“Neurotheology and Spiritual Transformation: Clues in the Work of Joel Goldsmith”
Simmons, John K. “Neurotheology and Spiritual Transformation: Clues in the Work of Joel Goldsmith.” Journal of the Society for the Study of Metaphysical Religion 10, no. 2 (2004): 89-125.
Based on a hypothesis from neuroscience—that the human brain is “wired for spirituality”—Simmons posits a universal process of “spiritual transformation” in three stages: (stage 1) an “intuitional stage,” where one intuits that God exists as the unity of all being; (stage 2) an “apocalyptic dualistic stage,” where “mind-brain-consciousness” is being reprogrammed “to perceive unity (allness) through the mask of ontological dualism” (90); and (stage 3) a “unitive stage” where the common-sense duality of mind and world dissolves and the person sees him/herself as part of the vast allness of divinity. The author claims that Mary Baker Eddy, having experienced “mystical unity” (91) with God (stage 3), retreated at times in the language of her writings into a paradoxical duality, when forming her theology and church organization, often rigidly insisting that “Spirit” (the real) and “matter” (the unreal) are opposites. To heal disease “matter” must be displaced in the mind by understanding the allness of Spirit—causing a cognitive dissonance for some believers. One-time followers of Eddy—Goldsmith and Emma Curtis Hopkins—having experienced stage 3, and discounting the dissonances of stage 2 in orthodox Christian Science, founded influential systems of their own (The Infinite Way and New Thought) designed to guide others to spiritual transformation and healing.
See also annotation:
Annotations related by category:
- Availability: Online - Free
- Controversy: Theological Controversies
- Official Christian Science Publication: No
- People: Eddy, Mary Baker
- People: Hopkins, Emma Curtis
- Publication Date: 2001-2010
- Resource Types: Article
- Resource Types: Web Resources
- Subjects: Healing and Health
- Subjects: Metaphysical
- Subjects: Theology