BAHASA PEMROGAMAN KOMPUTER

Sejarah Bahasa Pemrograman Komputer Sejak pertama komputer difference engine diciptakan oleh Charles Babbage pada tahun 1822, komputer membutuhkan sejumlah instruksi untuk melakukan suatu tugas tertentu. Instruksi-instruksi ini dikenal sebagai bahasa pemrograman. Bahasa komputer mulanya terdiri dari sejumlah langkah pengkabelan untuk membuat suatu program; hal ini dapat dipahami sebagai suatu rangkaian pengetikan kedalam komputer dan kemudian dijalankan. Pada awalnya, difference engine-nya Charles Babbage hanya dibuat untuk menjalankan tugas dengan menggunakan perpindahan gigi roda untuk menjalankan fungsi kalkukasi. Jadi, bentuk awal dari bahasa komputer adalah berupa gerakan secara mekanik, selanjutnya gerakan mekanik tersebut digantikan dengan sinyal listrik ketika pemerintah AS mengembangkan ENIAC pada tahun 1942, tetapi masih banyak mengadopsi prinsip-prinsip dasar dari Babbage’s engine yang mana diprogram dengan mengeset switch dan perkabelan pada seluruh sistem pada setiap “program” maupun kalkulasi. Tentu saja ini merupakan pekerjaan yang membosankan. Pada 1945, John Von Neumann yang bekerja pada Institute for Advanced Study mengemukakan dua konsep yang secara langsung mempengaruhi masa depan dari bahasa pemrograman komputer. Yang pertama dikenal sebagai “shared-program technique” (www.softlord.com). Pada teknik ini dinyatakan bahwa hardware komputer haruslah sederhana dan tidak perlu dilakukan pengkabelan dengan menggunakan tangan untuk setiap program. Sebagai gantinya, instruksi-instruksi yang lebih kompleks harus digunakan untuk mengendalikan perangkat keras yang lebih sederhana, hal ini memungkinkan komputer diprogram ulang dengan cepat. Konsep yang kedua yang juga sangat penting untuk pengembangan bahasa pemrograman. Von Neumann menyebutnya sebagai “conditional control transfer” (www.softlord.com). Ide ini berkembang menjadi bentuk subrutin, atau blok kode yang kecil yang dapat panggil berdasarkan aturan tertentu, dari pada suatu himpunan tunggal urutan kronologis yang harus dijalankan oleh komputer. Bagian kedua dari ide tersebut menyatakan bahwa kode komputer harus dapat bercabang berdasarkan pernyataan logika seperti IF (ekspresi) THEN, dan perulangan seperti FOR statement. “Conditional control transfer” mengembangkan ide adanya “libraries,” yang mana merupakan blok kode yang dapat digunakan berulang kali. Pada 1949, setelah beberapa tahun Von Neumann bekerja, bahasa Short Code dilahirkan (www.byte.com), yang merupakan bahasa komputer yang pertama untuk peralatan elektronik yang membutuhkan programmer untuk mengubah perintah kedalam 0 dan 1 dengan tangan. Pada 1957, bahasa khusus yang pertama muncul dalam bentuk FORTRAN yang merupakan singkatan dari sistem FORmula TRANslating. Bahasa ini dirancang pada IBM untuk perhitungan scientific. Komponen-komponennya sangat sederhana, dan menyediakan bagi programmer akses tingkat rendah kedalam komputer. Sampai saat ini, bahasa ini terbatas pada hanya terdiri dari perintah IF, DO, dan GOTO, tetapi pada waktu itu, perintah-perintah ini merupakan lompatan besar kearah depan. Type data dasar yang digunakan sampai sekarang ini dimulai dari FORTRAN, hal ini meliputi variabel logika (TRUE atau FALSE), dan bilangan integer, real, serta double-precision. FORTRAN sangat baik dalam menangani angka-angka, tetapi tidak terlalu baik untuk menangani proses input dan output, yang mana merupakan hal yang penting pada komputasi bisnis. Komputasi bisnis mulai tinggal landas pada 1959, dengan dikembangkannya COBOL, yang dirancang dari awal sebagai bahasa untuk para pebisnis. Type data yang ada hanya berupa number dan text string. Hal tersebut juga memungkinkan pengelompokan menjadi array dan record, sehingga data di telusuri dan diorganisasikan dengan lebih baik. Sesuatu hal yang menarik untuk dicatat bahwa suatu program COBOL dibuat menyerupai suatu essay, dengan empat atau lima bagian utama yang membentuk keseluruhan yang tertata dengan baik. Perintah-perintah COBOL sangat menyerupai tata bahasa English, sehingga membuatnya agak mudah dipelajari. Semua ciri-ciri ini dikembangkan agar mudah dipelajari dan mudah diterapkan pada dunia bisnis. Pada 1958, John McCarthy di MIT membuat bahasa LISt Processing (atau LISP), yang dirancang untuk riset Artificial Intelligence (AI). Karena dirancang untuk fungsi spesialisasi yang tinggi, maka tata cara penulisannya jaring kelihatan sebelum ataupun sesudahnya. Sesuatu perbedaan yang paling nyata dari bahasa ini dengan bahasa lain adalah dasar dan type satu-satunya adalah list, yang ditandai dengan suatu urutan item yang dicakup dengan tanda kurung. Program LISP sendirinya dibuat sebagai suatu himpunan dari list, sehingga LISP memiliki kemampuan yang khusus untuk memodifikasi dirinya, dan juga dapat berkembang sendiri. Tata cara penulisan LISP dikenal sebagai “Cambridge Polish,” sebagaimana dia sangat berbeda dari logika Boolean (Wexelblat, 177) : x V y – Cambridge Polish, what was used to describe the LISP program OR(x,y) – parenthesized prefix notation, what was used in the LISP program x OR y – standard Boolean logic LISP masih digunakan sampai sekarang karena spesialiasi yang tinggi dari sifat abstraknya. Bahasa Algol dibuat oleh suatu komite untuk pemakaian scientific pada tahun 1958. Kontribusi utamanya adalah merupakan akar dari tiga bahasa selanjutnya yaitu Pascal, C, C++, dan Java. Dia juga merupakan bahasa pertama dengan suatu tata bahasa formal, yang dikenal sebagai Backus-Naar Form atau BNF (McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology, 454). Pada Algol telah diterapkan konsep-konsep baru, seperti rekursif pada function, bahasa berikutnya Algol 68, menjadi bahasa yang membosankan dan sulit digunakan (www.byte.com). Hal ini mengarah kepada adopsi terhadap bahasa yang lebih kecil dan kompak seperti Pascal. Pascal dimulai pada tahun 1968 oleh Niklaus Wirth. Tujuan pengembangannya adalah untuk kebutuhan pengajaran. Pada awalnya bahasa ini dikembangkan bukan dengan harapan adopsi pemakaian secara luas. Prinsipnya mereka mengembangkannya untuk alat pengajaran pemrograman yang baik seperti kemampuan debug dan perbaikan sistem dan dukungan kepada mikroprosesor komputer yang digunakan pada institusi pendidikan. Pascal dirancang dengan pendekatan yang sangat teratur (terstruktur), dia mengkombinasikan kemampuan yang terbaik dari bahasa-bahasa saat itu, COBOL, FORTRAN, dan ALGOL. Dalam pengerjaannya banyak perintah-perintah yang tidak teratur dan aneh dihilangkan, sehingga sangat menarik bagi pemakai (Bergin, 100-101). Kombinasi dari kemampuan input/output dan kemampuan matematika yang solid, membuatnya menjadi bahasa yang sukses besar. Pascal juga mengembangkan tipe data “pointer”, suatu fasilitas yang sangat bermanfaat pada bahasa yang mengimplementasikannya. Dia juga menambahkan perintah CASE, yang mana memperbolehkan perintah bercabang seperti suatu pohon pada suatu aturan: CASE expression OF possible-expression-value-1: statements to execute… possible-expression-value-2: statements to execute… END Pascal juga mengembangkan variabel dinamis, dimana variabel dapat dibuat ketika suatu program sedang berjalan, melalui perintah NEW dan DISPOSE. Tetapi Pascal tidak mengimplementasikan suatu array dinamis, atau kelompok dari variabel-variabel, yang mana sangat dibutuhkan, dan merupakan salah satu penyebab kekalahannya (Bergin, 101-102). Wirth kemudian membuat lanjutan dari Pascal, Modula-2, tetapi pada saat itu muncul C yang dengan cepat menjadi mengeser posisi Pascal. C dikembangkan pada tahun 1972 oleh Dennis Richie ketika sedang bekerja pada Bell Labs di New Jersey. Transisi pemakaian dari bahasa umum yang pertama ke bahasa umum sampai hari ini yaitu transisi antara Pascal dan C, C merupakan perkembangan dari B dan BCPL, tetapi agak menyerupai Pascal. Semua fasilitas di Pascal, termasuk perintah CASE tersedia di C. C menggunakan pointer secara luas dan dibangun untuk kecepatan dengan kelemahannya yaitu menjadi sulit untuk dibaca. Tetapi karena dia menghilangkan semua kelemahan yang terdapat di Pascal, sehingga dengan cepat mengambil alih posisi Pascal. Ritchie mengembangan C untuk sistem Unix yang baru pada saat yang bersamaan. Oleh karena ini, C dan Unix saling berkaitan. Unix memberikan C beberapa fasilitas besar seperti variabel dinamis, multitasking, penanganan interrupt, forking, dan strong low-level,input-output. Oleh karena itu, C sangat sering digunakan untuk pemrograman sistem operasi seperti Unix, Windows, MacOS, dan Linux. Pada akhir tahun 1970 dan awal 1980, suatu metode pemrograman yang baru telah dikembangkan. Ha tersebut dikenal sebagai Object Oriented Programming, atau OOP. Object merupakan suatu potongan dari data yang dapat dipaket dan dimanipulasi oleh programmer. Bjarne Stroustroup menyukai metode ini dan mengembangkan lanjutan dari C yang dikenal sebagai “C With Classes.” Kemampuan lanjutan ini dikembangkan menjadi bahasa C++ yang diluncurkan pada tahun 1983. C++ dirancang untuk mengorganisasikan kemampuan dasar dari C dengan OOP, dengan tetap mempertahankan kecepatan dari C dan dapat dijalankan pada komputer yang tipe berlainan. C++ sering kali digunakan dalam simulasi, seperti game. C++ menyediakan cara yang baik untuk memanipulasi ratusan instance dari manusia didalan elevator, atau pasukan yang diisi dengan tipe prajurit yang berbeda. Bahasa ini menjadi pilihan pada mata kuliah AP Computer Science sampai hari ini. Pada awal 1990′s, interaktif TV adalah teknologi masa depan. Sun Microsystems memutuskan bahwa interaktif TV membutuhkan suatu hal yang khusus, yaitu bahasa portable (bahasa yang dapat berjalan pada banyak jenis mesin yang berbeda). Bahasa ini dikenal sebagai Java. Pada tahun 1994, team proyek Java mengubah fokus mereka ke web, yang mana berubah menjadi sesuatu yang menjanjikan setelah interactive TV gagal. Pada tahun berikutnya, Netscape menyetujui pemakaian Java pada internet browser mereka, Navigator. Sampai titik ini, Java menjadi bahasa masa depan dan beberapa perusahaan mengumumkan aplikasi harus ditulis dalam Java. Java mempunyai tujuan yang besar dan merupakan bahasa yang baik menurut buku text, pada kenyataanya “bahasa tersebut tidak”. Dia memiliki masalah yang serius dalam optimasi, dengan arti program yang ditulis dengannya berjalan dengan lambat. Dan Sun telah membuat cacat penerimaan terhadap Java dengan pertikaian politis dengan Microsoft. Tetapi Java telah dinyatakan sebagai bahasa untuk instruksi masa depan dan benar-benar menerapkan object-oriented dan teknik tingkat tinggi seperti kode yang portable dan garbage collection. Visual Basic sering diajari sebagai bahasa pemrograman dasar yang mengacu pada bahasa BASIC yang dikembangkan pada tahun 1964 oleh John Kemeny dan Thomas Kurtz. BASIC adalah bahasa yang sangat terbatas dan dirancang untuk orang yang bukan computer science. Perintah-perintah dijalankan secara berurutan, tetapi kendali program dapat berubah berdasarkan IF..THEN, dan GOSUB yang mana menjalankan suatu blok kode dan kembali ketitik semula didalam alur program. Microsoft telah mengembangkan BASIC ke dalam produk Visual Basic (VB). Jantung dari VB adalah form, atau suatu window kosos dimana anda dapat drag dan drop komponen seperti menu, gambarm dan slider bars. Item-item ini dikenal sebagai “widgets.” Widget memiliki properti (seperti warna) dan events (seperti klik dan double klik) dan menjadi pusat dari pengembangan antarmuka dengan pemakai diberbagai bahasa program dewasa ini. VB merupakan program yang banyak digunakan untuk membuat interface sederhana ke produk Microsoft lainnya seperti Excel dan Access tanpa membaca banyak kode, dengannya dapat dimungkinkan untuk dibuat aplikasi yang lengkap. Perl telah sering digambarkan sebagai “duct tape of the Internet,” karena sering digunakan sebagai engine untuk interface web atau pada script untuk memodifikasi file konfigurasi. Dia memiliki fungsi text matching yang sangat baik sehingga membuatnya menjadi hal yang ideal untuk pekerjaan tersebut. Perl dikembangkan oleh Larry Wall pada 1987 karena fasilitas pada sed dan awk pada Unix (digunakan untuk manipulasi text) tidak mencukupi kebutuhannya. Tergantung kepada siapa anda bertanya, Perl adalah singkatan dari Practical Extraction and Reporting Language atau Pathologically Eclectic Rubbish Lister. Bahasa pemrograman telah berkembangan dari masa kemasa dan tetap dikembangkan dimasa depan. Mereka dimulai dari suatu daftar langkap pengkabelan agar komputer menjalankan tugas tertentu. Langkah-langkah ini berkembang menjadi software dan memiliki kemampuan yang lebih baik. Bahasa umum yang pertama menekankan pada kesederhanaan dan untuk satu tujuan saja, sedangkan bahasa dewasa ini terbagi atas bagaimana mereka diprogram, sehingga mereka dapat digunakan untuk semua tujuan. Dan mungkin bahasa yang akan datang lebih natural dengan penemuan pada quantum dan komputer-komputer biologis. Sumber : Indoprog ‘Algoritma & Pemrograman’ oleh Hendra, S.T.

Bahasa Pemrogaman

Bahasa pemrograman, atau sering diistilahkan juga dengan bahasa komputer, adalah teknik komando/instruksi standar untuk memerintah komputer. Bahasa pemrograman ini merupakan suatu himpunan dari aturan sintaks dan semantik yang dipakai untuk mendefinisikan program komputer. Bahasa ini memungkinkan seorang programmer dapat menentukan secara persis data mana yang akan diolah oleh komputer, bagaimana data ini akan disimpan/diteruskan, dan jenis langkah apa secara persis yang akan diambil dalam berbagai situasi.

Menurut tingkat kedekatannya dengan mesin komputer, bahasa pemrograman terdiri dari:

  1. Bahasa Mesin, yaitu memberikan perintah kepada komputer dengan memakai kode bahasa biner, contohnya 01100101100110
  2. Bahasa Tingkat Rendah, atau dikenal dengan istilah bahasa rakitan (bah.Inggris Assembly), yaitu memberikan perintah kepada komputer dengan memakai kode-kode singkat (kode mnemonic), contohnya MOV, SUB, CMP, JMP, JGE, JL, LOOP, dsb.
  3. Bahasa Tingkat Menengah, yaitu bahasa komputer yang memakai campuran instruksi dalam kata-kata bahasa manusia (lihat contoh Bahasa Tingkat Tinggi di bawah) dan instruksi yang bersifat simbolik, contohnya {, }, ?, <<, >>, &&, ||, dsb.
  4. Bahasa Tingkat Tinggi, yaitu bahasa komputer yang memakai instruksi berasal dari unsur kata-kata bahasa manusia, contohnya begin, end, if, for, while, and, or, dsb.

