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Put God first, but don’t boast it

Belief in God – that is what we will naively discuss in this piece. And the focus is of course on being naive, because it is the first criterion to understand a phenomenon truly with its real fundamentals. One cannot understand something, if one is already filled with predominant conditioned beliefs, opinions and ideas. So, let’s look at the belief in an Almighty Concerned Entity or Force, with literally, not theoretically, naive eyes. If you have read my works, you’d know that one statement is pretty prevalent in most of them. It is “belief is a self-preservation mechanism of the mind.” Here, the belief I mentioned is not necessarily of religious type. The belief in this statement refers to all sorts of belief, not just religious. However, in this piece, we are interested specifically, in the belief in a supernatural entity.

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But why? Why am I talking about it exactly now? Because, I was scrolling through my youtube feed, and came across a video of some actor, shouting out “put God first”. The very first casual response that mind spat out was – even the stupidest and barbarian opinions of celebrities can appear to the masses as greatly inspirational and glorious statements – what a shame! As I said, this was the first response that my mind produced upon watching the thumbnail. So, now, let’s get over this casual response and dissect the situation – to be specific, the statement – “put God first”. It basically says, never lose faith in God, and you’ll achieve everything. I won’t say whether it is civilized or not. But I would say this. Belief in a supernatural entity having control of and concern for, your life, is basically, not a sign of glory, rather a sign of weakness.

Weakness is a fact – not bad or good. Like it or not, we all feel weak at times – I accept, that I do. And specifically in these times of excruciating agony, the mind kicks into a defense mode – where it naturally tends to put its faith and control upon a higher illusory entity. It’s not good – it’s not bad – it is what it is. And we cannot change this situation, just yet, because though we have developed extraordinary brain capacities, inside, we still remain cave-people, with a highly sensitive amygdala, that reacts quite effectively to every single fear and stress stimulus. And to quote from my book The Krishna Cancer“Mother Nature created God as a neurological anti-depressant sentiment.”

Belief in an imaginary entity or force, is a sign of weakness. And, weakness is a part of biological existence. So, glorifying that weakness, does not make a person any more religious, spiritual or wise, than beating one’s wife does for not sleeping with him. Yes, we have developed through the process of natural selection, the capacity for limitless good and glory, but that does not mean, our innate brutal nature has vanished from our psyche for good. We have the capacity for courage and conscience, but you must remember, we also bear the seeds of weakness and brutality within us. These seeds served us well for millions of years. They have been the most crucial elements in our survival in the wild. Let me give you an example.

Imagine a man is sitting with his wife on the couch, while watching TV. Suddenly, a woman on TV starts stripping. What kind of changes do you think, would take place in the man’s pants! Now here is the real question, the man gets erect by watching the stripping lady on TV, say it’s my good friend and popular pornstar Olivia Austin – does this mean, he actually wants to do her? Does this mean, he does not love his wife? These questions are all non-sense. Of course he loves his wife. And consciously, he does not desire to mate with Olivia, but his subconscious mind does – and that’s not a theory, but a fact. Because that’s how the man’s brain has been surviving in the wild. His penis had to be prepare within seconds, the moment he had an opportunity to spread his genes – there was no consent involved. Because the competition was high. And that libidinal programming still remains active within the man’s neurobiology. That’s why erection upon the sight of a hot lady, is quite normal and in fact, healthy, but that does not necessarily mean, it is a sign of intentional desire for intercourse with that lady. A man may be married happily, and still his penis would get erect, the moment his mind visualizes a glimmer of opportunity for spreading his genes. Similar is the process of belief in an imaginary entity, named God.

The mind has various mechanisms to maintain its internal order and well being. And belief in something higher than the petty little human existence, is one of those self-preservation mechanisms. A person may be the most rational being on earth when everything is almost fine in his or her life. But the moment, clouds of excruciating agonies begin to cover the sky of his or her psyche, all rationality will go out of the window, and what will remain, is pure, savage, survival instinct. During these moments of utter disaster, a healthy human mind is more likely to give in to supernaturalism, than to bring out a notebook and do logical analysis. Eventually when those clouds start to disperse, the mind would slowly gain its natural rational capacities. Then he or she would again start talking most boastfully about reasoning and free thinking. This is not hypocrisy – this is human life – or to be more accurate, this is biological life.

