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By Ioannis Tsoukalas

This booklet offers a unique reason for the emergence of the God-concept and human religiosity. In so doing it makes artistic use of the newest findings in anthropology, neurology and psychology. on the middle of this rationalization is the truth that early early life studies predispose humans to 'magical thinking', an inclination that's strengthened by way of the human skill to dream and the over-excitability of the cerebral cortex. The interplay of those 3 components, either at the phylogenetic and ontogenetic point, has given upward push to the uniquely human skill to understand transcendental organization.

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Additional resources for Conceiving God: Perversions and Brainstorms; A Thesis on the Origins of Human Religiosity

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This reminiscence, which is especially common during periods of personal stress and crisis, can be both pleasant – infusing its recipient with a positive spirit – and painful, bogging him down with its baleful load. Marcel Proust has given us some excellent descriptions of such reminiscence. 32 One of his protagonists, while having tee, is suddenly overtaken by a flood-wave of involuntary cognitions: She sent for one of those squat, plump little cakes called “petites madeleines,” which look as though they had been moulded in the fluted valve of a scallop shell.

The special kind of mental processing occasioned by dreaming has a tendency to “stumble upon” such similarities and this invites the use of conceptual metaphor. This is how dream expert Ernest Hartmann puts it: What I am saying – and this may be a bit difficult to grasp – is that a metaphoric similarity is a real similarity. In the nets of our minds (and that’s all we have), metaphor is real: The similarity between a personal relationship and a journey by car is just as real as the similarity between a car and a truck.

In any case, I am suggesting that some feeling of vulnerability is inevitable in childhood. We all tend to contextualize this vulnerability in dreams and thus to have nightmares, though there are great individual differences in the intensity of these nightmares and the extent to which they continue into adulthood. (Hartmann, 1998: 66-67) These nocturnal manifestations – both as observed facts and as experienced states – probably played an important role in the evolution of the first religious practices.

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