Here is my thinking, you can't argue scripture, hell the Talmud, the Koran and the Bible are argued about internally by believers and creates sects because of the difference in interpretation. If people believe it, they believe it.
I want to check out the core of faith, a previous thread discussed the possiblity of a faith gene.
I have this propensity myself, even though I am fairly reasonable and ascribe to no dogma.
These are the subjects I want to read more about.
The pathology or process of "esctasy" or euophoria, both religious and non-religious.
The effect of music on the brain, specifically the biological mechanism that influences moods.
The creative mind, artists, musicians, poets, scientists.
Non-religious euphoria requires a transportation of the psyche into a mental environment that is not the one that one experiences under standard mental conditions.
The standard path to follow to euphoria in today’s world requires a chemical change in the brain. Endorphin, naturally produced by the body during exercise or sex, stimulates the brain toward euphoria.
An individual that is a true masochist does not enjoy the pain so much as the rush of endorphin that coincides with the pain.
Another non-religious method in through the use of drugs. Most drug use began in religious ritual to allow the individual to attain a heightened state of awareness. Heroin produces a result, many times enhanced, almost precisely the same as endorphin.
Tobacco was used by American Indians to commune with God.
Coca was used by Peruvian Indians to commune with God.
Mescaline was used by the Yaqui? Indians to commune with God.
Cannabis has been used for centuries to change conscious awareness.
Czechoslovakian psychiatrist, Stanislav Grof, for years treated people with lysergic acid diethylamide, LSD to create a state of euphoria that allowed the individual to step inside himself and change his/her mental awareness of reality.
DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT A SUGGESTION TO USE DRUGS, SIMPLY AN OBSERVATION.
Saint Teresa of Avila used prayer and meditation in a manner that parallels those of Hinduism and Buddhism.
The problem with reaching for euphoria is that it can be highly addicting, physically and mentally, through the use of drugs or through the use of religion.
Euphoria, a stepping into heaven on Earth, can not be prolonged indefinitely.
At some point the chemicals that have caused the brain, naturally produced by the body or introduced in the form of drugs, to create the euphoria will subside.
Individuals that have been in the ‘presence’ of God, in the heightened state of euphoria, naturally want to recapture such a state. This is how cults succeed in gathering adherents.
Just tell IisBliss to look up some Joseph Campbell and have done with it.
Or perhaps you could offer a few quotes interspersed with actual reflection and commentary on what he said.
Actually these are my own words, but I suppose once judgement has been made there is no turning back.
I never understood the journey I undertook on massive quanities of LSD until I read Joseph Campbell. It is absolutely amazing that the human psyche is the same across race, across culture, across religion. (my advice to you, child, Sam, and whoever else is trolling for material is: do not use anything I might/might not of written, no telling whose words might have ushered forth under my plagiaristic pen)
Corruption wins again!