I have some personal experience with intrusive thoughts. There were times in my life where I have been overcome with thoughts that were not my own. It’s terrifying, especially when the advisors at my disposal just believed that I was completely losing touch with reality. But wait…in the Christian worldview, spirits exist. And Paul even says that we should ‘test the spirits.’ So not only do they exist, but we should communicate with them, and figure out whether they come from God or not.In short, the spirit world can communicate with us.
Neurologists can stimulate different areas of the brain and trigger thoughts. My only thought here is that if a doctor can do this with a probe why couldn’t spirits? If the brain is so altered, surely God [or spirits] could plant thoughts. (A Thousand Brains, p. 37)
And honestly, I think this is how the spirit world works, in part. A spirit would be an entity with a probe of sorts. The inception of thoughts would be plausible.
I say this to say that the statement that ‘thoughts are simply electric activity of the brain’ may very well be true, but the source of that electric activity is the question. If a doctor can simulate thoughts during surgery, surely an all-knowing creator could simulate thoughts as well.
I’d also like to reference the boy that Jesus cured of epilepsy in the New Testament. We are told that the cause of the epilepsy is a spirit. But does that jive with what we know about seizures?
We can induce seizures with electric brain stimulation. If seizures are simply electric charge on the brain, and the spirit world can manifest itself by way of electricity, I think it would follow that spirits could cause epilepsy. I am not saying that all epilepsy is caused by spirits. Or that all spirits cause epilepsy. What I do know is that both of these things are true, and this is how I reconcile them.
TLDR: Thoughts are electrical activity. Seizures are electrical activity. Spirits can plant thoughts, therefore, spirits can cause seizures. And if we can remove spirits in these cases, we can remove the seizures.
Essentially we don’t know how the brain works. We can’t cure neurological diseases. We can’t cure all depression. We can’t really improve intelligence.
But what if a worldview has an untapped resource of explanation? Christian theism offers just that. Although it seems farfetched, and it is slightly terrifying.
Anyways, in Christianity humans are the battlefield. Constantly encountering spirits. And in this spiritual world, we are introduced to the explanatory power of the Christian worldview in the area of psychology.
What’s more important is that in subscribing to this model, we no longer need explanations about miracle healings of Alzheimer’s, because we know that if the presence of a spirit is causing the malady, the absence of it would lead to a miracle healing.
Not to mention, probably the scariest part: schizophrenia. If there is a spirit world, people that hear voices are actually hearing spirits. And we know that spirits can be cast out. Thus, schizophrenia is curable. But not by any pill or treatment, by the sovereign grace of God. Thus, the unexpected mitigation of this disease becomes less farfetched and more realistic.
So everywhere we look at the world, Christianity has answers, including the human mind. Perhaps the best answer to some of the biggest questions of medicine and science have been right under our nose this whole time. Maybe our biggest problem was trying to reconcile the complete with the incomplete, trying to merge modern psychology and psychiatry with the Christian narrative.
As I theorized in Hawking Eye Radiation, I think there are some good reasons to believe that the eye produces light. The question becomes, ‘how does it produce this light?’
I learned recently that LEDs act as light sensors when turned off. I think that this could be the way that the eye works. I don’t mean how the eye works in the traditional sense, but how this potential added sense could be explained.
If the eye produces light during normal hours, even if it is a relatively small amount, perhaps the light shuts off at a certain point each day. Maybe when we get tired. And if the eye shuts off when we get tired, current would flow through this light sensor, increasing the electric charge on the brain. And that would make the subject more susceptible to seizures.
Next, is to determine, if true, how this system works.
One of the most mysterious symptoms of COVID-19 is the widespread anosmia. That is, people lose their sense of smell. The most interesting part about it is that we really don’t have a good mechanism to describe it. Here’s my take:
I’ve discussed time perception in great length in other posts. For the sake of this one, time is essentially either perceived quickly or slowly. In any given amount of time, a certain amount of particles travel up the nasal passages. The shorter this sampling rate, the fewer the particles that register per unit time. Thus, when time is slow, smell could suffer.
Taste is also something that seems to diminish with smell, especially with COVID-19. I think the same concept applies. If less information hits the tongue in a given amount of time, you will have less taste. So the slower time is perceived, the more information is needed to make up the difference. And since the amount of information is likely the same, taste may suffer,
Watery eyes also seem to correlate the loss of taste and smell. In an older post, I theorize about how time perception could explain crying. This is no different. When time is slow, if blinking does not increase, the eyes are essentially being held open for longer stretches of relative time. And when the eyes are held open for long stretches of time, they water.
