When you believe your perceptions accurately represent something in reality, your brain sends this information through a hierarchical processing system that allow you to compare the representation with your memories and other believes. These cognitive functions are largely preconscious. Specific cognitive processes are not only essential to the formulation of everyday beliefs but also responsible for the emergence of spiritual perceptions, mystical experiences, and unitive states of consciousness, including functions of:

  • Abstractive
  • Quantitative
  • Cause-and-effect
  • Dualistic or oppositional
  • Reductionist
  • Holistic

(Newberg, Andrew, MD, et al. Why God Won’t Go Away: Brain Science and the Biology of Belief. NY:Ballantine, 2001)

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