Neuroscientist Mario Beauregard’s new book is titled The Spiritual Brain. He advances a case for the existence of the soul. Is it possible to agree with Beauregard’s argument against a flatly materialistic view of human beings, but remain unconvinced about his argument for a non-physical soul? In other words, are his two options the only ones?
This book shows why it is so difficult to approach ontological and metaphysical questions about the human “soul” without a significant amount of philosophy of mind for guidance. Yet Beauregard’s discoveries about the way the brain realizes prayerful states of consciousness are exciting to read. And his sensitive account of the challenges involved in working with people who have committed themselves to private lives of prayer in small communities together is moving.