The Neurobiology of the Gods: How Brain Physiology Shapes the Recurrent Imagery of Myth and Dreams

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9780415673006: The Neurobiology of the Gods: How Brain Physiology Shapes the Recurrent Imagery of Myth and Dreams
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Where does science end and religion begin? Can "spiritual" images and feelings be understood on a neurobiological level without dismissing their power and mystery?

In this book, psychiatrist Erik Goodwyn addresses these questions by reviewing decades of research, putting together a compelling argument that the emotional imagery of myth and dreams can be traced to our deep brain physiology, and importantly, how a sensitive look at this data reveals why mythic or religious symbols are indeed more "godlike" than we might have imagined.

The Neurobiology of the Gods weaves together Jungian depth psychology with research in evolutionary psychology, neuroanatomy, cognitive science, neuroscience, anthropology, mental imagery, dream research, and metaphor theory into a comprehensive model of how our brains contribute to the recurrent images of dreams, myth, religion and even hallucinations. Divided into three sections, this book provides:

  • definitions and foundations
  • an examination of individual symbols
  • conclusive thoughts on how brain physiology shapes the recurring images that we experience.

Goodwyn shows how common dream, myth and religious experiences can be meaningful and purposeful without discarding scientific rigor. The Neurobiology of the Gods will therefore be essential reading for Jungian analysts and psychologists as well as those with an interest in philosophy, anthropology and the interface between science and religion.

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From the Inside Flap:

'A synthesis of biological, psychological, cultural, and spiritual knowledge yielding wholeness, wisdom, and evolutionary meaning and mystery.'  --David H. Rosen, MD, Texas A&M University.

'Erik Goodwyn shows us how closely related the archetypes are to our physiology, and what our body is doing when their images and emotions appear.  He brings psyche down out of the clouds and shows it to be an integral part of our organism.'  --John Ryan Haule, PhD.

'With impressive precision, Erik Goodwyn explores the parallel worlds of Jungian psychology and evolutionary biology.  Goodwyn had dared to enter a crucial area of research which has been neglected by most contemporary Jungians and he is to be congratulated.  Jung would have applauded his efforts.'  --Anthony Stevens,  MD, author of Archetype Revisited (Routledge).

'Psychiatrist Erik Goodwyn has snatched symbol and metaphor out of the air and connected them to deep layers of the brain through an expanded description of Jung's archetypes and collective unconscious.  Expand your mind into brain and cosmos!'  --Bernard D. Beitman, MD, Editor, Synchronicity, Weird Coincidences and Psychotherapy.  

'The Neurobiology of the Gods is a compelling examination of ancient magical beliefs in the modern light of cognitive neuroscience.  Goodwyn's use of Jungian constructs provides a rich framework and conceptual bridge for the author's assertions and often brilliant observations.  I applaud his success in proposing rational answers to questions commonly held to be innately irrational.'  Douglas Lehrer, MD, Wright State University.

About the Author:

Erik D. Goodwyn is a practicing military psychiatrist for the Air Force in North Dakota, involved in teaching, research and patient care, including that of deployed soldiers. His essays on archetypes, Jungian theory and neuroscience as well as dreams reported by soldiers in combat have appeared in The Journal of Analytical Psychology.

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9780415672993: The Neurobiology of the Gods: How Brain Physiology Shapes the Recurrent Imagery of Myth and Dreams

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Book Description Taylor & Francis Ltd, United Kingdom, 2012. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Where does science end and religion begin? Can "spiritual" images and feelings be understood on a neurobiological level without dismissing their power and mystery?In this book, psychiatrist Erik Goodwyn addresses these questions by reviewing decades of research, putting together a compelling argument that the emotional imagery of myth and dreams can be traced to our deep brain physiology, and importantly, how a sensitive look at this data reveals why mythic or religious symbols are indeed more "godlike" than we might have imagined. The Neurobiology of the Gods weaves together Jungian depth psychology with research in evolutionary psychology, neuroanatomy, cognitive science, neuroscience, anthropology, mental imagery, dream research, and metaphor theory into a comprehensive model of how our brains contribute to the recurrent images of dreams, myth, religion and even hallucinations. Divided into three sections, this book provides: definitions and foundationsan examination of individual symbolsconclusive thoughts on how brain physiology shapes the recurring images that we experience.Goodwyn shows how common dream, myth and religious experiences can be meaningful and purposeful without discarding scientific rigor. The Neurobiology of the Gods will therefore be essential reading for Jungian analysts and psychologists as well as those with an interest in philosophy, anthropology and the interface between science and religion. Seller Inventory # AA69780415673006

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