In conclusion, some of the main symptoms seem to be pretty easily explained by looking at them through the lens of time perception. And according to Occam’s Razor, the simplest solution is almost always the best.
As society changes, we begin to accept new norms. For instance, homosexuality is now not taboo or a mental illness, but an expression of self that is celebrated. Same with transsexuality.
To be frank, if the Bible is true, these thoughts are sinful. But the problem is that society teaches us that they are OK. So instead of labeling the thoughts as wrong, begin to accept them as a part of ourselves.
So you see, as society works one way, God works another. In this case, norms train our developing youth to label thoughts as good or normal that are anything but. So instead of being a troubled kid or someone going through a hard time or trying to find himself, he finds himself in something he shouldn’t.
If we can’t identify the sin, there is no way to overcome it. If you can’t see the devil, you can’t defeat him.
Living with depression, you hear this phrase a lot. Most of us accept it, perhaps after some hesitation. I want to break it down.
The fact that I have thoughts means that I am separate from my thoughts. To observe thoughts, whatever makes me me is separate from whatever makes these thoughts. I think a good analogy is looking at your reflection in the mirror. You can see your reflection, but it’s not exactly you. It’s an image of you.
My thoughts are not part of the physical world. They exist only in my mind. While something may exist in my mind and the physical world, it is only necessary that they exist in my mind.
If thoughts exist, but not in the natural world, thoughts are evidence of the supernatural world. Not to mention, after we have a thought, we have the ability to act on the thought or not. This is the power of the will. To essentially say ‘no’ to a thought. That would make will power the ability to say ‘no.’ And I think that is a pretty good definition.
But if we have the power to say ‘no’ to a thought, we are not machines at all. The world cannot be deterministic because we have the ability not to act on a given thought. If we can say no, we are free. And if we are free, determinism is false.
Thus, because the mind produces thoughts and we can decline to act on them, both naturalism and determinism are false.
I was reintroduced to Christian Universalism on Reddit this evening. If true, this belief system is a game changer: something that should change everything about how you view your life and afterlife. But if false, it could be one of the most widespread and damning heresies of all time.
First off, think about the teachings of Jesus: about the narrow gate, the Parable of the Sower, and even the Great Commission. If all are eventually saved, what is the point of spreading the gospel?
I think it’s a heresy. What is the point of Paul talking about the elect if we are all, in fact, elect? What is the purpose of salvation if there isn’t something that we are being saved from?
So while it’s a very powerful idea, I’m afraid that universal salvation is just that: an idea. I don’t think the Bible supports it. The Bible seems to be very clear in its language that not all make it to the finish line.
Until relatively recently, there were two camps of people when it came to eyesight: extramission and intromission. Those who believed in extramission believed that light rays exited the eyes causing sight, and those who believed in intromission believed that sight was the result of light entering the eyes.
First held by Empedocles, extramission theory was held by Plato, Euclid, Ptolemy, and even Da Vinci. I say this to say: this theory was not just passing idea. Some of the greatest thinkers in history held that it was true.
Of course, that doesn’t make it true. To me, that just makes it worth exploring.
My theory is not exactly the same as these thinkers. I am not proposing that we see by emanating rays from our eyes. I am just proposing that, under certain conditions, the eyes can emanate light.
I think these reasons in tandem makes a strong case. And lastly, I propose that you test for yourself in Smell with Your Eyes. Because I think that if you can experience it for yourself, you may just believe it too.
So something I stressed here was finding our natural state. I called it the ground state and viewed it as something to strive for. The problem is that humanity is damned. That’s the easiest way to say it. No one left to their own devices goes anywhere but down.
So the question Why does God send people to hell? is an easy one to answer. He doesn’t. Humanity is doomed. God simply offered a lifeline: a path to righteousness. Humans, in their natural state, go to hell. It takes the supernatural to save us.
I recently wrote about love being kind, and what I think that means. There was an interesting application when you take that and apply it to what the Bible says about God.
God is love, and love is kind, therefore God is kind. And kindness is action. Therefore, God is action.
I think this is a powerful takeaway. God is not potency, but action. Think of the perfectly complete triune God prior to the creation of the universe. Why create anything? Because God is action. In his perfect holiness he leaves no stone unturned, no good action undone. He does not sit idly by and watch us suffer, he takes an active role in our lives.
Perhaps the ultimate act was when he became man to save the world from their sins. He did not simply sit and watch the world burn, he sent a perfect and living sacrifice to right the wrong from the fall and to give all who believe in him the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.