“Dr. Michael Persinger, known as the developer of the God Helmet, an experimental apparatus that let a few people see God in his laboratory, has published a laboratory report in which a subject had an out-of-body experience immediately after magnetic brain stimulation that lasted only five minutes.” Link (opens in a new window)
This is a fascinating read for anyone interested in OBEs.
I now have four lectures in Hindi on YouTube – on their own channel. Here is the link. They are about psychic skills, reincarnation and enlightenment.
अपने खुद के चैनल पर – मैं अब यूट्यूब पर हिंदी में तीन व्याख्यान है. यहाँ की कड़ी है वे मानसिक कौशल, पुनर्जन्म और ज्ञान के बारे में हैं. जय हिंद!
There is an interesting and quite descriptive review of the 8 coil Shakti feelgood session here. Its much longer than most, and the level of detail is impressive. Worth reading if you’re interested.
My book has been released. Sacred Pathways: The Brain’s Role In Religious and Mystic Experiences. It has a foreword by the 14th Dalai Lama, and one by Dr. M.A. Persinger, and a third by an Orthodox Bishop.
“ … interested readers will no doubt ﬁnd (this) illuminating.” – From the foreword by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. This work in neurotheology integrates science and spirituality, starting with evolution. It offers new ways of thinking about reincarnation, God, enlightenment, psychic skills, and the human brain. It’s written from an atheist perspective, but it openly encourages prayer, meditation and spiritual living. It tells us that the pathways in the brain that function at death are also the basis of mystic experiences while we’re still alive. “ … this book, … balances … subjective experience with the general principles of neuroscience. … Sacred Pathways is the Principia (‘book of basic principles’ or ‘first work’) of the scientific investigation of spiritual experiences.” – Dr. M.A. Persinger. Todd Murphy is a member of a university neurosciences group, and has published in several scientific journals. His 9-hour lecture series can be seen on youtube.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
- Forward by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama of Tibet
- Forward By Dr MA Persinger
- Forward by His Grace, Bishop +Nazarin
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Reincarnation in Human Evolution
- 3 Some Brain Parts
- 4 Some Principles from Neuroscience
- 5 The God Helmet
- 6 The Stages in Near-Death Experiences
- 7 Neural Bases for Phases of NDEs
- 8 Sensed Presence & Visitor Experiences
- 9 Out Of Body Experiences
- 10 God and the Brain
- 11 Romantic Love
- 12 Enlightenment And the Self
- 13 Neural Avalanches (Interhemispheric Intrusions) (case histories of mystic experiences)
- 14 Psychic Skills
- 15 Prayer
- 16 The Earth beneath Our Feet (Geomagnetic Influences)
There is a 506-page paperback edition, and a kindle e-book.
The price is below the Publisher’s suggested retail price for a “book of this length and genre” You can see it online HERE.
You can also see some articles on the same subject (sometimes called neurotheology) HERE.
Some years ago, a Swedish researcher (a grad student at the time), P. Granqvist, did an experiment with the God Helmet. Incorrectly set up, it yielded no results. They scrambled the magnetic signals, so that they couldn’t do their job, and then claimed that results that Persinger (the leading researcher in this area) obtained were due to suggestibility. In fact, suggestibility had been ruled out much earlier, when it was learned that different signals had different effects. Suggestibility alone would mean they would all have been the same. The God Helmet had one group of effects when it was used over the left side of the brain, and very different effects when it was used over the right. The same experimental protocols were used throughout. Persinger also reported success with depression in two preliminary studies (one two), which included six-week follow-up; a result that also rules out suggestion.
In addition, Persinger’s studies used a minimum of 20 minute applications of the magnetic signals. Granqvist used exposures half as long. It wouldn’t have mattered in any case, because the signals were being run too fast to hold their shape.
Critics remain silent about that. Granqvist also claimed that Persinger’s low-power magnetic fields could not penetrate the skull, a foolish claim that ignores the laws of physics (there is no such thing as a magnetic insulation). Many researchers, unconnected to Persinger have independently proven that faint magnetic fields have measurable effects on the brain. Recently, some over-zealous skeptics have been touting the study by the Swedish group as the final word on the subject, ignoring Dr. Persinger’s published responses to the flawed study. The Swedish researcher is a psychologist who believes that religion is a projection of our attachment to our parents, while Persinger believes that religion is an intrinsic feature of our species, though not everyone is equally prone to it. Granqvist’s specialty is the psychology of religious behavior, not neurology, which made him less than qualified to set up the God Helmet correctly, especially without asking Persinger to help. Granqvist came to Persinger asking for equipment to see its effects through PET scanning, and Persinger instructed him accordingly. As it happens, Granqvist never even attempted to do PET scans, but instead jumped ahead of his experience to try to create the ‘sensed presence’ experience, which called for longer sessions than verification with PET would need. He failed, and blamed his results on Persinger. He even falsely claimed that Persinger never used double-blind protocols. Here’s a link that summarizes Persinger’s response.
The God Helmet uses low-intensity magnetic fields. Some academics (psychologists, not neuroscientists) have claimed that the fields aren’t strong enough to influence the brain. In fact, there have been many experiments that found significant effects in the brain using weak magnetic fields. Here’s a link to a page that reviews some of these studies. The magnetic fields Dr. M.A. Persinger uses with the God Helmet are strong enough to do the job. In fact, some researchers use fields that are even weaker, but their work, unrelated to religion, isn’t controversial, so it gets less attention. Sometimes, “less is more”. It seems the critics who mistakenly claimed that only very strong magnetic fields can influence the brain (like those used in TMS) simply hadn’t done their homework. In fact, the mechanism where low-intensity magnetic fields affect the brain has been known for over twenty years. Link.
My paper on the evolution of reincarnation (published in the Journal for Near-Death Studies in the year 2000) is online HERE. If I had it to write it again, I would do it differently. Many things have changed in the 12 years since it was published. “The Structure and Function of Near-Death Experiences: an Algorithmic Reincarnation Hypothesis”.