Imagine that you have a mystical experience that changes your life. Perhaps you see the face of Jesus, Muhammad, or Buddha. Perhaps you feel the Universe pouring out love into your being. Or perhaps you just feel immense peace.
Now imagine that this experience is actually the result of an epileptic seizure. This is the case for many who undergo this unique type of seizure. Instead of having a seizure that affects the parts of the brain that control muscle movements, their seizures affects different parts of their brain, leading to intense mystical experiences. For epileptics with mystical experiences, these experiences can be profound, life changing, and difficult for others to truly understand.
What causes these seizures? What do they feel like? Does having a scientific explanation detract from, or add to these experiences?
Today on the podcast we are joined by Dr. Joseph Tennant. Joseph is a cultural psychologist specializing in the study of religion and morality. He has previously worked in the areas of epileptics with mystical experiences, mixed-methods research, and moral judgement among evangelicals and atheists in the US.
You can follow Joseph on Twitter @josephtennant.
Many thanks to our voice actor who played the part of Fyodor Dostoyevsky in this podcast, Andrey Shredder. Some of the background music you heard were clips from Winding Into Gone by Dirk Ködderitzsch feat_Köddi licensed under CC by 3.0., and Virtutes Instrumenti, Lost Time, Black Vortex, Gymnopedie No. 1, and Day of Chaos by Kevin McCleod (https://incompetech.com) licensed under CC BY 4.0.