ATHLETES’ SPIRITUAL MINDSET

We are energy and spiritual creatures having a physical experience. [Pierre Teilhard de Chardin] This reporter agrees with de Chardin’s opinion, but not every opinion.

• Humans beings have 2 known biological physical stages:
1st “Prenatal or antenatal stage of development is the stage in which a human embryo and later fetus develops during pregnancy, from fertilization until birth in utero. [1.]
2nd Childhood, juvenile and adulthood, extra-uterine life following birth. [2. 3.]
1. [Definitions and Indicators in Family Planning. Maternal & Child Health and Reproductive Health. By European Regional Office, World Health Organization. Revised March 1999 & January 2001. In turn citing: WHO Geneva, WHA20.19, WHA43.27, Article 23]
2. [International Dictionary of Medicine and Biology (1986)]
3. [Kail, Robert V (2011). Children and Their Development (6th Edition) (Mydevelopmentlab Series). Englewood Cliffs, N.J]

• Research continues; humans beings, hypothetically and/or philosophically, have 3 spiritual and religious energy life stages:
1st intra-uterine (this will incite some conversation) Please see a) – f) below
2nd extra-uterine
3rd eternal [Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe by Robert Lanza (Author), Bob Berman (Author) May 18, 2010]

“When Socrates was sentenced to death and a glass of poison was put into his hands and had to be swallowed, his philosophical attitude brought a final yet immortal communication: “Only my body will die; my soul will eternally exist and be judged by a Supreme Being in accordance with the good and bad deeds of my life.”

“This deep notion of a still-remembered philosopher reveals much about the human stand in this aspect of reality.” [Psychology of Human Development, Justin Pikunas, Ph.D. in association with Eugene Albrecht, Ph.D. McGraw-Hill, 1961]

• The human brain is ‘layered’ like an onion. Research has discovered, when the layers are pealed-back one layer is designated specifically for processing spiritual and religious energy. [God spots revealed: Scientists find areas brain responsible for spirituality, Daily Mail, 2012] [Social Cognitive Affective Neuroscience 2009 Vol. 4, No. 2] [Levels of moralisation: a new conception of moral sensitivity, Benjamin J. Lovetta* and Alexander H. Jordanb a Elmira College, USA; Dartmouth College, USA Journal of Moral Education Vol. 39, No. 2, June 2010, pp. 175–189] [Hamer D. The God Gene: How Faith is Hardwired into Our Genes, 2004] 172
• Every human, whether spiritual, religious, atheist, agnostic or other, has one special neuroanatomical brain layer comprised of approximately 27+ named brain regions, many in the limbic system, for spirituality and religiousness. These regions are DNA encoded at fertilization, the conception of life.
• If you don’t use it before death (brain layer for spiritualty and religiousness) you will lose it.
• Following sensory integration, the adult childhood, juvenile and adulthood, extra-uterine brain regions associated with spirituality and/or religious thinking are the following:

left brain, right brain, frontal brain lobes, prefrontal cortex, ventromedial cortex, parietal lobe, dorsal brain areas, medial temporal lobes, anterior cingulate cortex, occipital cortex, cerebellum, multiple areas of limbic system, thalamus, thalamic reticular nucleus, ventral tegmental brain, septal area, substantia nigra, pars compacta, arcuate nucleus of hypothalamus, nucleus accumbens, pituitary gland, ventral cortical axis, caudate nucleus, insula, bilateral fusiform regions, para-hippocampal gyrus, right and left angular gyri + more.

• These brain regions are hardwired and DNA encoded ‘in His likeness’ for spirituality and faith and belief in God during the 3 stages of life: intra-uterine, extra-uterine and eternal life. [God Is Encoded In Your Brain, http://www.godbrain.info] [the Final Stage of Creaation, http://www.godmindcreations.com]

Each neuron (brain cell) performs 5 duties:
• cell metabolism with nutrients for cell life
• cell shape maintenance
• gene expression or the specialized action for that particular neuron like spirituality and religious activity, mindset and thinking
• cell division to increase the neuron population
• and neuron cell survival and self-defense mechanisms.
[“Signal transduction ← extracellular signal → receptor on the cell surface or inside the cell receptor → cell metabolism, cell shape, gene expression, ability to divide and survive: Reference: Signal transduction pathways” by cybertory – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Signal_transduction _v1.png. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Signal_transduction_pathways.svg#/media/File:Signal_transduction_pathways.svg]

