Biblical Neurons

Once upon a time there was a neuroscientist named Ned who was trying to advance a theory that neurons in the human brain had deeper levels of cognitive structure. Ned believed that this was the case because the synaptic mechanisms that formed neural networks of communication between neurons could not explain the subtle processes of rational and abstract thought.

Some of the latest research was showing that tiny structures called microtubules might represent a deeper “nervous system” and cognitive substrate within the neuron itself. Microtubules seemed to consist of helical (spiral) tubes that followed invisible magnetic lines of force. These magnetic lines of force are visibly apparent during cell division when microtubules form “mitotic spindles” and dipoles.

Ned also knew that if magnetic fields were concentrated on specific lobes of the brain and specific neural clusters, it could produce everything from paralysis of the limbs to profound spiritual experience. This was a big problem for Ned because it implied that bio-structure might extend into an invisible and unobservable realm. Was this a dead end for his research and scientific methodology?

Suddenly an angel appeared in Ned’s laboratory! He wondered if somehow he had left his Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) equipment on and accidently walked into a magnetic field that was leaking out, producing a “spiritual” experience in his temporal lobe.

(Giggle) “I have been sent here by the Lord God to offer you further help for your research,” said the beautiful angel.

True scientist that he was, Ned figured that if his brain was playing tricks on him it might still lead to new insights, so he decided to play along with his strange mental projection. “What could an angel know about natural science?” asked Ned.

“Angels are not just creatures with heavenly hearts, we have great knowledge and wisdom,” she said. “In fact, I can teach you how God’s Holy Word contains the information you need to flush out your theory of deeper cognitive structures within human neurons.”

“But the Bible is just a collection of ancient stories. It deals with religion, not science,” replied the baffled but amused neuroscientist.

“That is what most of the modern world believes,” said the angel, making a stern facial expression. “But I can assure you that the Bible’s divine authority and inerrancy consists in its hierarchical architecture, which contains multi-leveled representations of cognitive process.”

“You’ve lost me,” said the skeptical man of science.

“Simply begin to look at the characters and events within the narratives of Holy Scripture as if they were neurons, groups of neurons, and various levels of neural activity,” said the angel with a warm smile. “God’s Holy Word reveals a universal psycho-drama that all humans participate in. Let me offer you some clues.”

“The Genesis story of Adam and Eve represents the descent or fall of the human psyche from lofty spiritual wisdom to lower worldly knowledge and desires,” explained the angel with great seriousness.

“Even if I were to embrace the idea that Holy Scripture contains deeper symbolic meanings how does this information help me as a neuroscientist?” asked Ned.

“Grasping these symbolic meanings requires that humans tap into deeper levels of structure within their neurons. For instance, Jacob is called both ‘Jacob’ and ‘Israel’ in Scripture. Why two names? Well, Jacob represents the outermost operation of the neuron while Israel represents a more interior level of the human psyche, which is truly spiritual. In other words, when the two different names are used in a biblical passage, different levels of cognition and order are being expressed. Humans experience these distinct and different perspectives of mental activity all the time,” pointed out the angel. “This phenomenon is why humans often struggle within themselves over competing influences issuing out from their mental world.”

The angel continued. “The spiritual world is actually an ontological level of bio-complexity where primal human cognitive structure is non-physical. If one sincerely embraces God and a life of goodness, this allows divine influences to take hold in the various levels of our neural makeup. The birth of Jesus represents the birth of new values within the human psyche. This ‘second’ birth is the secret of the Second Coming. First the Lord’s teachings take hold in a small part of the brain, but eventually, other neurons, like disciples, join, until one’s whole being is transformed. You have to admit that when you come upon a new idea, not all your neurons are convinced. The Apocalypse is nothing more than neurons battling over belief systems and worldviews. This ultimate battle takes place over a person’s psycho-turf, which is one’s true spiritual environment. Where else could the Lord God win over human hearts and minds but in their neurons?”

How does this battle between neurons illustrate deeper cognitive substrates within a person’s psychical bio-structure?” asked Ned.

“Rationality and spiritual wisdom take place in a deeper part of neuron structure than, let’s say, a desire for corporeal or worldly pleasure. Cognition becomes more universal, inclusive and more self-less, the deeper one goes,” returned the angel. “In spiritual evolution, some neurons begin to start operating on deeper levels from a more noble affection of the heart. God’s commandments of neighborly Love were actually designed to help the human race tap into deeper operations of their brain cells.”

“Gee,” said Ned, smelling a possible Nobel Prize, “do you think you could explain to me, in a scientific and rational way, exactly how the Bible stories contain a lawful sandwiching of organic forms and neural process that straddles the physical and non-spatial spiritual realms?”

“Sure,” returned the loving angel. “Let us go find a copy of the Bible.”


About thegodguy

EDWARD F. SYLVIA, M.T.S. Philosopher/Theologian Edward F. Sylvia attended the School of Visual Arts in New York and received his Master of Theological Studies at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA and a Certificate of Swedenborgian Studies from the Swedenborgian House of Studies. He is a member of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (C.T.N.S.) and the Swedenborg Scientific Association (S.S.A.). Award-winning author of "Sermon From the Compost Pile: Seven Steps Toward Creating An Inner Garden" and "Proving God," which fulfills a continuing vision that God’s fingerprints of love can be found everywhere in the manifest universe. His most recent book, "Swedenborg & Gurdjieff: The Missing Links" is an edgy collection of anti-intuitive essays for personal transformation that challenges and inspires. He has been a student of the ideas of both Emanuel Swedenborg and George I. Gurdjieff for over thirty years. Read more about TheGodGuy, his books and his ideas at
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