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Dr. Michael Persinger , a neuropsychologist at Canada's Laurentain University in Sudbury, Ontario, believes that religious experiences have their basis in the brain. As Jack Hitt, the author of an article on the research, explains the study's conclusions, "When the right hemisphere of the brain, the seat of emotion, is stimulated in the cerebral region presumed to control notions of self, and then the left hemisphere, the seat of language, is called upon to make sense of this nonexistent entity, the mind generates a 'sensed presence.' "
According to the people Persinger has studied—more than nine hundred so far—this presence may be identified as Elijah, Jesus, an alien, one's grandfather. In short, people interpret this feeling of presence according to their experiences, personal beliefs, and culture.
Was Jack Hitt, who participated in the study, convinced by the experience? Saying that, for some, the study may confirm humanity's feeling of being solitary in the universe, he goes further and says, "We're itching to get out of here, to escape this tired old environment .... Time to move on and discover true divinity all over again."
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To Our Readers
with contributions from Carolyn Gill, Ward R. Quincey
items of interest
with contributions from Luis D. Leon, Michael Meehan
Depression is not natural
By Colleen Douglass
SEVERE DEPRESSION HEALED
Vicki A. Turpen
Can I get to the church on time?
By Robert C. Lewis
Learning from mistakes
By Clifford Kapps Eriksen
Intelligence gaps? God can help
By Alma Chico Green
Building on a stable foundation
By Judith H. Hedrick
Every puppy has its place
By Sarah A. BRITTON
Malignant tumor dissolved
Prayer heals severe knee pain
Hope B. Quartey-Papafio
Child's injured arm and wrist quickly healed
Kenzie J. Jones
God—our constant companion
By Robert A. Johnson
Brothers, sisters, and strangers
William E. Moody