Another such mechanism comes to my mind in this context. This mechanism kicks in when somebody faces a life-threatening trauma, and gives rise to the mesmerizing experience of afterlife, in which apparently the trauma-struck individual has an encounter with supernatural entities, prophets, or diseased relatives. And this experience manifests as more real than actual reality. The purpose of it is to put your mind in a preconceived domain of comfort, while your body is under tremendous stress. And before when medical science was not developed, people died with this last conscious experience of entering into a higher dimension. We did not have the means to save a dying person. Now we do. So, even though they go close to the doorstep of death and start experiencing the conscious hallucinatory domain of afterlife, we are capable of bringing the person back to life. And when they finally wake up, they can excite all others around them with their supposed experience of the afterlife, unlike our ancestors who did not have the means to come back from the doorstep of death.

The mind is who you are. You are your mind. And as such, you are not even aware of most of its features – because you are not supposed to, biologically speaking. Underneath the surface of conscious awareness, lies a whole territory of subconscious traits and processes. Some of these processes become active on a daily basis, others, when truly necessary. But they are there, nevertheless. They are there for a reason – the reason of survival – the reason of maintaining well being when every other modern means fails. They don’t follow modern norms of rationality. They only follow Mother Nature’s law of survival. And they are definitely not glorious in nature, rather, they are simply the mind’s way of preserving itself. It is not something to be proud of, or critical of. It just is, what it is – an unavoidable part of human mental existence.

 

(Simultaneously published on Goodreads)

Recommended Reading

Autobiography of God: Biopsy of A Cognitive Reality, 2016

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The Tribal Myth of Reincarnation – New Talk

“Once you die, that’s it – game over. Death is the ultimate cessation of the individual Self.” – Principia Humanitas

In this talk, Abhijit Naskar discusses the primitive origin of the idea of reincarnation out of the lack of comprehension of death.

 

Further Reading
Autobiography of God: Biopsy of A Cognitive Reality, 2016

Meditation is a method-less act

I want you to do something today. I want you to get rid of all the things that you have heard about meditation so far – everything – all those things about focus, attention, sitting upright, closing your eyes, focusing on breathing, sound, this and that – everything – even the things that you have heard from me. Let’s try it shall we! Let’s start afresh. Let’s take a fresh look at meditation. What is Meditation? Forget everything you know about meditation and simply think. Meditation simply means – thinking over – to think over something – to put your whole attention on something without pressure – anything. That is the simplest explanation for meditation. Meditation is simply thinking over.

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Today meditation has become a kind of hectic practice where you sit upright and do a lot of breathing exercises, this and that – and they call it Raja Yoga, Vipassana or something else. They need to call it that way, because this way they can keep it mystical. And the more they can keep it mystical, the more they can gain from it. Simplifying it doesn’t make the whole business of yoga, meditation and all that, profitable, does it!

So let’s simplify it, shall we! Meditation has been proposed as a means to psychological well being – and that means usually comes along with specific methodologies. The Buddhists have their Vipassana technique – the Hindus have their Kundalini nonsense. I am calling it nonsense because of all the mysticism it brings along. The mystical advocates of all that kundalini stuff, truly believe that there are actual energy centers throughout the human spine, and by unlocking them one could attain glorious spiritual potential. The Hindus also call this method of unlocking the kundalini centers of chakras, Raja Yoga, as if its something supreme, and not an ordinary mental state to be attained by an ordinary human. So, when the very practice of Raja Yoga proposes the notion, that it is something not ordinary, and basically unattainable without a teacher – that it is something higher than normal human practice, you naturally feel like you are supposed to go to an expert. This makes it profitable. Hence rises countless spiritual institutions upon the edifice of the primitive elements of human mysticism.

