Mind and Spirit: How the Way People Think about Thinking Affects the Way People Experience God
Dasturzada Dr Jal Pavry Memorial Lecture 2019
This talk makes the argument that the way we think about our minds matters, and may shape our mental events. It makes the case that people find evidence of God’s presence in mental events; that different practices of attending to mental events have identifiable consequences; and that different cultures and different theologies emphasize mind and mental processes in distinctive ways. The talk then goes on to present evidence that this has consequences for the way charismatic Christians experience God and the way persons who meet criteria for schizophrenia experience psychosis in the US, Accra and Chennai. The data suggest that one consequence of the different ways of representing mind and mental experience is that Americans have a harsher experience of psychosis, and less spiritual experience.