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Neurotheology Approaches to neurotheology Origins The origins of neurotheology probably can be blamed on philosophers like Plato who first began to divide.

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Presentation on theme: "Neurotheology Approaches to neurotheology Origins The origins of neurotheology probably can be blamed on philosophers like Plato who first began to divide."— Presentation transcript:

1 Neurotheology Approaches to neurotheology Origins The origins of neurotheology probably can be blamed on philosophers like Plato who first began to divide the world into spirit and matter leading to continuing debate and the accumulation of many words. It might well be said that neurotheology is out of place in a Judeo-Christian world where spirit means “breath” and Jesus could say “Our Father who is as close as the air all around us” as his way of teaching his students to talk with God. But even here, Greek philosophy gets involved to render his statement, “Our Father who art in Heaven,” leaving a wide separation between the physical and spiritual. Neurotheology is the discussion of these topics and their application to thriving in a human brain and body. Climbing the same hill from the other side are neurologists like Dr. Antonio Damasio or Dr. Vilaynur Ramachandran who represent a scientific/evolutionary view. Damasio makes a good case that the division between the brain and the rest of the body has been taken too far already as the brain is much more a mirror of body states then we suppose. Ramachandran and others propose that spiritual states are normal conditions of the human brain and have taken pains to map how we feel spiritual. Approaches to neurotheology The spiritual zone – Dr. Vilaynur Ramachandran studies how regions of the brain, like the temporal lobes, are designed for spiritual experiences. This school of thought proposes that spiritual experiences are both natural and desirable for the human brain without trying to answer the question of what the brain is transcending when it enters a spiritual state. This understanding of the word “spiritual” refers to an experience or orientation toward mystical experiences. The spiritual effect – Dr. Daniel Amen is one example of observing the effects that spirituality has on the proper functioning of the brain. He is part of the body of science that says that spiritual experiences and disciplines can improve our mental health and improve the function of the brain. Mind/brain dualism – The classical approach to neurotheology attempts to distinguish mind from brain. In this view, the mind is something other than the brain. The more theistic discussants would make the assumption that God was some form of mind rather than matter. The mind is often viewed as spirit. The word “spiritual” in this context refers to a separate and nonphysical being and reality. These discussions resemble philosophy more that science and many are reductionistic, attributing to the mind whatever functions the authors do not believe the brain can perform. Consciousness, will and memory form three large components of the discussion at this point in our knowledge. Not all dualists are focused on finding the line between mind and brain based on functions. Dr. Karl Lehman argues, in agreement with the dualists, that the mind and brain are two different phenomena. However, Dr. Lehman also emphasizes that the mind and brain are intimately connected, and discusses how the brain serves the mind and how the mind is dependent on the brain because he is interested in optimizing the function of both mind and brain. His substantial discussion on the subject is available to download.Karl Lehmandownload Researchers, like the late surgeon Wilder Penfield, have moved the discussion toward reductionism because Penfield’s work often involved seeing what the person could still do as pieces of brain were removed. The assumption being that the mind could work through the brain until the piece of the brain that was allowing the mind to connect was removed. Dr. Lee Travis, one of the discovers of brain waves and developers of the EEG (brain wave recorder,) once told a class at Fuller Seminary that the cortex [of the brain] was far too fickle to be the place where God met the brain. God, he argued, would use the reticular activating system (RAS) in the brain stem. Eugene B. Shea has a well-developed neurotheology based on a similar view of mind and brain based on the RAS (or reticular formation [RF] as it is also known.)Eugene B. Shea Reticular Formation versus Control Center – While traditional neurotheology has started at the bottom of the brain with the RAS/RA where the brain’s value systems originate, Life Model neurotheology has a greater focus on the Control Center at the top of the brain’s hierarchy. Because the Life Model concept of synchronization greatly simplifies subjects from consciousness to sin, it allows us to envision a spiritual interaction with the physical world everywhere in the brain/body at once rather than looking for the intersection of brain and mind. This is not to deny the importance of the brain’s value systems because, unlike the control centers hierarchical progression, value systems impact all the related brain regions at once. These value systems, addressed in the work of Giulio Tononi, activate everything from genes to brain chemistry as well as being the clocks and event markers for the system.Control Centersynchronization The assumption is made by most neurotheologians and mind/brain dualists that the mind is already fully human from the start. There is no doubt that the same cannot be said for the control center. The control center must be shaped, trained, stimulated, strained and nurtured to produce earned maturity or a working identity. (The science related to the control center function and development is laid out best by Dr. Allan Schore.) It is precisely this training and shaping of maturity and identity that is the focus of most applied