These things can always be looked at several different ways. After listening to WNYC’s RadioLab on “Where Am I?”, I was very uncertain about the brain’s role in religion and spirituality, and how we might create the “proof” for these beliefs. When the brain loses track of the body, experiences similar to “near-death experiences” occur. Perhaps these situations are merely a reaction of the brain being confused? Does this call into question other spiritual experiences as really being physical manifestations of some issue, misinterpreted as something esoteric?
Then Dr. Taylor has this store of inspiration, which I’m reposting here. She was featured in the New York Times just last week. According to Dr. Taylor, nirvana is attainable by choosing to behave and perceive using more of one’s right hemisphere. There isn’t clarity of exactly how one is supposed to go about doing that (perhaps you need to buy the book?)
But it is an interesting proposal. Add in the RadioLab information, and the question becomes even more convoluted.
First - is it merely an electrical stimulus of the brain we are perceiving as peace?
Second - does it matter? Does the fact that one can choose to be in nirvana make it less desirable to attain? Less of a challenge? I mean think about it - part of the method of attaining nirvana was to let go of the physical - and now we have some indication that nirvana is purely phyiscal? A matter of making synapses happen more on the right brain than the left. Does that alter our understanding of most metaphysical teachings? Meditation?
Perhaps spirituality has less to do with what’s OUT THERE as opposed to what’s IN US, and how we connect to others.
Anyway - have a look. (If this video isn’t working for you, go here.)