November 5th, 2018 10:32 AM
THE SCIENTIFIC EXPLANATION OF THE SPIRITUAL
—“What do you tell people who have had very spiritual experiences that they attribute to their religion? Tell them they just imagined it? I donât see how thatâs going to work.”— Mitchell Ryan
They had the experience. They felt it. That it was produced by imagination is no different than if they imagine a ghost in the dark, or a car coming around a corner that isn’t there, or an argument with a loved one that didn’t or might happen. We feel all these things. We experience both the imagination of the context, the imagination of what might happen, or is happening, and the feeling of being in it, and we remember it.
Our brains work all the time by filling in with memory or prediction the ‘model’ our senses are continuously composing for us out of sense, memory, and prediction, with continuous recursion of the context.
Those Experiences existed. The conditions that cause them are either real or imaginary. We possess the ability to predict or forecast. That is the purpose of memory. We can predict all sorts of outcomes and then ‘feel them’ (imagine ourselves in them).
The fact that you can imagine yourself in a ‘religious experience’ or imagine yourself as king arthur and feel that experience, is just a matter of context you imagine and practice.
Most ‘intense’ experience I ever had was being very ill with a fever, reading a conan novel, and then experiencing myself in his place. it’s STILL the most intense experience I have had.
Is it a religious experience, or is a religious experience just a different story in just a different dream?
The question is only whether you are an addict reinforcing your addiction or not.
Most of us no. Some of us yes.
The question is whether you retain your agency (and experience) or retain your addiction in lieu of agency (and experience).