Acknowledgments are due to Michael Persinger.


Spirituality & The Brain





Neurotheology, Magnetic Brain Stimulation, Deja Vu, Death, God, Sex, Love, and more.




 Information about consciousness, Persinger neuroscience and neurotheology

How understanding the Brain helps us understand Life after Death, Visions of God, Romantic Love, Enlightenment, Deja Vu, and even Out Of Body Experiences.

This site is the home of the only "God Helmet" endorsed by Dr. Michael Persinger.


"In this book, Professor Todd Murphy recounts what he has discovered about the brain's role in religious and mystic experience; findings that interested readers will no doubt find illuminating."

H.H. The Dalai Lama

Sacred Pathways; The Brain's Role in Religious and Mystic Experiences is a Royal College of Psychiatrists Pan-American book club Selection


Sacred Pathways: The Brain's Role In Religious and Mystic Experiences

By Todd Murphy

Foreword by H.H. the Dalai Lama

Foreword by Dr. Michael A. Persinger.

506 pages, paperback

Order HERE

 Book website

Sacred Pathways is the Principia ('book of basic principles' or 'first work') of the scientific investigation of spiritual experiences. ... Individuals who appoint themselves protectors of 'true knowledge' may find this book disquieting.'

Dr. M.A. Persinger

Contact Us


My name is Todd Murphy, and I'm a Behavioral Neuroscientist associated with Dr. Michael Persinger. Most of my ideas and publications are based on his work, although my emphasis is on the spiritual aspects of neuroscience, and like all researchers, I see things through my own eyes. That means I take a scientific approach, not a clinical one. (I am solely responsible for the contents of this website.)

My main interest is in understanding how the brain contributes to mystic, religious, and spiritual experiences. I want to use this understanding to find ways to induce them for those who need them. And to understand the transformations that follow when people have them unexpectedly. Unlike many of my colleagues, I am not closed to psychic phenomena, tales of miracles, visitations by angels, and other experiences. I accept that these are real experiences, even though I may not be able to accept many of the traditional explanations for them.



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The Koren Helmet is a lab apparatus, and is not availble to the public.  The 8 Coil Shakti is the closest system to the Koren Helmet.

The Original "Koren Helmet" Developed By Dr. M.A. Persinger & S. Koren. Not available to the public.



EEG traces provide the shapes of the signals Shakti uses to gently stimulate Altered States of Consciousness.


Shakti uses magnetic fields to create altered states. These carry signals derived from the human brain. These allow it to 'target' specific brain structures known to be involved with spirituality and to induce altered states of consciousness.

Shakti signals are magnetic fields that rise and fall in patterns the brain responds to. These fields are no stronger than the ones from a phone receiver or hair dryer.


Legal note: Some Templates for audio output licensed by Dr. M.A. Persinger and Stan Koren.

Shakti uses magnetic fields that carry signals taken from the human brain. These signals allow it to 'target' the specific brain structures known to be involved with spirituality and to induce altered states of consciousness.

Shakti uses a USB computer sound device to produce it's signals. Magnetic coils convert the sound card's electrical output to the magnetic signals Shakti works with.




Designed for intense Altered States.

The 8 Coil Shakti headset alternates the magnetic stimulation between two sets of magnetic coils building momentum towards more intense experiences.

Pricing info


Although Shakti is designed for altered states in general, it has been used successfully for these experiences and effects (follow the links to learn more):









The 8 Coil Shakti has replaced the (discontinued) Shakti Helmet, and is sometime called by that name, though it does not use a helmet shell.






Search a scientific database for "Circumcerebral" to learn more.

Note: This configuration was used in the telepathy experiments discussed HERE.


Shiva Neural Stimulation (16 Coil System) Psychic Technology

A Windows (PC) version of "The (circumcerebral) Octopus", developed by Dr. Michael A. Persinger & Stan Koren and found to enhance psychic perception in laboratory studies. 16 Coils (fed by 8 channels) circulate magnetic signals around your head to dampen the 'binding factor' for consciousness. This ordinarily filters out magnetic information from the world around us, and inhibiting it can allow psychic perceptions to appear. MORE INFO

Shiva is the manufacturer's recommended system for psychic work.

Note: The Shiva software has instructions for stripping down the Shiva system to an 8 Coil Shakti.