Now let’s throw all that mysticism away and look without judgement and preconceived mystical illusions of intellect. Meditation simply means focusing on something, thinking over something. Now the question is, do we need to sit upright and practise meditation the conventional way – closing our eyes, focusing on breathing or chanting or say Aum and going through a million other rituals! Is it necessary? Well, if it suits your taste then of course it’s okay – nobody is condemning it. It will bring you obvious health benefits, surely. But it’s only the way of the novice, also the most robotic way. Meditation means thinking over. But think over what? Do you have something to think over – something that you’d just think over, simply to take the pleasure from it – to simply be yourself in it – anything – a practice, a habit, a hobby, an idea, anything – something you can think over without any pressure of technicality, ritual or norms – that you can pay your whole attention to, simply because you love it, not because some great so-called guru tells you to practise it or some great scientist tells you to practise it! Do you have something like that – do you – anything – painting, writing, going out for a walk of contemplation, filmmaking, photography – any human activity that you can engage yourself in, without all the pressure that comes along with the very term “method”!

When you love doing something, there is no method, there is no risk, there is no fear, there is no insecurity of failure, there is just doing it. You just love it and do it. Often we also use the term “passion”, but I think, the word “passion” is a petty human attempt to justify the activity in front of the society. Why do you need to justify it! You simply love it and you do it. When you love it and do it, you are basically meditating upon it. And when the humans have something they love to do, and they do it, which means meditate upon it, they give a certain amount of time from their daily schedule to that activity, not out of pressure, not out of the insecurity of psychological obscurity, not out of a revolting attitude against the social norms, but simply to be themselves in that activity. When you do that on a daily basis, or find time to do that every now and then, every week, you are basically engaging your brain almost in the same manner as anybody else does in practising the conventional way of meditation – sitting upright, closing their eyes and focusing within. The brain functionings in both cases are basically similar – and they bring the same kind of inner emotional stability, same kind of inner content more importantly – basically the same kind of internal well being, which is sustained in the long run, if you can simply do what you love to do on a regular basis. This way your brain goes through a kind of unique refreshment – that basically is the product of meditation – the simplest meditation – meditation upon the activity that allows you to be you.

Meditation is a method-less act – an act of contemplation – an act of being. And this contemplation or this being is not a buddhist thing, a hindu thing or a jewish thing – it is simply a human thing. No pranayama, vipassana or kabala has any kind of exclusive authority over meditation whatsoever. All these ways are merely the means of the novice to begin the journey. But the means is not the real act itself. Seeing the method of meditation as meditation itself, is like confusing the menu for the meal. The real journey takes place when there is no means whatsoever – when the self does not need to make efforts to be the self – that’s real meditation – the meditation where you simply are who you are and do not seek methods to attain a superficial state of mind.

If you find something you love and make that your profession, then you’ll never need to practise the conventional meditation in your life, in order to be psychologically well, because your very profession would be the best meditation for you. If you don’t exactly have that dream profession, then simply taking time out from your daily schedule to do what you love to do, would still be a better meditation for you than the conventional one. And if none of these is an option for you, then you can resort to the conventional form of methodical meditation. The final call on this matter, would be made by nobody else but you. But bear in mind, kids meditate on things, the adults meditate on the self. Meditation on the self is the highest form of true method-less meditation, for it brings self-awareness – which is beyond the everyday joy and sorrow. True meditation does not put you in control of your sorrow, rather it takes your mind beyond that very sorrow, as well as joy, into the kingdom of contentment – a kingdom without ideology – without cognitive extremes, such as radical rationalism, radical romanticism or radical emotionalism. In that kingdom, you simply are a human, with no name, no nationality, no tradition, no culture, no religion, no gender and no social image – simply a human.

(Simultaneously published on Goodreads.)

Further Reading

Abhijit Naskar, In Search of Divinity: Journey to The Kingdom of Conscience, 2017

Neurochemical Origin of Afterlife

Today I’ll be taking you in the afterlife. Don’t worry, nobody needs to die to do that. Basically if you die, there is nothing more to experience for your soul. Because the moment your brain stops functioning, your soul ceases to exist. And it is so, because the soul is the expression of a functional brain.

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A lot of people apparently have visited heaven, as in afterlife, and apparently they have come back. That’s the claim made by many people. And the quantity of such claims is just too much to simply ignore. So, let’s not ignore, and try to unravel the truth underneath such claims.

