“Phenomenological Neurospirituality” refers to an interdisciplinary approach that integrates phenomenology, neuroscience, and spirituality. Some key thinkers and concepts in this area include:
• Maurice Merleau-Ponty – His work focused on the embodied experience of being in the world. He explored how our consciousness is shaped by our bodily experiences and perceptions. This provides a phenomenological basis for exploring spiritual and mystical experiences.
• Francisco Varela – A neuroscientist who was influenced by phenomenology. He developed the concept of “neurophenomenology” – combining phenomenological insights with neuroscientific study of consciousness and embodied cognition. This approach is relevant for studying mind-body practices and spiritual experiences.
• Eugene d’Aquili and Andrew Newberg – Pioneers of “neurotheology” – the neurological study of religious and spiritual experiences. They explore how spiritual practices like meditation and prayer can correlate with changes in the brain. This approach provides a neuroscientific basis for understanding transcendent experiences.
• Michael Persinger – A neuroscientist who studies altered states of consciousness and “neurotheology”. He developed the “God helmet” device to stimulate spiritual experiences by manipulating the brain’s temporal lobe. Though controversial, his work aims to explore the neurophysiology of mystical experiences.
• Ken Wilber – A philosopher and transpersonal theorist who developed an “integral” model that aims to integrate science, psychology, spirituality and many other fields. His work provides a theoretical framework for integrating phenomenology, neuroscience and contemporary spirituality.
• Other relevant concepts include “neurospirituality”, “spiritual neuroscience” and “contemplative neuroscience” – which explore how spiritual and meditative practices can be understood through neuroscience.
So in summary, phenomenological neurospirituality draws on these thinkers and concepts to provide an embodied, experiential and scientifically-informed perspective on religious, spiritual and transcendent experiences. Please let me know if you have any other questions!