God – Allah – Jehovah – Brahman – all these mere man-made verbal expressions become bleak and dismal upon the attainment of the actual experience. Once the lotus of your inner divinity gets full-blown and you reach the mental state where all the religious giants of human history experienced the all-encompassing sense of godliness, the exuberance of the human mind turns infinite. Awakening into that state makes all the perceptual limitations of the mind disappear, just like a bucket of muddy water turns crystal-clear once poured into the ocean.
To put it simply, the transcendental state sets the human mind free. In this extraordinary state of mind, the usual finite domain of consciousness transforms into a subjective, infinite, universal, all-pervading consciousness. This mental state is what we can quite literally call the Kingdom of God. Clinically I have termed this state of mind in my book What is Mind? as Absolute Unitary Qualia.
The experience itself is encoded in the neurological circuits of the human brain. However, this specific functional expression of the neurons does not occur in the usual state of mind. It requires specific internal and external stimuli to trigger the manifestation of the God state in the human mind.
Various neural activities collectively construct the vividly divine internal environment of the Kingdom of God. It involves various internal biological factors. However, the most important question of this century that rises from the study of the psychology of religion, is that whether the God state is a delusional state of the mind.
Despite the fact that a few radical atheist psychologists have put forward the suggestion that religious faith or simply any kind of faith upon God may turn out to be mere delusion, we neuroscientists who actually investigate the molecular underpinnings of all things religious and spiritual, have empirically proven otherwise.
The argument against faith is all based upon the rigorous analysis of the scriptures, and not upon the objective observation of the actual individual sensation of faith. Historical experiences of the Kingdom of God gave rise to all the scriptures in the world, but the scriptures themselves don’t account for the actual globally prevalent psychological element of faith or divinity in the human mind.
Faith is a natural evolutionary trait of the human mind, selected by Mother Nature as an internal coping-mechanism.
Now let’s first distinguish what is the difference between faith and the mental state of God. Faith is simply a natural sensation of the mind, quite like love, which is seen in most of the human population. On the other hand, the God state is the actual subjective experience of encountering God, quite literally. Hence, this subjective experience occurs only in the fraction of the human population, due to various stimuli.
Moreover, the manifestation of the God Dimension in the human mind requires specific internal and external environment. In short, there are a few kinds of stimuli that evoke such transcendental state where a person simply has an inexplicable encounter with God, unlike the everyday personal sense of faith. This encounter manifests at different intensities based on the kind of the stimulus, and more importantly, majority of the modern day God state experiences tend to be lethal, due to their pathological origin.
This means, pathology can indeed cause experiences of the Kingdom of God, but not all God state experiences are caused by pathology. They can also occur due to disturbance in the geomagnetic field of our planet, consumption of psychedelics, excruciatingly extreme level of stress during a near-death situation, or ultimately through a natural and healthy procedure of meditation.
Now let’s shed some light on the shady domain of the Kingdom of God or to speak clinically, the Absolute Unitary Qualia. So, the very first question that may rise in the mind of a rational human being, is – what is this God state? Is it some kind of extraterrestrial dimension?
To answer these questions, we need to resort to two different perspectives. From a subjective point of view, i.e. from the point of view of a person who’s actually experiencing the God state, it is indeed an extraterrestrial dimension which the ancient cultures termed as the Kingdom of God. Now from an objective point of view, i.e. from the point of view of a scientist who analyzes subject’s experience of the God state, it is an exceptional state of the human mind, attained in specific internal and external conditions.
Basically, it is an earthly experience, which manifests in an unearthly manner. It appears to be devoid of the mortal limitations of the human life. And especially due to its unearthly and quite heavenly characteristics, it is deemed in many early human civilizations as the Abode of the Lord Almighty.
Unlike the usual sensation of divinity in the general population, the God state is an actual experiential encounter with the pre-dominant mental picture of an Almighty Being. I termed it as Absolute Unitary Qualia because of its unifying nature, that puts forward a sensation of oneness between human and the God or the Universe.
Here is a common expression of experiencing the Absolute Unitary Qualia or the God state:
“The experience took hold of me with such power that it seemed to go through my whole soul, so it seemed as if God was praying in, with, and for me.”
Now in order to understand the underlying biology of the Kingdom of God, let’s start with a basic understanding of the anatomy of the soul.
Until the advancement in the field of Neuroscience, there have been a lot of mystical confusions surrounding the ancient notions of mind, body, and soul, in both the philosophical and scientific societies. Unfortunately, the confusion still prevails to a great extent in the general population. And to clear this air of mystery, a lot of scientific literatures have been published. So, I’ll not go into the detail analysis of these ideas.
All these confusions are based on ignorance. However, far from the confusions, let’s have a basic scientific perception on the idea of mind, body and soul. For ages, due to lack of insight into the biological basis of life, the ancient notion of soul being the driving force behind mind and body, has remained dominant in the general human psyche.
There has always been an irresistible desire in humans to see ourselves somehow above nature and our biological body. And this primordially innate desire has given rise to varied doctrines and philosophies of dualism, which inadvertently implied a mystical distinction between our biological body and the supernatural realm. Thus, the mystical idea of a soul has survived through ages.
The primitive human notion about the soul has been that, the soul bestows a person with his or her unique personality. This is more or less the universal perception of the soul. And if that so, then soul and mind are basically one and the same thing, because the modern understanding of the human psychology reveals that the mind is the collective expression of various mental elements such as emotions, ambitions, ideologies, sentiments etc. All these mental elements define a person’s personality traits. Therefore, soul is only the primordial equivalent of the mind.
Having diminished the confusing primeval separation between mind and soul, let’s move on and get acquainted with the fundamental building blocks of the mind/soul.
It all begins in the tiny cells of the brain which we call neurons. Neurons are the fundamental building blocks of the mind/soul. Bring a bunch of live neurons together and from them would rise a rudimentary mental feature. Bring enough of such different features together, by interconnecting their individual networks of neurons and collectively they’ll form the mind/soul.
Now imagine a hundred billion of such neurons creating a magnificent network, which gives rise to your lavishly colored mental life. Neuron is to mind, what DNA is to life. Now, let’s look at the connection between mind and life. While being an essential part of life, mind is what enables life to maneuver in this world. And consciousness is a quintessential part of mind which makes life aware of its environment. Now, given the context of the article, one might wonder, where does God fit into all this?
There is nothing mystical about it actually. It is pretty simple – mind is a part of life – consciousness is a part of mind – God is a part of consciousness. And as mentioned earlier, the God part of the consciousness is attainable only through certain stimuli. It may seem demeaning to the vanity of some individuals, but like all elements of the mind, God and all its correlated sensations of divinity are the majestic creations of the brain.
(This Article was originally published on Goodreads, under the title “Neural Kingdom of God.”)
Abhijit Naskar, 2016, Autobiography of God: Biopsy of A Cognitive Reality
Abhijit Naskar, 2016, What is Mind?
Abhijit Naskar, 2016, In Search of Divinity: Journey to The Kingdom of Conscience