Sebagian besar bahasa pemrograman digolongkan sebagai Bahasa Tingkat Tinggi, hanya bahasa C yang digolongkan sebagai Bahasa Tingkat Menengah dan Assembly yang merupakan Bahasa Tingkat Rendah.

Sabtu, 23 April 2011

'God spot' is found in brain


Science Correspondent

LA Times, Wednesday 29 October 1997

SCIENTISTS believe they have discovered a "God module" in the brain which could be responsible for man's evolutionary instinct to believe in religion.

A study of epileptics who are known to have profoundly spiritual experiences has located a circuit of nerves in the front of the brain which appears to become electrically active when they think about God.

The scientists said that although the research and its conclusions are preliminary, initial results suggest that the phenomenon of religious belief is "hard-wired" into the brain.

Epileptic patients who suffer from seizures of the brain's frontal lobe said they frequently experience intense mystical episodes and often become obsessed with religious spirituality.

A team of neuroscientists from the University of California at San Diego said the most intriguing explanation is that the seizure causes an overstimulation of the nerves in a part of the brain dubbed the "God module".

"There may be dedicated neural machinery in the temporal lobes concerned with religion. This may have evolved to impose order and stability on society," the team reported at a conference last week.

The results indicate that whether a person believes in a religion or even in God may depend on how enhanced is this part of the brain's electrical circuitry, the scientists said.

Dr Vilayanur Ramachandran, head of the research team, said the study involved comparing epileptic patients with normal people and a group who said they were intensely religious.

Electrical monitors on their skin ­ a standard test for activity in the brain's temporal lobes ­ showed that the epileptics and the deeply religious displayed a similar response when shown words invoking spiritual belief.

Evolutionary scientists have suggested that belief in God, which is a common trait found in human societies around the world and throughout history, may be built into the brain's complex electrical circuitry as a Darwinian adaptation to encourage co-operation between individuals.

If the research is correct and a "God module" exists, then it might suggest that individuals who are atheists could have a differently configured neural circuit.

A spokesman for Richard Harries, the Bishop of Oxford, said whether there is a "God module" is a question for scientists, not theologians. "It would not be surprising if God had created us with a physical facility for belief," he said.


The Seattle Times - Today's Top Stories

National News

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Copyright © 1997 The Seattle Times Company

Wednesday, Oct. 29, 1997

Brain region may be linked to religion

by Robert Lee Hotz

Los Angeles Times

NEW ORLEANS - No one knows why humanity felt its first religious stirrings, but researchers at University of California at San Diego reported yesterday that the human brain may be hard-wired to hear the voice of heaven, in what researchers said was the first effort to address the neural basis of religious expression.

In an experiment with patients suffering from an unusual form of epilepsy, researchers at the UC San Diego brain and perception laboratory found that the parts of the brain's temporal lobe - which the scientists quickly dubbed the "God module" - may affect how intensely a person responds to religious beliefs.

People suffering this type of seizure have long reported intense mystical and religious experiences as part of their attacks but also are unusually preoccupied with mystical thoughts between seizures. That led this team to use these patients as a way of investigating the relationship between the physical structure of the brain and spiritual experiences.

In a carefully designed experiment, the researchers found that one effect of the patients' seizures was to strengthen their brain's involuntary response to religious words, leading the scientists to suggest a portion of the brain was naturally attuned to ideas about a supreme being.

"It is not clear why such dedicated neural machinery . . . for religion may have evolved," the team reported yesterday at a meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in New Orleans. One possibility, the scientists said, was to encourage tribe loyalty or reinforce kinship ties or the stability of a closely knit clan.

The scientists emphasized that their findings in no way suggest that religion is simply a matter of brain chemistry. "These studies do not in any way negate the validity of religious experience or God," the team said. "They merely provide an explanation in terms of brain regions that may be involved."

Until recently, most neuroscientists confined their inquiries to research aimed at alleviating the medical problems that affect the brain's health, and to attempts to fathom its fundamental neural mechanisms. Emboldened by their growing understanding of how the brain works, however, scientists are now investigating the relationship between the brain, human consciousness and a range of intangible mental experiences.

Craig Kinsely, an expert in psychology and neuroscience at the University of Richmond in Virginia, called the new study "intriguing."

"People have been tickling around the edges of consciousness, and this sort of research plunges in," Kinsely said. "There is the quandary of whether the mind created God or God created the mind. This is going to shake people up, but (any conclusion) is very premature."

Vilayanur Ramachandran, the senior scientist involved in the experiment and the director of the center for brain and cognition at UC San Diego, said, "We are skating on thin ice. We are only starting to look at this.

"The exciting thing is that you can even begin to contemplate scientific experiments on the neural basis of religion and God."


A Review of "God and the Temporal Lobes of the Brain" A talk given by Dr. V.S. Ramachandran as part of the program Human Selves and Transcendental Experiences: A Dialogue of Science and Religion Presented at U.C. San Diego, January 31, 1998 Reviewed by Norman Hall February 16, 1998


A neurophysiologist born in India, Ramachandran feels that many of the findings of modern neurophysiology can be interpreted as helping to teach the ancient Hindu lesson of "maya," or illusion. That is, he says, what we learn is that while the world itself may be real enough, our own individual sense of being a "self" that is in some way aloof from that "creation" is an illusion. Several object lessons were presented to this effect.

What's happened to Mom?

A certain rare kind of brain damage can lead to a perceptual anomaly called "Capgras" syndrome (the spelling here is uncertain). The victims sound like refugees from the classic '50's science fiction thriller movie, "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." When confronted by a familiar face, they will express confusion, saying "strange, that person looks just like my Mom, but she's not; she's an impostor." The problem seems to be somewhere in the chain of connections between the various subsections of the brain that deal with recognition of a face. The pattern recognition itself happens in the temporal lobes, and the limbic system is where some specific significance to the act of recognition is attached. But the process is not complete until it has been passed off to the hypothalamus, where the emotional reaction to the recognition, if any, will be invoked.

In rare cases, damage will be specific enough to allow recognition, while blocking the normal emotional response, leading the victim to report a confused sense of unreality when viewing familiar faces. More objective evidence can be gathered by testing galvanic skin response, which confirms that the emotional response to viewing Mom, or Mom's picture, is much lower than normal, about the same as in viewing the face of a stranger.

Put the two people together on the telephone, however, and it is family reunion time, complete with the full emotional reaction, and a high galvanic skin response. Only when the mode of recognition is based in the interpretation of visual information is there a problem.

Amputating a Phantom Limb

Another line of evidence suggesting that "illusion" plays a role in the construction of the "self" comes from the case of phantom limb pain. People who have for some reason lost a limb may have the sensation that the limb is still there, sometimes taking up, in the patient's own perception, a cramped position and exhibiting chronic pain. Ramachandran has found some clinical success in treating such patients by asking them to "exercise" the phantom limb with the aid of an inexpensive "virtual reality" device, a mirror arranged so that the existing limb is seen as occupying the position of the phantom. By attempting to voluntarily move both limbs in symmetrical motions, with the visual reinforcement of watching the "phantom" in the mirror, patients can come eventually to perceive that the limb has moved to a more comfortable permanent position, or has disappeared entirely, with, more importantly, a reduction or elimination of the perceived pain.

The Pinocchio Effect

Ramachandran also described a couple of perceptual illusions that anyone can try with some friends. In one, the person who is to experience the illusion is seated with eyes closed or blindfolded in a chair directly behind another seated person. The "therapist" manipulates the subject's hand so that the subject's forefinger strokes and taps the nose of the person in front. At the same time, the "therapist" uses the forefinger of his other hand to stroke the subject's own nose using an identical pattern of touches and strokes. Before long, the subject will report a "Pinocchio" effect, imagining his own nose to be two feet long, or else his arm to be in two places at once.

Virtual Mayhem

In what sounds to be a really jolting demonstration, he also described having a seated subject place one hand below a sturdy table. Then, with one hand the "therapist" strokes and taps the back of the hand under the table, while with the other he again performs the same stimulations, this time to the hard tabletop, just above the subject's hand, while the subject watches. Soon the subject may report that he feels his hand to be rising through the table, or even becoming part of the table surface. The real test comes when the "therapist" quickly grabs a large hammer and pounds the spot on the table that he has been tapping and stroking. Even without seeing the experiment, it is easy to imagine the reaction that Ramachandran reports -- great consternation and shock followed quickly by relief on the part of the subject when he realizes that his hand is really safe under the table. (This one is somewhat reminiscent of a scene from the movie of Frank Herbert's Dune, where a young man's powers of self-control are tested by placing his hand in a box that is said to "contain pain".)

Through the Looking Glass

Stroke victims sometimes lose the ability to perceive, or even to notice the existence of half of their world. They will, for instance, only eat the food on the left half of their plate, only brush half of their hair, not be able to find a familiar object that is right in front of them, except that it is a little to one side, their "lost" side. To these patients, Ramachandran once again brings his mirror. It helped with one kind of problem, maybe once again?

So he places the mirror in front of the patient, a bit to the "good" side, and angled such that the object in question is now visible, in the mirror, on the "good" (say, right) side. The object is still in reality to the patient's left, but now she will be able to find it, describe it, and talk about it in a seemingly normal fashion. That is, until she is asked to reach out and touch the item. Then a hand goes out and hits the mirror. "Is there a problem?" "Yes, I can't get at it, because that mirror is in the way." The patient is reaching to the right, the "good" side, and still neglecting the left.

The troubling thing about this is that this is an intelligent person, familiar with the object, and also familiar with mirrors. Place the mirror face-on, and ask the patient to touch her own face, and the hand will go to the face as expected (the right side only, of course). No reaching out to the mirror, no complaints about a piece of glass in the way. But for objects in the area of neglect, even the known physics of a mirror can't bring that area back into the patient's world of reality. If the object exists, it must be somewhere in the "real" world to the right.

Ramachandran then poses a troubling question. What if a neurophysiologist, who had studied this syndrome for many years, and was very familiar with it were to have a stroke that produced the same brain damage. Would he be able to "understand" the problem enough to overcome it, in some way, through sheer force of intellect? Would he be able to, perhaps, use a mirror to investigate the "lost" world on the neglected side? Or would it still be, even to the neurophysiologist, an insuperable barrier?

And then the real hair-raising question: "How do I know I am not now such a neurophysiologist?"

"The God Module" -- "NOT?"

The final piece of the physiology of the self exhibited by Ramachandran was one that he had to preface with a disavowal of the headline given it by press reports. It cannot (he says) be called "The God Module." It is not the final reduction of God to mere neurophysiology; but he does admit that the finding provides strength to the suspicion that belief in god is "largely protoplasmic."

Certain kinds of epilepsy have long been noted to be associated with a heightened sense of religiosity. After having one of their brain electrical storms, patients may actually speak of having had a "religious experience," or say that they now "know why there is a cosmos." Other symptoms of some temporal lobe epileptics can be hypergraphia (writing large, complicated tomes, often of mystical or personally religious significance) and frequent conversions (to several different religions in sequence). A known feature of epilepsy is what is known as "kindling," the strengthening of neurophysiological connections, often involving the limbic system.

Ramachandran now reports three patients in which he claims that a kindling of connections (to the amygdala, I believe he said) is associated with a specific and selective heightening of response, as measured by galvanic skin response, to religious words and icons. He believes that this can be interpreted as a change in part of the brain leading to either a heightening of religious emotion, or alternatively, perhaps to an enhancement of other emotions or perceptions which lead, incidentally, to to a heightened religious belief (everything feels weird, so the individual "wants to believe in something" to provide an explanatory context for the weirdness).

Reviewers Conclusions and Commentary

Ramachandran is undoubtedly correct to caution against taking observations involving only three patients to be indicative of finding the physiology of the long-hypothesized "God-shaped hole in the human psyche." But those who are committed to the scientific enterprise, and believe in exhausting all possible material explanations for "transcendence" before considering any "other worldly" possibilities, will find no surprise in the suggestion that brain neurophysiology can alter perceptions, both of the physical world and of the "transcendent." On the other hand, those who place the importance of belief higher than that of physical understanding of a material world may be taken aback for a moment; (but only for a moment).

Ramachandran, putting a Hindu "spin" on the situation, concludes that none of this should really bother us. He sees this as just another in the chain of findings from cosmology to evolution that have served to disabuse humanity from the folly of taking themselves too seriously. All the "great discoveries," Freud concluded, were of this kind, in some way "debasing or humiliating humanity", removing them from yet another supposed position of privilege in the cosmos. For some reason, Freud said, we seem to like to do that to ourselves.

Finding that our perceptions of God are neuro-physiological may mean that God doesn't really exist. It may also mean that our left arm that was amputated in a streetcar accident, but still hurts, doesn't exist either. Maybe the left side of our dinner plate doesn't exist. Or maybe it does. The point is, we can't really know for sure.

The reason this shouldn't bother us is that we haven't really lost any privileges. We never had such a privileged position in the first place. The Earth has always gone around the sun, our bodies always have been an evolutionary derivation from something like an ancestral bonobo, and our ideas of God are and always have been an emotional reaction to life in an uncertain, but socially significant world. And our best bet for an honest understanding of the real world has always been through the cooperative social enterprise of science, rather than in the cosmic meanings suggested by the psychic (or psychotic) subjective experiences of some isolated individual human brains, and the credulous reactions to them encouraged by religious faith. As Bronowski said, "Science is a tribute to what we can know although we are fallible."

None of that stops Ramachandran from seeing it all as the eternal dance of Shiva, the creator and the destroyer. If you never were really a "self," separated from the unfolding drama of the universe, then there is nothing really to mourn when death pulls us back into that drama which continues to unfold.

But there is nothing here, either, to prevent the Christian, contra Ramachandran, to conclude that all of this neurophysiology is just a material reflection of God's true plan for our lives and the mode of interaction of our immaterial souls with the mere matter of this material existence. If you really want to believe in a spiritual reality, no amount of demonstrations of material-world, neurophysiological, genetic, or cosmological facts, however probable and compelling, will ever swamp such a belief.

That's the trouble with most dialogue between science and religion -- it turns out to be monologue rather than dialogue, in the course of which the findings of science are swallowed whole by theology, while the ethical core of science goes begging.


'God spot' is found in brain

by Steve Connor

Science Correspondent

LA Times, Wednesday 29 October 1997

SCIENTISTS believe they have discovered a "God module" in the brain which could be responsible for man's evolutionary instinct to believe in religion.

A study of epileptics who are known to have profoundly spiritual experiences has located a circuit of nerves in the front of the brain which appears to become electrically active when they think about God.

The scientists said that although the research and its conclusions are preliminary, initial results suggest that the phenomenon of religious belief is "hard-wired" into the brain.

Epileptic patients who suffer from seizures of the brain's frontal lobe said they frequently experience intense mystical episodes and often become obsessed with religious spirituality.

A team of neuroscientists from the University of California at San Diego said the most intriguing explanation is that the seizure causes an overstimulation of the nerves in a part of the brain dubbed the "God module".

"There may be dedicated neural machinery in the temporal lobes concerned with religion. This may have evolved to impose order and stability on society," the team reported at a conference last week.

The results indicate that whether a person believes in a religion or even in God may depend on how enhanced is this part of the brain's electrical circuitry, the scientists said.

Dr Vilayanur Ramachandran, head of the research team, said the study involved comparing epileptic patients with normal people and a group who said they were intensely religious.

Electrical monitors on their skin ­ a standard test for activity in the brain's temporal lobes ­ showed that the epileptics and the deeply religious displayed a similar response when shown words invoking spiritual belief.

Evolutionary scientists have suggested that belief in God, which is a common trait found in human societies around the world and throughout history, may be built into the brain's complex electrical circuitry as a Darwinian adaptation to encourage co-operation between individuals.

If the research is correct and a "God module" exists, then it might suggest that individuals who are atheists could have a differently configured neural circuit.

A spokesman for Richard Harries, the Bishop of Oxford, said whether there is a "God module" is a question for scientists, not theologians. "It would not be surprising if God had created us with a physical facility for belief," he said.