The Shiva System includes:

- The original Shiva for Windows software (for psychic skills)
- Software for "God Helmet" sessions
- The 8 Coil Shakti software, including the Feelgood session and:
- All sessions for the 2 and 4 coil Shakti systems
- The magnetic signals used for the (now discontinued) Shakti Helmet. 

Report from Swiss researcher using the Shiva System.
















Click to see close-up


Click to see close-up



The "Shiva" God Helmet

Shiva Neural Stimulation System includes software and all the required hardware to duplicate the stimulation used in the famous "God Helmet" experiments in neurotheology.

This is a new software that ships with the Shiva Neural Stimulation System at no extra charge.

Actually, "God Helmet" is a nickname given to the Koren Helmet, developed by Stan Koren and Dr. M.A. Persinger.

This is the only edition of this kind of technology available to the public.


"God Helmet" sessions require sensory deprivation, which includes silence. The quieter, the better.


The Koren Helmet is a lab apparatus, and is not availble to the public.  The 8 Coil Shakti is the closest system to the Koren Helmet.

The Original "Koren Helmet" Developed By Dr. M.A. Persinger & S. Koren.



"God Helmet" Is a registered Trademark







2 and 4 coil Shakti

Affordable starter unit. Less powerful, but still capable of interesting effects.








Click here to see some of the research done with this class of technology.
Click here to to see some of the research on the "sensed presence".



Articles on other websites

Persinger's "God Machine"

"Your Brain on God"

"God on the Brain" (BBC)

 "Ghosts in a machine"

Interview - webmaster

Credentials ..

Reply to Gendle & McGrath's paper on the 8 Coil Shakti

Comment on recent partial replication of the God Helmet's effects.

Comment on 2014 Swiss research on the Sensed Presence.

Reply to "Neuroscience for the Soul"


PodCast discussions on Neurotheology



Video Lectures in Neurotheology

(With subtitles)



Add to Favorites


Search This Site

E-Mail Webmaster


 Link to this site



I am a researcher, not a clinician. Neither I nor Shakti diagnose or treat medical disorders.


Journalists & Media



Academic / Research

Volunteer to help with this work. Click HERE


The Whissel Dictionary of Affect in Language is a research tool that lets researchers quantify the "feeling" aspect of language. Until it was developed, there was no way to measure how people were feeling when they were speaking or writing. Now, its possible to measure the unmeasureable, and turn collections of anecdotal evidence into hard evidence by using this cutting-edge scientific measuring tool. You can use it to assign meaningful numbers to how people are feeling (if you have their words in text form), without trying to force people's free-flowing feelings into the narrow boxes of psychological questionnaires. Learn More about it Here, and Download it Here. It's freeware. No payment or registration required.





 Searchable Archive of Publications by Dr. M.A. Persinger.

Information about consciousness, Persinger neuroscience and neurotheology

Basic Reading in Neurotheology

A collection of articles.

Psychology ~ Deja Vu ~ Romantic Experience ~ Sexuality ~ Consciousness ~ Archetypes ~ Meditations ~ Evolution ~ Near-Death Experiences ~ God ~ Enlightenment ~Enhanced Visual Acuity ~ Sacred Lands ~ FREE SPIRITUAL APTITUDE TEST ~ (off-topic) WHAT CAUSED THE BIG BANG?  (A Speculative hypothesis) ~ Ghostbusting with Shakti ~ More


About the God Helmet. This article discusses the Koren Helmet, often mistakenly called the "God Helmet". Some 'straight dope' about a misunderstood technology. (takes you to a different website).

The Origins of Spirituality in Human Evolution. When Humans acquired language, we began to think about death in some very new ways. This created a new feeling of being threatened whose source lay in our own thoughts. People responded to this new threat by finding a sense of spirituality that allowed us to come to terms with our mortality. This article owes many of it's concepts to the work of Dr. Michael Persinger.

The Role of Mystics and mysticism in Human Evolution. Our populations consistantly produce a small percentage of people who experience profound altered states, imposing behavior patterns that offered benefits to our social groups early in our evolutionary history. This is a simplifed version of a paper that appeared in the Journal NeuroQuantology in 2010.

Darwinian Reincarnation The idea of rebirth takes an important step towards science when it is integrated with Darwin's Theory. Another version of this same paper, complete with thick scientific jargon, has been published by a peer-reviewed scientific journal, The Journal for Near-death Studies, and that qualifies it as a scientific hypothesis for many scientists. Rebirth is now within the domain of science, and it looks very different from the traditional presentations. A book explaining this idea has been published, with a foreword by The Dalai Lama.