• Each of the 3 spiritual and religious energy life stages contributes to spirituality, faith, belief, and/or religiousness.
• Every human being has spirituality and/or religiousness. Its either good or bad, positive or negative, energy.
• Scientists have concluded that human spirituality, faith, to believe and to belief are powered by the energy within the brain, located within the microtubules, and quantum entangling, holding together, DNA.
a) At the instant when the one cell zygote, predecessor to the embryo, has been formed
b) from the union of the egg and sperm with each contributing 23 chromosomes
c) into the union of the double helix of 46 chromosome DNA, which is securely quantum entangled and connected in the zygote nucleus,
d) In that instant the Krebs cycle, oxygen utilization and cellular respiration begins.
[Can Science Explain the Soul? 08/09/2010 Deepak Chopra Co-Author, ‘Super Genes’; Founder, The Chopra Foundation By Stuart Hameroff MD and Deepak Chopra MD, Stuart Hameroff MD, Professor, Departments of Anesthesiology and Psychology, Director, Center for Consciousness Studies, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, www.quantumconsciousness.org ]

• Research demonstrates a positive relationship between spirituality, religiousness, faith and belief in God, and improved health, improved wellness, diminished disease, increased longevity. [Impact of Religion/Spirituality on Health: What Are The Evidences? Hena Jawaid, Journal of Psychology and Clinical Psychiatry, Volume 2 Issue 3 – 2015 March 12, 2015]
• 75% of U.S. medical schools have spirituality in their curricula [More Than a Diagnosis: Medical Schools and Teaching Hospitals Address Patients’ Spiritual Needs, Dr. Christina Puchalski director of the George Washington University Institute of Spirituality and Health by Rebecca Greenberg Association of American Medical Colleges, Reporter: March 2014] That in itself sends a message.

• When acted on, spirituality and religiousness stimulate thicker cortex growth in some areas of the brain created ‘in His likeness’, called developmental Neuroplasticity. [Thicker Brain Sections Appear Associated with Belief of Importance of Religion, Myrna M. Weissman, Ph.D., JAMA Psychiatry, Dec. 25, 2013]
• Human beings can willfully activate and stimulate neural activity and growth (SNAGing) of their neuroanatomical brain parts with meditation, reading, worship, singing, quiet time, prayer and every other form spiritual and religious contemplation. [Siegel 2007, The Interpersonal Neurobiology of Group Psychotherapy and Group Process by Bonnie Badenoch, Susan P. Gantt, 2013, Psychology]

•  “Athletes Turning to Prayer for a Performance Boost. Competitors have long practiced meditation and mindfulness. But neuroscience shows that it’s the true believers who are finding that higher gear—through prayer.

“Prayer as a performance enhancer wasn’t exactly surprising for the Athlete described in this report. He was known as much for his Christian faith as for being one of America’s most gifted distance runners. And anyone familiar with professional sports has witnessed the pregame bowing of heads and postgame shout-outs to God.

“Skeptics might dismiss it as religious posturing, but science is revealing that prayer works. When believers pray, something happens in their brains that actually makes them better athletes.

“Neuroscientist Andrew Newberg, direc­tor of research at Thomas Jefferson Univer­sity Hospital’s Marcus Institute of Integrative Health, has spent a large portion of his career studying the effects of religious faith on our mental hardware. “When you pray, it changes your brain,” he says.

“In his research, Newberg found that prayer allowed his subjects to more ­quickly and ­efficiently achieve flow, that coveted state of mind most commonly described as being “in the zone.” During flow, a cascade of neurochemicals descend into the brain, including dopamine (which regulates pleasure), serotonin (which reduces stress), and norepinephrine (which activates the fight-or-flight response). The brain also undergoes electrical changes.

“Scientists are able to measure brain waves via an electroencephalogram, or EEG, and have found that the measurements change based on what a person is doing and how they’re feeling. Most of the time, the brain produces beta frequencies (13 to 30 hertz), which help with complex thought and critical analysis.

“You’d expect an athlete’s brain to be less active during strenuous effort, and if they’re performing well, in a state of flow,the brain is indeed calmer, dominated by ­alpha waves (8 to 12 hertz). In this condition, we become relaxed and instinct driven. Brain activity is largely quiet, especially in the frontal lobe and cerebrum, where our notion of the future and our sense of self are concentrated. And prayer, it turns out, is one of the best ways to achieve this state, perhaps even more so than mindfulness training.

“The mindfulness movement is really more of a secular approach,” says Newberg, who is a former professor of religious studies at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of How God Changes Your Brain. “We sort of cleaned it up and secularized it so that it’s more available to everyone, which is good. But in many ways it isn’t as good or as power­ful as prayer.”

“For two decades, Newberg has looked at the cerebral blood flow of believers—from Muslims to evangelical Christians—while they prayed and has observed a pattern. When the subjects begin, there is activity in the frontal lobe. Then, after anywhere from 10 to 50 minutes, that area goes virtually ­silent. Additional research has shown that during prayer, the frontal lobe is ­flooded with ­alpha waves.

“It’s the same result brought on by mindfulness and meditation, but adding in belief, Newberg says, can act as a powerful catalyst. When someone truly believes in something, he says, it gives them a sense of purpose. It’s not simply a means to an end. “When I’m praying to God while I’m competing,” Hall says, “I feel much more ­grounded, much more secure, much more free—I feel liberated.”

