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The Spiritual Doorway in the Brain: A Neurologist's Search for the God Experience

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The Spiritual Doorway in the Brain: A Neurologist's Search for the God Experience Cover

ISBN13: 9780525951889
ISBN10: 0525951881
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The world's leading neurologist on out-of-body and near-death experiences shows that spirituality is as much a part of our basic biological makeup as our sex drive or survival instinct.

If Buddha had been in an MRI machine and not under the Bodhi tree when he attained enlightenment, what would we have seen on the monitor?

Dr. Kevin Nelson offers an answer to that question that is beyond what any scientist has previously encountered on the borderlands of consciousness. In his cutting-edge research, Nelson has discovered that spiritual experiences take place in one of the most primitive areas of the brain. In this eloquent, inspired, and reverent book, he relates the moving stories of patients and research subjects, brain scan analysis, evolutionary biology, and beautiful examples of transcendence from literature to reveal the machinery in our heads that enables us to perceive miracles-whether you are an atheist, Buddhist, or the most devout Catholic. The patients and people Nelson discuss have had an extremely diverse set of spiritual experiences, from arguing with the devil sitting at the foot of their hospital bed to seeing the universe synchronize around the bouncing of the ball in a pinball machine. However, the bizarre experiences don't make the people seem like freaks; they seem strangely very much like us, in surprising ways. Ultimately Nelson makes clear that spiritual experiences are not the exception in human life, but rather an inescapable and precious part of every one of us.

Review:

"Inspired by his 30 years as a doctor collecting stories of near-death experiences as well as his personal experience, the author examines the stories of people who have reported out-of-body experiences. Those experiences are described in a variety of ways: as a sense of flying a jet aircraft, or walking on the beach, or watching the universe synchronize with a ball bouncing in a pinball machine. Nelson spends a great deal of the book examining dynamics of the brain and how memory functions; he includes chapters on sleep and taking drugs. He presents the brain as a 'spiritual organ' full of wisdom. 'The borderlands of spiritual experience affect a very special expression of consciousness, the sense of our individual self — the first person perspective of the ‘me' which is, except in rare cases, where most of us live,' he writes. This book presents a number of diverse occurrences but will not touch the nerve of the spiritual reader. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)

Synopsis:

andquot;Bold, provocative, and highly readable.andquot;

-V. S. Ramachandran, M.D., author of Phantoms in the Brain

What are near-death experiences, out-of-body sensations, and spiritual ecstasy? And what do they have in common? Perhaps no one is more qualified to answer these questions than renowned neurobiologist Dr. Kevin Nelson. Drawing on his more than three decades of groundbreaking research into the andquot;borderlands of consciousness,andquot; Dr. Nelson offers an unprecedented journey into the site of spiritual experience: the brain. Filled with amazing firsthand accounts as varied as a patient seeing the devil battling with his guardian angel to a man watching the universe synchronize around a pinball machine, The Spiritual Doorway in the Brain is an eloquent examination of our brains' spiritual andquot;hardwiringandquot; that will enthrall believers and skeptics alike.

Synopsis:

"Bold, provocative, and highly readable."

-V. S. Ramachandran, M.D., author of Phantoms in the Brain

What are near-death experiences, out-of-body sensations, and spiritual ecstasy? And what do they have in common? Perhaps no one is more qualified to answer these questions than renowned neurobiologist Dr. Kevin Nelson. Drawing on his more than three decades of groundbreaking research into the "borderlands of consciousness," Dr. Nelson offers an unprecedented journey into the site of spiritual experience: the brain. Filled with amazing firsthand accounts as varied as a patient seeing the devil battling with his guardian angel to a man watching the universe synchronize around a pinball machine, The Spiritual Doorway in the Brain is an eloquent examination of our brains' spiritual "hardwiring" that will enthrall believers and skeptics alike.