theology. In addition, the control center provides explanations for how we develop and use mutual-brain states with our group identity as well as our individual identities. Rather than answer the question of what your mind will do if your brain is gone, the Life Model seeks to answer what the mind of God had planned for the development of the brain you have so that you might thrive and suffer well when that was your condition. The old prospector’s mule You will not have to look far on the Internet to find another school of neurotheology. This is a group that collects bits of neuroscience, quotes from famous doctors, stacks of research findings that happen to support whatever view or method they are using. These quotes and “proofs” hang all over their material like the tools and supplies on an old prospector’s mule. They are hanging there because they are useful to make a point sound convincing and not because they have any relationship to the study hanging next to them. These prospectors usually have the map to some buried gold mine that the rest of science and medicine have refused to accept because it is too far ahead of its time. If they are good at it you will find some quantum physics hanging on the mule as well. As often as not, this lost mine is known by the prospector to be God’s gift to the planet. 1 of 7

2 Neurotheology The problem with results and explanations People who stumble across something that works, particularly something that works surprisingly well, are driven to find spiritual, scientific, theological and philosophical answers to why and how their discovery works. While discovering something wonderful will certainly get us fascinated about it there is no reason to believe that those who make discoveries are any better than others at figuring out why their discovery works. Some wonderful discoveries get overlooked because the person who made the discovery provided such a whimsical explanation that no one took them seriously. Other times, people have been convinced by a demonstration and ended up believing the story they got with it. We should not assume that something is not real just because the person who found it called it the wrong thing and explained it the wrong way. We should also not simply accept that someone who can demonstrate reliable results has a reliable explanation for those results. Welcome to neurotheology. Let us see if what we know about God, body, brain, family, development and being human will fit together. We hope you enjoy this part of the Life Model. Neurotheology on Values One interesting area of discussion within neurotheology compares the design of the nervous system with the values expressed in various religions. Another way to say this is to ask if the central nervous system works the way that a religion says will be good for you. For instance, if the nervous system is set to maximize staying alive, nurturing life and passing on life to the next generation a religion that focused on celibacy would not seem to fit as one that supported family, a religion that advocated sex without reproduction would not do as well as one that taught reproductive values. Our actual nervous systems strongly favor attachment relationships beginning before birth. Buddhism teaches detachment “Viraga” which refers to an absence of possessive craving that might not be the same as teaching a high value for attachment. Early attachment is distinctly a possessive craving in both mother and child that forms the center of this necessary process for growing a healthy brain. One would want to see if the totality of Buddhist practice leads to detached or attached parenting. Before we go running off with one word as the basis for understanding Buddhist detachment, we might want to see if it might mean something different than the first impression from the translation. Could viraga refer to the ability to see beyond oneself that is necessary for the mutual-mind states necessary for healthy brain training? Still, the nervous system places an even higher value on bonding than mutual-mind states and it remains for the Buddhist exponents to make the case that they place an equally high value on attachment. The central nervous system also has cycles and rhythms that must be synchronized internally and externally. These values are prominent in Wicca, neo-pagan as well as animist religions. These groups join the discussion when they can show that the same rhythms and synchronization taught by their beliefs are central to the nervous system and will improve brain functions. But most religions have little reason to care about neurotheology unless they claim that the force behind their beliefs is the same force that formed human life. If those beliefs coincide then there should be a strong similarity in values between their values and the values inherent in the care and cultivation of the brain. Christian belief This little introduction to neurotheology will not attempt to do comparative religions; instead we will focus on a discussion of Christian values as they relate to the central nervous system. Christians go so far as to claim that God created the world intentionally and created the human body knowing full well that God would need to live in a human body through an Emmanuel event. For that plan to succeed, it would demand a close match in value systems between the creation and the creator. 2 of 7