The Seattle Times - Today's Top Stories

National News

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Copyright © 1997 The Seattle Times Company

Wednesday, Oct. 29, 1997

Brain region may be linked to religion

by Robert Lee Hotz

Los Angeles Times

NEW ORLEANS - No one knows why humanity felt its first religious stirrings, but researchers at University of California at San Diego reported yesterday that the human brain may be hard-wired to hear the voice of heaven, in what researchers said was the first effort to address the neural basis of religious expression.

In an experiment with patients suffering from an unusual form of epilepsy, researchers at the UC San Diego brain and perception laboratory found that the parts of the brain's temporal lobe - which the scientists quickly dubbed the "God module" - may affect how intensely a person responds to religious beliefs.

People suffering this type of seizure have long reported intense mystical and religious experiences as part of their attacks but also are unusually preoccupied with mystical thoughts between seizures. That led this team to use these patients as a way of investigating the relationship between the physical structure of the brain and spiritual experiences.

In a carefully designed experiment, the researchers found that one effect of the patients' seizures was to strengthen their brain's involuntary response to religious words, leading the scientists to suggest a portion of the brain was naturally attuned to ideas about a supreme being.

"It is not clear why such dedicated neural machinery . . . for religion may have evolved," the team reported yesterday at a meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in New Orleans. One possibility, the scientists said, was to encourage tribe loyalty or reinforce kinship ties or the stability of a closely knit clan.

The scientists emphasized that their findings in no way suggest that religion is simply a matter of brain chemistry. "These studies do not in any way negate the validity of religious experience or God," the team said. "They merely provide an explanation in terms of brain regions that may be involved."

Until recently, most neuroscientists confined their inquiries to research aimed at alleviating the medical problems that affect the brain's health, and to attempts to fathom its fundamental neural mechanisms. Emboldened by their growing understanding of how the brain works, however, scientists are now investigating the relationship between the brain, human consciousness and a range of intangible mental experiences.

Craig Kinsely, an expert in psychology and neuroscience at the University of Richmond in Virginia, called the new study "intriguing."

"People have been tickling around the edges of consciousness, and this sort of research plunges in," Kinsely said. "There is the quandary of whether the mind created God or God created the mind. This is going to shake people up, but (any conclusion) is very premature."

Vilayanur Ramachandran, the senior scientist involved in the experiment and the director of the center for brain and cognition at UC San Diego, said, "We are skating on thin ice. We are only starting to look at this.

"The exciting thing is that you can even begin to contemplate scientific experiments on the neural basis of religion and God."


A Review of "God and the Temporal Lobes of the Brain" A talk given by Dr. V.S. Ramachandran as part of the program Human Selves and Transcendental Experiences: A Dialogue of Science and Religion Presented at U.C. San Diego, January 31, 1998 Reviewed by Norman Hall February 16, 1998


A neurophysiologist born in India, Ramachandran feels that many of the findings of modern neurophysiology can be interpreted as helping to teach the ancient Hindu lesson of "maya," or illusion. That is, he says, what we learn is that while the world itself may be real enough, our own individual sense of being a "self" that is in some way aloof from that "creation" is an illusion. Several object lessons were presented to this effect.

What's happened to Mom?

A certain rare kind of brain damage can lead to a perceptual anomaly called "Capgras" syndrome (the spelling here is uncertain). The victims sound like refugees from the classic '50's science fiction thriller movie, "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." When confronted by a familiar face, they will express confusion, saying "strange, that person looks just like my Mom, but she's not; she's an impostor." The problem seems to be somewhere in the chain of connections between the various subsections of the brain that deal with recognition of a face. The pattern recognition itself happens in the temporal lobes, and the limbic system is where some specific significance to the act of recognition is attached. But the process is not complete until it has been passed off to the hypothalamus, where the emotional reaction to the recognition, if any, will be invoked.

In rare cases, damage will be specific enough to allow recognition, while blocking the normal emotional response, leading the victim to report a confused sense of unreality when viewing familiar faces. More objective evidence can be gathered by testing galvanic skin response, which confirms that the emotional response to viewing Mom, or Mom's picture, is much lower than normal, about the same as in viewing the face of a stranger.

Put the two people together on the telephone, however, and it is family reunion time, complete with the full emotional reaction, and a high galvanic skin response. Only when the mode of recognition is based in the interpretation of visual information is there a problem.

Amputating a Phantom Limb

Another line of evidence suggesting that "illusion" plays a role in the construction of the "self" comes from the case of phantom limb pain. People who have for some reason lost a limb may have the sensation that the limb is still there, sometimes taking up, in the patient's own perception, a cramped position and exhibiting chronic pain. Ramachandran has found some clinical success in treating such patients by asking them to "exercise" the phantom limb with the aid of an inexpensive "virtual reality" device, a mirror arranged so that the existing limb is seen as occupying the position of the phantom. By attempting to voluntarily move both limbs in symmetrical motions, with the visual reinforcement of watching the "phantom" in the mirror, patients can come eventually to perceive that the limb has moved to a more comfortable permanent position, or has disappeared entirely, with, more importantly, a reduction or elimination of the perceived pain.

The Pinocchio Effect

Ramachandran also described a couple of perceptual illusions that anyone can try with some friends. In one, the person who is to experience the illusion is seated with eyes closed or blindfolded in a chair directly behind another seated person. The "therapist" manipulates the subject's hand so that the subject's forefinger strokes and taps the nose of the person in front. At the same time, the "therapist" uses the forefinger of his other hand to stroke the subject's own nose using an identical pattern of touches and strokes. Before long, the subject will report a "Pinocchio" effect, imagining his own nose to be two feet long, or else his arm to be in two places at once.

Virtual Mayhem

In what sounds to be a really jolting demonstration, he also described having a seated subject place one hand below a sturdy table. Then, with one hand the "therapist" strokes and taps the back of the hand under the table, while with the other he again performs the same stimulations, this time to the hard tabletop, just above the subject's hand, while the subject watches. Soon the subject may report that he feels his hand to be rising through the table, or even becoming part of the table surface. The real test comes when the "therapist" quickly grabs a large hammer and pounds the spot on the table that he has been tapping and stroking. Even without seeing the experiment, it is easy to imagine the reaction that Ramachandran reports -- great consternation and shock followed quickly by relief on the part of the subject when he realizes that his hand is really safe under the table. (This one is somewhat reminiscent of a scene from the movie of Frank Herbert's Dune, where a young man's powers of self-control are tested by placing his hand in a box that is said to "contain pain".)

Through the Looking Glass

Stroke victims sometimes lose the ability to perceive, or even to notice the existence of half of their world. They will, for instance, only eat the food on the left half of their plate, only brush half of their hair, not be able to find a familiar object that is right in front of them, except that it is a little to one side, their "lost" side. To these patients, Ramachandran once again brings his mirror. It helped with one kind of problem, maybe once again?

So he places the mirror in front of the patient, a bit to the "good" side, and angled such that the object in question is now visible, in the mirror, on the "good" (say, right) side. The object is still in reality to the patient's left, but now she will be able to find it, describe it, and talk about it in a seemingly normal fashion. That is, until she is asked to reach out and touch the item. Then a hand goes out and hits the mirror. "Is there a problem?" "Yes, I can't get at it, because that mirror is in the way." The patient is reaching to the right, the "good" side, and still neglecting the left.

The troubling thing about this is that this is an intelligent person, familiar with the object, and also familiar with mirrors. Place the mirror face-on, and ask the patient to touch her own face, and the hand will go to the face as expected (the right side only, of course). No reaching out to the mirror, no complaints about a piece of glass in the way. But for objects in the area of neglect, even the known physics of a mirror can't bring that area back into the patient's world of reality. If the object exists, it must be somewhere in the "real" world to the right.

Ramachandran then poses a troubling question. What if a neurophysiologist, who had studied this syndrome for many years, and was very familiar with it were to have a stroke that produced the same brain damage. Would he be able to "understand" the problem enough to overcome it, in some way, through sheer force of intellect? Would he be able to, perhaps, use a mirror to investigate the "lost" world on the neglected side? Or would it still be, even to the neurophysiologist, an insuperable barrier?

And then the real hair-raising question: "How do I know I am not now such a neurophysiologist?"

"The God Module" -- "NOT?"

The final piece of the physiology of the self exhibited by Ramachandran was one that he had to preface with a disavowal of the headline given it by press reports. It cannot (he says) be called "The God Module." It is not the final reduction of God to mere neurophysiology; but he does admit that the finding provides strength to the suspicion that belief in god is "largely protoplasmic."

Certain kinds of epilepsy have long been noted to be associated with a heightened sense of religiosity. After having one of their brain electrical storms, patients may actually speak of having had a "religious experience," or say that they now "know why there is a cosmos." Other symptoms of some temporal lobe epileptics can be hypergraphia (writing large, complicated tomes, often of mystical or personally religious significance) and frequent conversions (to several different religions in sequence). A known feature of epilepsy is what is known as "kindling," the strengthening of neurophysiological connections, often involving the limbic system.

Ramachandran now reports three patients in which he claims that a kindling of connections (to the amygdala, I believe he said) is associated with a specific and selective heightening of response, as measured by galvanic skin response, to religious words and icons. He believes that this can be interpreted as a change in part of the brain leading to either a heightening of religious emotion, or alternatively, perhaps to an enhancement of other emotions or perceptions which lead, incidentally, to to a heightened religious belief (everything feels weird, so the individual "wants to believe in something" to provide an explanatory context for the weirdness).

Reviewers Conclusions and Commentary

Ramachandran is undoubtedly correct to caution against taking observations involving only three patients to be indicative of finding the physiology of the long-hypothesized "God-shaped hole in the human psyche." But those who are committed to the scientific enterprise, and believe in exhausting all possible material explanations for "transcendence" before considering any "other worldly" possibilities, will find no surprise in the suggestion that brain neurophysiology can alter perceptions, both of the physical world and of the "transcendent." On the other hand, those who place the importance of belief higher than that of physical understanding of a material world may be taken aback for a moment; (but only for a moment).

Ramachandran, putting a Hindu "spin" on the situation, concludes that none of this should really bother us. He sees this as just another in the chain of findings from cosmology to evolution that have served to disabuse humanity from the folly of taking themselves too seriously. All the "great discoveries," Freud concluded, were of this kind, in some way "debasing or humiliating humanity", removing them from yet another supposed position of privilege in the cosmos. For some reason, Freud said, we seem to like to do that to ourselves.

Finding that our perceptions of God are neuro-physiological may mean that God doesn't really exist. It may also mean that our left arm that was amputated in a streetcar accident, but still hurts, doesn't exist either. Maybe the left side of our dinner plate doesn't exist. Or maybe it does. The point is, we can't really know for sure.

The reason this shouldn't bother us is that we haven't really lost any privileges. We never had such a privileged position in the first place. The Earth has always gone around the sun, our bodies always have been an evolutionary derivation from something like an ancestral bonobo, and our ideas of God are and always have been an emotional reaction to life in an uncertain, but socially significant world. And our best bet for an honest understanding of the real world has always been through the cooperative social enterprise of science, rather than in the cosmic meanings suggested by the psychic (or psychotic) subjective experiences of some isolated individual human brains, and the credulous reactions to them encouraged by religious faith. As Bronowski said, "Science is a tribute to what we can know although we are fallible."

None of that stops Ramachandran from seeing it all as the eternal dance of Shiva, the creator and the destroyer. If you never were really a "self," separated from the unfolding drama of the universe, then there is nothing really to mourn when death pulls us back into that drama which continues to unfold.

But there is nothing here, either, to prevent the Christian, contra Ramachandran, to conclude that all of this neurophysiology is just a material reflection of God's true plan for our lives and the mode of interaction of our immaterial souls with the mere matter of this material existence. If you really want to believe in a spiritual reality, no amount of demonstrations of material-world, neurophysiological, genetic, or cosmological facts, however probable and compelling, will ever swamp such a belief.

That's the trouble with most dialogue between science and religion -- it turns out to be monologue rather than dialogue, in the course of which the findings of science are swallowed whole by theology, while the ethical core of science goes begging.


http://cas.bellarmine.edu/tietjen/images/new_page_2.htm

Minggu, 02 September 2007

God Spot Sebagai Fitrah Manusia


Kecerdasan spiritual yang merupakan temuan terkini secara alamiah, pertama kali digagas oleh Danah Zohar dan Ian Marshall, masing – masing dari Harvad University dan Oxford University melalui riset yang sangat komprehensif. Pembuktian ilmiah tentang kecerdasan spiritual yang dipaparkan zohar dan marshall dalam SQ, Spiritual Quantient, The Ultimate Intellegience (London, 2000), dua diantaranya adalah: pertama, riset psikologi syaraf, Michael Persinger pada awal tahun 1990an, dan lebih muktahir lagi tahun 1997 oleh ahli syaraf V.S Ramachandran dan timnya dari California University, yang menemukan eksistensi God Spot dalam otak manusia. Ini sudah built-in sebagai pusat spiritual yang terletak diantara jaringan syaraf dan otak.

Sedangkan bukti kedua adalah riset ahli syaraf Austria , Wolft Singer pada era 1990-an atas The Binding Problem, yang menunjukan ada proses syaraf dalam otak manusia yang terkonsentrasi pada usaha yang mempersatukan dan memberi makna dalam pengalaman hidup kita. Suatu jaringan syaraf yang secara literal “mengikat” pengalaman kita secara bersama untuk “hidup lebih bermakna”


Akan tetapi Spiritual Intellegent dari barat tersebut belum atau bahkan tidak menjangkau ketuhanan. Pembahasannya baru sebatas tataran biologi atau psikology semata, tidak bersifat transsendental. Akibatnya kita masih merasakan adanya “kebuntuan”.

Kebenaran sejati, sebenarnya terletak pada suara hati yang bersumber dari Spiritual Center (God Spot) ini, yang tidak bisa tertipu oleh siapapun, atau oleh apapun, termasuk diri kita sendiri. Mata hati ini dapat mengungkap kebenaran hakiki yang tidak tampak dihadapann mata. Bahkan kata ahli sufi islam, Jalaludin Rumi, “mata hati punya kemanpuan 70 kali lebih besar untuk melihat kebenaran daripada dua indera penglihatan” (Matthawi, vol 4)

God Spot di dalam ilmu psikologi humanistis terletak pada dimensi spiritual, alam tak sadar. Dan pada Mental Building terletak pada dimensi psikis, alam prasadar. Dan pada Dimensi Fisik atau somatis, alam sadar. Dimensi Psikis (EQ) atau Dimensi fisik (somatis) semua berada pada titik sentral yang disebut titik tuhan (God Spot), seperti gerakan galaksi bima sakti (milky way), gerakan atom (bohr), atau gerakan jamaah haji mengelilingin ka’bah, semus melakukan tawaf sujud kepada Allah. Konsep ini Ary Ginandjar, trainner ESQ namakan God Sentris.

Kemanpuan untuk mengendalikan pikiran ketika suatu permasalahan terjadi atas diri kita, akan menentukan tindakan apa yang akan diambil, jalan yang fitrah atau non fitrah. Jalan non fitrah cenderung menyesatkan dan merugikan. Sedangkan jalan fitrah membimbing ke arah tindakan yang positif. Jalah fitrah adalah suatu tindakan yang dibimbing oleh suara hati. Suara hati ini berasal dari God Spot. Ini sesuai dengan pendapat Jalaludin Rumi, Danar Zohar, Ian Marshal, V.S. Ramadhan. Atau hasil riset syaraf Austria , Woltf Singer. Mereka itu pakar di bidang Spiritual Intellegent. Sedeharnanya adalah firman Allah pada Surat Asy Syam ayat 8 – 10:
“(Allah) mengilhamin (sukma) kejahatan dan kebaikan. Sungguh, bahagialah aiapa yang mensucikannya. Dan rugilah siapa yang mencemarkannya.”

