Lots of people experience moments in life that can be considered spiritual – where we feel a greater sense of meaningfulness, serenity, or connection with the world around us. Now, scientists think they’ve pinpointed where those transcendental moments are processed in the human brain, identifying a region in the parietal cortex that appears to be involved in experiences that go beyond our ordinary state of being.
“Spiritual experiences are robust states that may have profound impacts on people’s lives,” says one of the researchers, neuroscientist Marc Potenza from Yale University.
“Understanding the neural bases of spiritual experiences may help us better understand their roles in resilience and recovery from mental health and addictive disorders.”
To ascertain where these moments of spiritual insight take place inside people’s heads, Potenza’s team interviewed 27 healthy young people, inviting them to help develop a personalized ‘imagery script’ in which they recalled a spiritual episode from earlier in their lives.
“We would like you to describe a situation in which you felt a strong connection with a higher power or a spiritual presence,” the participants were instructed.
“Spiritual states are those that through a felt-sense connect you to something bigger than oneself, a oneness, or strong force which may be experienced as an energy, force, higher power, G-d, deity or transcendent figure or consciousness.”
In a separate session one week later, the same volunteers underwent fMRI brain scans recording their neural activity as they listened to a neutral female voice reading a script of the spiritual experience they had recounted. The idea was to make them recall the personal moments where they felt a transcendent experience of something bigger than themselves, while imaging their brain activity to see where and how that spirituality registered itself cognitively.
“Across cultures and throughout history, human beings have reported a variety of spiritual experiences and the concomitant perceived sense of union that transcends one’s ordinary sense of self,” the team explain in their paper.
“Nevertheless, little is known about the underlying neural mechanisms of spiritual experiences, particularly when examined across different traditions and practices.”
The results showed that when the spiritual experiences were recalled, participants exhibited similarly reduced patterns of activity in the left inferior parietal lobe (IPL), which is involved in awareness of self and others, as well as reduced activity in the medial thalamus and caudate, regions associated with sensory and emotional processing.
“Taken together, the present finding suggests that spiritual experiences may involve a perceived encounter with a spacious ‘presence’ or entity external to oneself,” the researchers write.
“This interpretation is consistent with a strong feeling of connection or surrender to a deity or other revered figure, as often reported in religious and spiritual literature.”
Scientists Found “Paranormal Perception” Channels Within Human Beings
In 1976, a presentation was given at the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers (IEEE) on a paper published by the Institute on behalf of Hal Puthoff (now part of the To The Stars initiative that received and released the recent UFO Pentagon footage) and Russell Targ.
Puthoff, who held a PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford, at the time was commissioned by the CIA/DIA and Stanford Research Institute to direct the Stargate project, which was one of many secret government programs that remained hidden from public knowledge for more than 20 years.
Russell Targ is a physicist and author, originally known for his work pioneering the development of the laser and laser applications, and a co-founder of the Stanford Research Institute’s (SRI) investigation of psychic abilities in the 1970s and 1980s. The Stargate Project examined human psychic abilities; today it’s known as the study of parapsychology.
The paper was the first and only publication of this program before it became classified in the late 70s, and it presented scientific evidence for the existence of a perceptual capacity channel whereby certain individuals are able to perceive and describe remote data not perceivable to any known sense.
n the program, participants were able to successfully identify buildings, roads, and laboratory apparatus, but more than two decades later, parts of the program were declassified and we found out that it was much more than just that.
This is outlined in a statement made by Puthoff from a paper published after the declassification in 1995:
“To summarize, over the years, the back-and-forth criticism of protocols, refinement of methods, and successful replication of this type of remote viewing in independent laboratories has yielded considerable scientific evidence for the reality of the [remote viewing] phenomenon. Adding to the strength of these results was the discovery that a growing number of individuals could be found to demonstrate high-quality remote viewing, often to their own surprise. . . . The development of this capability at SRI has evolved to the point where visiting CIA personnel with no previous exposure to such concepts have performed well under controlled laboratory conditions.” (source)(source)
Participants in the program were able to remote view objects in other rooms, to buildings, and places all over the world.
For example, a Soviet Tu-22 bomber, one that was outfitted as a reconnaissance aircraft and lost in Zaire in 1979, was located by an Air Force remote viewer. President Jimmy Carter was aware of this, admitting to national press that the CIA, without his knowledge, once consulted a psychic to locate a missing government plane. According to CNN, he told students at Emory University that the “special U.S. plane” crashed somewhere in Zaire. The only thing is that it was a Russian, not an American plane.
According to Carter,
“The woman went into a trance and gave some latitude and longitude figures. We focused our satellite cameras on that point and the plane was there.” (source)
Below is one of many talks given by Russell Targ talking about the program more.