The conscious experience places the central nervous system within a defined context: specific visual, auditory, tactile, etc., experiences, which change moment to moment. The lateral spread of information within the cerebral cortex integrates these sensory experiences. This produces a unification of the nervous system with its external environment: there is a lateral spread of the conscious experience outwardly to the surrounding world.
One manifestation of this lateral spread is interaction with other individuals through communication and social cooperation. Societal structures are a direct consequence of the integrative function of the lateral connectivity of the cerebral cortex.
Within the cortex itself, there is a need to be intact. This need to be intact generates the necessity of having a purposeful coherence with the perceived world around us. The need for religion, spirituality and the outgrowth of various mythological structures are direct consequences of the lateral organization and connectivity of the cerebral cortex.
Excerpt from Consciousness Understood
Audrius Plioplys, MD, FRCPC, Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, University of Illinois
January 23, 1998
Current comment: My opinions have not changed since I first formulated them. The need for spirituality, religion, and mythology are direct outcomes of the lateral spread of our conscious experiences within our central nervous systems. // The image at the top is Faith/Theology from the Emergence series of art works.