Menurut Al Qur’an , sebelum bumi dan manusia diciptakan, ruh manusia telah mengadakan perjanjian dengan Allah, Allah bertanya kepada manusia;”... bukankah aku Tuhanmu” lalu ruh manusia menjawab “ya, aku bersaksi...!”. bukti adanya perjanjian ini menurut Muhammad Abduh ialah adanya fitrah iman di dalam jiwa manusia. Dan ,enurut Prof. Dr.N. Dryarkara. Ialah adanya suara hati manusia. Suara hati itu adalah suara Tuhan yang terekam di dalam jiwa manusia. Allah menjelaskannya pada surat Al A’raaf ayat 172:
“Dan ingatlah ketika Tuhanmu mengeluarkan dari bani adam keturunannya dari sulbinya, dan menyuruh mereka bersaksi terhadap dirinya mereka sendiri (atas pertanyaan) “bukankah Aku Tuhanmu?” mereka menjawab “ya, kami bersaksi.”

Karena itu bila manusia hendak berbuat tidak baik, pasti akan dilarang oleh suara hati nuraninya. Sebab Tuhan tidak mau kalau perbuatan yang tidak baik itu makan suara hatinya akan bernasehat. Dan kalau sudah selesai pasti akan menyesal. Mac Scheler mengatakan adalah “tanda kembali” kepada tuhan. Sedeharnya firman Allah pada surat Ar Ruum ayat 30:
“maka hadapkanlah wajahmu dengan mantap kepada agama, menurut fitrah Allah yang telah menciptakan fitrah itu kepada manusia. Tidak dapat diubah (hukum – hukum) ciptaan Allah. Itulah agama yang benar, tetapi kebanyakan manusia tiada mengetahuinya”

namun ada kalanya suara hati itu tertutup, buta. Manusia sering mengabaikan pengakuan ini, yang justru mengakibatkan dirinya terjerumus ke dalam kejahatan, kecurangan, kekerasan, kerusakan, kehancuran dan lain hal yang pada akhirnya mengakibatkan kegagalan, atau tidak efektif serta tidak maksimal suatu usaha. Kita harus mengetahui faktor – faktor yang sering menutupi fitrah (God Spot), yang tanpa disadari menbuat manusia menjadi buta. Ini mengakibatkan dirinya memiliki kecerdasan hati yang rendah, serta tidak memiliki radar hati sebagai pembimbing. Suara hati sebagai pemberi informasi penting. Belenggu – belenggu tersebut sebagai berikut:
1. Prasangka.
2. Prinsip –prinsip hidup.
3. Pengalaman.
4. Kepentingan dan prioritas.
5. Sudut padat.
6. Pembanding
7. Literatur.

“kamu pasti akan diuji mengenai hartamu dan pribadimu. Dan kamu pasti akan mendengar dari orang yang diberi alkitab sebelum kamu, dan dari orang yang menpersekutukan (Allah), banyak hal yang menyakitkan hatimu. Tetapi bila kamu sabar dan bertakwa, sungguh, itulah yang menentukan dalam segala urusan.”
(QS: Ali ‘Imran: 186)

http://nizmaanakku.blogspot.com/2007/09/god-spot-sebagai-fitrah-manusia.html

God Spot (Titik Tuhan)

"Sesungguhnya orang - orang yang beriman itu adalah mereka yang apabila disebut Allah gemetarlah hati mereka, dan apabila dibacakan kepada mereka ayat - ayat-Nya, bertambahlah iman mereka (karenanya) dan kepada Tuhanlah mereka bertawakal."(Al Anfaal: 2)

"Allah telah menurunkan perkataan yang paling baik (yaitu) Al Qur'an yang serupa (mutu ayat ayatnya) lagi berulang ulang, gemetarlah karenanya kulit orang-orang yang takut kepada Tuhannya, kemudian menjadi tenang kulit dan hati mereka di waktu mengingat Allah. Itulah petunjuk Allah, dengan kitab itu Dia menunjuki siapa yang dikehendaki-Nya. Dan barang siapa yang disesatkan Allah niscaya tak ada baginya seorang pemimpinpun."(Az Zumar:23)
Dilihat dari ayat itu ternyata yang namanya God spot itu tidak hanya dari otak saja tapi dari seluruh tubuh, otak itu hanya perangsang saja mulai dari otak menyebar ke seluruh tubuh sampai bergetar kulit kulit arinya. Hubungannya, setiap manusia mempunyai DNA yang dimana DNA manusia tersebut bergetar bergerak dan apabila kita dengarkan dengan alat yang sensitif sekali maka akan terdengar bunyi dan bunyinya itu seperti zikir, seperti apabila kita berdzikir suaranya akan cenderung monoton dan ternyata seluruh anggota tubuh kita itu berdzikir dan mereka itu betul - betul mengikuti perintah Allah, contoh yang sederhana adalah jantung, apakah kita itu dapat mengendalikan jantung mungkin dengan teknik tertentu bisa tapi kalau kata orang normal kalau di hentikan bisa mati karena tidak ada suplai oksigen ke otak. Kemudian pergerakan selnya itu bergerak seperti tali dan apabila kita dengarkan mereka itu berdzikir dengan cara mereka sendiri ada yang bilang seperti musik klasik ada yang bilang seperti rock. Saya pernah punya pasien yang apabila tubuhnya capai akan berbunyi seperti musik klasik dan ternyata kulit tubuh akan merekam dan ternyata god spot itu tidak hanya satu titik di otak tubuh tapi di seluruh tubuh orang bilang god spot itu hanya di otak karena otak itu berfungsi hanya 2,5 persen jika yang aktif 100 persen maka orang itu tidak akan seperti sekarang.
Allah menciptakan manusia itu sempurna apabila sel otak manusia itu aktif bayangkan ketika Nabi Adam As diberi ilmu pengetahuan oleh Allah sehingga malaikat itu "minder" (Q.S. Al Baqarah 30-33) dan apabila kapasitas sel otak manusia aktif semua bukan mustahil, tidak ada rahasia alam yang rahasia lagi, semua bakal terkuak dan rahasia petunjuk Al Qur'an pun akan terkuak. Bagaimana caranya kita mengaktifkan sel otak itu dan mungkin kita bahas nanti alatnya, mengaktifkan sel otak manusia secara alami.
Kecenderungan sifat manusia adalah mencari kesenangan padahal manusia di ciptakan untuk ibadah (Q.S. Adz Dzariyat 56) dan kadang - kadang manusia lupa, sehingga cenderung berpendapat jika ibadah itu mesti senang padahal yang namanya kemajuan itu didapatkan dengan susah tidak pernah didapat dengan kesenangan, padahal namanya kemajuan harus melewati gemblengan, latihan sulit dan kesusahan. Manusia cenderung sering memanjakan tubuhnya sehingga membuat sel otak menjadi aktif semakin sulit. Ada dengan cara latihan ini dan itu tapi akhirnya mereka jenuh...dan tidak berkembang.
Wajilat kulubuhum yang artinya merinding, pada jaringan kulit pun ada yang merinding, disurat Az Zumar 23 yang dimaksud dengan kulit - kulit yang takut dengan Tuhannya, orang orang yang tidak takut dengan Tuhannya mungkin tidak peduli dibaca ayat Al Qur'an tidak peduli. Dan di setiap tubuh ada god spot, walaupun di orang atheis kecenderungan manusia untuk mencari yang lebih superior mencari pegangan mencari mahluk yang lebih kuat dari dirinya mencari kekuatan yang lebih dari dirinya mencari yang menciptakan dirinya dan hal ini yang menyebabkan adanya animisme dan dinamisme bahwa itu membuktikan mereka mencari Tuhan. Dan yang namanya mencari Allah itu itu sebetulnya setiap otak itu sudah memprogramkan, ada kerinduan kepada sang khalik dan pada dasarnya setiap menusia itu mencari perlindungan apapun itu yang melindungi dan membuat mereka selamat apapun agamanya.
Dan Allah itu lebih dekat dibanding dengan urat leher (Q.S. Qaf 16), tapi jangan diartikan bahwa dirinya tuhan, seperti syech siti jenar dan karena Allah telah berfirman begitu, jadi otomatis manusia selalu mencari tuhan itu, karena bingung maka mereka menjadikan matahari sebagai Tuhan (dewa Ra) benda benda mati sebagai Tuhan. Al Qur'an juga menceritakan Nabi Ibrahim as ketika proses mencari Tuhan (Q.S. Al Anam 75-79) ketika melihat bulan dianggap inilah Tuhan ternyata hilang ketika matahari inilah Tuhan dan ternyata tenggelam fitrah manusia untuk mencari Tuhan tapi mereka tidak sadar karena kepentingan kepentingan mereka sampai untuk Tuhanpun penilaian kitapun untung rugi, Tuhan menguntungkan tetapi ketika diberi cobaan ah ternyata tuhan itu merugikan, setelah kita mengenal konsep Tuhan jadi menganggap tuhan itu sesuatu menguntungkan padahal Tuhan memberikan cobaan itu sebagai ujian tetapi kita tidak menganggap itu sebagai cobaan tetapi sebagai azab, nah inilah yang bahaya, setan masuk disini. Dan oleh sebab itu pada awal ayat di awali dengan wahai orang orang yang beriman, awalnya harus didahului dengan iman dan iman pun bukan hanya percaya/yakin saja tetapi juga secara mendalam sampai dasar dasarnya sampai seluruh tubuhpun mengakui keberadaan Tuhan.
Kembali lagi ke surat Az Zumar 23 kulit orang orang yang takut pada Tuhannya, kulit itu terdiri dari apa saja berarti kita harus memikirkan secara mendalam, kalau kita lihat kulit ari ari kita, kita akan tahu dalamnya bahwa kulit ari itu terdiri dari partikel partikel yang saling bergerak yang bersujud Allah kalau kita bisa sampai saja teknologi kitapun bisa makin canggih. Proses penuaan terjadi karena ada kerusakan pada sel mitokondria, kalau sel mitokondria rusak dan adanya radikal bebas dan itu bisa dicegah dengan membuat antioksidan sehingga teknologi makin canggih dan umur manusia itu bisa panjang dan awet muda makanya, orang jaman dahulu umur panjang kulitnya awet muda karena proses mutasi pada sel kulit berjalan lambat karena didukung oleh atmosfer tetapi karena sekarang atmosfer semakin tipis sehingga mutasi semakin cepat. Dan kalau kulit orang sampai bergetar mendengar ayat ayat Allah itu jelas bagi orang orang yang beriman mendengarkan ayat ayat Allah menggetarkan titik Tuhan yang ada di otaknya karena titik otak itu bergetar karena ada kesatuan antara otak dan seluruh tubuh maka seluruh tubuh pun bergetar berarti dapat ditarik kesimpulan kalau seluruh tubuh itu god spot. God spot Allah itu ada di tubuh manusia ditiupkan ruh-Ku (QS Shad 72) berarti ruh itu unsur Allah.
God spot (titik tuhan) di dalam Al Quran
AnTV Mutiara Subuh
Pembicara : Dicky Zainal Arifin
Pembawa Acara : Nana Supriyatna

http://www.unbor.com/godspot.htm

This Is Your Brain on God

Michael Persinger has a vision - the Almighty isn't dead, he's an energy field. And your mind is an electromagnetic map to your soul.

By Jack Hitt

Over a scratchy speaker, a researcher announces, "Jack, one of your electrodes is loose, we're coming in." The 500-pound steel door of the experimental chamber opens with a heavy whoosh; two technicians wearing white lab coats march in. They remove the Ping-Pong-ball halves taped over my eyes and carefully lift a yellow motorcycle helmet that's been retrofitted with electromagnetic field-emitting solenoids on the sides, aimed directly at my temples. Above the left hemisphere of my 42-year-old male brain, they locate the dangling electrode, needed to measure and track my brain waves. The researchers slather more conducting cream into the graying wisps of my red hair and press the securing tape hard into my scalp.

After restoring everything to its proper working position, the techies exit, and I'm left sitting inside the utterly silent, utterly black vault. A few commands are typed into a computer outside the chamber, and selected electromagnetic fields begin gently thrumming my brain's temporal lobes. The fields are no more intense than what you'd get as by-product from an ordinary blow-dryer, but what's coming is anything but ordinary. My lobes are about to be bathed with precise wavelength patterns that are supposed to affect my mind in a stunning way, artificially inducing the sensation that I am seeing God.

I'm taking part in a vanguard experiment on the physical sources of spiritual consciousness, the current work-in-progress of Michael Persinger, a neuropsychologist at Canada's Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario. His theory is that the sensation described as "having a religious experience" is merely a side effect of our bicameral brain's feverish activities. Simplified considerably, the idea goes like so: When the right hemisphere of the brain, the seat of emotion, is stimulated in the cerebral region presumed to control notions of self, and then the left hemisphere, the seat of language, is called upon to make sense of this nonexistent entity, the mind generates a "sensed presence."

Persinger has tickled the temporal lobes of more than 900 people before me and has concluded, among other things, that different subjects label this ghostly perception with the names that their cultures have trained them to use - Elijah, Jesus, the Virgin Mary, Mohammed, the Sky Spirit. Some subjects have emerged with Freudian interpretations - describing the presence as one's grandfather, for instance - while others, agnostics with more than a passing faith in UFOs, tell something that sounds more like a standard alien-abduction story.

It may seem sacrilegious and presumptuous to reduce God to a few ornery synapses, but modern neuroscience isn't shy about defining our most sacred notions - love, joy, altruism, pity - as nothing more than static from our impressively large cerebrums. Persinger goes one step further. His work practically constitutes a Grand Unified Theory of the Otherworldly: He believes cerebral fritzing is responsible for almost anything one might describe as paranormal - aliens, heavenly apparitions, past-life sensations, near-death experiences, awareness of the soul, you name it.

To those of us who prefer a little mystery in our lives, it all sounds like a letdown. And as I settle in for my mind trip, I'm starting to get apprehensive. I'm a lapsed Episcopalian clinging to only a hazy sense of the divine, but I don't especially like the idea that whatever vestigial faith I have in the Almighty's existence might get clinically lobotomized by Persinger's demo. Do I really want God to be rendered as explicable and predictable as an endorphin rush after a 3-mile run?

The journey from my home in Connecticut to the mining district north of Lake Huron is, by modern standards, arduous. Given what's in store, it's also strangely fitting. When you think of people seeking divine visions, you imagine them trekking to some mountainous cloister. The pilgrimage to Persinger's lab is the clinical counterpart.

The trip involves flying in increasingly smaller puddle-jumpers with increasingly fewer propellers until you land in the ore-rich Ontario town of Sudbury, a place that's been battered by commerce, geography, and climate. Jags of red rock and black iron erupt from the landscape, often bolting right out of the pavement. The weather-beaten concrete exteriors of the city's buildings speak of long, harsh winters.

A short car ride through stony suburbs ends at a forlorn cluster of a dozen buildings: Laurentian University. Near Parking Lot 4, I am met by Charles Cook, a grad student of Persinger's. He leads me into the science building's basement, then to the windowless confines of Room C002B, Persinger's lair.

Waiting there is Linda St-Pierre, another graduate student, who prompts me to sit down, then launches into a series of psychological questions. I answer a range of true-or-false statements from an old version of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, a test designed to ferret out any nuttiness that might disqualify me from serving as a study subject. When read individually, the questions seem harmless, but as a group they sound hopelessly antiquated, as if the folks who devised the exam hadn't checked the warehouse for anachronisms in five decades:

I like to read mechanics magazines.
Someone is trying to poison me.
I have successful bowel movements.
I know who is trying to get me.
As a child, I enjoyed playing drop-the-handkerchief.

I'm escorted into the chamber, an old sound-experiment booth. The tiny room doesn't appear to have been redecorated since it was built in the early '70s. The frayed spaghettis of a brown-and-white shag carpet, along with huge, wall-mounted speakers covered in glittery black nylon, surround a spent brown recliner upholstered in the prickly polymers of that time. The chair, frankly, is repellent. Hundreds of subjects have settled into its itchy embrace, and its brown contours are spotted with dollops of electrode-conducting cream, dried like toothpaste, giving the seat the look of a favored seagulls' haunt.


Jack Hitt is the author of Off the Road: A Modern-Day Walk Down the Pilgrim's Route Into Spain.

Page 2 >>

This Is Your Brain on God (continued)

In the name of science, I sit down.

