God, Belief And Your Brain
Here is an interview Tavis Smiley had with therapist, researcher Mark Waldman on spirituality and the brain. He relates to his research findings about how belief affects the brain. It’s very interesting what he says about yawning in the interview. You will find this very enlightening if you are interested in how we can better our relations with one another here on earth.
Therapist Mark Waldman is an expert on the creative process and one of the world’s leading authorities on spirituality and the brain. He’s founding editor of the Transpersonal Review academic journal and has had his work published throughout the world. He conducts research on the neurological correlates of consciousness, beliefs, morality, compassion, meditation, religion, spiritual practices, and conflict resolution.
He has authored/co-authored 10 books, including How God Changes Your Brain, on the impact of different forms of spiritual practice and meditation. Waldman is an associate fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Spirituality and the Mind.
I have come to think that one of the key factors in coming together in oneness is in our understanding of how our minds function, how our thinking operates. The reason is I have found that once we can understand better what goes on with our thinking we can better see why we think and feel as we do.
This may sound vague at first, but consider what is behind the nature of our reactions, our perceptions and beliefs. And how defensive people get with each other, how much fear contributes to our behavior. This is the key to our perceptions of separation. I feel when we know more about the human thinking processes, we can see better why all people act as they do, which can be huge in eliminating our resistance to them.
Marks work is helping to reveal more about the workings of our minds in such a way we can gain this greater understanding about ourselves and all people. And it helps us with what we can do with the information, how we can use it for better interactions with others. I feel it’s valuable for anyone seeking to understand how to get along better with the others sharing this planet.
His latest book, co-authored with Andrew Newberg, MD called “How God Changes Your Brain” further ties together religion and science. Providing explanation of how spiritual beliefs and experiences enhance changes in our brains benefiting our health and well-being, along with enhancing out interaction with others.
The authors also wrote “Born to Believe: God, Science, and the Origins of Ordinary and Extraordinary Beliefs” where they explain their research and findings about how we come to believe, and the power and benefit of belief. They get into the role of perception, the neuroscience of morality, and how belief affects the biological structures in our body.
I think understanding how our minds function is key to breaking down the self imposed divisions we live with every day throughout the world, along with the huge benefit to our own growth and development.