Questions and Answers on Darwinian Reincarnation. Easier reading on this new hypothesis in neurotheology.

The Spiritual Personality. Doing spiritual practice (or having a spiritual awakening), has an impact on the brain, the mind, and personality. These changes happen are pretty easy to predict, and very similar processes have been found in people with a certain type of epilepsy, which Hippocrates called "The sacred disease." The altered states of consciousness experienced through spirituality create some interesting 'traits'.

Epilepsy And Near-Death Experiences Are NDEs epileptic experiences? This article says no, but seizures can include pathways that support the death-process, so the same experiences can happen in both.

Deja Vu The experience of deja vu is one of the most common spiritual experiences known. That is, if you enjoy it. If you don't, its more a matter for the right kind of doctor than a temple. Deja vu is a change in the perception of the present moment, and it can be used to enhance some kinds of meditation practices, such as Zen. This one is for you if you do meditation, are simply trying to live in the present, or if you are one of those who experiences deja vu often.

The 'Sensed Presence.' This one is about that odd feeling that you are being 'watched' or that you're 'not alone'. This is the feeling that there is someone behind you, but when you turn to look, there's nobody there. This chapter explains some of the basic theories. A lot of the other material won't make sense without it. 'Read me second.'

The Neurology of Romantic Love. In many ways, romantic love looks similar to devotional religious feelings, and its disappointments look very much like 'The Dark Night of the Soul'. Neuroscience for the hopeless romantic. Ever beat yourself up for getting hurt in love? You won't hit as hard after you've read this. People who are interested in Tantra might choose to begin here.

Sex and Consciousness  Too much drive? Too little? Read this. 

Enlightenment  This essay takes a guess at what may have happened to the Buddha's brain the night of his enlightenment.

Guided spiritual exercises from brain science (more effective than you'd think). Most people who respond to these techniques do so almost instantly. Some of the material covered in this chapter has been accepted in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Some of it is too new for that.

Glasses for Enhanced Visual Acuity. A first-hand account of how I developed a pair of glasses that induces a stunning enhancement in vision. If you have ever had moments where you were seeing as though your eyes had been polished from the inside, and wondered if it was possible to re-capture those moments, you should read this.

GOD The experience of God is one of the most powerful spiritual experiences a person can have. It has deepened the faith of those who have had it, enriching their lives, and inspired people to kill in "His" name. This article talks about how meeting God is one example of a much larger group of experiences called 'Visitor Experiences'. Brain science has reached the point where it can understand these experiences, and although it doesn't arrive at the conclusion that there really is a God, it does find a great value in prayer. This article isn't for people who believe in God, nor is it for atheists who think "there's no God and that's that'. The truth isn't that simple. The God effect may involve several effects. This article owes a debt to Michael Persinger's "Neuropsychological Bases of God-Beliefs".

Evolution of God An article based on a lecture given in March 2005 at the Winchester "Art & Mind" festival. Easier reading. Espanol

God And the Brain - A Video Lecture Hosted by Google Video

Out Of Body Experiences A recent study by Dr. Olaf Blanke has implicated the Angular Gyrus, (an area on the surface of the brain) in out of body experiences. This article replies to that study to the effect that there are other areas in the brain that may be involved. If researchers take Dr. Blanke's interpretation of his results at face value, they may miss other avenues of inquiry.

Sacred Lands. A look at HARBIN HOT SPRINGS, a spiritual resort and retreat center in Northern California, that's also in one of the most geologically active places in the world. Geomagnetic changes interact with magnetic processes in the brain, producing 'power spots' where it takes extra awareness just to get by, and where UFOs can occasionally be seen. A close look at this magical place, long held to be sacred by Native Americans in the area, reveals some new facets of human consciousness in its interaction with the earth.

Inventing Shakti Non-technical article about how Shakti was invented.

Stimulating My Brain As A Spiritual Path This article is a response to a lot of e-mail I've received wanting to know about my own spiritual process. Well, I don't have one. Instead I have a story to tell about learning about my own consciousness. I'm not following enlightenment, I'd just like to enjoy my life while its actually happening, and to be able to be at one, not with the universe, but with my own species, one specimen at a time. My spiritual search brought me to some incredible experiences, but right from the beginning of my awakening, I felt the teachings I was being offered were nonsense. I wanted to look at spirituality again, from the ground up, wich brought me into neurotheology. So, here's my story, more or less. When its finished, you'll find that I accept many of the things that psychics, gurus, and religions teach, but in very different forms. I also accept the idea of surrender to one's chosen path. For me that includes the rules of science as much as 'being here, now.'