Persinger's research forays are at the very frontier of the roiling field of neuroscience, the biochemical approach to the study of the brain. Much of what we hear about the discipline is anatomical stuff, involving the mapping of the brain's many folds and networks, performed by reading PET scans, observing blood flows, or deducing connections from stroke and accident victims who've suffered serious brain damage. But cognitive neuroscience is also a grab bag of more theoretical pursuits that can range from general consciousness studies to finding the neural basis for all kinds of sensations.

As the work piles up, many things that we hold to be unique aspects of the "self" are reduced to mere tics of cranial function. Take laughter. According to Vilayanur Ramachandran, professor of neuroscience at UC San Diego, laughter is just the brain's way of signaling that a fearful circumstance is not really so worrisome. At a conference earlier this year, he posited that the classic banana-peel pratfall is funny only when the victim gets up, and that we laugh to alert "other members of [our] kin that, 'Look, there has been a false alarm here; don't waste your resources rushing to help.'" He calls laughter "nature's OK signal."

Of course, this type of deromanticizing has been going on for a while - Persinger's brain manipulations have crude antecedents in the 1950s, the roaring decade for behaviorism. Back then, Yale physiologist Jose Delgado earned national renown by implanting electrodes into the brains of live animals and attaching them to a "stimoceiver" under the skull. In a technique called ESB - electronic stimulation of the brain - Delgado sent radio signals through the electrodes to control the animal. In one demonstration in the early 1960s, he used his electronic gizmo to halt a charging bull.

Delgado's relatively coarse stunts were a long way from Persinger's quest for the God spot, but Persinger is not the first to theorize that the Creator exists only in the complex landscape of the human noggin. In his controversial 1976 book, The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, Julian Jaynes, a Princeton psychologist, argued that the brain activity of ancient people - those living roughly 3,500 years ago, prior to early evidence of consciousness such as logic, reason, and ethics - would have resembled that of modern schizophrenics. Jaynes maintained that, like schizophrenics, the ancients heard voices, summoned up visions, and lacked the sense of metaphor and individual identity that characterizes a more advanced mind. He said that some of these ancestral synaptic leftovers are buried deep in the modern brain, which would explain many of our present-day sensations of God or spirituality.

Among practicing neuroscientists, there is no overarching consensus on whether such notions are correct. Persinger is certainly out on a frontier where theory meets the boldest sort of speculation, but there's nothing inherently bizarre about his methods or the questions he's asking. William Calvin, a professor of behavioral sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle, says that Persinger's line of inquiry is no more mysterious than another pursuit that intrigues neuroscientists: trying to understand the sensations of déjà vu or its opposite, jamais vu - the feeling, during a familiar routine, that we're doing it for the first time. Maybe these feelings, like God, are just more fritzing in the electricity arcing about our brains.

Persinger arrives soon after St-Pierre has judged me sane enough to enter Room C002B.

"I see that Mr. Cook has been as punctual as usual," he says, extending a hand in greeting. Persinger, 54, blends a crisp, scientific demeanor with a mischievous smile, but overall he's a very serious man. His erect posture is enhanced by a dark, pin-striped, three-piece suit with a gold chain swag at the bottom of the vest. His sentences are clipped and stripped of any vernacular - so painstakingly scientific that they can be coy. For example, he tells me that he is actually an American who "moved to Canada in July of 1969, because I had a rather major ethical disagreement with my government." It takes me a follow-up or two before I realize he had dodged the draft.

As the researchers fit my helmet, I ask: Has anyone ever freaked out in the chair? Persinger smiles slightly and describes when a subject suffered an "adverse experience" and succumbed to an "interpretation that the room was hexed." When I ask if, say, the subject ripped all this equipment from his flesh and ran screaming from the dungeon, Persinger curtly replies: "Yes, his heart rate did go up and he did want to leave and of course he could because that is part of the protocol."

One more time: Has anyone freaked out in the chair? "His EKG was showing that he moved very, very quickly and dramatically," Persinger offers, "and that he was struggling to take off the electrodes."

Technically speaking, what's about to happen is simple. Using his fixed wavelength patterns of electromagnetic fields, Persinger aims to inspire a feeling of a sensed presence - he claims he can also zap you with euphoria, anxiety, fear, even sexual stirring. Each of these electromagnetic patterns is represented by columns of numbers - thousands of them, ranging from 0 to 255 - that denote the increments of output for the computer generating the EM bursts.

Some of the bursts - which Persinger more precisely calls "a series of complex repetitive patterns whose frequency is modified variably over time" - have generated their intended effects with great regularity, the way aspirin causes pain relief. Persinger has started naming them and is creating a sort of EM pharmacological dictionary. The pattern that stimulates a sensed presence is called the Thomas Pulse, named for Persinger's colleague Alex Thomas, who developed it. There's another one called Burst X, which reproduces what Persinger describes as a sensation of "relaxation and pleasantness."

A new one, the Linda Genetic Pulse, is named for my psychometrist, Linda St-Pierre. Persinger says St-Pierre is conducting a massive study on rats to determine the ways in which lengthy exposures to particular electromagnetic pulses can "affect gene expression."

<< Page 1 Page 3 >>

After spending a little time with Persinger, you get accustomed to the fact that his most polite phrases demand pursuit. Affect gene expression? It sounds so simple, but what he's really talking about is stringing together a number of different electromagnetic fields to prompt a complicated chemical reaction on the genetic level - for example, directing the body's natural self-healing instincts.

"We want to enhance what the brain does to help heal the body," Persinger explains. "Among more sensitive individuals, tests show that their skin will turn red if they believe a hot nickel has been placed on their hand. That's a powerful psychosomatic effect of the brain on the body. Suppose we could make it more precise?"

Persinger envisions a series of EM patterns that work the way drugs do. Just as you take an antibiotic and it has a predictable result, you might be exposed to precise EM patterns that would signal the brain to carry out comparable effects.

Another possible application: Hollywood. Persinger has talked to Douglas Trumbull, the special-effects wizard responsible for the look of everything from 2001: A Space Odyssey to Brainstorm. They discussed the technological possibility of marrying Persinger's helmet with virtual reality. "If you've done virtual reality," Persinger says, "then you know that once you put on the helmet, you always know you are inside the helmet. The idea is to create a form of entertainment that is more real." But he adds, sounding like so many people who've gotten a call from the coast, "we haven't cut a deal yet."

I am being withdrawn from my body and set adrift in an infinite existential emptiness.

Soon enough, it's time for the good professor to wish me well and lob this last caveat: "If, for whatever reason, you become frightened or want to end the experiment, just speak into your lapel microphone."

When the door closes and I feel nothing but the weight of the helmet on my head and the Ping-Pong balls on my eyes, I start giving serious thought to what it might be like to "see" God, artificially produced or not. Nietzsche's last sane moment occurred when he saw a carter beating a horse. He beat the carter, hugged the horse while sobbing uncontrollably, and was then carried away. I can imagine that. I see myself having a powerful vision of Jesus, and coming out of the booth wet with tears of humility, wailing for mercy from my personal savior.

Instead, after I adjust to the darkness and the cosmic susurrus of absolute silence, I drift almost at once into a warm bath of oblivion. Something is definitely happening. During the 35-minute experiment, I feel a distinct sense of being withdrawn from the envelope of my body and set adrift in an infinite existential emptiness, a deep sensation of waking slumber. The machines outside the chamber report an uninterrupted alertness on my part. (If the researchers see the easily recognized EEG pattern of sleep, they wake you over the speakers.) Occasionally, I surface to an alpha state where I sort of know where I am, but not quite. This feeling is cool - like being reinserted into my body. Then there's a separation again, of body and soul, and - almost by my will - I happily allow myself to drift back to the surprisingly bearable lightness of oblivion.

In this floating state, several ancient childhood memories are jarred loose. Suddenly, I am sitting with Scott Allen on the rug in his Colonial Street house in Charleston, South Carolina, circa 1965, singing along to "Moon River" and clearly hearing, for the first time since then, Scott's infectiously frenzied laughter. I reexperience the time I spent the night with Doug Appleby and the discomfort I felt at being in a house that was so punctiliously clean. (Doug's dad was a doctor.) I also remember seeing Joanna Jacobs' small and perfect breasts, unholstered beneath the linen gauze of her hippie blouse, circa 1971.

Joanna was my girlfriend when I was 14. When I was sent off to boarding school, she and I recorded cassette tapes to one another. As a teenager, Joanna was a spiritual woman and talked a lot about transcendental meditation. Off at boarding school, I signed up and got my mantra from the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, right around the time Joanna dropped me to move on to a tougher crowd.

If I had to pin down when I felt this dreamy state before - of being in the presence of something divine - it would be back then, in the euphoric, romantic hope that animated my adolescent efforts at meditation. That soothing feeling of near-sleep has always been associ-ated with what I imagined should have happened between Joanna Jacobs and me. Like the boy in James Joyce's The Dead, Joanna was a perfect memory - all the potential of womanly love distilled into the calming mantra-guided drone of fecund rest.

I'm not sure what it says about me that the neural sensation designed to prompt visions of God set loose my ancient feelings about girls. But then, I'm not the first person to conflate God with late-night thoughts of getting laid - read more about it in Saint Augustine, Saint John of the Cross, or Deepak Chopra.

So: Something took place. Still, when the helmet comes off and they shove a questionnaire in my hand, I feel like a failure. One question: Did the red bulb on the wall grow larger or smaller? There was a red bulb on the wall? I hadn't noticed. Many other questions suggest that there were other experiences I should have had, but to be honest, I didn't.

In fact, as transcendental experiences go, on a scale of 1 to 10, Persinger's helmet falls somewhere around, oh, 4. Even though I did have a fairly convincing out-of-body experience, I'm disappointed relative to the great expectations and anxieties I had going in.

It may be that all the preliminary talk about visions just set my rational left hemisphere into highly skeptical overdrive. Setting me up like that - you will experience the presence of God - might have been a mistake. When I bring this up later with Persinger, he tells me that the machine's effects differ among people, depending on their "lability" - Persinger jargon meaning sensitivity or vulnerability.

"Also, you were in a comfortable laboratory," he points out. "You knew nothing could happen to you. What if the same intense experience occurred at 3 in the morning in a bedroom all by yourself? Or you suddenly stalled on an abandoned road at night when you saw a peculiar light and then had that experience? What label would you have placed on it then?"

Point taken. I'd probably be calling Art Bell once a week, alerting the world to the alien invasion.

But then, Persinger continued, being labile is itself a fluctuating condition. There are interior factors that can exacerbate it - stress, fear, injury - and exterior sources that might provoke odd but brief disturbances in the usually stable electromagnetic fields around us. Persinger theorizes, for example, that just prior to earthquakes there are deformations in the natural EM field caused by the intense pressure change in the tectonic plates below. He has published a paper called "The Tectonic Strain Theory as an Explanation for UFO Phenomena," in which he maintains that around the time of an earthquake, changes in the EM field could spark mysterious lights in the sky. A labile observer, in Persinger's view, could easily mistake the luminous display for an alien visit.

As we sit in his office, Persinger argues that other environmental disturbances - ranging from solar flares and meteor showers to oil drilling - probably correlate with visionary claims, including mass religious conversions, ghost lights, and haunted houses. He says that if a region routinely experiences mild earthquakes or other causes of change in the electromagnetic fields, this may explain why the spot becomes known as sacred ground. That would include the Hopi tribe's hallowed lands, Delphi, Mount Fuji, the Black Hills, Lourdes, and the peaks of the Andes, not to mention most of California.

From time to time, a sensed presence can also occur among crowds, Persinger says, thereby giving the divine vision the true legitimacy of a common experience, and making it practically undeniable.

"One classic example was the apparition of Mary over the Coptic Church in Zeitoun, Egypt, in the 1960s," he continues. "This phenomenon lasted off and on for several years. It was seen by thousands of people, and the appearance seemed to precede the disturbances that occurred during the building of the Aswan High Dam. I have multiple examples of reservoirs being built or lakes being filled, and reports of luminous displays and UFO flaps. But Zeitoun was impressive."

Persinger says there were balls of light that moved around the cross atop the church. "They were influenced by the cross, of course. It looked like a circle with a triangle on the bottom. If you had an imagination, it looked like a person. Upside down, by the way, it was the classical UFO pattern. It's curious that this happened during a marked increase in hostilities between Egyptians and Israelis, and both interpreted the phenomenon as proof that they would be successful. It's just so classical of human beings. Take an anomalous event, and one group will interpret it one way, and another group another."

Might it surprise anyone to learn, in view of Persinger's theories, that when Joseph Smith was visited by the angel Moroni before founding Mormonism, and when Charles Taze Russell started the Jehovah's Witnesses, powerful Leonid meteor showers were occurring?

Taken together, Persinger's ideas and published studies go awfully far - he's claiming to identify the primum mobile underlying all the supernatural stories we've developed over the last few thousand years. You might think Christians would be upset that this professor in Sudbury is trying to do with physics what Nietzsche did with metaphysics - kill off God. Or you might think that devout ufologists would denounce him for putting neuroscience on the side of the skeptics.

"Actually, it's more a mind-set that gets disturbed than a particular belief," offers Persinger. "Some Christians say, 'Well, God invented the brain, so of course this is how it would happen.' UFO types say, 'This is good. Now we can tell the fake UFO sightings from the real ones.'"

Oh, I have no doubt. I mean, who among all the churchgoers and alien fiends will let some distant egghead with a souped-up motorcycle helmet spoil their fun? It goes without saying that the human capacity to rationalize around Persinger's theory is far greater than all the replicated studies science could produce. The real tradition Persinger falls into is that of trying to explain away mystical experience. Jaynes thought visitations from God were mere aural detritus from the Stone Age. And just recently, another study suggested that sleep paralysis might account for visions of God and alien abduction.

Who knows? Perhaps mystical visions are in fact nothing more than a bit of squelchy feedback in the temporal lobes. But that's such a preposterously small part of what most people think of when they think of God, it seems insanely grandiose to suggest that anyone has explained away "God." It's almost ironic. Every so often during one of America's little creation-science tempests, some humorless rationalist like Stephen Jay Gould steps forward to say that theology is an inadequate foundation for the study of science. Noted. And vice versa.

But Persinger's ideas are harder to shake off than that. When I return to America, I am greeted by the news that massive intersections of power lines do not, in fact, cause cancer. For years scientists had advanced the power line-cancer connection, based on the results of Robert Liburdy's benchmark 1992 study. But a tip to the federal Office of Research Integrity initiated an investigation of Liburdy's work; it found that his data had been falsified.

Persinger's experiments and resulting theories suggest some new ideas about our waning 20th century, which began with Thomas Edison convincing the world to cocoon itself inside electrically wired shelters, throbbing with pulses of electromagnetic fields. Granted, those fields are quite weak, arguably too tiny to affect our physical bodies in ways Liburdy had suggested. But what about Persinger's notion that such fields may be tinkering with our consciousness?

Is it a coincidence that this century - known as the age of anxiety, a time rife with various hysterias, the era that gave birth to existentialism - is also when we stepped inside an electromagnetic bubble and decided to live there? We have never quite comprehended that we walk about in a sea of mild electromagnetism just as we do air. It is part of our atmosphere, part of the containing bath our consciousness swims in. Now we are altering it, heightening it, condensing it. The bubble is being increasingly shored up with newer, more complicated fields: computers, pagers, cell phones. Every day, entrepreneurs invent more novel ways to seduce us into staying inside this web. The Internet is well named.

Naturally, many people would presume that such a change must be a malignant force when directed at the delicate gossamer of consciousness. Yet evolution is a tricky business. Accidental changes often turn out to be lifesaving preparations for some other condition that could never have been predicted.

A few might see a world of possibility in Persinger's theories. His booth has helped us discover and confirm our true predicament. "Seeing God" is really just a soothing euphemism for the fleeting awareness of ourselves alone in the universe: a look in that existential mirror. The "sensed presence" - now easily generated by a machine pumping our brains with electromagnetic spirituality - is nothing but our exquisite and singular self, at one with the true solitude of our condition, deeply anxious. We're itching to get out of here, to escape this tired old environment with its frayed carpets, blasted furniture, and shabby old God. Time to move on and discover true divinity all over again.

