Andrew Newberg

What Neurology Can Tell Us About How We Think And Why It Matters



Dr Andrew Newberg is regarded as one of leading pioneers in the field of neuroscientific study of religious and spiritual experiences, increasingly referred to as – neurotheology.

His research work focuses on the nature of religious and spiritual practices and experiences and specifically how brain function is associated with various mental states, especially the relationship between brain function and mystical or religious experiences.






Andrew Newberg - "Demystifying the Human Brain: SPECT Scans, Neurotheology, and the Aging Brain."










Why Andrew Newberg's work matters

Andrew Newberg's work provides further compelling evidence for the neurological underpinning of the core theme of this site, namely how to think and how to not think.

In "Thinking Styles Assessment" we reviewed the work of Dr Katherine Benziger and her evidenced based neurological insights into how our brain structures predicate our thinking style.

Benziger's model recognises that the brain has four specialised areas responsible for different brain functions. Significantly we each have natural strengths in only one of these specific areas. Benziger outline the importance of using your natural preferred thinking style, and what happens when you don't.

In  "Why we think the way we do" I attempted to introduce you to "why we think the way we do" from the perspective of the physiology and neurology - the "hardware" - of our minds.

I outlined why I feel that a basic understanding of the neurology of what is going on inside our heads when we engage in meditative and other spiritual practices is important:

The relevance of this understanding of the neurology of left-brain/ right-brain balance is that it is the crux of the whole "balanced" or integrated approach to life.

When we engage with these meditation practises, all that we are doing is re-shaping or re-programming the physical neurological connections between the left and right lobes of our brains via the corpus-callosum to achieve the lived experience of a physiologically better balanced brain!

In my own view, based on the evidence, at the current stage of evolution of the "average" or "normal" human brain - the "left brain" and the "right brain" do not communicate easily or much at all. The same is also true for the "the emotional centre" and "the reptile brain" or the survival instinct).





So the evidence suggests that this fundamental lack of brain balance, is the underlying evolutionary and neurological reason why we experience life the way we do and why we all suffer so much, it's also the root cause of our personal internal conflict and inner resistance or immunity to change.

At a macro level, it is why as humans we inflict so much appalling suffering on each other.

Attempting to address this imbalance lies at the root of most meditative practises - although it is rarely presented in these terms.







Andrew Newberg discussing the brain scans of people with heavy past traumas who had successfully undergone a therapeutic treatment [Details here.]










Andrew Newberg's work explains why we find meditation hard and why it takes so long to benefit from it


A further reason why understanding Andrew Newberg's work matters is that it explains:

(1) Why we find meditation practises so hard to do with any consistence or very much persistence.

(2) Why it takes us so long to derive significant and lasting personal change and benefit from these practises as we are quite literally re-wiring or re-routing the neurological pathways in our brains.

And this is why I feel that the use of some form of binaural meditation tool is so very helpful as it makes this "rewiring" process so much easier (just put on the head phones!) and quicker.

I have discussed this in more detail and shared my own specific experiences of this in my "Meditation Programme" product review.







Ted Talk - "Finding Our Enlightened State"




* SEE: "How to find your own path to enlightenment" @ 12.01

Further resources from Dr Andrew Newberg [video & transcript]: How Enlightenment Changes the Brain






Andrew Newberg - Resources

Videos

Website

Research

Journal Articles

Popular Articles

Books



Return to:Inspirational people









Chinese (Traditional)EnglishFrenchGermanItalianRussianSpanishVietnamese


Custom Site Search


The Balanced Toolkit



The Balanced Life



3 Keys Solutions


Get new posts by email:

LATEST ARTICLES

  1. How To Stay Connected To Your True Source Of Power

    "Your ego's desire to be in control, your ego usurping the role of your higher self, disconnects you from your true source of power." A stone of help is a constant reminder to stay connected to your…

    Read More

  2. Dying To Self - To Gain All Give All

    "If You Want To Be Given Everything - Give Everything Up". “Tao Te Ching” Your ego is essential and does a wonderful job of running things for you and marshalling your mental and emotional resources t…

    Read More

  3. My Experience Of Mindfulness In Situations Of Imposed Change

    I found that the biggest key to all this is to behave and respond in ways that may seem completely alien to you by cultivating a very deep acceptance of what is. Many years ago my fortunes had change…

    Read More

  4. The Balanced Life

    The Key To Keeping Your Balance Is Knowing When You Lost It. The balanced life is one where you recognise the full spectrum of possible responses and have develop sufficient experience, insight and se…

    Read More

  5. Self Motivation - How To Motivate Yourself In Tough Times

    Our focus here is going to be on the heavy duty / big picture level motivation that you need to get you through tough times often involving imposed change that have large and perhaps dramatic impacts…

    Read More

  6. Your Higher Self - Your Hardwired Portal To The Universe

    Think of your conscious mind as a ship floating on the ocean of your subconscious mind, and above is the sky of your higher consciousness. When things are tough and you are starting to think that no…

    Read More

  7. How Can I Change My Mind?

    Whilst it is true that we can be taught, generally we won't change. Your mind is either working for you or, more typically, working against you. There is a part of your mind that is very happy with h…

    Read More

  8. Managing Personal Change Is Hard - Here's How You CAN Make It Work

    Whilst it is true that we can be taught, generally we won't change. You can waste years of your life (as I have done) and spend a fortune in various forms of introspection, analysis and therapy diggi…

    Read More

  9. Change Comes From Within

    "Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate." For much of my life I didn't understand that change comes from within, I used to believe that change wa…

    Read More

  10. How Things Are - The Inbuilt Design Flaw

    This is the nature of things. This is how things are. Nobody has the perfect life. We all struggle and strive to attain health, wealth and personal happiness. Yet these three big areas: our health, o…

    Read More




Support This Site