The very first thing that you need to know is that putting aside the small portion of the claims made simply to draw attention, most of these claims are actually made based on actual experiences. Which means as far as the subject who’s making the claim is concerned, his or her encounter of heaven did indeed take place. So, to him or her, it is a real experience, as real as your experience of me talking to you right at this moment. And in fact, in most cases, that afterlife reality actually seems more real to the person than usual reality.

Now first lets look at the origin of this idea of afterlife – the idea of heaven or hell. The idea of an afterlife was created by the imagination of our ancient ancestors who lived in tribes and had way little intellectual capacity. And further this idea fueled in people’s actual encounter of an afterlife. Our ancestors simply could not comprehend the sudden immobility of a walking and talking human being. They had to come up with some sort explanation for the so-called death, which they could not comprehend whatsoever. So, their brain concocted the belief, that there is apparently a soul that runs the body – a life-force, and when the body becomes aged and unsuitable for the soul to function, it simply pops out of the body and goes to either a better place, such as heaven or a horrible place such as hell, based on the person’s deeds.

These ancient ideas have been passed on through generations, and in the process the minds of these people have been conditioned to believe genuinely that when they die, they’d go to another realm, unlike earth. So, one way or another, their minds expect it to actually happen to them when the time comes. They anticipate it, either consciously or subconsciously. Hence, there are people who claim that during a life threatening situation they actually have gone to haven and come back. And over time these claims have increased exponentially. And that’s because of the amazing advancement that we have made in modern medicine. Before when people used to face death, they didn’t come back so much to life, because we were yet to develop techniques to bring them back.

Let me give you an example, a simple one but a revolutionary one. It is the revolution brought by the development of what we the people in medical profession call a Defibrillator. It is a simple device, but often times, the availability of this simple device can determine whether a human being will live again or stay dead forever. If somebody’s heart stops beating for whatever reason, electrical impulses from the a defibrillator can jolt the heart back to life. The same can be done with an Epi-Pen. In this kind of situations where a person apparently faces death, after coming back to life, that person reports that he or she went to heaven while his or her body had been lying dead.

So what’s really happening here? Do these person really go to heaven? Well, in their subjective reality, the experience manifests as more real than the usual reality. And that is why it is almost impossible for them to defy it as anything but the truth. Which means, even though they did not actually budge even a little from their mortal body, the experience of visiting heaven did manifest in their mind as an actual lively experience.

These experiences occur often when a person faces a life and death situation – a situation that has to do with a peerless amount of stress. I have discussed this matter in detail in my book “Autobiography of God: Biopsy of A Cognitive Reality”. When people face death, in that extreme stress the brain releases a special neurochemical which happens to be more powerful in terms of its hallucinogenic properties than LSD. This chemical is called DMT or Dimethyltryptamine.

When your brain releases substantial amounts of DMT in times of utter distress such as a near death event, your mind goes into an altered state – a state of profound hallucinations where your deepest desires or darkest fears manifest as reality. And this reality seems so damn real that it does not matter whether you are an academic, a medical doctor, a scientist, or a lay person. It is so damn real that anybody would easily hail it as a real experience in heaven or in some cases hell, depending on the person’s internal knacks and desires.

Consciousness is the product of electrochemical signalling in the neurons of your brain. So when the brain stops functioning fully, your consciousness, or to a broader aspect, your mind ceases to exist with its unique individualistic qualities. It’s like the soothing flow of water. It is only water as long as its internal realm of two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen, remains intact. If you break that structure which we call H20, it ceases to be water. Likewise a soul remains a soul, as longs as its neural structures remain intact. If you mess with those structures, then the entire personality of the soul may get radically altered. So, to think even further, if those neural structures inside your head stop working, then the soul ceases to exist forever. So, as long as you have a functional brain, you exist, and the moment that brain dies you die.

So, hard as it may sound to some, there is no heaven, or hell. And that is more reason that we need to pay attention to this life. Because one life is all you’ve got. Make the most out of it. Live that one life with your friends, family and neighbors. After all, the true value of life lies in living with our fellow human beings, while caring about each other, nourishing each other, growing with each other. And that’s called being human.

