"Sacred Pathways explains how the brain areas that support Near-Death Experiences are also the basis for mystic experience during our lives. It's a 21st century synthesis of science and spirituality by brain scientist Todd Murphy, in which spiritual, religious, and mystic events are explained with neuroscience. Edited and re-edited to make the science easy to understand, it's a readable introduction to the science of the spiritual.
Murphy uses Darwin's theory of evolution to understand the human death-process, and proposes that reincarnation is an evolutionary adaptation which contributed to the survival of our species. The book explores the ideas that the self is actually a hallucination, God is a manifestation of a part of ourselves, and enlightenment comes from a blast of neural activity in specific parts of the brain. It also looks at prayer, spontaneous mystic experiences, romantic love, and psychic skills. The author also believes that spirituality is a very positive force, both in the world and in our lives. Spirituality, he argues, is an adaptive force that's crucial to our survival as a species, making it an integral part of human nature. An atheist who openly encourages prayer, Murphy goes past the debates between skeptics and believers and shows how religion helps us, without regard for the truth or falsehood of anyone's beliefs. Sacred Pathways is a fascinating example of no-nonsense 'new science' at its best.
This extensively referenced tour-de-force work explains the brain's role in religious and mystic experiences including, enlightenment, prayer, near-death experiences, and even psychic perception. It also explains reincarnation, out-of-body experiences and the spiritual nature of romantic love.
It includes a chapter that summarizes Murphy's concept of reincarnation; the first to be published by a peer-reviewed scientific journal. It also has an in-depth discussion of the famous God Helmet, and explains how psychic skills work, based on lab experiments with telepathy and remote viewing.
Sacred Pathways is a major advance in neurotheology, a synthesis of science and religion that discusses spirituality only in the language of science. Most people in this field confine themselves to looking at what the brain is doing when people have otherworldly experiences, epiphanies, and peak experiences. Murphy goes further than that, seeing these things in the context of anthropology, sociology, and human evolution as well as in the human brain.
This fascinating, accessible, and thought provoking book will change the way you see spirituality."