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Spirit Release Therapy, as a clinical alternative to religious exorcism and traditional shamanistic practice is largely unknown by mainstream medical practice and psychiatry. This is due to several interrelated factors. Primarily, materialistic science does not recognise any concept of a spirit world and doctors are therefore not yet trained in SRT principles and techniques. SRT sits uncomfortably between the disbelief of a materialist secular society and the subjective experience of spirit possession: whether that experience is a symptom of psychosis, symbolic representation, socio-cultural expectation or a veridical manifestation. In contrast to the monism of mechanistic science, every culture and religious belief system throughout human history has its traditional beliefs of spirit possession in some form or another with corresponding rituals for the release or exorcism of spirit entities. It is common knowledge that Christianity has its angels, devils and demons (although the majority of modern so-called Christians probably don’t believe they really exist). Islam has its Jinns and the Hindus have a variety of evil spirits.
The conflict between the epistemologies of modern science and religion lies in the conceptual differences in perception that are arrived at through empirical data and radical empirical experience. In short, it is a difference between what we believe to be true and what we know to be true.
- Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Juiz de Fora, Brazil; São Paulo Medical Spiritist Association, São Paulo, Brazil. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We aim to report the case of a 38-year-old male with suggestive past-life memories during a regression session and to show how these memories were related to unusual medical conditions: (1) isolated obstruction of the right coronary artery in a young patient, (2) omental infarction, and (3) right aortic arch with isolation of the left subclavian artery. These conditions were related to the following suggestive past-life memories: (1) a priest who committed suicide with a crucifix nailed to his chest and (2) a medieval weapon (skull flail) hitting his cervical and left back region. There was an intriguing relation between the patient’s suggestive past-life memories and rare medical conditions. In this article, the authors highlight possible explanations, rarity of findings, and similarities/differences from previous cases and potential pitfalls in this area.
© 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Reincarnation, Spirituality, Suggestive past-life memories
- [PubMed – in process]
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An auditory hallucination shares with imaginal hearing the property of being self-generated and with real hearing the experience of the stimulus being an external one. To investigate where in the brain an auditory event is “tagged” as originating from the external world, we used positron emission tomography to identify neural sites activated by both real hearing and hallucinations but not by imaginal hearing. Regional cerebral blood flow was measured during hearing, imagining, and hallucinating in eight healthy, highly hypnotizable male subjects prescreened for their ability to hallucinate under hypnosis (hallucinators). Control subjects were six highly hypnotizable male volunteers who lacked the ability to hallucinate under hypnosis (nonhallucinators). A region in the right anterior cingulate (Brodmann area 32) was activated in the group of hallucinators when they heard an auditory stimulus and when they hallucinated hearing it but not when they merely imagined hearing it. The same experimental conditions did not yield this activation in the group of nonhallucinators. Inappropriate activation of the right anterior cingulate may lead self-generated thoughts to be experienced as external, producing spontaneous auditory hallucinations.
- [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]