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How God Changes Your Brain

How God Changes Your Brain

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Breakthrough Findings from a Leading Neuroscientist

ANDREW NEWBERG, M.D

MARK ROBERT WALDMAN


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Book Details
 Price
 3.00
 Pages
 314 p
 File Size 
 2,081 KB
 File Type
 PDF format
 eISBN
 978-0-345-51279-6
 Copyright©   
 2009 by Andrew Newberg
 and Mark Robert Waldman 

AUTHOR'S NOTE
Throughout most of this book Mark and I will be speaking to you with a united voice, for we
have closely collaborated on the research we present. Thus, we liberally substitute I and we, and
only occasionally specify ourselves as individuals, since the anecdotes we relate tend to reflect
our shared experiences and values. However, when I is used to talk about the brain-scan
research conducted at the University of Pennsylvania, it is in reference to myself, as are most of
the anecdotes that refer to childhood and college experiences. But research is never a solitary
venture, so you'll often find references to our work, which includes not just Mark, but also the
members of my research staff at the university, without whom I could not possibly conduct the
work I do. For a list of those who have contributed to the research gathered in this volume,
please see the acknowledgment page at the end of this book.

Of all the fields of science and medicine, neurophysiology is one of the most difficult topics to
talk about in simple terms, especially when it comes to issues concerning consciousness, logic,
emotional processing, and the reality-processing mechanisms of the brain—issues that are
essential to address when dealing with the neurological correlates of spiritual experiences and
religious beliefs. We have made the information as “user friendly” as possible, but
generalizations often leave out important qualifications and concerns. Therefore, for those who
desire additional information, we have provided extensive peer-reviewed references—over a
thousand—in the endnotes to substantiate the conclusions we have drawn.

RELIGION AND THE HUMAN BRAIN
Our time is distinguished by wonderful achievements in the fields of scientific
understanding and the technical application of those insights. Who would not be cheered by
this? But let us not forget that knowledge and skills alone cannot lead humanity to a happy
and dignified life. Humanity has every reason to place the proclaimers of high moral
standards and values above the discoverers of objective truth. What humanity owes to
personalities like Buddha, Moses, and Jesus ranks for me higher than all the achievements of
the inquiring and constructive mind.
—ALBERT EINSTEIN, THE HUMAN SIDE

Table of Contents
Author's Note

ONE. RELIGION AND THE HUMAN BRAIN
1. Who Cares about God?
Prelude to a Neurological and Spiritual Revolution
2. Do You Even Need God When You Pray?
Meditation, Memory, and the Aging Brain
3. What Does God Do to Your Brain?
The Neural Varieties of Spiritual Practice
TWO. NEURAL EVOLUTION AND GOD
4. What Does God Feel Like?
The Varieties of Spiritual Experience
5. What Does God Look Like?
Imagination, Creativity, and the Visual Representation of Spirituality
6. Does God Have a Heart?
Compassion, Mysticism, and the Spiritual Personalities of the Brain
7. What Happens When God Gets Mad?
Anger, Fear, and the Fundamentalist in Our Brain
THREE. TRANSFORMING YOUR INNER REALITY
8. Exercising Your Brain
Eight Ways to Enhance Your Physical, Mental, and Spiritual Health
9. Finding Serenity
Meditation, Intention, Relaxation, and Awareness
10. Compassionate Communication
Dialogue, Intimacy, and Conflict Transformation

EPILOGUE: Is God Real?
A Personal Reflection
APPENDIX A. Compassionate Communication
CDs, Workshops, and Online Research
APPENDIX B. How to Participate in Our Research Studies
APPENDIX C. Meditation and Mindfulness
Books, CDs, and Resources
Acknowledgments
Endnotes

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Although the benefits of regular meditation practice are well known, How God Changes Your
Brain is neither an exercise program nor a medical text and is not intended to replace the diagnostic
expertise and medical advice of a physician. Please be certain to consult with your doctor or with a
licensed therapist before making any decisions that affect your physical or emotional health,
particularly if you suffer from any medical condition or have any symptom serious enough to interfere
with functioning or otherwise require treatment.

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