According to Newberg, all this boils down to something that sounds almost too simple. “The more you buy into whatever you’re ­doing, the better the effect is going to be,” he says. “If you’re a religious person and your religion is important to you, then being able to engage in prayer can be extremely valuable.” It’s less about believing in the right thing—Jesus, Allah, or the Flying Spaghetti monster—than it is about believing in something. In other words, whatever you focus on, have total faith in it.

Take for instance what this Athlete experienced in 2009 while he was running the final stretch of the Philadelphia half marathon. He was on pace with the leaders when he felt himself starting to fade around mile 11.

He asked, OK, God. What do you have for me? Hall says that a Bible verse then came to mind—Proverbs 23:7, “As a man think­eth in his heart, so is he,” variations of which are commonly found in self-help and mindfulness books. this Athlete says, “I remember declaring to myself, Even though I feel tired, I do have strength left inside me. I do have another gear. I can go deeper.” He accelerated, ran the final mile in 4:30, and won the race. [The Athletes Turning to Prayer for a Performance Boost, EEG  https://www.outsideonline.com/2196101/god-dimension]

Prayer and worship are extremely important.

• Spirituality can be objectively measured. The following vital signs reveal positive physiological changes:
↓heart rate
↓blood pressure
↓respiratory rate
↓oxygen metabolism + more availabe oxygen elsewhere
+ cortisol, noradrenaline, endorphins, sex hormones, growth hormone alterations
• spirituality + meditation light-up the → Frontal brain lobe, parietal lobe, thalamus, limbic → EEG, PET, SPECT, MRI, measured brain blood flow, metabolism, neurotransmitters

• “Every human is a Spiritual being”
• Negative spirituality leads to isolation, spiritual distress and self-destruction
• Positive Spirituality is life-giving 31 32 35 36 [Dr. Andrew Newberg Direct Research Center Integrative Medicine Thomas Jefferson Univ Hosp, Prof Radiology Univ. Penn School Medicine, Religious studies]

• “You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind.” [Joyce Meyer]

• After fertilization, biologically termed the Conception of Life, human termination of any stage of pregnancy:
1. not only terminates human life, ‘created in His likeness’, prior to sanctification outside the womb but
2. also terminates human life’s capacity for eternal life, which is God’s primary point, meaning and purpose of human life in the 1st place, in some of our humble opinions.

• Our stages of energy make us both relevant and relative. E = mc².
• At death all energy within the body cells and brain neurons, including the microtubules and quantum entanglement energy holding double helixes of DNA together are released for survival. Energy is deathless.

• Albert Einstein said, “Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another.”
• An hypothesis is that life does not end when the body dies, but the energy of the soul and body moves into eternity.
• Energy from the body and soul never expires. [Can Science Explain the Soul? 08/09/2010 Deepak Chopra Co-Author, ‘Super Genes’; Founder, The Chopra Foundation By Stuart Hameroff MD and Deepak Chopra MD, Stuart Hameroff MD, Professor, Departments of Anesthesiology and Psychology, Director, Center for Consciousness Studies, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, www.quantumconsciousness.org ]

• Sin and hate perpetrated against life stage 1. and actuated during life stage 2., not human physical death, are the enemies of eternal life, the final stage of creation.

• Albert Einstein said, “The real problem is in the hearts and minds of men. It is easier to denature plutonium than to denature the evil spirit of man.”
• Einstein said, “the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God is that we see a Universe marvelously arranged and obeying certain laws, but only dimly understand these laws. Our limited minds cannot grasp the mysterious force that moves the constellations.” [Einstein, as cited in Denis Brian, Einstein: A Life, New York, John Wiley and Sons, 1996, 186].
• Einstein further stated, “the deeper one penetrates into nature’s secrets, the greater becomes one’s respect for God.” [Einstein, as cited in Brian 1996, 119].
• “My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind.”
• “The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge.”
• “Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe; a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble.”
• “Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind.”
• “True religion is real living; living with all one’s soul, with all one’s goodness and righteousness.”

In this reporter’s humble medical opinion, in addition to all other befits of prayer, belief, faith and meditation, since so much human brain function involves interplay of spiritual and religious regions and dopamine, athletic comprehension, play and safety are bound to be facilitated with prayer in general. Of course, this reporter is not referring to prayer for more victories and rewards.

When appropriate, at anytime and anywhere, decorous prayer activates the good spirit of men and women, stimulates dopaminergic pathways, improves human bodily vital signs, shortens the course of illness, boosts better health and wellness and augments longevity.

How can that be wrong for athletes?

This reporter finds it difficult to argue with the science of Einstein, Dr Hamer, Newberg and others.

This specific spiritual, meditation and religious brain layer comprised of 27+ regions accommodates all beliefs, faiths and religions. Our Creator designed it for every Homo sapien sapiens.

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