Andrew Newberg

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


Neurologist Professor Andrew Newberg. What Neurology Can Tell Us About How We Think And Why It Matters. Portrait Photo.

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'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






English Chinese (Traditional) Russian French German Italian Spanish Vietnamese



LATEST ARTICLES

  1. Coram Deo - Living In Consciousness

    In you there is a dimension of consciousness far deeper than thought. It is the very essence of who you are. Coram Deo is about living in consciousness. It is a Latin phrase which literally means “to…

    Read More

  2. The Power Of Patience - Why You Need The World's Toughest Quality

    Nothing in the world can take the place of patience. Patience and persistence are omnipotent. In everyday life, patience is often overshadowed by the desire for immediate results. We live in an era of…

    Read More

  3. Demonizing The Other and Personal Acts Of Compassion

    What Does Demonizing The Other Mean? Demonizing the other refers to the act of portraying a group of people or an individual as inherently evil, threatening, or inferior. It often serves to justify di…

    Read More

  4. Why You Should Embrace Anomalies - The Incredible Value Of Disconfirming Evidence

    Is Your Desire To Be Right Greater Than Your Desire To Have Been Right? An anomaly is a deviation from what is expected or commonly regarded as the norm. It often appears as an unexpected observation…

    Read More

  5. Amazing Grace - The Majesty And The Mercy of Freedom From Your Pain

    "I once was lost, but now I am found, was blind, but now I see." The hymn and popular song "Amazing Grace" was written 250 years ago by John Newton, a former slave trader who in 1748 nearly died in a…

    Read More

  6. The Transformative Power Of Acceptance

    Experience The Power Of Acceptance. This website contains about 500,000 words. You could read every single word and it wouldn't make any real difference to you. You might become better informed, but t…

    Read More

  7. Inversion - The Power Of Opposite Thinking

    How To Avoid The Unwanted Outcome. The power of opposite thinking, also known as inversion, lies in its ability to stimulate creativity, enhance problem-solving, and provide a fresh perspective on cha…

    Read More

  8. Are You Aligned With Reality? Or Do You See What You Believe?

    We tend to see that which aligns with what we believe, and to act upon that rather than acting on reality. Being aligned with reality starts with a clear and accurate understanding of the world. It me…

    Read More

  9. The Law Of Response and Outcome

    A New Approach To A New Life At time of writing we are entering a new year which is traditionally a time of making resolutions to change our behaviour and improve the quality of our lives. And yet pow…

    Read More

  10. Clear Thinking - Turning Ordinary Moments Into Extraordinary Results

    There are two ways to handle the world - try to predict, or try to prepare. "Clear Thinking" by Shane Parrish, published in Oct 2023, is a laudable testament to the art of cogent thinking, and will be…

    Read More

  11. Self Dialogue - Working With Your Many Selves

    Self Dialogue Is About Working With ALL Levels Of Your Mind. The key to effective self dialogue is to have tools, techniques and resources that work with all levels of your mind. This simple self-faci…

    Read More

  12. The Balanced Brain - The Ultimate Route To Personal Transformation

    How To Experience The Benefits Of A Balanced Brain. Underpinning all of the belief systems and practices that offer routes to personal change, transformation and spiritual growth is the balanced brain…

    Read More

  13. How To Make Better Decisions - By Avoiding The Narrative Trap

    To Understand The Truth We Have To See The Whole Picture. One of the best ways to make better decisions is to have a deeper understanding of the many things that might stop that happening. To understa…

    Read More

  14. The Greatest Love - The Most Important Relationship You Will Ever Have

    Yet Most Will Never Know It Everyone of us has a place, in our hearts there's a space, that is home to the greatest love of all. This love transcends everything we think we know about the world of for…

    Read More

  15. Everything Is Connected And Why You Don't Feel It

    ...And Why It Matters As human beings we are skating on very thin ice with our sense of self and certainty about "how things are" and what we like to think of as reality:

    - What if everything we think…

    Read More

  16. Who Is In Charge Of Your Brain?

    How Not To Be Stupid. Who is in charge of your brain? This is not a silly questions. It matters because the outcomes that you experience in your life are determined by how you respond to the events th…

    Read More

  17. How To Be A Winner On A Very Large Scale

    The Incredible Benefits Of Selective Attention. This is not a typical article about how to be a winner. We are not going to talk about goal setting, the importance of habits, the power of focus and al…

    Read More

  18. The Metagame Approach To Life

    How To Achieve Your Biggest Objectives. The metagame approach to life is all about winning and achieving your biggest objectives by: - Understanding the bigger picture
    - Being better by doing things d…

    Read More

  19. Shantideva - The Way Of The Bodhisattva

    Walking The Path Of Compassion. Shantideva the 8th century Indian Buddhist sage is famous for his treatise "The Way of the Bodhisattva" delivered as an extended teaching to the monks of Nalanda monast…

    Read More

  20. Reframing History - Deconstruction And Discussion Not Destruction

    History is always about context, not imposing our own moral values on the past. For those of us fortunate enough to live within western democracies, we are living in an age where a vociferous and into…

    Read More

  21. Tao Te Ching - Connecting To Your True Source Of Power.

    How To Be Lived By The Tao. The Tao Te Ching is one of those books that many people read, few understand, and even fewer put into practice. The only way to know the Tao is to experience it, and it is…

    Read More

  22. How Things Really Are - The Inbuilt Design Flaws

    Chaos, Disorder And Decay Is The Natural Order Of Things. Nobody has the perfect life. We all struggle and strive to attain health, wealth and personal happiness. Yet these three big areas: our health…

    Read More

  23. Intuition Or Anxiety - Are There Angels Or Devils Crawling Here?

    How To Tell The Difference Between Intuition and Anxiety. How do you know whether the voice of your intuition is real or just the product of your inner anxiety? Several months ago I was having a drink…

    Read More

  24. What Is Truth - How To Tell A Partial Truth From The Whole Truth?

    How the truth and nothing but the truth is often not the whole truth. My great aunty Flo broke her arm and died. It is true that she broke her arm in 1923. It is also true that she died in 1949. But t…

    Read More

  25. Duality And Life Beyond Your Thinking Mind

    Duality and life beyond your thinking mind focuses on the limitations of time, foreground and background, duality and "stuckness". The first aspect of duality and life beyond your thinking mind focuse…

    Read More

  26. The Conscious Mind Is Limited - Be Aware And Be Prepared

    Being aware is the first stage of being prepared. The conscious mind is limited in so many ways. There are some who would argue that there is no such thing as conscious thought and that it is represen…

    Read More

  27. Your Inner Map Of Reality - Here's Why You Think The Way You Do

    The big picture of how your inner map of reality creates your feelings, thoughts, and behaviours. Your inner map of reality is based on the filters of your own ethnic, national, social, family and rel…

    Read More

  28. The Failure Of Cancel Culture - Suppression Not Engagement

    Why we need to wear our beliefs lightly and develop negative capability. Throughout history people have campaigned to fight beliefs, ideologies, and injustices that they perceived to be oppressive, di…

    Read More

  29. 4 Big Reasons Why We Get Stuck In Our Attempts At Personal Change

    Most People Spend Their Entire Life Imprisoned Within The Confines Of Their Own Thoughts. This first of the 4 big reasons why we get stuck is, in my view, the most important. The "self-help industry…

    Read More

  30. How Do I Change And Why Is It So Hard?

    We Would Rather Die Than Change, And We Usually Do In my experience, the vast majority of people who say they want to change don’t change. Most people reading this won’t change because they don’t real…

    Read More



Get new posts by email:









Zen-Tools.Net





Support This Site