Study Finds People’s Mental Image of God Looks A Lot Like They Do
The stereotypical, westernized image of God is usually something like a cross between Zeus and Socrates; elderly, sagacious, white-bearded, and male. But according to a recent study, which compiled images of God’s appearance in the minds of hundreds of American Christians, God looks nothing like the antiquated archetype we’re all familiar with.
The study, led by researchers at UNC Chapel Hill, asked 511 American Christian participants to describe what God looks like in their mind’s eye. The team then created an amalgam of all the descriptions to create a general visage of the sample group’s perception of the divine.
The point of the team’s research was to study cognitive bias and motivation when it comes to people’s conceptualization of God. They point out that many religious scholars argue that “images of God are best seen as idiosyncratic across individuals rather than monolithic within religion or culture.”
And as it turns out, those idiosyncrasies couldn’t be more influential in their subjects’ minds, as their depictions of God often looked a lot like themselves. But does this come as any surprise?
Researchers used a method called “reverse correlation” to create the image of God, by using a combination of 50 images of the average American varying in age, gender, and race. They then overlaid “visual noise” on the image – the result of participants choosing between 300 face pairs, deciding which one they think looks closer to God.
The study found that egocentrism played a significant role in the subjects’ image, except that both genders primarily viewed God as male, with a few exceptions. Otherwise, the features of God’s face turned out to be much like their own, and shared the same general outlook on life, including political and social ideals.
One could argue that it makes sense we imagine God in our own image. Christians are taught that God made man in his own image, while eastern religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism often teach that we are one in the same with God or that we should strive to become one with God. So why wouldn’t we see ourselves as bearing some resemblance to a perceived creator.
But the most striking result of the study was that the appearance generated by compiling all of the descriptions showed a smiling, youthful, effeminate, male. While the gender and race may not be too surprising, the age and softer features varied significantly from the clichéd image depicted in the past. The image also varies significantly from the common long-haired, caucasian depictions of Jesus.
Another surprise, according to some, is that the aggregated image seems to bear an uncanny resemblance to Elon Musk, though that may be a totally subjective observation…
Here’s Alan Watts speaking about the difference between our perceptions of God based on holy scriptures and the style of the universe:
Phantom DNA and the Soul's Sense of Smell
This is the fourth article in a five-part series on how your soul experiences the physical senses. In our previous articles, we discussed the senses of sight, sound, and taste. Let’s move now to the sense of smell.
Smell is Stimulated by Emotion
Smell works exactly the same way that your taste buds do. The two senses are inner connected. When a smell is ignited by the engagement of something physical, then that is the same physical reaction of your senses that we have spoken about in previous articles. The soul’s sense of smell, on the other hand, is stimulated by emotion.
When you are having a memory that stirs something inside of you and you can smell something, especially when that something isn’t physically present in the room, then that is your soul speaking to you.
Many people actually get a blending of the two components (the soul sense and the physical sense of smell) at the same time. For example, you walk into a room that you haven’t been into for a long period of time and you smell the scent of a family member who has passed. Perhaps you smell the cologne or perfume they used to wear and there is no question whose scent it is. It could even be a scent you haven’t smelled since childhood, yet you still remember it clearly and it stirs an emotional response inside of you.
When Your Soul is Calling You
The intense emotional response is your soul calling out to you. If there is not a physical being standing there emitting this smell that you are smelling then you are experiencing the energy essence of what is – or what has been – in the room. Perhaps an apparition or a ghost has been there, and you are sensing through smell their energy essence.
The Phantom Effect of DNA
Your DNA is an energetic signature that transcends the need for the body. You’ve already reached a greater level of awareness through your sense of smell – this is your soul transcending materiality.
DNA photons continue spiraling where DNA was once previously. This wave of light being energy creates a phantom of where the DNA was in the first place. This is why you can still smell something from a person who is no longer there.
Your thoughts, your consciousness, your senses, are like satellite signals that can beam around the earth using electromagnetic fields – the heartbeat of the earth. See the data from Nobel-prize-winning scientist Dr. Luc Montagnier in Healing with the Source Field – Part 2 with David Wilcock.
Again, photons – the light – spiral where DNA once was, offering proof that we are light beings.
Learn more about how our energy essence remains in the room long after we leave in episodes of Wisdom Teachings with David Wilcock, one of Gaiam TV’s original shows.
Here is more scientific proof from Dr. Peter Gariaev on DNA phantoms in Beyond Cosmic Consciousness – Part 2.
Another example comes when you remember the smells you experienced when you visited a place for the first time. You may not have been consciously aware of the smells at the time, yet something much later triggers a memory and the smells come flooding back to you – even if years have passed and you’re thousands of miles away.
This happens in your dream state all the time. Without digressing too far into the subject of dreams, where do you believe the sensations come from when you dream? Have you ever seen, heard, touched, tasted, or smelled something in a dream? Most people have, although not everyone remembers their dreams.
Some humans have very emotional experiences when they dream. Dreams can be so vivid that they would swear that they have been somewhere or experienced something and there is no explanation for it. This emotional experience is the Soul’s experience.
When there is nothing physical around you at the time to warrant your reaction that is going on inside of you, then it’s your soul speaking to you.
Feelings vs Emotions
We can’t emphasize this point enough: your feelings are based upon that which is physical. For the most part, they are shallow and fleeting and are easily influenced and changed. Feelings are mostly what’s on the surface, so to speak. An emotion, on the other hand, is the deep resonating experience. It is the expressive and sensory system of the soul.
The emotions that you feel are the deep experiences that are carried with you from lifetime to lifetime, and existence to existence. An emotion is thought in motion. It literally sends an electrical current throughout your embodiment and is felt as an experience. That is why you take emotions with you when you leave this realm.
Your feelings are surface, fleeting, and forgotten, and in the human experience, they are continually changing from moment to moment. They tend to be in reaction to the things going on around you in the illusion. That is why we say they are related to the physical or the physical goings-on that you are doing at that moment in time.
It’s not that you don’t have an emotional experience every time you do something physical; you actually do. But it is the intense emotional experience that moves you that we are referring to in this series.
Remember Your Origins
Isn’t it rather amazing that we have set up for ourselves all these little “helpers” to aid us in experiencing more of what is going on around us? These helpers are your senses! They expand you, shift you, and help you in your creating. They are designed to remind you of who you really are…a LIGHT Being having a PHYSICAL experience.
Most humans don’t live in this perspective and have forgotten their origins. Your embodiment is an incredible mapping system to your soul. If you can come to know this and to embrace this knowing, it will expand you.
We humans take so very much for granted. When we age or manifest disease or decay in our bodies, we forget the incredible senses we retain. It is those senses that can aid us in our continued journey toward enlightenment.
When we’re distracted by pain, it is common to forget the automated system in our body that still remains in place. Our senses seem so simple and yet are so complex. We should honor each of them and hold them in our hearts with gratitude, knowing that despite all that goes on in the physical we truly remain light embodiments for all eternity.
As you reach for expanded states of consciousness, it is the senses that will take you there. In all the physical things that we do as humans, we have forgotten that. Hopefully, these discussions are igniting your senses within and expanding you to greater heights as your experience continues on this earthly plane of existence.