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Spirituality in the FleshBodily Sources of Religious Experiences$
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Robert C. Fuller

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195369175

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195369175.001.0001

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 The Chemistry of Consciousness

 The Chemistry of Consciousness

Neuroscience and Metaphysical Illumination

Chapter:
(p.75) 4 The Chemistry of Consciousness
Source:
Spirituality in the Flesh
Author(s):

Robert C. Fuller (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195369175.003.0004

Every experience has a neurochemical foundation. Even the slightest alteration in the brain's accustomed neurochemistry therefore has the potential to elicit unusual experiences that might have strikingly spiritual qualities. This chapter draws upon recent studies in neuroscience to help understand the link between the “chemistry of consciousness” and episodes of religious innovation throughout American history. From Native American peyotism to the role of psychedelics in the 1960s counterculture movement, there have been clear and identifiable neurochemical substrates to Americans' quest for religious ecstasy.

Keywords:   altered states of consciousness, Eugene d'Aquili, Dean Hamer, marijuana, mysticism, neuroscience, Andrew Newberg, peyotism

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