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/7.11/persinger.html?pg=5&topic=&topic_set=

Nov 1999

God and the Brain

Is Belief a Psychological Condition?
A collection of grest articles on the subject.

http://atheistempire.com/graphics/more/brain.gif

(1) PAGE2> Main

Synopsis: Findings seem to point to a region of the brain commonly referred to as the 'God Spot' or 'God Module', that when stimulated creates hallucinations that are interpreted as mystical or spiritual experiences. This 'spot' is stimulated during meditation and prayer and is affected by electromagnetic fields and epilepsy. The resulting hallucinations may be the cause of mystical, spiritual and paranormal experiences as they can give feelings such as a presence in the room or an out of body experience. In the case of epileptics, this may be the reason for many of them becoming obsessed with religion. For those who experience the stimulation it is explained related to their own personal beliefs; a visit from an angel or lost loved one, an extraterrestrial encounter, a higher plane of consciousness or a visit from God.

http://atheistempire.com/graphics/bar.jpg

The God Spot

by D. Trull
Enigma Editor
dtrull@parascope.com

Scientists, philosophers and atheists have long argued that God and spirituality are constructs of the human mind, although that opinion generally hasn't been a popular one. After centuries of bloody holy wars and fierce theological dispute, the controversy of the Creator's existence has taken a strange new turn: humanity may finally have uncovered tangible evidence that the phenomenon of religious faith is all in our heads.

Literally.

A group of neuroscientists at the University of California at San Diego has identified a region of the human brain that appears to be linked to thoughts of spiritual matters and prayer. Their findings tentatively suggest that we as a species are genetically programmed to believe in God.

The researchers came upon these cerebral revelations in the course of studying the brain patterns of certain people with epilepsy. Epileptics who suffer a particular type of seizure are often intensely religious, and are known to report an unusual number of spiritually-oriented visions and obsessions. Measurements of electrical activity in the brains of test subjects indicated a specific neural center in the temporal lobe that flared up at times when the subjects thought about God. This same area was also a common focal point overloaded with electrical discharges during their epileptic seizures.

Could this heretofore unidentified part of the brain -- nicknamed the "God module" -- actually be some sort of physiological seat of religious belief? The scientists who discovered it believe it might be. They have performed a further study comparing epileptic subjects with different groups of non-epileptics -- a random group of average people, as well as individuals who characterized themselves as extremely religious. The electrical brain activity of the subjects was recorded while they were shown a series of words, and the God module zones of the epileptics and the religious group exhibited similar responses to words involving God and faith. No word yet on whether the brains of atheists and agnostics might flatline the monitors, but the parallel results among the strong believers are considered impressive.

"There may be dedicated neural machinery in the temporal lobes concerned with religion," the research team announced at a conference for the Society for Neuroscience. "This may have evolved to impose order and stability on society."

Anthropologists and Darwinian theorists have frequently speculated that religion may have developed as a self-policing mechanism as cooperation with others became useful. With their intelligence and skills at making weapons, there was little to stop early humans from slaughtering each other like wild maniacs, until they began to fear unseen beings even bigger and badder than themselves. This sort of adaptation has always been considered a purely psychological function, but now we have the first evidence that the religious instinct may be physically hard-wired right into our noggins.

Which brings us to the most intriguing conundrum posed by the discovery of the God Spot. It's a double-edged sword shoved right through the heart of the science vs. religion debate, bearing either good news or bad news for the faithful masses depending on how you answer the chicken-or-the-egg question: does it mean that God created our brains, or that our brains created God?

"These studies do not in any way negate the validity of religious experience or God," the God module's discoverers took care to note, plainly anticipating a reception of fire and brimstone from certain quarters. "They merely provide an explanation in terms of brain regions that may be involved."

No matter how inconclusive or sketchy they label their findings as being, these scientists will inevitably be denounced as heathenistic blasphemers doing the work of Satan. Yet at the very same time, other equally devout worshipers will praise this discovery as a beautiful and wondrous epiphany that spells out God's great plan.

So what'll it be? A sacred temple in the temporal lobes, or an incidental conflagration of the synapses? The Kingdom of Heaven confined to the insides of our skulls, or "I think of God, therefore He is"? Touched in the head by an angel, or brainwashed into belief by biology?

Believe what you want, but either way, I think those who draw any serious mechanistic or teleological conclusions from this research ought to have their heads examined, as well.

Sources: The Times (London); The Los Angeles Times

http://atheistempire.com/graphics/bar.jpg

'God spot' is found in brain

by Steve Connor

Science Correspondent

LA Times, Wednesday 29 October 1997

SCIENTISTS believe they have discovered a "God module" in the brain which could be responsible for man's evolutionary instinct to believe in religion.

A study of epileptics who are known to have profoundly spiritual experiences has located a circuit of nerves in the front of the brain which appears to become electrically active when they think about God.

The scientists said that although the research and its conclusions are preliminary, initial results suggest that the phenomenon of religious belief is "hard-wired" into the brain.

Epileptic patients who suffer from seizures of the brain's frontal lobe said they frequently experience intense mystical episodes and often become obsessed with religious spirituality.

A team of neuroscientists from the University of California at San Diego said the most intriguing explanation is that the seizure causes an overstimulation of the nerves in a part of the brain dubbed the "God module".

"There may be dedicated neural machinery in the temporal lobes concerned with religion. This may have evolved to impose order and stability on society," the team reported at a conference last week.

The results indicate that whether a person believes in a religion or even in God may depend on how enhanced is this part of the brain's electrical circuitry, the scientists said.

Dr Vilayanur Ramachandran, head of the research team, said the study involved comparing epileptic patients with normal people and a group who said they were intensely religious.

Electrical monitors on their skin ­ a standard test for activity in the brain's temporal lobes ­ showed that the epileptics and the deeply religious displayed a similar response when shown words invoking spiritual belief.

Evolutionary scientists have suggested that belief in God, which is a common trait found in human societies around the world and throughout history, may be built into the brain's complex electrical circuitry as a Darwinian adaptation to encourage co-operation between individuals.

If the research is correct and a "God module" exists, then it might suggest that individuals who are atheists could have a differently configured neural circuit.

A spokesman for Richard Harries, the Bishop of Oxford, said whether there is a "God module" is a question for scientists, not theologians. "It would not be surprising if God had created us with a physical facility for belief," he said.

source

http://atheistempire.com/graphics/bar.jpg

Brain region may be linked to religion

Copyright © 1997 The Seattle Times Company

Wednesday, Oct. 29, 1997

by Robert Lee Hotz

Los Angeles Times

NEW ORLEANS - No one knows why humanity felt its first religious stirrings, but researchers at University of California at San Diego reported yesterday that the human brain may be hard-wired to hear the voice of heaven, in what researchers said was the first effort to address the neural basis of religious expression.

In an experiment with patients suffering from an unusual form of epilepsy, researchers at the UC San Diego brain and perception laboratory found that the parts of the brain's temporal lobe - which the scientists quickly dubbed the "God module" - may affect how intensely a person responds to religious beliefs.

People suffering this type of seizure have long reported intense mystical and religious experiences as part of their attacks but also are unusually preoccupied with mystical thoughts between seizures. That led this team to use these patients as a way of investigating the relationship between the physical structure of the brain and spiritual experiences.

In a carefully designed experiment, the researchers found that one effect of the patients' seizures was to strengthen their brain's involuntary response to religious words, leading the scientists to suggest a portion of the brain was naturally attuned to ideas about a supreme being.

"It is not clear why such dedicated neural machinery . . . for religion may have evolved," the team reported yesterday at a meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in New Orleans. One possibility, the scientists said, was to encourage tribe loyalty or reinforce kinship ties or the stability of a closely knit clan.

The scientists emphasized that their findings in no way suggest that religion is simply a matter of brain chemistry. "These studies do not in any way negate the validity of religious experience or God," the team said. "They merely provide an explanation in terms of brain regions that may be involved."

Until recently, most neuroscientists confined their inquiries to research aimed at alleviating the medical problems that affect the brain's health, and to attempts to fathom its fundamental neural mechanisms. Emboldened by their growing understanding of how the brain works, however, scientists are now investigating the relationship between the brain, human consciousness and a range of intangible mental experiences.

Craig Kinsely, an expert in psychology and neuroscience at the University of Richmond in Virginia, called the new study "intriguing."

"People have been tickling around the edges of consciousness, and this sort of research plunges in," Kinsely said. "There is the quandary of whether the mind created God or God created the mind. This is going to shake people up, but (any conclusion) is very premature."

Vilayanur Ramachandran, the senior scientist involved in the experiment and the director of the center for brain and cognition at UC San Diego, said, "We are skating on thin ice. We are only starting to look at this.

"The exciting thing is that you can even begin to contemplate scientific experiments on the neural basis of religion and God."

source

http://atheistempire.com/graphics/bar.jpg

This Is Your Brain on God


Wired Magazine
Issue 7.11 - Nov 1999

Michael Persinger has a vision - the Almighty isn't dead, he's an energy field. And your mind is an electromagnetic map to your soul.

By Jack Hitt

Over a scratchy speaker, a researcher announces, "Jack, one of your electrodes is loose, we're coming in." The 500-pound steel door of the experimental chamber opens with a heavy whoosh; two technicians wearing white lab coats march in. They remove the Ping-Pong-ball halves taped over my eyes and carefully lift a yellow motorcycle helmet that's been retrofitted with electromagnetic field-emitting solenoids on the sides, aimed directly at my temples. Above the left hemisphere of my 42-year-old male brain, they locate the dangling electrode, needed to measure and track my brain waves. The researchers slather more conducting cream into the graying wisps of my red hair and press the securing tape hard into my scalp.

After restoring everything to its proper working position, the techies exit, and I'm left sitting inside the utterly silent, utterly black vault. A few commands are typed into a computer outside the chamber, and selected electromagnetic fields begin gently thrumming my brain's temporal lobes. The fields are no more intense than what you'd get as by-product from an ordinary blow-dryer, but what's coming is anything but ordinary. My lobes are about to be bathed with precise wavelength patterns that are supposed to affect my mind in a stunning way, artificially inducing the sensation that I am seeing God.

I'm taking part in a vanguard experiment on the physical sources of spiritual consciousness, the current work-in-progress of Michael Persinger, a neuropsychologist at Canada's Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario. His theory is that the sensation described as "having a religious experience" is merely a side effect of our bicameral brain's feverish activities. Simplified considerably, the idea goes like so: When the right hemisphere of the brain, the seat of emotion, is stimulated in the cerebral region presumed to control notions of self, and then the left hemisphere, the seat of language, is called upon to make sense of this nonexistent entity, the mind generates a "sensed presence."

Persinger has tickled the temporal lobes of more than 900 people before me and has concluded, among other things, that different subjects label this ghostly perception with the names that their cultures have trained them to use - Elijah, Jesus, the Virgin Mary, Mohammed, the Sky Spirit. Some subjects have emerged with Freudian interpretations - describing the presence as one's grandfather, for instance - while others, agnostics with more than a passing faith in UFOs, tell something that sounds more like a standard alien-abduction story.

It may seem sacrilegious and presumptuous to reduce God to a few ornery synapses, but modern neuroscience isn't shy about defining our most sacred notions - love, joy, altruism, pity - as nothing more than static from our impressively large cerebrums. Persinger goes one step further. His work practically constitutes a Grand Unified Theory of the Otherworldly: He believes cerebral fritzing is responsible for almost anything one might describe as paranormal - aliens, heavenly apparitions, past-life sensations, near-death experiences, awareness of the soul, you name it.


To those of us who prefer a little mystery in our lives, it all sounds like a letdown. And as I settle in for my mind trip, I'm starting to get apprehensive. I'm a lapsed Episcopalian clinging to only a hazy sense of the divine, but I don't especially like the idea that whatever vestigial faith I have in the Almighty's existence might get clinically lobotomized by Persinger's demo. Do I really want God to be rendered as explicable and predictable as an endorphin rush after a 3-mile run?


The journey from my home in Connecticut to the mining district north of Lake Huron is, by modern standards, arduous. Given what's in store, it's also strangely fitting. When you think of people seeking divine visions, you imagine them trekking to some mountainous cloister. The pilgrimage to Persinger's lab is the clinical counterpart.

The trip involves flying in increasingly smaller puddle-jumpers with increasingly fewer propellers until you land in the ore-rich Ontario town of Sudbury, a place that's been battered by commerce, geography, and climate. Jags of red rock and black iron erupt from the landscape, often bolting right out of the pavement. The weather-beaten concrete exteriors of the city's buildings speak of long, harsh winters.

A short car ride through stony suburbs ends at a forlorn cluster of a dozen buildings: Laurentian University. Near Parking Lot 4, I am met by Charles Cook, a grad student of Persinger's. He leads me into the science building's basement, then to the windowless confines of Room C002B, Persinger's lair.

Waiting there is Linda St-Pierre, another graduate student, who prompts me to sit down, then launches into a series of psychological questions. I answer a range of true-or-false statements from an old version of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, a test designed to ferret out any nuttiness that might disqualify me from serving as a study subject. When read individually, the questions seem harmless, but as a group they sound hopelessly antiquated, as if the folks who devised the exam hadn't checked the warehouse for anachronisms in five decades:


I like to read mechanics magazines.
Someone is trying to poison me.
I have successful bowel movements.
I know who is trying to get me.
As a child, I enjoyed playing drop-the-handkerchief.

I'm escorted into the chamber, an old sound-experiment booth. The tiny room doesn't appear to have been redecorated since it was built in the early '70s. The frayed spaghettis of a brown-and-white shag carpet, along with huge, wall-mounted speakers covered in glittery black nylon, surround a spent brown recliner upholstered in the prickly polymers of that time. The chair, frankly, is repellent. Hundreds of subjects have settled into its itchy embrace, and its brown contours are spotted with dollops of electrode-conducting cream, dried like toothpaste, giving the seat the look of a favored seagulls' haunt. NEXT> (page 1 of 5)

http://atheistempire.com/graphics/bar.jpg

Is God a State of Mind?

By Laurie Barclay

Reviewed By Dr. Jacqueline Brooks
WebMD Medical News Archive

April 11, 2001 -- Read the daily paper or watch the local TV news and a seemingly endless parade of chaotic, violent events unfolds: school shootings, terrorism, murder, child abuse. Many people make sense of these seemingly senseless events through a belief in a Supreme Being and faith that their God won't desert them in a time of need. This faith may be well placed, according to a Philadelphia-based radiologist -- well placed in the brain, that is.

In Why God Won't Go Away, released April 1 by Ballantine Books, co-author Andrew B. Newberg, MD, explains his theory that the human brain is hard-wired for religion. Just as the mind has the capacity for analytical thought, abstract mathematical reasoning, and invention of highly sophisticated technology, it also has the capacity -- and the built-in design -- to experience God.

Scientific study of how the brain works can't tell us if there is a God, he tells WebMD, but it can tell us about how human beings understand God.

"Our work -- neurotheology -- has a reverence for both science and religion," he says."

In a study to be published this month in Psychiatry Research and Neuroimaging, Newberg and a team of fellow researchers describe their study of the brain activity of eight Tibetan Buddhists in the throes of a peak meditative experience.

"We used meditation as a model ... for prayer and other types of intense religious experience," says Newberg, assistant professor of radiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia.

Using a special X-ray procedure called SPECT, the scientists were able to see increased activity in the brain during meditation. Brain areas important in focused concentration were especially active.

Even more astounding was altered activity in a brain region that normally orients us and tells us where our bodies are in space. The different pattern of brain activity in this particular brain region may explain why meditators feel transported out of the physical world and into a spiritual realm that seems no less real.

"As the boundaries between self and physical surroundings go away, the meditator feels at one with something larger, whether a religious community, the world as a whole, or ultimately, God," Newberg says.

The brain activity patterns in the meditating Buddhists were similar to those in the praying Franciscan nuns, another religious group studied by Newberg. Hymns, chants, ritual dancing, and sacred rites may also intensify focus, block out external stimuli, and provide a pathway to mystical experience, even in nonbelievers.