3 Neurotheology A full discussion of some ideas presented here could easily be a whole book on their own. We will start the discussion with a short paragraph instead. Truth and the brain: The brain places a high value on truth. If our tacit knowledge of the world and ourselves in our right- brain matches our beliefs in our left-brain those beliefs remain stable and unchangeable. If the left-brain contains beliefs that are not true the right-brain will experience a conflict with tacit knowledge and tacit knowledge wins. We become upset when our identity and reality no longer work correctly. The right-brain then signals the left-brain that the left can now change its beliefs. So the brain is stable when it knows the truth and becomes unstable and upset every time it tries to use false beliefs no matter how long ago the beliefs were formed. It is hard to find any religions that put greater stock in truth than the Judeo- Christian tradition. Mindsight and Godsight: The order of operations in the brain is to first affirm our relationship, second notice any problems with others, third load in a careful understanding of what goes on in the other person’s mind (mindsight), fourth remember what it is like us and our people to do that will calm and satisfy the situation, fifth see this in perspective and see what it really means (Godsight,) and sixth, finally open our mouths to talk. James 1:17-19 states that the first sign that someone is being saved (and restored to normal function) is that they are quick to listen, slow to anger and slow to speak. That is a fairly good match for normal brain function. Christian practice Other topics that merit their own books are how the maturing brain brings changing identity. Biblical religion expects a growth and change of identity in maturity stages that match brain capacities. The brain is also incapable of determining ultimate good and evil for itself or applying ultimate truth to circumstances effectively. In the Biblical view, people were not designed to know good and evil. The brain demonstrates “built in” recovery mechanisms for all kinds of emotional and physical changes but does not seem to have a recovery mechanism for death of a loved one. Oddly, the Biblical view is that people were not designed to die. Mirroring produces identity development in the brain and the Christian life is designed around people seeing others as God sees them and helping them live according the spiritual view of their identity while they form new identities and updated minds. Now that we have looked at some of what Christianity teaches, it would be interesting to see what Christians practice. Brain architecture would predict that if these values are transmitted by verbal teaching, reading and speaking alone the result will be people who say the right things when things are calm and going well. When they get stressed, anxious, angry, threatened or hurt they will not act the way they talked earlier. Decisions and commitments, values and beliefs will be gone from their actions but they will still justify themselves in religious terms when their attitudes and behaviors are something else again. Brain design, intelligent design by Christian standards, predicts that those who have learned these Christian beliefs while sharing upsetting life experiences with more mature believers who can live them will develop healthy brains that can maintain their identity under pressure. This group will be glad to be together whether the day is good or evil. They will be a source of life to others – even, and perhaps especially, when others are malfunctioning. One of these two patterns seems to have developed and been propagated by European and North American Christians in particular. There even seems to be a tendency for the loudest and most dedicated proponents of Christianity to select the least effective method to produce identity change that will hold up under trouble. Have a look at the evidence for yourself and have a thoughtful discussion. 3 of 7 Neurotheology on emotion It is possibly humorous that Christian people speak of “intelligent design” when arguing for the creation of the world by God while holding a nearly opposite view about the structure of the human brain and body. It is clear from the architecture of the brain that the essentially non-verbal emotional control center in the right hemisphere is at the top of the command hierarchy for the brain. Religious leaders and preachers decry living our life based on experience and emotion when the “captain” of the brain is designed (presumably intelligently so) to be in charge at all times. Antonio Damasio (an evolutionist and no proponent of intelligent design by any stretch of the imagination) makes a case in his book Descartes’ Error that this design is actually a very good idea. Most theologians are post-Cartesians, however, and most are also descendents of the Rationalists who gave birth to the Puritan religious movement that shaped American Christianity. Rationalists focus on beliefs, will and choice as the centerpiece of true Christianity. In this view, sin becomes willful disobedience, salvation became a choice to accept Christ while true faith becomes doctrinal purity. captain While all that rationalism is in charge while we are not upset, the brain is not wired to give these thoughts priority when we are upset. This has not escaped the notice of the rationalists who have then moved to ban emotions and experience from taking priority in the Christian life. This solution has two major flaws: 1) It contradicts how the brain is wired (intelligent design would disagree) and, 2) the vast majority of those who have accepted the correct beliefs are not noticeably different in their life and character from those who have not. What we find in American Christianity is a vast failure to change the character of believers, arguably because it tries to produce change in the wrong place. If the emotional control center of the brain has the last word and takes over when hard times and strong feelings come, then a spiritual life that changes what we do in the hard times must be learned in the presence of our emotions and will not be helped by banishing them. The control center learns in relationship not by precept and concept. Our character under pressure changes when our relationships (and not our beliefs) become more important than our upset feelings. If this is true, then we would expect that a God ofcontrol center intelligent design would have a lot to say about the nature of the relationships in the precepts and concepts that go in our left-brains. While these concepts would be accurate, it would not make them primary.