 

(Simultaneously published on Goodreads.)

Further Reading

Abhijit Naskar, 2016, Autobiography of God: Biopsy of A Cognitive Reality

Rise of Neurotheology: The Science that studies God and religion

What happens when science and religion meet? Well – for starters you get a Scientist named Abhijit Naskar, that’s me. But jokes apart – when science and religion meet we get a field of human understanding that belongs to the domain of science as much as it belongs to the domain of religion. And that field is called “Neurotheology” – which is a communion of science and religion. It is the only field of science that actually has to do with religion as much as it has to do with science.

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But why? Why do we need Neurotheology? We need Neurotheology because it is the only field of rational thinking that attempts to understand the roots of religion, religiousness and god without a predominate urge to refute and undermine religion all together. And we do it based on empiricism, not mere optimism, even though optimism is there in us, aiding in out research.

The first criterion for doing research into the tangible earthly roots of religion, is that you need to be free from obvious religious biases – you cannot do such study with a predominant detestation of religion or a radical obedience to faith. For example, if you are to study the neuropsychology of racial biases then you cannot expect to do so with a predominately explicit attitude of racism. So to study racism you need to be not a racist. And to study religion at a molecular level you need to be neutral in terms of religious biases.

In Neurotheology we scientists study the roots of God and its associated religious sentiments in the human mind. And here by God, I mean the God or the Gods that humans worship. We are not trying to understand whether there is an actual Supreme Divine force out there that’s running the universe. Even if that God does exist, it has nothing to do with life on earth. The Gods that humans worship, like Jehovah, Allah, Krishna, Rama and all others, are creation of the human mind itself. And we Neuroscientists in the field of Neurotheology attempt to understand the roots of these Gods of the human world, and as for the Supreme Divine Entity running the universe, I’d rather leave that to the Physicists to find out. That’s their expertise. Which means that if the majority of the physicists come to me and tell me – “Hey Naskar, you know what, we just discovered that the universe is not run by a Supreme Divine Entity”. I would most graciously accept their consensus, because I know that they must have done their research on the issue quite rigorously and then they have come to the conclusion that there is no actual God. That’s called trusting the expert in the field.

If you truly want to know about the universe you need to seek answer from a physicist, not from a biologist or a celebrity. Likewise if you want to know about life you need to seek answer from a biologist, not from a physicist or a celebrity. Also if you want to know whether Global Warming is real, you need to ask a climatologist, not a president or any of his white supremacist pals. Ask the expert, if you seek real answer, not just an answer you feel comfortable with. Although in today’s society we see a behavior quite contrary to this. We see anti-intellectualism. And that may not be dangerous, but it surely is unprogressive.

I am Neuroscientist, which means, I can tell you about your mind, your emotions, your thoughts and your behaviors, but I may not be able to fix your water supply at home, when it’s not working. For that you’d need a plumber. The plumber is the expert in fixing your water supply. The electrician is the expert in fixing the electrical wiring of your home. A Neuroscientist, a psychologist, or a psychiatrist is the expert in fixing the wiring of your mind. Every work needs expertise. One expert cannot boast about being an expert in various fields. It is possible, but in rare occasions.

So the work that we Neuroscientists do in Neurotheology is to study the gods of the society. And we have come a long way in this path. We have discovered facts that would appear to the radical believer as nothing but blasphemy. But the point is, we are civilized beings today. We no longer are medieval idiots who used burn and slaughter innocent lives for holding different belief system. So I am sorry to say, the idea of blasphemy has no place in today’s society – no wait, actually, I am not sorry at all. It’s them who should feel sorry, for being barbarians still while endorsing primitive ideas of blasphemy, apostasy and all sorts of evil. These terms can no longer hold any value to the civilized conscientious human.

Now to get back to the topic at hand, which is Neurotheology – it is quite gloriously a newly emerged field of scientific endeavor. In this context, let me bring up an excerpt from my book In Search of Divinity: Journey to The Kingdom of Conscience.

“Through the newly emerged field of Neurotheology, Scientists such as Andrew Newberg, Michael Persinger, myself and a few others have already taken the first step from the side of Science, to diminish the gap between Science and Religion. Now it is time for Religion to do the same. And the moment any religion does that, the eternal battle between Science and Religion would slowly start to disperse.”

