Saturday, August 9, 2008

NEUROTHEOLOGY-I'M A WALKING ARGUMENT

I joined an on-line community entitled "Neurotheology". I was curious. It is basically a community that discusses/debates the God "experience". I put the word "experience" in quotation marks because there is one side, the "neuro" side that claims that those who experience God have brains that are more hard-wired for it, particulary in the temporal lobes, particularly the LEFT temporal lobe, and those MOST prone to God experiences are those with temporal lobe epilepsy of the left side (TLE), of which I was recently diagnosed. So, this is the dilemma, once again, that I get to face. I keep discovering these sacred little episodes that I have had since childhood were, in fact, "numinous" episodes-if I listen to the scientists....episodes such as breaking into tears when I looked up into the night sky and stared at the stars. I was only a very young child and this would happen to me. And good luck explaining this to anyone in virtually any house in suburban 1960s America. There was no dialogue for such things. So! Here's the rub. Granted, some of my experiences could be chemically related....sitting in a mall where every single person looks excrutiatingly beautiful, granted, that may be a chemical cocktail blasting through the left-side of my brain...but my faith, in general?...the thing that carries me through my day?...that helped me raise my children?...that continues to renew me?...and more importantly, appears to be the same experience for countless others that I share my faith with each week and who REPORT on their faith experiences without the benefit (?) of a diagnosis of TLE...I refuse to believe that THOSE experiences can be coldly dismissed as random neural firings or chemically induced mental experiences. I do not know what the future holds for me and my brain. It has become a separate entity at this point. We are roommates, sharing a body. I need it, for multiple reasons, but frankly, it annoys the snot out of me. I am a walking argument...science versus faith...should make that Master of Science degree a walk in the park....not...I'm relative certain there will be further postings on this delicate subject, and possibly they will not be pretty. I've only recently discovered that my brain and I don't actually get on well. It's just after 52 years, I'm relatively tired of messing with it, or it messing with me. I can't figure it out. I can be hot AND cold. Hungry AND full. Angry AND mellow. And, this is an entirely different post....me out.

7 comments:

Em Dog said...

Isn't it great that you know this about yourself? Because I know you. . .you'll wave your faith flag until the day you die. . .that's my mom. .

katzbox said...

Thx Em...I always rely on your perspective...and faith...in me....

nancy/mom said...

well, debbie, ok. first of all, although this SOUNDS totally weird, it is, in fact, not weird at all. and i say that with complete scientific certainty because i am the same "walking argument" that you call yourself. (i wrote a poem once, for a college history final, of all things, and the first line was "that there is a line is certain, and i walk this tightrope non-stop.")

i have often longed to be either/or, not both. i would like to be red or blue, not purple, but alas, purple is what God has decided i should be. and i don't know if God hard-wired me that way or soft-wired me that way or some other high-falutin explanation. all i know is, i AM that way. and after 53 years, i'm sorta done fightin' it.

besides, to fight it is to slap God in the face, isn't it? which, on average, is probably not a smart thing to do.

peace. :)

katzbox said...

Well Nancy, I suppose you're more obedient, or mellower or nicer or something "er" than me because I continue to question things....I'm not certain if I'm slapping God in the face as much as I'm following Him around asking "Why?" "How come?" and such....and my sweet sweet friend, the fact that you are the same "walking argument" doesn't take the weirdness out of anything....it just makes us weird together...which isn't a bad thing, quite frankly...weirdness likes company....I suppose it helps "dilute" the weird factor...maybe weird is weird when it's only one person, but only "quirky" when it's two people...hmmmmmm

nancy/mom said...

the "er" that i am is afraider.

Holly and Eric said...

Made you look!

Eliot Bowman said...

Just quote Michael Jackson to your brain and say "It doesn't matter if you're black or white.".