4 Neurotheology Neurotheology on emotion (cont’d) What kind of religious beliefs would we find if a religion matched the way our brain is built and focused on retraining the control center? Our relationship with God would have to be stronger than the pain we might feel. We would have to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Our relationships with others would have to be stronger than our avoidance of pain so that we loved others like we love ourselves. We would have to stay together in sickness or health and carry each other’s burdens. We would have joy with those who have joy and weep with those who weep in order to keep our relationships stronger than our pain. In other words, we would need to learn how to suffer well when necessary. (For more on the meaning of suffering see the Sarx and healing trauma.)Sarxhealing trauma We would not abandon each other or miss chances to be together just because we were upset—not because we eliminated emotions, but because we formed relationships based on love that is stronger than our fear of pain. We would learn to feel strongly yet stay together and give life. This kind of face-to-face relationship when we are upset is just what is needed to train a young or poorly developed control center to handle distress. That would be a spiritual life that would change character. As long as we rely on our beliefs alone to change our character without suffering and rejoicing together we will get the average Western Christian. Oddly, the ancient wisdom literature says the same thing about character. “As iron sharpens iron, so a man hones the face of his friend.” (Proverbs 27:17. See training the Control Center for more on face-to-face training.)training the Control Center Now, if you had to train a group to handle life and death emergencies and you learned that half the group left each time there was an emergency, who would you train? If you learned that the group that stayed could not hear but were fluent in sign language, what language would you use to train them? If you heard that the current trainers were doing all their teaching in English to the group that always left and denouncing sign language what would you do? Isn’t neurotheology interesting? Neurotheology on Sin It is clear in the biblical view of the world that people were originally designed to be life-giving and the source of good things to others. (Ephesians 2:10) God’s assessment of the creation of people was that it was very good and life-giving—fruitful. (Genesis 1:27-31) The biblical language for the word we render “sin” in both Hebrew and Greek means to miss the intended target. In Hebrew one word is חטא (chata') to sin, miss, miss the way, go wrong, not reach and in Greek amartia (hamartia) to sin, miss the target. Thus when St. Paul combines the two words for this central problem he says, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23) In modern language we might say that people malfunction and become less than the beings “crowned with glory and honor” they should have been. (Psalms 8:5, Hebrews 2:7.) 4 of 7

5 Neurotheology Neurotheology on Sin (cont’d) It is interesting to notice that the central nervous system including our brain is born with enormous potential but the actual development of the brain depends on how it is trained and who it copies. Many potential mental abilities are deleted from a growing brain when they are not used. It is clear in areas like the attachment circuits and the control center that it is possible to develop a brain that misses the mark and is much less than it could be. It is possible to train examples of toxic behavior into the “Captain” in the prefrontal area that will cause people to react under stress in ways that they personally deplore. It is obviously possible, and actually common, to grow substandard brains in children. These defects are readily passed along from generation to generation.Captain If part, and perhaps the main part, of what it means to sin is: to become less than we could be, to fail to know who we are and, to fail to act according to our full potential then, it is clear that we have these malfunctions in us. We can see malfunctions in the people all around us. From a moral side we would say that sin is the kind of malfunction that makes us toxic (produce damage and death) at the very moment we needed to give life. When we examine violent behavior and sociopathic deviance there is little doubt that these failures to produce life are accompanied by defective brain function, (see Daniel Amen, Healing the Hardware of the Soul,) and defects in the control center and particularly the attachment system. (See Allan Schore, Affect Regulation and the Disorders of the Self.) Normally such statements about brain defects and morality lead to discussions about “will and choice” because, ever since the Middle Ages, sin has been viewed as a debt or a crime. Sin is a something to be paid for or punished. So the argument goes, how can you punish someone of they have a bad brain? Maybe they can’t help what they are doing. Of course the results are the same regardless of how much choice the person has – they are destructive and deadly. Now, suppose you did not want them to be destructive. It might be helpful to think about how many ways sin is the absence of something, a missing of the mark, a malfunction or a failure to produce life when it is needed. From this view, the major reason to deal with sin would be to experience restoration. Naturally, this restoration is only going to be a reality to those who recognize that they malfunction. If you think it is fine to be deadly you will not seek or find a way to become more alive than you are. Malfunctions are responses that lead toward death. “For the support furnished by sin gives death; but God gives life that keeps going when Jesus leads everything you do.” (Romans 6:23) The “support” referred to in that statement would be the equivalent of the K-rations a soldier eats while on maneuvers. You could render the statement, “If you try to subsist on malfunctions it will kill you.” If you model from defective brains you will grow a defective brain. Wouldn’t you rather eat healthy? Wouldn’t you like to find a good brain to model from?good brain to model from In the next section on the sarx we will discuss why there is not, and will