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Does neurological evidence favor the claim that spiritual experiences are categorically different fr

As spiritual experiences are defined as Supernatural, it is hard to see how neurological evidence is going to get a chance to come into play. You have to have evidence first, and interactions on a higher level will not provide this as they are not something that exists in this frame of reference except as perhaps specific intrusions.

That said, what we call spiritual emotional experiences are not at all different than other emotional experiences, as they involve our emotions that we have everyday.

Rather, it is the frame of reference that is important, not the emotional signals that are elicited. The word most aimed for in explaining the context of spiritual is Holy, or holiness. And, experientially, it is a difficult state to attain, hence the Monasteries, Convents and all manor of institutions specifically designed to support contemplation and struggle with the inclination toward selfish action.

On the emotional level, you have the full ability and capability to experience this state just as you are.. but we only touch such states for a moment normally because we are lost in the cares, worries, frustrations and appetites of living. They call us back to being irritated with that guy sitting next to you because he is making a funny sound.. or any such thing.

These monks and seekers are struggling to instead adopt a frame of reference that allows them to concentrate on performing acts of loving kindness for all including themselves. This is possible, and we have seen a number of individuals through time who have approximated this, but many more who do a good job though they have flaws and faults.. as frames of reference are not static, and can be broken by a mere distraction.

Modern religious faiths attempt to provide this experience to folks who don't have years to contemplate their navels. Rather, they provide a series of teachings that define the experience of Holiness, a life practice that forgoes creating more negative consequences for ourselves and others (at least that is the theory) and provides a social network to support people learning this practice.

But, what exactly is Holiness?? So much effort used to go into the creation of environments where it was possible for just plain old people to experience it.

My best effort to describe the state would be unfocused love. That is Pride, Curiosity, Affection and Desire which is not focused on a specific object whether that is physical or a mental construct. In some religious communities this is facilitated by the introduction of a meta-object, an idol, that is representational of some non-present conceptual object.

The idol provides a locus to focus and thus actually lock in the four disparate emotional dimensions, and the interpretation brings the mind back away from the specific idol and onto the ineffable non-object that defocuses this focused state so that it can be applied more generally.

Idol or not, the effort of this is to establish a mood/emotional state that is unalloyed with anxiety or aggression.

(In a reflective environment - Emotional System engaged.. )

At the lowest level of intensity:

Equanimity, Calm,Serenity and Tranquility = A sense of security, contentment

At the highest normal range level of intensity:

Exuberance, Excitement,Intimacy and Facination = Inspiration

(In an environment intended to elicit Impulsive expressions)

At the lowest level:

Dignity, Anticipation, Considerateness and Acuity = Mindfulness

At the highest normal range level of intensity:

Exultation,Compulsion,Poignance and Elation = Ecstasy

(Higher levels are available but they are manic states and these states are associated with some of the great evils that the religious rightly are blamed for committing. But, it is an interesting idea.. more is not necessarily better.. )

Love is an amazing emotion. But most folks don't know it is compound emotion.  One form of love is called agape which is without a sexual feelings. It is made of four component emotions focused on the same object with the same strength.  You will discover these emotions and more here!  

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