Suggested reading

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List useful resources here. Please provide a description of why you feel it is a useful source of information.

Good ReadingEdit

From JWSchmidtEdit

  • The Astonishing Hypothesis by Francis Crick. Click here to read why I (John Schmidt) like it.
  • The Intentional Stance by philosopher Dan Dennett. Dennett explored the idea that a fundamental part of human nature is the innate tendency to assume that other people have a mind that is basically the same as our own. This "intentional stance" is so useful (when applied to other people), that we tend to apply it to everything. I (John Schmidt) often wonder to what extent human intuitions about non-material spirits are due to our brains having been adapted to the habit of imagining that there is mind in everything.
  • Consilience by E. O. Wilson. This book discusses the idea that humans are genetically predisposed towards certain types of religious belief systems. Wilson makes the observation that belief in the human soul is one of the fundamental elements of human religious systems. Wilson suggests that there can be a scientific understanding of religion which can guide us in our attempts to to survive as a species. Wilson goes on to explore the idea that we risk self-destruction as a species if we do not do so. I (John Schmidt) particularly enjoy Wilson's concise description of the physical basis of beliefs (like Dennett, Wilson is an advocate of using the term meme; also see Memetics) as neuronal networks in brains.


Brain and Belief, An Exploration of the Human Soul. -moonz

I can understant how, after reading a book like Brain and Belief, some people would come to the indeed 'logical' conclusion that the brain is the nexus of human existence, and that nothing else is needed to explain Life and the Human Adventure ... least of all an elusive, invisible "soul". However ... that would be discounting the many unusual experiences like Multiple Personalities, "past life" recalls, automatic drawing and writing, the well-documented Jansenists historical event, the feats of the yogis, the Vision Quests of shamans and of the native N.American and Hawaiian cultures, dreams, premonitions and dejavu experiences, the Miracles of Lourdes and other holy places, the channeling phenomenon and other such out-of-the-box experiences. And it would also be discounting the major influence of DNA/RNA, and the whole of genetics.

There just HAS to be "something else." And if the New Age spirituality could work together with science, we might arrive at the correct answer. Neither one, without the other, could paint the full picture. One is too materialistic and earth-bound, and the other too detached from the realities of the earthly human experience.

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