The brain has been used both by people who believe in a Creator and by people who see the brain as the pinnacle of evolution and natural selection. While this blog section is not going to attempt an answer to this debate, an interesting research study on the topic just came out in a top US newspaper.
This article attempts to show how the brain is connected to a supernatural being, but that might be God, and it might be a fox (what does the fox say about this anyway?)
Prior to getting into the debate on God and the brain, a substantial survey was conducted on a group of Americans. The study found that Americans do believe in supernatural beings. Around 78% reported that they believed in angels, and even half of those people who never go to church believe.
Close to 20% of Americans in the survey reported having some sort of experience with a ghost, and upwards of 75% reported that they believed in something that is outside the normal bounds of this physical world.
With all of this belief, even in the post-Christian United States, some people started to figure that a belief in a supernatural being was natural. It is coded into our brains from the Creator who made us.
However, the study takes the opposite side of the debate by showing that almost anything, included an imaginary fox, can become a close companion who we have one-on-one conversations with (prayers) and who we have lots of good things to say about (worship).
Some people have decided to try to make their own personal deities that they could build relationships with, to prove a point. This tradition was started by Tibetan monks who designed gods to commune with during meditation. In modern times, those who have tried to copy this have been successful, albeit, after up to 45 minutes of relaxation and meditation.
After practicing this for about a month, one such example subject who had developed his spiritual companion as a fox, began to see the fox, hear the fox, and interact in conversation and emotions with the fox. The power of the brain to develop something or someone out of extreme focus and meditation is truly amazing.
The subject who developed the fox god slowly began to lose its presence after the subject ceased meditating. Thus, this brain trick only worked after meditation. Occasionally, he would be revisited by the fox, but the meetings became less and less common.
It is hard to say where the possibilities of the brain end. As science, technology, and even spirituality continue to progress, the limits of the brain are constantly redrawn. The big question is: are you doing what you can to take advantage of this time in our existence by getting the most out of your brain that you can?