About the Author

Kevin Nelson, M.D., is a world-renowned neurologist with more than three decades of experience examining the processes of spiritual sensation. A professor of neurology at the University of Kentucky, he appears frequently on television to discuss near-death experience. He lives in Lexington, KY.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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M.K. Hunter, September 7, 2011 (view all comments by M.K. Hunter)
This is a fascinating study that seems likely to really satisfy no one. People hoping to be reassured that consciousness transcends the body will be disappointed; most of Nelson's findings suggest that spiritual experiences can be explained away by chemical processes and out-of-phase REM states. And hardcore materialists will be annoyed to find that Nelson is reluctant to completely dismiss spiritual experiences as mere matters of biological functions.

For me the book's most suggestive exploration is its examination of out-of-body experiences and lucid dreaming, two different activities that the author treats as identical. His careful dissection of the latter has to do with conscious manipulation of the sleep process, and he stresses several times that human beings can learn to gain control of it. It would have been gratifying if he had followed that study to its logical conclusion -- namely, that if we accept that spiritual experiences are not magic, isn't it to be expected that there would be physical indices of those experiences? Haven't shamans and others used their bodies in analogous ways since time out of mind?

But Nelson doesn't tip his hand. Either he hesitates to alienate half of his potential readership, or he's a stealth writer for one side or the other. In any case, for me this was an absorbing and informative read.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780525951889
Subtitle:
A Neurologist's Search for the God Experience
Author:
Nelson, Kevin
Publisher:
Dutton Adult
Subject:
Life Sciences - General
Subject:
Spirituality - General
Subject:
General-General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardback
Publication Date:
20101230
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
b/w images throughout
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
9.34 x 6.36 x 1.16 in 1.15 lb
Age Level:
17-17

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Mind and Consciousness
Religion » Spirituality » Science and Religion
Religion » World Religions » Religion and Science
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Neurobiology

The Spiritual Doorway in the Brain: A Neurologist's Search for the God Experience Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$12.95 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Dutton Books - English 9780525951889 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Inspired by his 30 years as a doctor collecting stories of near-death experiences as well as his personal experience, the author examines the stories of people who have reported out-of-body experiences. Those experiences are described in a variety of ways: as a sense of flying a jet aircraft, or walking on the beach, or watching the universe synchronize with a ball bouncing in a pinball machine. Nelson spends a great deal of the book examining dynamics of the brain and how memory functions; he includes chapters on sleep and taking drugs. He presents the brain as a 'spiritual organ' full of wisdom. 'The borderlands of spiritual experience affect a very special expression of consciousness, the sense of our individual self — the first person perspective of the ‘me' which is, except in rare cases, where most of us live,' he writes. This book presents a number of diverse occurrences but will not touch the nerve of the spiritual reader. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"Synopsis" by ,

andquot;Bold, provocative, and highly readable.andquot;

-V. S. Ramachandran, M.D., author of Phantoms in the Brain

What are near-death experiences, out-of-body sensations, and spiritual ecstasy? And what do they have in common? Perhaps no one is more qualified to answer these questions than renowned neurobiologist Dr. Kevin Nelson. Drawing on his more than three decades of groundbreaking research into the andquot;borderlands of consciousness,andquot; Dr. Nelson offers an unprecedented journey into the site of spiritual experience: the brain. Filled with amazing firsthand accounts as varied as a patient seeing the devil battling with his guardian angel to a man watching the universe synchronize around a pinball machine, The Spiritual Doorway in the Brain is an eloquent examination of our brains' spiritual andquot;hardwiringandquot; that will enthrall believers and skeptics alike.

"Synopsis" by ,

"Bold, provocative, and highly readable."

-V. S. Ramachandran, M.D., author of Phantoms in the Brain

What are near-death experiences, out-of-body sensations, and spiritual ecstasy? And what do they have in common? Perhaps no one is more qualified to answer these questions than renowned neurobiologist Dr. Kevin Nelson. Drawing on his more than three decades of groundbreaking research into the "borderlands of consciousness," Dr. Nelson offers an unprecedented journey into the site of spiritual experience: the brain. Filled with amazing firsthand accounts as varied as a patient seeing the devil battling with his guardian angel to a man watching the universe synchronize around a pinball machine, The Spiritual Doorway in the Brain is an eloquent examination of our brains' spiritual "hardwiring" that will enthrall believers and skeptics alike.

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