly observant or religious. And the article does specify it is HIS, not the hospital's...


edit on 17/5/2016 by Dark Ghost because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 17 2016 @ 09:04 AM
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I imagine it must be quite stressful to believe that your God has called upon you to do something such as redeeming an entire populace.

Poor guy, I hope hes okay.

Now as for him being on the scanner when it happened, well that's a lucky break for science! Cool data to have anyhow.

-Alee.



posted on May, 17 2016 @ 09:18 AM
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Interesting that it was localised to the left prefrontal cortex, this is the same area of the brain that they tested using magnetism and found people had intense religious experiences when stimulated by magnetism.
In these examples they are correlations not causation. They have religious experiences when that area of the brain malfunctions or is stimulated, therefor religious experiences are magnetic anomalies of the brain.
That is a wrong assumption.
The malfunction or stimulation of the brain may appear to cause the religious experience but it could be that by design we aren't meant to be able to communicate with the other side. So when this area of the brain is manipulated or damaged, it allows us to see and interact with the other side.



posted on May, 17 2016 @ 09:28 AM
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"You can't make this stuff up."


What makes you think that someone couldn't make this up? You've seen movies, right? They get pretty elaborate.
edit on 05Tue, 17 May 2016 09:29:23 -0500920165America/Chicago by Mrgone because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 17 2016 @ 09:33 AM
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Doesn't sound like he handled the experience well.

Expectations of "god" based on human ideas and abstract thoughts thereof, lead to one branding any abnormal or "spiritual" experience to only what they can relate it to be.

Perception is a fragile thing...



posted on May, 17 2016 @ 09:35 AM
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Putting hullicinations aside, why would God personally talk to this man? Could it just an entity trying to control this man's life?

If God is slightly real. He would probably be a sociopathetic entity with uncompassionate agendas. If god involves itself with your or someone else; those good feelings could be the entitys way of persuading you.



posted on May, 17 2016 @ 09:36 AM
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Something is fishy with this one. If you read the Science Alert article, the author references a Discover Magazine article. But then when you read that one, the author references the author of the Science Alert article.



posted on May, 17 2016 @ 09:38 AM
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sounds like amazing work is being made towards understanding the brain. some future applications could end up being stimulating regions of the brain for amazing entertainment/games. I would love it if you could stimulate regions of the brain that deal with things like smell, taste, etc..



posted on May, 17 2016 @ 09:55 AM
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originally posted by: mclarenmp4
Interesting that it was localised to the left prefrontal cortex, this is the same area of the brain that they tested using magnetism and found people had intense religious experiences when stimulated by magnetism.
In these examples they are correlations not causation. They have religious experiences when that area of the brain malfunctions or is stimulated, therefor religious experiences are magnetic anomalies of the brain.
That is a wrong assumption.
The malfunction or stimulation of the brain may appear to cause the religious experience but it could be that by design we aren't meant to be able to communicate with the other side. So when this area of the brain is manipulated or damaged, it allows us to see and interact with the other side.



I agree with your view and will give you an example that support your idea.

People who go thru Amagydala fear overload break part of the restriction in the brain that limiting sensors for instance the third eye. The brain was created so that it limits partly awareness of the subconscious.

And this exists regardless of religion. Some souls have awoken without ever being religious even changing 180 degree on what is real since they reach another understanding and have proof of it.

Chi/light/kundalini is a real thing. Most bodies just are not aware enough in their sensors to feel the distinction/vibration.

If you cannot feel it then you should use another tool that makes you feel it.

edit on 17-5-2016 by LittleByLittle because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 17 2016 @ 10:04 AM
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originally posted by: SaturnFX
sounds like amazing work is being made towards understanding the brain. some future applications could end up being stimulating regions of the brain for amazing entertainment/games. I would love it if you could stimulate regions of the brain that deal with things like smell, taste, etc..


One day humanity will probably use teams of people to map out the spiritual realm with the help of third eye recalibration using sensors to map in the brain what happens at each third eye sensor setting just like you use a radio to dail in what is transmitted.