never be, agreement about what is actually a human malfunction. Another part of the discussion can be found in the Munchies lectures on the topic of Fools. Fools are those who think they are living when they are really killing themselves and others. sarxMunchies Neurotheology on the "Sarx" and Ethics Autobiographical memory (in our left-brain) explains who we really are on the basis of what we have done up to now. Therefore a man who copied his control center from the malfunctioning control centers of his parents might come to believe, after 80 years of life, that he is just a grumpy old man. He has always been grumpy and that is all his autobiographical memory has on file. But what can we conclude if at times he is grumpy about being grumpy? After all these years he is still not pleased or satisfied with who he is – there is the sense that he has a malfunction somewhere. His personality is neither to his liking or that of his family. This discontent is a sign that he senses he could have been someone else. At times we are aware that there is something wrong with our identities and those of the people around us. The prophet said, “I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips.” (Isaiah 6:5) He had seen a vision of something better. 5 of 7

6 Neurotheology Neurotheology on the "Sarx" and Ethics (cont’d) Since we grow a brain by creating mutual-mind state with others that allows us to copy how their brain works, we are very vulnerable to copy and pass on malfunctions. Suppose we have been given bad training along with wrong information about what our behavior means. This is quite common. Genius, creativity and leadership are often given other labels during school years leaving bright kids feeling disliked and stupid, for example. As we age these autobiographical memories become the defining source of our identities. We grow up having had errors encoded in the structure and function of our brain. We have trained biological deficits in our brains and identities.mutual-mind 6 of 7 Not all the brain errors about who we are come from external sources. The level 2 of the control center (amygdala) is totally subjective in its determination of good and bad based on how something feels to us. If it hurts it is bad. If it is pleasurable it is good. We strongly tend to justify our experiences and actions based on these interpretations. The problem is that what we experience as good, bad and scary is totally idiosyncratic. No two people will end up with the same set of interpretations of their life experience. For example, I may think mommies are good because my mommy kept me from pain, you think mommies are bad because yours was gone all the time. But my mommy actually kept me from maturing and outgrowing her because she needed my love while yours left an abuser, worked hard all her life to pay the bills and was always too tired. Because our basic evaluation (level 2 of the control center) depends on how our bodies feel at any given moment to tell us if an event is good or bad, you might feel that that the drink you just took helped you relax (and is good) where my body might have gotten tense because your drink made my life feel out of control. level 2control center This process of letting your body define good and evil is referred to in biblical language as listening to the sarx or sarx. This word is often translated “flesh” or “meat.” The flaw in the sarx/sarx is not that the body is bad, but that the brain can only use old information for its evaluation. The brain predicts the future based on accumulated information about the past. If you have bad data you will make bad predictions and malfunction. Perhaps an example will help. Your father was absent, hostile, cold while you were little and eventually left the family and died in a car crash. The result of this experience is that you had a lot of attachment pain as a child when it came to your dad. Your body “heart” hurt and sometimes you became angry or frightened which are both unpleasant body states we do not want to repeat. Having your father approach became bad. Having him gone became bad and thinking about him became bad. Not thinking about him hurt less and that was good. From experiences like that many children have concluded that 1) they are bad, 2) they are not worth much, 3) men are bad, 4) dads are worthless, 5) it is better to avoid becoming attached to men and as many other value interpretations. These all serve as explanations of why we hurt and based on these understandings we decide what it is like us to do. The problem is that all these explanations are flawed but the brain (sarx/sarx) has no others. It would be closer to the truth to say, “I’m just the kind of kid that would love my father. My brain is configured to attach and painfully his is not. Something has blown his attachment circuit and that is painful to me because I am configured to prefer something much better – a secure attachment with all my people.” Do you know any kids that came up with something like that on their own? Instead the brain must tag something or someone as bad. If we are ever to become more than the malfunctions we may have acquired, then there needs to be some definition of who we are that is stronger and more true than our accumulated experiences. We may be more than what we have done or been. If some of what we think is us is actually a malfunction then what is true for us needs to be true for others as well. It becomes a spiritual journey to no longer see ourselves or others according to our accumulated experiences (what the “meat” says) but according to our potential. Seeing this truer self in others when they cause us pain is what it means to forgive, that is, to say that what they have done is less significant than what they were meant to be. Biblical language calls this living according to the spirit and not according to the sarx/sarx/flesh/meat. It should be pointed out that those who do not admit that they are malfunctioning and rely on their own sense of good and bad (sarx) will be highly dangerous to be around at times. They will become deadly at the most unfortunate moments and continue to justify themselves for doing so. After all, this matches the information their brain has on file from the past and they have no vision for becoming someone who is fully alive in the future.

