Moses, Religious Violence and the God Helmet

“Why can’t we all just get along?” – Rodney King

Why?  Because our wiring is all frayed up!  So claims Michael A. Persinger, a cognitive neuroscience researcher and university professor. He was one of several persons appearing a few days ago on the Science Channel’s new series, Through the Wormhole.  The subject was ‘Is there a Creator?

Persinger theorizes that the stimulation of the cerebral-temporal lobe maybe the actual cause of the ‘God experiences’ as well as  apparition phenomena. He believes the religious content of the experiences may be, in fact, ‘ a result of the subject’s obsession with religious themes and their lack of education.’  Science education for sure.

In the photo below, a woman is put into an isolation chamber for an hour with a so-called God Helmet on her head- a helmet that contains solenoids placed over the temporal lobes, which output “weak but complex” magnetic fields.  Persinger reports that at least 80 percent of his participants  experience a presence beside them in the room, which ranges from a simple ‘sensed presence’ to God. About one percent experienced God, while many more had less evocative, but still significant experiences of ‘another being’.

It makes one wonder if Moses went up the mountain during a thunderstorm.  Maybe he was hit by a non-lethal bolt of electricity at the summit and imagined his famous encounter with ‘God,’ commandments and all.

Research subjects who scored low on a psychological scale measuring temporal lobe sensitivity rarely experienced ethereal beings or ‘God.’  The experiment is based on the recent finding that some patients with temporal lobe epilepsy, a neurological disorder caused by chaotic electrical discharges in the temporal lobes of the brain, seem to experience devout hallucinations that bear a striking resemblance to the mystical experiences of holy figures and/or floating ‘beings’ nearby.

One of the many temporal lobe epilepsy events is called a  simple partial seizures. Simple partial seizures usually start suddenly and are very brief and often times those surrounding the victim are unaware that a seizure is occurring.  One common characteristic is an altered sense of hearing, smelling, tasting, seeing, and tactile perception or feeling as though the environment is not real  or a detachment from the environment altogether. Also, déjà vu is quite common and so the person may feel comfortable with the recurring seizure as if it is ‘normal.’  If during sleep, a simple partial seizure causes hallucinations and/or delusions which may be remembered when awakened.

Does it sound like those evangelical prayer meetings where people speak in tongues, faint, and shout out because they are ‘smitten with the spirit’? Or is it just a simple partial seizure.

Electric brain wire problems. Or god?

So does this electrical malfunction lead to violence against others?  You know like the many bloody pages of history where one group kills another because ‘their god is better?’

Screwed-up wiring sure has killed off lots of  people down through the ages. Is ‘god’ just all in their heads- wiring problems and all?  Maybe so.  And if it is, then the countless religious murders of the past [and present] are really just caused by the defense lawyer’s best plea- temporary insanity!

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One thought on “Moses, Religious Violence and the God Helmet

  1. We are all strangers in a strange land. The human condition is to try to make sense of our place in the universe. There is so much damn, “phenomena”…most of what we take for granted and have rational explanations for are things that were outside of the realm of understanding until the 17th century.
    How did one explain seeing flashing lights at the corner of your vision at night ? Now, our opthamaligist would have our eyes checked for pressure and possibly other conditions. How did one explain biolumenescent fungi…you know, jack-o-lantern mushrooms? The ones that are bright orange by day and glow eerily green in the woods at night?
    We see things, we try to explain them, the imagination takes over…we need attention.. Hey, I’m special!…I can see things that you can’t…I can interpret the scriptires…lisrten to me and I will tell you the future, for a price…give me money and I will save your soul….we exagerrate a lot…we are silly humans.

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