The more people you use the more objective understanding you get of the unknown.


edit on 17-5-2016 by LittleByLittle because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 17 2016 @ 10:13 AM
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originally posted by: Mrgone

What makes you think that someone couldn't make this up? You've seen movies, right? They get pretty elaborate.


My point was: God, reportedly, showed this man His plan, and it just so happened that the area of the brain responsible for future planning (prefrontal cortex) was highly activated. The neuroanatomy matches the man's revelation. Not to mention the study (link) found an emission of gamma waves on the EEG - gamma waves are also correlated with intense spiritual revelation.

It all matches too well to be a hoax, not to mention the study (link) was peer-reviewed and published.
edit on 17-5-2016 by cooperton because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 17 2016 @ 10:34 AM
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a reply to: cooperton

And if you actually read the paper's abstract you'd see that the authors aren't in any way saying that he was actually visited by some god but was having delusions due to an epileptic seizure:


Religious experiences have long been documented in patients with epilepsy, though their exact underlying neural mechanisms are still unclear. Here, we had the rare opportunity to record a delusional religious conversion in real time in a patient with right temporal lobe epilepsy undergoing continuous video-EEG. In this patient, a messianic revelation experience occurred several hours after a complex partial seizure of temporal origin, compatible with postictal psychosis (PIP). We analyzed the recorded resting-state EEG epochs separately for each of the conventional frequency bands. Topographical analysis of the bandpass filtered EEG epochs revealed increased activity in the low-gamma range (30-40Hz) during religious conversion compared with activity during the patient's habitual state. The brain generator underlying this activity was localized to the left prefrontal cortex. This suggests that religious conversion in PIP is related to control mechanisms in the prefrontal lobe-related processes rather than medial temporal lobe-related processes.



posted on May, 17 2016 @ 10:41 AM
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Great story. Inclined to believe it. Scientifically insignificant though: the experiment can't be replicated so any conclusions drawn from it can't be tested.



posted on May, 17 2016 @ 10:46 AM
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a reply to: GetHyped

Correlation does not imply causation. Read my post on the 1st page to see why that is an incorrect assumption.
There is no evidence that it was delusional only that when the left prefrontal cortex was in seizure that the person experienced a religious experience. The data doesn't determine whether it was real or delusional only that it happened and the area of the brain where the seizure occurred appears to have an effect on having these types of experiences.



posted on May, 17 2016 @ 10:50 AM
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originally posted by: Dark Ghost
Very interesting topic, but the story sounds too convenient to be considered authentic. I would like to believe it, I just can't...




Same, and the fact that this news comes from Istael, doesn't help m believe.



posted on May, 17 2016 @ 10:56 AM
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originally posted by: mclarenmp4
a reply to: GetHyped

Correlation does not imply causation.


And that cuts both ways. There's no evidence that it was some mythical being who visited him.

Considering that we can instill feelings of religious experience through stimulating certain parts of the brain, one of these is far more likely than the other...
edit on 17-5-2016 by GetHyped because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 17 2016 @ 11:03 AM
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originally posted by: GetHyped
a reply to: cooperton

And if you actually read the paper's abstract you'd see that the authors aren't in any way saying that he was actually visited by some god but was having delusions due to an epileptic seizure


Yes I read that. Mclarenmp4 was right when he said it is merely the scientist's opinion that this is a delusion. An epileptic episode induces cortical spreading depression, which temporarily shuts down various areas of the cerebral cortex - historically, cerebral shut-down has often led to intense spiritual revelation, such as when Dr. Eben Alexander's entire cerebral cortex became inactive which allowed him to "see heaven". The cerebral cortex, from a spiritual perspective, is seen as the ego, and when it shuts down (ego death) it allows the higher levels of consciousness to be expressed without being trampled by the doubts of our ego. Zen, or mindlessness, is the practice of naturally silencing the cerebral cortex.




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