Sacred Pathways: The Brain’s Role in Religious and Mystic Experiences (2nd Edition)
By Todd Murphy
“…nothing short of genius.” – Google Review
“The author is the first person that has successfully bridged science and spiritual phenomenon in my experience.” – Amazon Review
Most books on the meeting of science and religion have focused on things like Quantum Mechanics, “subtle energies”, and efforts to prove that specific religious beliefs have a scientific basis. “Sacred Pathways” is different. It begins by accepting Darwin’s theory of evolution, the basis of all scientific thought about the human species. From there, it shows how spirituality is part of our evolutionary heritage, and how we developed spiritual processes in the brain to enrich our cultures, succeed as individuals, and “touch the face of God”, whether He exists or not.
“If reincarnation is a human behavior, and Darwin was right, then reincarnation is an evolutionary adaptation that helped our species survive.”
Todd Murphy proposes that the brain areas that support the death-process (made explicit in Near-Death Experiences) also support religious and mystic experiences during our lives.
Sacred Pathways is “…the Principia (principle work) of the scientific investigation of spiritual experiences”
– From the forward by Dr. Michael Persinger, Director, Laurentian U. Neurosciences laboratory
Professor Todd Murphy has been a member of Laurentian University’s Behavioral Neuroscience program under the direction of Dr. Michael A. Persinger since 1998. His book, Sacred Pathways, is a major advance in neurotheology, a synthesis of science and religion that discusses spirituality only in the language of science. Most people in this field confine themselves to looking at what the brain is doing when people have otherworldly experiences, epiphanies, and peak experiences. This book goes further than that, seeing these things in the context of anthropology, sociology, human evolution as well as in the human brain. It also discusses how psychic perceptions have been observed in laboratory studies.
“…interested readers will no doubt find (it) illuminating.”
– His Holiness, The Dalai Lama
Sacred Pathways is the 21st century synthesis of science and spirituality by Neuroscientist Todd Murphy. In brief, it proposes that the brain areas that support the death-process (as we see it in Near-Death Experiences) also support religious and mystic experiences. It also shows how these experiences are more likely following times of real hardship, fear and pain. If you’ve had spiritual experiences that you want to understand, you’ll find that this book offers solid explanations. This book is the first of it’s kind in the field of neurotheology, the study of the brain’s contributions to spirituality.