The brain function of abstraction acts as a doorway between direct perception and consciousness, for humans depend on concepts, labels, and words to shape their awareness. This is problematic when it comes to spiritual matters, which, by definition, refer to realms that have no physical reality. (Young children can form categories for concrete objects, but they have enormous difficulties with abstract concepts such as freedom, fairness, or God.) The brain transforms reality into abstract categories and labels, and these labels are intangible beliefs, assumptions about a world that cannot be directly perceived. In this sense, labels, beliefs, and reality are one and the same. If an ability to abstract is lost, the individual likely will end up living in a state of perpetual confusion, unable to navigate in the world, and unable to form beliefs. (Newberg, Andrew, MD and Mark Robert Waldman. Why We Believe What We Believe. P 76-80. NY:Free Press, 2006)

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