7 Neurotheology At this point we need only to read theology, see Sunnis killing Shiites, protestant reformers killing each other over doctrine, Jewish Orthodox against almost anyone, Catholics fighting with Protestants, denominational splits, Anglican and Presbyterian wars over homosexuality, Hindus and Muslims in India or Tantrics against other Hindus to see brain-based religious ethics at work. The conclusion from biblical theology is that when the result of these ethics is death then you can be sure that it is “meat/sarx” trying to do the right thing. (Romans 8:6) The rest of the story is in the news. In the Life Model view, in spite of how valuable it is to know the right and true principles, we are still unable to determine the right thing to do. We can’t determine the right thing to do because we can’t accurately know who we are really meant to be if that includes being someone we have never been before. The solution is to be synchronized with God and do what God is doing at the same time that God is doing it. (John 5:19) This requires a joy bond with God and the ability to experience some mutual-mind with God as we go through the day. (1 Thessalonians 5:17) You can read about this in the section of spiritual formation.spiritual formation The sarx and recovery The word sarx refers to soft body tissue whether alive or dead and should, at the very least, apply to our brain tissue with its dead spots. These dead spots are genetic, or due to Type A or B traumas. Both the neglected good things and the bad things that happen will increase the chances that genetic weaknesses will become severe and noticeable. We know that when these weaknesses and dead spots accompany bad training in our control centers, we are unable to reach our potential or act like our true selves. While the word sarx may mean more than just this deadness in brain function, it must at least include it. To overcome that deadness, become alive and thrive will practically require three things:Type A or B traumasbad trainingcontrol centers Personal determination to live by my true identity even when my memory tells me that I am someone else because of the malfunctions I have always had. A group of people around me that will mirror my true identity as more important than my past and help me live in joy and peace with them. A living example of what it means to be fully alive that I will trust more than my own mind. Once we have rejected our current identity as too dead, begun to look for a new one, formed a love/joy bond with our redemptive model and bonds with our redemptive community we can retrain our minds to live a new way. In 12-step groups this means admitting that you are powerless, attending group faithfully and submitting to a higher power. For Christians it means confessing we have malfunctioned, becoming part of the church family and looking to Jesus as our living example of how to live. While Christians rarely use this model to overcome the deadness in their brains (sarx), it is hard to conceive of a better model. One problem, in actual practice, is that many people in 12-step programs never develop any identity but that of an addict and many people in churches never develop any identity but that of a sinner. While it is better to admit that we have dead spots in our identities than to think we are fine the way we are, this stops one step short of reaching the potential that we see through the heart that Jesus gives us – to quote the Life Model. 7 of 7 Neurotheology on the "Sarx" and Ethics Ethics and religious behavior is an attempt to create a sophisticated variant with what the “meat” can do. (Romans 8:3) By introducing religious principles, truth or absolute values to replace the physical sensations from the body as the basis for ethics, many people have tried to make the brain calculate the right thing to do in an ethical structure. In a sophisticated ethical or religious system the values will always become contradictory: justice and mercy, accountability and forgiveness, or honesty and kindness. If ethics are about steering our behavior then it is necessary to have contradictory principles because if we are going off the road on the right side we should turn left and if we are going off the left side the right thing to do is turn right— the opposite correction and opposite value. The values do not contradict each other because they are not to be applied at the same time but which one do you apply now is the question the brain must solve before times runs out.

8 18 of 18 The Life Model - Living from the Heart Jesus Gave You Life Model resources related to Neurotheology – page 1 of 3 Munchies Volume 2Munchies Volume 2 (audio) by:Jim Wilder Fools: How to recognize and deal with them How do you deal with the poor, the addicted, the abusers, the codependent, panhandlers or the man on the corner with the “homeless” sign? A wise response depends on whether they are fools or not. Few people have ever thought about the destructive effects of helping fools or why God forbids helping fools. Both Testaments have much to say that can save you grief. Munchies Volume 1 (audio) by:Jim Wilder Some of the concepts that rocked the recovery world in 1997 get updated and revisited in this collection. The series on old people demonstrates that God’s plan for maturity looks very different from what we usually find in society or in the church. Immature leaders block healing for others and often hurt themselves and their families. Munchies Volume 19 (audio) by:Jim Wilder Western Christianity has been deeply influenced by two factors: 1) medieval psychology that is no longer believed by anyone but was used to form theology and, 2) Voluntarist philosophy makes "choices" and "right thinking" the solutions to all