The scientific background of the prayer

One of the most interesting phenomena of the XXI century is the amazing contradiction between the official scientific description of the Universe and beliefs of people. Philosophy states that the objective reality is material.  Physics proclaims that all objective phenomena may be described in terms of substance, field, time, space and energy. Physiology says that thoughts are the product of chemical and electrical processes in the neuronal network of human brain.

From the other hand millions of people (including philosophers, physics and neurophysiologists) believe that thoughts produced in one’s head may change the objective World. The key element of virtually all modern religions is the phenomena of the prayer. The prayer is the address to a potentially powerful Entity (God, Jesus, Buddha, Intelligent Filed, ancestries etc.). In most case this address contains request to change something in the objective reality (to save somebody from something, to give something to somebody, to help somebody to do something).

When the person prays, that means that he accepts (at least unwittingly) the following pattern of ideas:

  • the existence of higher Entities
  • the objective nature of thought as a specific type of matter
  • the idea that higher Entities receive (at least sometimes) people’s thoughts
  • the idea that higher Entities understand human languages
  • the idea that higher Entities have power to influence the events in the objective World

No one of these ideas is shared by official science. No one of these ideas had ever been officially proved using scientific methodology. No one of these ideas is professed in colleges and universities. But the significant fraction of people on the Earth shares these non-scientific beliefs. Do you want the proof? Here it is: people pray.

What we face nowadays is the tremendous gap between scientific and commonly shared worldviews. Science becomes more and more sophisticated about quarks, genes, remote galaxies etc. But it opted out from exploring the things people all other the world believe in. The traditional understanding of God as an “old man with a long bear sitting on the cloud” is no longer valid. I guess there are now more people believing in Santa than in that type of a God. That is the reason of increased interest to occult concepts in the XX century.

The mysterious beliefs of modern educated persons are rather sophisticated. They form an intriguing scheme. Everybody knows that not every prayer will be effective. The effectiveness depends on a number of circumstances. To increase the effectiveness of the prayer one needs to follow some regulations. The most commonly believed are:

  • to use the appropriate language (Sanskrit, Latin etc.)
  • to know the correct name of the addressed Entity
  • to choose the correct time (full moon, midnight, equinox etc.)
  • to be in a correct place (church, shrine, mosque etc.)
  • to use the correct linguistic constructions
  • to be in a specific state of conscious (drive, tranquility, ecstasy, trance etc.)
  • to accompany the prayer with a specific procedure (sacrifice, baptizing etc.)
  • to take the correct body position (on the knees, lotus pose etc.)

Each religion, sect and cult develops its set of regulations and provides evidence that it is more correct and effective than others. But there is no scientific background under any of these practices. And it seems that no science neither religion is able (and is going) to create it. Too many practices and too few theories! Today both science and religion needs a novel comprehensive consistent theory of mental reality and mental phenomena. This theory will provide a solid background to judge what is effective and what is not, what is dangerous and what is safe, what it useful and what is harmful in the sphere of mental techniques.

The most comprehensive theory of the mental phenomena I know is called “Ecology of Mentality and Linguistics” (ECOLMIL, in Russian – ЭКОЛМИЛ). It had been developed in the past 20 years by V.U. Laman. To get acquainted with ECOLMIL you may read the article “A novel philosophical framework for understanding a Man, the God and the Universe”

Dmitry Sandakov

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