The Gay Brain A non-technical article on why some men are gay, and others aren't. We still need more evidence before we can say how valid this hypothesis is, but its a start.

Archetypes Another way of looking at the Jungian Theory of Archetypes that discusses how we might be more likely to see the archetypes in others than in ourselves. Evolution may have provided us with some hard-wiring that allows us to see them in others, giving us an almost instinctive feeling for how to relate with different types of people. Re-written 5/2000 to remove the technical jargon.

Terrorism "I would kill in God's name" What do people willing to be violent for God have in common? And just how different is a terrorist madman from an ordinary religious believer?

For Skeptics A short essay offering a distinction between skepticism towards beliefs and toward experiences. Beliefs are easily 'debunked', but experiences call for explanations.

Mind Control Looking at the possibilities for Mind Control first means deciding what the mind is, and what control consists of. Mind Control seems a lot less possible when we stop to look at what these words mean. Or, perhaps, we find that it's all around us all the time, and just isn't a threat to anyone's freedoms. Meditation controls the mind, but is it mind control?

More difficult articles (literary agents - keep out)

Consciousness. Where does the phenomena of conscious awareness come from? This hypothesis suggests that consciousness functions to mediate states of consciousness. Simple answer for a vexing question. Not easy reading.

Near-Death Experiences (NDEs) in Thailand. The experience of dying is different in different cultures, and Thai NDEs provide one of the best examples of culture-specific 'altered state' experiences uncovered so far. The most common response to these Thai cases (11 in all) by non-specialists is "These are REALLY weird". Unlike western NDEs, Thai NDEs do not usually begin with out of body experiences, but rather with guides from the underworld. One case even includes a gigantic talking turtle.

Thai Near-Death experiences in context. This article discusses how Thai NDEs make sense when looked at in terms of their cultural and religious context. Illustrations include downloadable images of Heaven and Hell from Southeast Asia. These graphics are kept larger than usual due to the extensive and fascinating detail. We apologize to those with slow modems. An article accepted for publication by the Journal of Near-Death studies was edited from this study. CLICK HERE for the same article without illustrations.


Discussions with the Author

Would you like to have a discussion with the author of these articles? A series of 'podcasts', emphasizing spirituality, is being prepared for this site based on interviews and question-and-answer discussions on a wide range of themes. If you would like to have a (recorded) conversation on any of the subjects on this site (or any other you think is appropriate) click HERE to fill out a request form.

Other themes:

Being Investigated by the FDA The FDA requires pre-marketing approval for all devices promoted for medical use. I learned that medical use even includes research proposals. The investigation consisted of a letter from them, and my reply to them. No action was taken.

Persinger replies to critics | Persinger Publications | Paranormal Studies | Granqvist attempt to replicate Persinger research has several serious flaws | The tectonic strain theory of paranormal and UFO events | 3-Day Geomagnetic forecasts | Todd Murphy's wordpress site (polemics, announcements, etc) | Brief reply to Christopher French's "Haunted Room" experiment. | New research supports Persinger's findings.



Dr. M.A Persinger On magnetism and the brain - YouTube Interview 1 | Interview 2  | Interview 3 |

Persinger on eliciting fragments of Near-death Experiences

Dr. Persinger on YouTube: "No More Secrets" "Psychotropic Drugs"

Brain myths - Busted! (Msn article)

Sacred Pathways: The Brain's Role In Religious and Mystic Experiences
By Todd Murphy

Foreword by H.H. the Dalai Lama

Foreword by Dr. Michael A. Persinger.

506 pages, paperback

Order HERE

Sacred Pathways is the Principia ('book of basic principles' or 'first work') of the scientific investigation of spiritual experiences. ... Individuals who appoint themselves protectors of 'true knowledge' may find this book disquieting.' - Dr. M.A. Persinger

In this book, Professor Todd Murphy recounts what he has discovered about the brain's role in religious and mystic experience; findings that interested readers will no doubt find illuminating - H.H. The Dalai Lama

VISIONS PAGE - Look at pictures and images from the altered-state experiences of others. Put your own, or your kid's pictures where others can see them. Featuring a child's guide to out of body experiences.



San Francisco Bay Area? Click HERE



Karmu (Edgar Warner) memorial pages.


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