"Too much meditation can over-drive brain areas and drop us into another universe for a while," says Laurence O. McKinney, director of the American Institute for Mindfulness in Arlington, Mass.

Analyzing the brain states of spiritual practices started in the 1960s when researchers from the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kan., first went to India to record the brain waves of yogis, McKinney says. He claims his group first coined the term 'neurotheology' in the 1980s, and then published the book Neurotheology in 1994.

"Explanations change every time we get a new [way to measure brain function], but eternal truths and eternal questions still remain," McKinney tells WebMD.

One of these new measurement techniques, called functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), has partially confirmed Newberg's findings.

In a study published last year in NeuroReport, investigators at the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Mind/Body Medical Institute in Boston used MRI to examine the brains of five experienced meditators and found increased activity in the regions involved in concentration and excitability.

"Additional brain regions involved in memory were also ... activated during meditation," Jeffery A. Dusek, PhD, associate director for clinical research at the Mind/Body Medical Institute, tells WebMD. Future plans for Dusek's team are to re-evaluate these findings in a three-year study funded by the Atlanta-based CDC.

Still, some experts advise against reading too much into Newberg's findings.

"Anything we do or feel, from a simple activity like moving a finger to the deepest passion like love or rage, has its own characteristic pattern of brain activity," says Pietro Pietrini, MD, PhD, who has used SPECT scanning to study brain activity in different emotional states -- for example, in healthy subjects imagining acts of aggression.

"This is a fascinating field that needs to be entered with extreme caution and a rigorous scientific approach," says Pietrini, a professor of clinical biochemistry and psychiatry at the University of Pisa in Italy.

"There is a complex interrelationship between mind, body, and spirit," Michael E. McCullough, PhD, tells WebMD. "Those behaviors and experiences designed to put people in touch with the transcendent may give them a survival advantage."

In an analysis of 42 different clinical studies, McCullough found that religious involvement was associated with lower death rate, even after accounting for obvious health advantages such as less alcohol and tobacco use and more social support.

Could active religious faith prevent illness or forestall death? "It's too soon to tell," says McCullough, associate professor of psychology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

"Understanding how the brain works can go a long way toward understanding the impact of religion, both physically and spiritually," says Newberg. With religious experiences such as meditation or prayer, heart rate and blood pressure decrease and changes in hormone levels may improve the function of the immune system, he explains.

Brain activity studies show that meditation is not just a passive experience but that increased excitability at peak meditation seems to confirm the "active bliss" reported by Newberg's study subjects.

"They feel profoundly calm, yet highly alert and intensely aware," Newberg says. "Spiritual experiences are more real to them than everyday reality like walking down the street. And they're not frightening, disorganized, or disorienting like drug-induced states or hallucinations seen in mental illness."

"We're looking at philosophy and religion in a more scientific way," says Pietrini, says. "Science has no way to prove or disprove a Creator, but finding unique patterns of brain activity corresponding to religious experiences is entirely compatible with religious beliefs."

Though skeptics may argue that God lives only in the mind of the faithful, Newberg suggests that the opposite conclusion is equally valid: "If there is a God, it makes perfect sense that He would create a way for us to communicate with Him."

"If truth were told, nearly all the nonbelievers would love a reason to believe," McKinney says. "Newberg believes he's done a good job providing some reasons, and for those who follow his path, I wish them well."

Source

http://atheistempire.com/graphics/bar.jpg

Religion: is it all in your head?


Psychology Today
Vilayanur Ramashandran's research on the temporal lobe's neural circuitry and its link to epilepsy patients' obsession with religion

Author/s: Jamie Talan
Issue: March-April, 1998

While looking into how the brain regulates behavior, Vilayanur Ramashandran, M.D., thinks he may have found God. The neurologist believes that somewhere in the brain's temporal lobes there may be neural circuitry for religious experience; he points to the fact that about 25 percent of patients with temporal lobe epilepsy are obsessed with religion. "I have temporal lobe patients walking into my laboratory wearing a huge cross and carrying a 500-page tome on the nature of God," says Ramashandran, of the University of California in San Diego.

He thinks that these patients' seizures caused damage to the pathway that connects two areas of the brain: the one that recognizes sensory information and the one that gives such information emotional context. "Everything becomes very significant," he says. These patients a seeing depth in every little thing."

To support his theory that there is a specialized circuitry in the brain for religious experience, Ramashandran and his colleagues hooked up temporal-lobe patients and healthy controls to a machine that records the body's physical reactions to stimuli. Three groups of words were presented to the patients: neutral words; profane or sexually loaded words; and religious words.

Normal people set off the response meter when they read curses and sexually expressive words. There was no response to the neutral or religious words, even in normal volunteers who are devout. But some patients with epilepsy gave the monitor a jolt when they were presented with religious words -- and not when they heard curses or sexual words.

Ramashandran cautions that his findings are preliminary, and even if proven in the laboratory, don't invalidate religious experience. "On the contrary," he says, "they tell us what parts of the brain may be involved."

Source

http://atheistempire.com/graphics/bar.jpg

Neuro-Epileptic Origin of Mystical Exps.

This article submitted by FHBRADLEY on 11/17/97.
Email Address: FHBRADLEY@aol.com

ON THE NEUROLOGICAL ORIGIN OF MYSTICAL EXPERIENCES: The Limbic System et al.
(from Neuropsychiatry, Neuropsychology, and Clinical Neuroscience by Rhawn Joseph-- Williams & Wilkins Press, Second Edition, 1996)

Question: "What are the causes and brain mechanisms involved in mystical experiences?" This one has the beginnings of a real answer from contemporary neuroscience. Below, I summarize information from my neurological research utilizing the book entitled "Neuropsychiatry, Neuropsychology, and Clinical Neuroscience" by Rhawn Joseph.

G) SEXUALITY, RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE, AND TEMPORAL LOBE HYPERACTIVATION: SOME SPECULATIONS
A not uncommon characteristic of high levels of limbic system and inferior temporal lobe activity are changes in sexuality as well as a deepening of religious fervor. It is noteworthy that not just modern-day evangelists, but many ancient religious leaders, including Abraham and Muhammad, tended to be highly sexual and partook of may partners. Many also displayed evidence of the Kluver-Bucy syndrome, such as eating dung (Ezekiel), as well as temporal lobe hyperactivation and epilepsy.

Muhammad, God’s alleged messenger, was apparently dyslexic and agraphic (loss, partial or total, of the ability to write) and was known to lose consciousness and enter into trance states. In fact, he had his first truly spiritual/religious conversion when, as the story goes, he was torn from his sleep by the archangel Gabriel.

Muhammad was basically a kind and considerate man, but he was also known to fly into extreme rages and to kill, or at least order killed, wealthy infidels and merchants and those who opposed him. These behaviors, when coupled with his increased sexuality, heightened religious fervor, trance states, mood swings, and possible auditory and visual hallucinations of a titanic angel, certainly point to the limbic system and inferior temporal lobe as the possible neurological foundation for these experiences.

(H) RELIGION, LIMBIC SYSTEM HYPERACTIVATION, AND TEMPORAL LOBE SEIZURES
Among a TINY MINORITY of humans, the nuclei of the limbic system have a tendency to periodically become over-activated. When this occurs, emotions may be perceived or expressed abnormally, and the sensory and emotional filtering that normally takes place in these nuclei is reduced or abolished. Moreover, instead of being merely overly sensitive, those affected may suddenly experience extreme anger, rage, paranoia, depression, sexual desire, or even religious ecstasy. And they may hallucinate the presence of threatening people, animals, or even religious figures. Deepening of emotions, hallucinations, alterations in sex drive, and the development of extreme religious beliefs (i.e., hyper religiousness) are not uncommon manifestations of limbic-temporal lobe seizures and hyperactivation.

In fact, certain individuals who develop temporal lobe epilepsy and, thus, limbic hyperactivation, may suddenly become hyper-religious and spend hours reading and talking about the Bible (or other culturally relevant scriptures) and other religious issues. Once this condition develops, they may spend hours every day preaching or writing out their mystical and/or religious thoughts, or engaging in certain actions they believe have religious significance. Many modern-day religious writers also happen to suffer from epilepsy are, in fact, exceedingly prolific, and those who feel impelled to preach tend to do just that.

People who suffer from periodic episodes of limbic and temporal lobe hyper-activation, such as those with temporal lobe epilepsy, typically have seizures. It is not uncommon for these seizures to be preceded by an hallucination.

The great existential author, Feodor Dostoevsky, apparently suffered from temporal lobe epilepsy. Dostoevsky alleged, via one of his characters, that when he had a seizure the gates of Heaven would open and he could see row upon row of angels blowing on great golden trumpets. Then two great golden doors would open and he could see a golden stairway that would lead right up to the throne of God.

As noted above, there is some evidence that many religious and spiritual leaders have had similar temporal lobe, limbic-system-induced religious experiences. Moses, for example, may have suffered from temporal lobe seizures. Presumably, this was a consequence of being left, as an infant, for days to bake in the sun, after his mother abandoned him in a basket on a small stream. If that were the case, his brain could have become overheated and damaged by the scorching Egyptian sun.

If Moses subsequently developed temporal lobe epilepsy, this cold explain his hyper-religious fervor, his rages, and the numerous murders he committed or ordered. His speech impediment, hyper-graphia (copious and obsessive writing with a neurological etiology), and hallucinations, such as hearing the voice of God speaking to him from a burning bush, are symptoms not uncommonly associated with temporal lobe seizures and limbic hyperactivation.

(I) ISOLATION, LIMBIC HYPERACTIVATION, AND HALLUCINATIONS
It has been well established that even short-term social and sensory isolation lasting just a few days can induce emotionally and visually profound and complex hallucinations that can be so personally distressing that volunteers will refuse to discuss them.

John C. Lilly in 1972, combined LSD with prolonged water immersion and social and sensory isolation for about 7 hours on several occasions, and experienced and observed the presence of spiritual God-like beings who beckoned to him.


Isolation, as well as food and water deprivation, increased or decreased sexual activity, pain, drug use, self-mutilation, prayer, and meditation are common methods of attaining mystical states of religious an spiritual awareness, and have been employed world-wide, across time and culture. These states also activate the limbic system.

For example, not only can pain or a desirable food item or sex partner result in limbic arousal, but when the limbic system is denied normal modes of input, be it sensory, emotional, social, or nutritional, it can become hyperactive; stimuli normally deleted and/or subject to sensory filtering are instead perceived. That is, limbic sensory acuity is increased, and in some respects what is perceived is not always an "hallucination" in the sense that it really involves the perception of overlapping sensory qualities that are normally filtered out. Sensory filtering is quite common at the level of the amygdala, which contains neurons that are multimodally responsive as well as inhibitory via serotonin. However, when this filter is removed, hallucinations and/or the perception of unusual sensory qualities can result.

Source

http://atheistempire.com/graphics/bar.jpg

Spirituality and the Brain

ABCNews.com
Does Research Show New Evidence for Faith, or a Challenge to Religion?

By Michel Martin

W A S H I N G T O N, Jan. 14 — Believers from every tradition and around the world have reported similar sensations of religious experience — a feeling of completeness, absence of self, or oneness with the universe, feelings of peace, freedom from fear, ecstatic joy, visions of a Supreme Being.

With the aid of new technology that allows them to watch the brain in action, a group of scientists — sometimes described as "neurotheologists" — have tried to explain how such experiences occur and perhaps even why.
"There are certain [brain] patterns that can be generated experimentally that will generate the sense, presence and the feeling of God-like experiences," says professor of Neuroscience Michael Persinger of Ontario's Laurentia University. "The patterns we use are complex but they imitate what the brain does normally."

Persinger originally set out to explore the nature of creativity and sense of self. But his research into patterns of brain activity led him to delve into the nature of mystical experiences as well.

To do this Persinger puts his subjects in a quiet room, depriving them of light and sound, so that the nerve cells typically involved in seeing and hearing are not stimulated. Then he applies a magnetic field pattern over the right hemisphere of the brain.

Persinger was asked if his work leads him to conclude that "God," or the experience of God, is solely the creation of brain-wave activity.

"My point of view is, 'Let's measure it.' Let's keep an open mind and realize maybe there is no God; maybe there might be," says Persinger. "We're not going to answer it by arguments — we're going to answer it by measurement and understanding the areas of the brain that generate the experience and the patterns that experimentally produce it in the laboratory."

Mind, Body and Belief

To others who have thought deeply about religion, that is a conclusion that far outstrips the evidence — a scientific leap of faith, if you will.

"They have isolated one small aspect of religious experience and they are identifying that with the whole of religion," says John Haught, professor of theology at Georgetown University.

Religion "is not all meditative bliss. It also involves moments when you feel abandoned by God," says Haught. "It involves commitments and suffering and struggle.… Religion is visiting widows and orphans; it is symbolism and myth and story and much richer things."

Persinger says he is less concerned with trying to prove or disprove the existence of God than with understanding and documenting the experience. However, in his view, "if we have to draw conclusions now, based upon the data, the answer would be more on the fact that there is no deity."

He is clear about an underlying motivation of his work — a fear that unscrupulous people might use techniques to provoke a spiritual experience to control people.

But Persinger also acknowledges a more positive possibility: "If you look at the spontaneous cases of people who have God experiences and conversions, their health improves," he says. "So if we can understand the patterns of activity that generate this experience, we may also be able to understand how to have the brain — and hence the body — cure itself."

What Prayer Does

That search for the mind-body connection also motivates the work of other researchers, such as Professor Andrew Newberg at the University of Pennsylvania.

"Whether there is a God or not in some senses isn't as relevant to the kind of research we're doing so much as understanding why those feelings and experiences are important to us as human beings," he says.

Newberg observed the brains of Tibetan Buddhists and Franciscan nuns as they engaged in deep prayer and mediation by injecting radioactive dye, or "tracer" as the subject entered a deep meditative state, then photographing the results with a high tech imaging camera. He found that "when people meditate they have significantly increased activity in the frontal area — the attention area of the brain — and decreased activity in that orientation part of the brain."

Many of these changes occur whether people are praying (focusing on oneness with a deity) or meditating (focusing on oneness with the universe). But there are differences, in that prayer activates the "language center" in the brain, while the "visual center" is engaged by meditation.

Either way, Newberg finds that the sense of "unity," or "oneness" experienced by his subjects is a real, biological event. And he acknowledges the limits of his own work: He currently lacks a means to measure the neurological events associated with other religious practices — such as caring for the poor or ecstatic worship.

"Our work really points to the fact that these are very complex kinds of feelings and experiences that affect us on many different levels," says Newberg. "There is no one simple way of looking at these kinds of questions."

Science and the Afterlife

Across the country, at the University of Arizona, professor of Neurology and Psychiatry Gary Schwartz would probably say: "Amen" to that.

Perhaps the most controversial of the group of researchers dedicated to studying the "God spot" in the brain, Schwartz explores the question of whether consciousness survives death with the help of mediums (people who demonstrate unusual accuracy in describing intimate attributes of the dead to those who knew them well).

His experiments compare the brain waves and heart rates of both the medium and the person for whom he or she is trying to contact the dead.

"One of the fundamental questions is, 'How does a medium receive this kind of information?'" he explains. "To what extent are they using specific regions of the brain which are purportedly associated with other kinds of mystical or religious experiences?"

Schwartz says his research "is actually a window or a doorway, if you will, to a much larger spiritual reality which integrates ancient wisdom with contemporary science."

He concludes that the human brain is wired to receive signals from what he calls a "Grand Organizing Design," or G.O.D.

"Survival of conscience tells us that consciousness does not require a brain, that our memories, our intentions, our intelligence, our dreams? all of that can exist outside of the physical body," says Schwartz. "Now, by the way, that's the same idea that we have about God — that something that is "invisible," that is "bigger than all of us," which we cannot see, can have intellect, creativity, intention, memory and can influence the universe."

The Quest for Larger Things

Like the other researchers interviewed for Nightline, Schwartz suggests that his work has taken him on a personal spiritual journey, requiring him to ask himself hard questions about science, faith, and reason. And Schwartz says that rather than diminishing faith, inquiries like his should enlarge the world's understanding of it.