In the brief journey so far in this field, we have understood a lot about the neurological roots of religious and spiritual sentiments of the human mind. We have even analyzed closely the transcendental experiences of the past that gave rise to the religions of the world. And as we keep moving forward in this field with an unbiased look at religion and God, we will discover various new elements of the human mind that may contribute to the sentiment of religiousness and spirituality. And they will allow us to understand the human mind in a better way. And when we understand the mind better, we can develop techniques to deal with its issues in more effective ways.

 

(Simultaneously published on Goodreads.)

Further Reading:

Abhijit Naskar, 2016, What is Mind?
Abhijit Naskar, 2016, In Search of Divinity: Journey to the kingdom of conscience

Why I am not Atheist

I say things – things that would most gloriously make me appear as an atheist to people, such as – “God is a human creation” – “scriptures come from humans” – “forget the gods and pay attention to humans”. However I never hail myself as atheist, and you never hear me saying out loud that I am an atheist. And it is because one simple reason, I hate discrimination, I hate bigotry and I hate creating walls. I don’t want to create a wall between me and all the peace loving people in the world who are just happy with their religiousness and they are not trying to impose on anybody’s else’s beliefs. Now, these are the people are I work for, just like I work for all other humans who want progress, who want the world to be a better place, if not for us, at least for our children. That’s why I don’t call myself an atheist.

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Because when you put a label on yourself, that label comes along with a log of psychological baggage. And in most cases you may not be aware of these correlated psychological elements, but those who listen to you may do. So in their brain they would draw an image of your personality. And they will give that image qualities based on their subjective understanding of the label that you imposed on yourself. Like when you say you are an atheist, usually the religious population of the planet would very easily deem you to be against all of their religiousness – religiousness that is a part of their identity. And you cannot take away that identity – if you try, then there would be no difference between you and the religious fundamentalism.

And though I am not anti-religion, I am anti-fundamentalism. Fundamentalists do not make up the whole religious population on earth. As a scientist, as an educator, of course I am against indoctrinating children, I am against teaching them biblical stories as factual truth, I am against prayer given more attention than actual human contribution in the society. Still I am not against religion, because of those people who identify themselves as religious but do not take their scriptures literally and have the brain capacity to think which part of those books are good and which are not. And this process of taking the good things from the scriptures and ignoring the primitive ones, happens in most of the religious psyches of the world quite unconsciously.

I am not an atheist, because of these peace-loving religious people who are simply good people and they accept people from different religious orientation as equal. And no, not all religious people go around their neighborhood screaming the exclusive superiority of their religion and God over all others. They love their religion, but they don’t make a fuss over it, like the fundamentalists do. Religion is simply a part of their cultural identity, nothing more – it is fostered as a supremacist ideology only in the head of the fundamentalists. The fundamentalists are the enemy because they are driven by the elementary primitive notion of their religion being superior to all others, and hence other people are lesser humans. Fundamentalism is the enemy, not religion. In fact, fundamentalism is an enemy of religion itself, because in a progressive civilized society religion means realization of your inner divinity, not meek obedience to books of the dead people.

I am a scientist, and as such one of my core purposes is to understand the truth behind various phenomena of the universe with as much accuracy as possible And one of those phenomena is religion. And in order to understand it with as less subjective biases as possible, I must refrain from being called either “religious” or “atheist”. Now that’s the scientific reason for me to not hail myself as either atheist or religious. And as for the humane reason, which is more appealing to me as a human being, it is that the only label I go with is “human” – because that’s the label I received from Mother Nature. And that’s the label that makes me a part of human lives in human society, regardless of religion, regardless of race, regardless of gender and regardless of sexual orientation. The label of human is beyond race, beyond religion, beyond gender and beyond sexual orientation.

 

(Simultaneously published on Goodreads.)

Further Reading

Abhijit Naskar, 2017, Principia Humanitas

Abhijit Naskar, 2017, Illusion of Religion: A Treatise on Religious Fundamentalism

Real Nature of God

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.

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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.”)

Further Reading
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