An interesting post at Acculturated scratches the surface (“And believe me, it’s a surface that needed scratching.” – David Letterman) of the question of transcendence: Are religious experiences real or just a fluke of misfiring neurons in our brain?
So many good quotes in that piece, it’s hard to pick just one that gives you the gist, so let’s go wiiiiith… ummmm… this one:
All perceptions exist in the mind. The earth beneath your feet, the chair you’re sitting in, the book you hold in your hands may all seem unquestionably solid and real, but they are known to you only as secondhand neurological perceptions, as blips and flashes racing along the neural pathways inside your skull. If you were to dismiss spiritual experience as “mere” neurological activities, you would also have to distrust all of your own brain’s perceptions of the material world. On the other hand, if we do trust our perceptions of the physical world, we have no rational reason to declare that spiritual experience is a fiction that is “only” in the mind.