human and spiritual problems. Voluntarist philosophy and medieval psychology have had an intense effect on how the Bible has been translated into English and no where is this more obvious than when the Bible speaks of the human body. In this series Wilder looks at the functions of the 10th cranial nerve that controls our relationship functions and bodies and reveals some surprising truths about what our bodies tell us about God and relationships. Munchies: Kingdom Snacks (audio) by:Jim Wilder Lessons on thriving: Bible stories you have heard many times but not the way Jim Wilder teaches them. You will enjoy his wonderful mix of Bible teaching and brain science. Munchies Free (audio) by:Jim Wilder Special lessons of importance to the Life Model students are provided free of charge. Find out about current topics of interest and historical moments. Munchies Volume 3 (audio) by:Jim Wilder The Life Model and neuroscience speak of joy but in the Greek language of the New Testament, the word for “joy” is the feminine of the word for “grace.” Learn how the relationship between grace and joy become the foundation for Christian community. In this volume you will also find a series on marriage and joining a spiritual family. Munchies Volume 7 (audio) by:Jim Wilder Suffering well as a Christian community, seeing others through God’s eyes, why Paul did not mean what we usually think in 2 Corinthians 4:17 takes us from manna in the wilderness to Daffy Duck. What did Paul mean by calling all the suffering on earth “light” and momentary? Munchies Volume 8 (audio) by:Jim Wilder The "sark" also called the "flesh" is quoted in Scripture and sometimes mistaken for God's thoughts. We can also read Scripture with our flesh and get the wrong message as well. God does not prevent us from becoming overwhelmed or broken but can keep us from sinning. Explore some of the difference between Old and New Testaments. Discover the transformations that God built into life and maturity along with those that are part of salvation from what has gone wrong in our lives. Munchies Volume 4 (audio) by:Jim Wilder Toxic hope and how to give up the hopes that are killing you leads the parade of interesting topics collected in this volume. What to do with the command to “Honor your father and mother” if parents were abusive, criminal and dangerous is another gem. Jesus’ puzzling command to sell your cloak and buy a sword also makes sense in the context of getting rid of yeast for Passover and neuroscience. You will see life differently after this series on acting like yourself. Munchies Volume 6 (audio) by:Jim Wilder The book of Judges explains how God uses the strange characters in life and why some unsavory characters still do important things for God. This interesting view of how leaders fail and fall invites us all to develop a new view of the world by looking through our hearts. Munchies Volume 9 (audio) by:Jim Wilder Wilder challenges the pat answers that most Christians have on divorce and gives the class some actual test cases to try their hand at applying scripture. The series includes several great lessons for seniors and finishes with a new look at rocks that will have you rethinking how you read scripture - even the common stories like David and Goliath. Munchies Volume 10 (audio) by:Jim Wilder This volume together with volume 12 examine how memory, the brain and emotional healing intersect. What does God ask us to remember to prevent trauma or recover from being terrified. The answers may surprise you. Munchies Volume 11 (audio) by:Jim Wilder The teaching on the weak and the strong is the heart of the Life Model. Munchies Volume 12 (audio) by:Jim Wilder Immanuel Healing was developed by Dr. Karl Lehman based on his experiences with Jesus in healing sessions and the theological studies by Charlotte Lehman on "God with us" - the meaning of the word Immanuel. In these lessons Dr. Wilder takes us from one end of Immanuel experiences to the other. The last lesson leads to a startling conclusion about the Immanuel presence of God and why the children of Christian leaders often go so far from the faith of their parents. Munchies Volume 1 Munchies Volume 19 Munchies: Kingdom Snacks Munchies Free Munchies Volume 3 Munchies Volume 7 Munchies Volume 8 Munchies Volume 4 Munchies Volume 6 Munchies Volume 9 Munchies Volume 10 Munchies Volume 11 Munchies Volume 12

9 18 of 18 The Life Model - Living from the Heart Jesus Gave You Life Model resources related to Neurotheology – page 2 of 3 Munchies Volume 13Munchies Volume 13 (audio) by:Jim Wilder Belonging is one of the most problematic topics in the Life Model teaching. First, because most people assume that belonging is something that others are supposed to do for them and no one can find people who can give them enough belonging. Second, the "seeker sensitive" church movement assumed that people who come to church are seeking belonging only to find out recently that finding belonging is not what attracts a crowd. Wilder demonstrates in this series that belonging is something people create around them until they are damaged by type A or B traumas. Even the weak and the stranger are expected by scripture to create belonging around them. Creating belonging around you is your normal function. Restoring our natural function is object of the Thriving Recover Your Life class called "Belonging." These lessons give the biblical background for our program design. Bringing the Life Model to Life (book) by:Koepcke, et al The LIFE Model Study Guide for Individuals and Groups for teaching the Life Model's five principles. Restarting Brochure (book) by:Khouri/Wilder Publicizing your Restarting group starts with a good brochure. Here is all the information you need in packets of 