Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Spiritual Brain

The Spiritual Brain, A Neuroscientist's Case for the Existence of the Soul, by Mario Beauregard and Denyse O'Leary, Harper Perennial, Toronto, 2007

The fMRI and PET scan research promotes nonmaterialist science of mind. Beauregard’s University of Montreal studies and other research he documents in Spiritual Brain demonstrates that mind is not just an illusion of the brain or that the brain alone is souly responsible for all human activity.

Recent fMRI research demonstrates why placebo effect may be more truly said to be the basis of medicine. Mayo clinic certainly validates it. It not just an artifact. Sham Surgery causes knee mobility improvement that lasts indefinitely. The brain is no longer seen as a mechanistic entity but rather synaptic ions are revealed to act like electrons with all the improbability of Heisenberg. Determinism formally a cornerstone of the science game with materialism is left alongside Newtonian physics as neurosciences leaps into the realm of creativity and relativity.
Ironically as Physics, with Quantum theory and String Theory come to accommodate if not encompass and embrace spirituality and consciousness, biology remains hell bent on clinging to the increasingly dubious limitations of “ promissory materialism “.

Each myth of that dogma is debunked as more research unfolds to support the concepts of self and consciousness and the idea of free will with mind indeed being demonstrated to affect the matter of brain rather than vice versa. Double blind prospective science supplants politics and rhetoric.

Individuals with near death experiences, cardiac arrest and documented brain death are revived to reveal functional counsciousness and self with knowledge of events thoroughly unexplainable by the limits of materialism.

In contrast nonmaterialistic neuroscience keeping pace with quantum physics addresses energy fields and points to the extraordinary neuroplasticity of the brain with near as many neurons as stars in the galaxy. It is not just another computer or monkey brain but clearly something as extraordinary as life itself.

Consciousness has restored the self to the science of discovery as Beauregard's research literally lights up the mind. Brain remains in perhaps a loftier place in this new scheme of neurosciences. Science can once more return to an empirical search for truth rather than a devotion to the religion of materialism.

Well worth the read if only for the updating of present day neuroscience research and a clear statement of the mind blowing and brain numbing debates in this awesome field of human endeavour.

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