The Spiritual Doorway in the Brain: A Neurologist's Search for the God Experience

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Penguin, Dec 30, 2010 - Science - 336 pages
16 Reviews
The world's leading neurologist on out-of-body and near-death experiences shows that spirituality is as much a part of our basic biological makeup as our sex drive or survival instinct.

If Buddha had been in an MRI machine and not under the Bodhi tree when he attained enlightenment, what would we have seen on the monitor?

Dr. Kevin Nelson offers an answer to that question that is beyond what any scientist has previously encountered on the borderlands of consciousness. In his cutting-edge research, Nelson has discovered that spiritual experiences take place in one of the most primitive areas of the brain. In this eloquent, inspired, and reverent book, he relates the moving stories of patients and research subjects, brain scan analysis, evolutionary biology, and beautiful examples of transcendence from literature to reveal the machinery in our heads that enables us to perceive miracles-whether you are an atheist, Buddhist, or the most devout Catholic. The patients and people Nelson discuss have had an extremely diverse set of spiritual experiences, from arguing with the devil sitting at the foot of their hospital bed to seeing the universe synchronize around the bouncing of the ball in a pinball machine. However, the bizarre experiences don't make the people seem like freaks; they seem strangely very much like us, in surprising ways. Ultimately Nelson makes clear that spiritual experiences are not the exception in human life, but rather an inescapable and precious part of every one of us.

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Review: The Spiritual Doorway in the Brain: A Neurologist's Search for the God Experience

User Review  - Mary - Goodreads

A bit too clinical for what I was looking for and expecting. It felt like a textbook at times. I'm sure it simply was just not a match for me. Read full review

Review: The Spiritual Doorway in the Brain: A Neurologist's Search for the God Experience

User Review  - EdMohs - Goodreads

excellent Read full review


Fear Crisis Then Revelation
Pinball and Absolute Power
A Resurgence of Subjective Science
Spiritual or Religious Experience?
A Notorious Case
A Field of Daisies
The Four Qualities
Extraordinary Consciousness
A Shadowy Presence
Frightened to NearDeath
Consciousness and Survival
Wide Awake
Locus CoeruleusErectus
An Unexpectedly Perilous Journey
Fight or Run
Voodoo Death

Jans Case
A Brief History of Consciousness
Consciousness Now
Back to the Brain Cell
Aroused to the Spiritual
The Gateway
A Dark Energy
Two Things We Know About Consciousness
When You Lose Your Brainstem
A Hidden Relationship
Bat Consciousness
A Sense of Self
The Everyday Me
Da Vinci versus Picasso
My Puppet Legs
The Alien Arm
A Magical Touch
Chasing Out Phantoms in the Brain
A Spare Arm
Two Unequal Halves
Two Minds in One Brain
I Do Not Exist
Nothing As It Seems
A Common Occurrence
An Ambulance Takes a Detour
A Deadly Allergy
NearDeath Experience Defined
The Origins of Hell
The Skeptic
The Great Psychiatrist
NearDeath Experiences in Children
NearDeath Experiences as Symbolic Narrative
Witnessing the Truth
Stories Can Take Us Only So Far
Blood Flow and the Brain
Fainting and ESP
Fainting in the Laboratory
The Tunnel Mystery Solved
Not Death
Mind and Body Revisited
Self and Brain Part Ways During Brain Surgery
OutofBody in the Laboratory
The OutofBody Up Button
Chasing a Spiritual Illusion
Darwins Fall
Fear and the Limbic System
A Revelation in Semenovsky Square
The Brain Receives Its Divine Rewards
Attention to Reward
So Where Have We Been?
Death and Sleep
Lightning Bolts in the Brain
Lucid Dreaming
REM Consciousness Borderlands
The REM Switch at a Moment of Crisis
A New Borderland of REM Consciousness
REM Intrusion Is Not a Fluke
REM Intrusion and the Hearts Nerve
All the Way Out of the Body
The Unearthly Light
Bliss Near Death
The NearDeath Trinity
The Rising Sun
Taking Mystical Measure
A Mystical Pioneer
Meister Eckhart
Eckharts Thin Thread
The Jeweled Castle
Are You Experienced?
James and Mescal
The New Experiences
A Molecular Scalpel
Spiritual Madness
Beyond the Fine Line
Seizures and Spiritual Experience
Other Disorders of Divinity
Before Language

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About the author (2010)

Kevin Nelson is the author of fifteen books, including The Golden Game, The Greatest Stories Ever Told (About Baseball), and Baseball's Greatest Quotes. He has also written articles for a variety of local and national publications such as Men's Fitness, Ski, Sport, Women's Sports and Fitness, San Francisco Chronicle, and the San Jose Mercury News.

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