At this time of year, our thoughts turn to religion, and in the US, around 80% of adults say they belong to an organized religion. Psychologists, sociologists and neurologists are still trying to figure out why some people are religious, while other people aren't.
In LiveScience.com, Adam Hadhazy quotes researcher Andrew Newberg as saying, "This whole area (of research) teaches us something about the human mind and brain." (NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to this show). "There are a lot of philosophical and theological implications of this work and about how we understand the world." According to Newberg, some form of religion has emerged "in every culture and society going back 100,000 years when the human brain began to form and expand."
Does this mean that belief in God is genetic? A proposed "god gene" could predispose some people to transcendental experiences, while those people with a more prominent brain fold called the paracingulate sulcus might be more grounded in what could be called reality. Hadhazy quotes Newberg as saying, "Clearly there are bits and pieces of our biology that make us prone to religious and spiritual ideas and beliefs. As with all characteristics of human beings, there's a bit of a bell curve, with some finding it very easy to believe in these things and others finding it very hard."
In Whitley's Room, just for subscribers, there are now several short (15 min.) discussions by Whitley Strieber on bible verses. The first covers the meaning of the phrase "because man goeth to his long home" in Ecclesiastes 12:5. It explains this enigmatic phrase in a startling and deeply moving way.
The second in the series covers John 13: 34: "Love one another." When Whitley begins talking about what the imposition of doctrine did at the Council of Nicea, this quickly becomes one of the most powerful discussions on any biblical passage you are going to hear. These brief fifteen minutes have the potential to free us from thousands of years of unacknowledged bondage to doctrine, and bring vivid new life to the experience of Jesus.
The third is on the opening lines of Genesis (you've never heard an interpretation like THIS before)! In another, Whitley Strieber talks about how the Romans saw Jesus, and uses the gospels and his deep knowledge of Roman history to explain what Jesus meant to them and why they executed him, and why they did it in the precise way that they did.
And the latest is on the REAL meaning of the "marriage feast at Cana."