While it cannot be proved retrospectively that any experience of possession, conversion, revelation, or divine ecstasy was merely an epileptic discharge, we must ask how one differentiates "real transcendence" from neuropathies that produce the same extreme realness, profundity, ineffability, and sense of cosmic unity. When accounts of sudden religious conversions in temporal-lobe epileptics are laid alongside the epiphanous revelations of the religious tradition, the parallels are striking. The same is true of the recent spate of alleged UFO abductees. Parsimony alone argues against invoking spirits, demons, or extraterrestrials when natural causes will suffice.
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submitted by SylphofLight, March 16, 2014
Barry L. Beyerstein - Neuropathology and the Legacy of Spiritual Possession in The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. XII, No. 3, pg. 255
This quote was added November 29, 2007.