50. Just add you local contact information and spread the word. Basic Thrive Skills -- Year 1 (book) by:Wilder, Chris & Jen Coursey This guide and its exercises covers all the skills trained the first year and begins the preparation for the skills taught second year at the THRIVE Conference. Intermediate Thrive Skills -- Year 2 (book) by:Wilder, Chris & Jen Coursey This guide and its exercises covers all the skills taught second year at the THRIVE Conference. Use these exercises with the bonded partner you took to THRIVE or to help members of your family or small group learn the skills with you. Resource CD (CD) by:Wilder, Coursey et al The essential presentation resources for introducing THRIVE concepts to you group or church. Eight PowerPoint presentations, and other resources. Introduction to the Life Model (video) by:Jim Wilder Five lectures by Dr. Jim Wilder plus the Future of Recovery by Ed Khouri. This amazing four DVD set answers your questions about the theology, philosophy, brain science, developers and applications for the Life Model. Now here are the answers in a low-key lecture format and no hype! You get Jim Wilder answering like he would if you invited him into your living room for private lessons on the Life Model and thriving. You also meet Dr. Karl Lehman, Chris and Jen Coursey, Ed Khouri, Pastor Darrell Brazell and see where you and your church fit. Immanuel, Emotional Healing, & Capacity (video) by:Dr. Karl Lehman Essential teaching on trauma recovery using the Life Model concepts of limited capacity. Dr. Lehman shares spiritual ways to overcome some limitations of the brain's control center during healing. Bonding and Dissociation 3 DVD Set (video) by:E James Wilder These breakthrough presentations by Dr. Jim Wilder brought the “decade of the brain” and the work of Dr. Allan Schore to the trauma recovery field. It was obvious from that point on that Dissociation and Borderline disorders both arose from trauma, however dissociation could happen in one generation while borderline required two generations of trauma. The implications for treatment and recovery are spelled out in these three videos. The principles outlined in these three DVDs have become central to the 19 personality formation skills taught at the THRIVE Changing My Generation Conference. These Live Model principles also form the backbone of the Thriving Recover Your Live program for traumas and addictions. El Gozo de Cristo en las Vidas Traumatizadas (video) by:E James Wilder 2004 Conference Video THRIVE Track III Lectures: Applied Strategy (video) by:Jim Wilder Continue training in this concluding lecture series with Dr. Jim Wilder, genius behind the Life Model and the necessary skills for strategic interventions for the five levels of pain in the brain. Dr. Karl Lehman demonstrates recorded actual healing from various levels of pain. Wired for Relationship (video) by:Ed Khouri Watch the best introduction and overview of the approach that Thriving is using for addiction! Filmed live at the Share Immanuel Conference April 2011. Thriving and Synchronization (article) by: E James Wilder, Chris Coursey Why synchronization is a brain skill that needs to be trained. Synchronization is an essential and often overlooked brain skill for leaders and parents. Learn the logic behind the THRIVE training program. Diagnosing Pain From a Failure to Thrive (article) by: E James Wilder How to use the Life Model to determine the best point of intervention and resources needed for recovery. The Theoretical Basis for the Life Model (article) by: E James Wilder A look at various models of human development with the neurological and psychological foundations of the Life Model. Right Brain 4-Level Control Center (diagram) Shows the 4-level control center with each level color coded. Bringing the Life Model to Life Restarting Brochure Basic Thrive Skills -- Year 1 Intermediate Thrive Skills -- Year 2 Resource CD Introduction to the Life Model Immanuel, Emotional Healing, & Capacity Bonding and Dissociation 3 DVD Set El Gozo de Cristo en las Vidas Traumatizadas THRIVE Track III Lectures: Applied Strategy Wired for Relationship Thriving and Synchronization Diagnosing Pain From a Failure to Thrive The Theoretical Basis for the Life Model Right Brain 4-Level Control Center

10 18 of 18 The Life Model - Living from the Heart Jesus Gave You Life Model resources related to Neurotheology – page 3 of 3 Brain Diagrams (Spanish version)Brain Diagrams (Spanish version) (diagram) Brain diagrams with Spanish labels Four Plus Levels of Synchronization (handout) by: E James Wilder A one-page chart of the five levels of brain synchronization and the kinds of pain produced when synchronization fails. This diagram fits the five to thrive part of the Life Model. Conflict Resolution Through Mindsight And Godsight (handout) by: E James Wilder One page summary of how mindsight and Godsight aid in healthy conflict resolution My Brain Has Been Hijacked – and I’d Really Like It Back! (webinar) Topic: Joy, BEEPS & SelfControl The materials presented in the webinar are an expanded version of the first several weeks of Restarting, which is the recovery module of the Thriving Program – and will include new insights on the brain, BEEPs and the limits of self-control. You will get the option of attending on a Thursday night or a Tuesday night! We want you to have the chance to interact with Ed Khouri and have all your questions answered about BEEPS!! Four Plus Levels of Synchronization Conflict Resolution Through Mindsight And Godsight My Brain Has Been Hijacked – and I’d Really Like It Back!

11 Neurotheology Values Emotion Sin Ethics www.Lifemodel.org/topic Summarized by CSR January 2008


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