On that point, he and theologian John Haught agree.

"Faith is the sense of being grasped by this higher dimension, or more comprehensive, or deeper reality," says Haught. "If we could come up with clear proof or an absolutely mathematically lucid proof or verification of deity, then that would not be deity — it would be something smaller than us.…"

— Nightline producer Joe O'Connor contributed to this report.

http://atheistempire.com/reference/brain/main2.html

Study: No ‘God spot’ in the human brain

Finding contradicts theory of specific region designed to talk with God

Below:

1.

    • x
Jump to discussion comments below

2.

    • x
      • http://msnbcmedia3.msn.com/j/MSNBC/Components/Photo/_new/110111-X-RayVanGogh-hmed-1215p.thumb-s.jpg
Next story in None An answer to why Van Gogh's yellows mellowed

Advertise | AdChoices

By Ker Than Staff Writer

LiveScience http://msnbcmedia1.msn.com/i/msnbc/Components/Sources/Art/sourceLiveScience-2.gif

updated 8/30/2006 3:26:25 PM ET 2006-08-30T19:26:25

The human brain does not contain a single "God spot" responsible for mystical and religious experiences, a new study finds.

Instead, the sense of union with God or something greater than the self often described by those who have undergone such experiences involves the recruitment and activation of a variety brain regions normally implicated in different functions such as self-consciousness, emotion and body representation.

The finding, detailed in the current issue of Neuroscience Letters, contradicts previous suggestions by other researchers that the there might be a specific region in the brain designed for communication with God.

"The main goal of the study was to identify the neural correlates of a mystical experience," said study leader Mario Beauregard of the University of Montreal in Canada. "This does not diminish the meaning and value of such an experience, and neither does it confirm or disconfirm the existence of God."

In the study, 15 cloistered Carmelite nuns, ranging in age from 23 to 64, had their brains scanned while asked to relive the most intense mystical experience they had ever had as members of the religious order.

The nuns were not asked to try and actually achieve a state of spiritual union with God during the experiment because, as the nuns put it, "God cannot be summoned at will."

Nevertheless, the researchers believe their method was justified because previous studies have shown that actors asked to enter a particular state activated the same brain regions as people actually experiencing those emotions.

As a control, the nuns were instructed to relive the most intense state of union with another human ever felt in their lives while in the Carmelite order.

The study found that mystical experiences activate more than a dozen different areas of the brain at once. One of the regions, called the caudate nucleus, has been implicated in positive emotions such as happiness, romantic love and maternal love.

The researchers speculate that activation of this brain region during mystical experiences is related to the feelings of joy and unconditional love the nuns described.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14587036/ns/technology_and_science-science/

Pengertian Kecerdasan Spiritual

18 Februari 2010 Arya Utama Tinggalkan komentar Go to comments

http://ilmupsikologi.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/sq.jpg?w=115&h=104Menurut Munandir (2001 : 122) kecerdasan spritual tersusun dalam dua kata yaitu “kecerdasan” dan “spiritual”. Kecerdasan adalah kemampuan seseorang untuk memecahkan masalah yang dihadapinya, terutama masalah yang menuntut kemampuan fikiran. Berbagai batasan-batasan yang dikemukakan oleh para ahli didasarkan pada teorinya masing-masing. Selanjutnya Munandir menyebutkan bahwa Intelegence dapat pula diartikan sebagai kemampuan yang berhubungan dengan abstraksi-abstraksi, kemampuan mempelajari sesuatu, kemampuan menangani situasi-situasi baru.

Sementara itu Mimi Doe & Marsha Walch mengungkapkan bahwa spiritual adalah dasar bagi tumbuhnya harga diri, nilai-nilai, moral, dan rasa memiliki. Ia memberi arah dan arti bagi kehidupan kita tentang kepercayaan mengenai adanya kekuatan non fisik yang lebih besar dari pada kekuatan diri kita; Suatu kesadaran yang menghubungkan kita langsung dengan Tuhan, atau apa pun yang kita namakan sebagai sumber keberadaan kita. Spiritual juga berarti kejiwaan, rohani, batin, mental, moral.

Jadi berdasarkan arti dari dua kata tersebut kerdasan spiritual dapat diartikan sebagai kemampuan seseorang untuk menghadapi dan memecahkan masalah yang berhubungan dengan nilai, batin, dan kejiwaan. Kecerdasan ini terutama berkaitan dengan abstraksi pada suatu hal di luar kekuatan manusia yaitu kekuatan penggerak kehidupan dan semesta.

Menurut Tony Buzan kecerdasan spiritual adalah yang berkaitan dengan menjadi bagian dari rancangan segala sesuatu yang lebih besar, meliputi “melihat suatu gambaran secara menyeluruh”. Sementara itu, kecerdasan spiritual menurut Stephen R. Covey adalah pusat paling mendasar di antara kecerdasan yang lain, karena dia menjadi sumber bimbingan bagi kecerdasan lainnya. Kecerdasan spiritual mewakili kerinduan akan makna dan hubungan dengan yang tak terbatas.

Zohar dan Marshal mendefinisikan kecerdasan spiritual sebagai kecerdasan untuk menghadapi dan memecahkan persoalan makna dan nilai, yaitu kecerdasan untuk menempatkan perilaku dan hidup dalam konteks makna yang lebih luas dan kaya, kecerdasan untuk menilai bahwa tindakan atau jalan hidup seseorang lebih bermakna dari pada yang lain. Kecerdasan spiritual menurut Khalil A Khavari di definisikan sebagai fakultas dimensi non-material kita atau jiwa manusia. Ia menyebutnya sebagai intan yang belum terasah dan dimiliki oleh setiap insan. Kita harus mengenali seperti adanya, menggosoknya sehingga mengkilap dengan tekat yang besar, menggunakannya menuju kearifan, dan untuk mencapai kebahagiaan yang abadi.

Dari beberapa pengertian diatas dapat disimpulkan bahwa definisi kecerdasan spiritual adalah kemampuan potensial setiap manusia yang menjadikan ia dapat menyadari dan menentukan makna, nilai, moral, serta cinta terhadap kekuatan yang lebih besar dan sesama makhluk hidup, karena merasa sebagai bagian dari keseluruhan. Sehingga membuat manusia dapat menempatkan diri dan hidup lebih positif dengan penuh kebijaksanaan, kedamaian, dan kebahagiaan yang hakiki.

Kecerdasan spiritual atau yang biasa dikenal dengan SQ (bahasa Inggris: spiritual quotient) adalah kecerdasan jiwa yang membantu seseorang untuk mengembangkan dirinya secara utuh melalui penciptaan kemungkinan untuk menerapkan nilai-nilai positif.[1] SQ merupakan fasilitas yang membantu seseorang untuk mengatasi persoalan dan berdamai dengan persoalannya itu.[2] Ciri utama dari SQ ini ditunjukkan dengan kesadaran seseorang untuk menggunakan pengalamannya sebagai bentuk penerapan nilai dan makna.[1] Kecerdasan spiritual yang berkembang dengan baik akan ditandai dengan kemampuan seseorang untuk bersikap fleksibel dan mudah menyesuaikan diri dengan lingkungan, memiliki tingkat kesadaran yang tinggi, mampu menghadapi penderitaan dan rasa sakit, mampu mengambil pelajaran yang berharga dari suatu kegagalan, mampu mewujudkan hidup sesuai dengan visi dan misi, mampu melihat keterkaitan antara berbagai hal, mandiri, serta pada akhirnya membuat seseorang mengerti akan makna hidupnya.[1] [2]

« Tinjauan Kecerdasan Spiritual (SQ) Terhadap Permasalahan Sosial di Indonesia

Kenalilah Rasa Cemas yang Tidak Rasional »

Kecerdasan Spiritual (SQ)

April 16th, 2008 by admin

Latar Belakang

Pada suatu hari seorang guru fisika disebuah sekolah menengah menerangkan kepada para siswanya bahwa hidup manusia tidak lain adalah proses pembakaran. Mendengar keterangan sang guru itu, seorang siswa secara spontan melontarkan suatu pertanyaan tajam yang bernada menggugat,”kalau begitu, lalu apa artinya hidup manusia didunia ini?” (Frankl, dalam Koeswara, 1992).

Pembicaraan mengenai SQ atau kecerdasan spiritual tidak lepas dari konsep filosofis yang menjadi latar belakangnya. Konsep mengenai SQ itu sendiri sebenarnya sudah lama diperbincangkan, hanya saja dengan kemasan yang berbeda. Dalam ilmu psikologi dikenal tiga aliran besar yang menjadi inspirasi bagi banyak aliran yang berkembang pada saat kemudian. Aliran tersebut adalah behaviorisme, psikoanalisis dan humanistis.

Kecerdasan spiritual banyak mengembangkan konsep-konsepnya dari aliran humanistis. Aliran humanistis ini kemudian mengembangkan sayapnya secara spesifik membentuk psikologi transpersonal, dengan landasan “pengalaman keagamaan” sebagai peak experience, plateau dan fartherst of human nature. Menurut Maslow (Rakhmat dalam Zohar dan Marshall, 2000) psikologi belum sempurna sebelum difokuskan kembali dalam pandangan spiritual dan transpersonal. Penelusuran pemahaman kecerdasan spiritual (SQ) saat sekarang nampaknya cukup relevan, mengingat banyaknya persoalan-persoalan sosial yang semakin membebani hidup seseorang.

Sebagaimana yang dikemukakan oleh Frankl (Koeswara, 1992) bahwa sebagian besar masyarakat sekarang mengidap neurosis kolektif. Ciri dari gejala tersebut adalah:

1. Sikap masa bodoh terhadap hidup, yaitu suatu sikap yang menunjukkan pesimisme dalam menghadapi masa depan hidupnya.

2. Sikap fatalistik terhadap hidup, menganggap bahwa masa depan sebagai sesuatu yang mustahil dan membuat rencana bagi masa depan adalah kesia-siaan.

3. Pemikiran konformis dan kolektivis. Yaitu cenderung melebur dalam masa dan melakukan aktivitas atas nama kelompok.

4. Fanatisme, yaitu mengingkari kelebihan yang dimiliki oleh kelompok atau orang lain.

Dengan ciri-ciri tersebut manusia berjalan menuju penyalahartian dan penyalahtafsiran tentang dirinya sendiri sebagai sesuatu yang “tidak lain” (nothing but) dari refleks-refleks atau kumpulan dorongan (biologisme), dari mekanisme-mekanisme psikis (psikologisme) dan produk lingkungan ekonomis (sosiologisme). Dengan ketiga konteks tersebut maka manusia “tidak lain” dalah mesin. Kondisi tersebut merupakan penderitaan spiritual bagi manusia. Mengenalkan SQ Pengetahuan dasar yang perlu dipahami adalah SQ tidak mesti berhubungan dengan agama. Kecerdasan spiritual (SQ) adalah kecerdasan jiwa yang dapat membantu seseorang membangun dirinya secara utuh. SQ tidak bergantung pada budaya atau nilai. Tidak mengikuti nilai-nilai yang ada, tetapi menciptakan kemungkinan untuk memiliki nilai-nilai itu sendiri.

SQ adalah fasilitas yang berkembang selama jutaan tahun yang memungkinkan otak untuk menemukan dan menggunakan makna dalam memecahkan persoalan. Utamanya persoalan yang menyangkut masalah eksistensial, yaitu saat seseorang secara pribadi terpuruk, terjebak oleh kebiasaan, kekhawatiran dan masalah masa lalu akibat penyakit dan kesedihan. Dengan dimilikinya SQ seseorang mampu mengatasi masalah hidupnya dan berdamai dengan masalah tersebut. SQ memberi sesuatu rasa yang “dalam” pada diri seseorang menyangkut perjuangan hidup. Perbedaan Otak IQ, EQ dan SQ Penelusuran kecerdasan spiritual tampaknya merupakan jawaban akan keterbatasan kemampuan intelektual (IQ) dan emosional (EQ) dalam menyelesaikan kasus-kasus yang didasarkan atas krisis makna hidup. Otak IQ dasar kerjanya adalah berfikir seri, linear, logis dan tidak melibatkan perasaan. Keunggulan dari berfikir seri ini adalah akurat, tepat dan dapat dipercaya. Kelemahannya adalah ia hanya bekerja dalam batas-batas yang ditentukan, dan menjadi tidak berguna jika seseorang ingin menggali wawasan baru atau berurusan dengan hal-hal yang terduga. Otak EQ cara kerjanya berfikir asosiatif. Jenis pemikiran ini membantu seseorang menciptakan asosiasi antarhal, misalnya antara lapar dan nasi, antara rumah dan kenyamanan, antara ibu dan cinta, dll.

Pada intinya pemikiran inimencoba membuat asosiasi antara satu emosi dan yang lain, emosi dan gejala tubuh, emosi dan lingkungan sekitar. Kelebihan cara berfikir asosiatif adalah bahwa ia dapat berinteraksi dengan pengalaman dan dapat terus berkembang melalui pengalaman atau eksperimen. Ia dapat mempelajari cara-cara baru melalui pengalaman yang belum pernah dilakukan sebelumnya, merupakan jenis pemikiran yang dapat mengenali nuansa ambiguitas. Kelemahan dari otak EQ adalah variasinya sangat individual dan tidak ada dua orang yang memiliki kehidupan emosional yang sama. Hal ini tampak dari pernyataan “saya dapat mengenali emosi anda, saya dapat berempati terhadapnya, tetapi saya tidak dapat memiliki emosi anda”.

Otak SQ cara kerjanya berfikir unitif. Yaitu kemampuan untuk menangkap seluruh konteks yang mengaitkan antar unsur yang terlibat. Kemampuan untuk menangkap suatu situasi dan melakukan reaksi terhadapnya, menciptakan pola dan aturan baru. Kemampuan inimerupakan ciri utama kesadaran, yaitu kemampuan untuk mengalami dan menggunakan pengalaman tentang makna dan nilai yang lebih tinggi.

Tanda dari SQ yang berkembang dengan baik:

1. Kemampuan bersikap fleksibel (adaptif secara spontan dan aktif)

2. Tingkat kesadaran diri yang tinggi

3. Kemampuan untuk menghadapi dan memanfaatkan penderitaan

4. Kemampuan untuk menghadapi dan melampaui rasa sakit

5. Kualitas hidup yang diilhami oleh visi dan nilai-nilai

6. Keengganan untuk menyebabkan kerugian yang tidak perlu

7. Kecenderungan untuk melihat keterkaitan antara berbagai hal (holistik)

8. Kecenderungan nyata untuk bertanya “mengapa?” atau “bagaimana jika” untuk mencari jawaban-jawaban mendasar

9. Mandiri SQ yang berkembang dengan baik dapat menjadikan seseorang memiliki “makna” dalam hidupnya. Dengan “makna” hidup ini seseorang akan memiliki kualitas “menjadi”, yaitu suatu modus eksistensi yang dapat membuat seseorang merasa gembira, menggunakan kemampuannya secara produktif dan dapat menyatu dengan dunia. Ungkapan syair yang dikemukakan oleh Gothe ini mampu mewakili karakteristik seseorang yang memiliki SQ (Fromm, 1987): Harta Milik Kutahu tak ada yang milikku Namun pikiran yang lepas bebas Dari jiwaku akan membanjir Dan setiap saat nan menyenangkan Yang oleh takdir yang cinta kasih Dari kedalaman diberikan buat kenikmatanku

Referensi:

Zohar, D. & Marshall, I. 2000. SQ: Spiritual Intelligence-The Ultimate Intelligence. Alih Bahasa: Rahmani Astuti dkk. Bandung: Mizan Media Utama.

Koeswara, E. 1992. Logoterapi: Psikoterapi Viktor Frankl. Yogyakarta: Kanisius Fromm, E. 1987. Memiliki dan Menjadi: dua modus eksistensi. Alih Bahasa: F.Soesilo- Hardo. Jakarta: LP3ES

http://www.ilmupsikologi.com/?p=18

0 komentar:

Poskan Komentar

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More