Brain research has indicated which regions of the brain are active during spiritual experiences. As it turns out, they aren’t the complex portions unique to human beings, they’re in the rather primitive areas shared by most mammals.
Perhaps what I found most interesting was an observation I had never heard before. Researchers have seen:
chimpanzees dancing with total abandon at waterfalls that emerge after heavy rains. Some of the chimps even appear to dance themselves into a trance-like state, as some humans do during religious and cultural rituals.I dunno, this has me looking at my pets differently. I hope they don’t see me as a god, because that is way too much pressure. Plus, they’ve seen me naked… awkward…
[Jane] Goodall wondered, “Is it not possible that these [chimpanzee] performances are stimulated by feelings akin to wonder and awe? After a waterfall display the performer may sit on a rock, his eyes following the falling water.”
But, we’ll probably never know whether there’s a chimpanzee religion, or perhaps some form of feline philosophy, or even a canine moral imperative. While we share the same region of the brain that process religious experience, our furry friends lack the brain regions capable of communicating such things.
Which is just as well, because humans have enough mysticism as it is.