“Hmm, looks like a nasty case of revelations. My advice – take a few paracetamol, have a lie down and whatever you do, don’t found any religions.”
Israeli and Swiss neurologists have diagnosed the children of Abraham as suffering from delusions, as they claim there could be a perfectly rational medical explanation for three world religions.
Moses, Jesus and Mohammed all experienced revelations on mountain tops, but the Jerusalem/Geneva team suggest they were probably just feeling a bit peaky and suffering from altitude sickness. The doctors state that a lack of oxygen can alter brain function in the temporo-parietal junction and prefrontal cortex. The same symptoms have been reported by modern climbers and mountaineers, including those who claim to be atheist or non-spiritual. When I say ‘symptoms’ I didn’t really mean receiving commandments or anything, more feeling afraid; seeing a presence and lights.
The scientists claim that had they gone alone, they may have been vulnerable and in the context of the time, may not have been afraid to voice their experiences. But some counter with the fact that the revelation at Mount Sinai was not just to Moses, but to many people. My first thought was more down to Earth. Or not, as the case may be. Mount Sinai is only 2285 metres high. I cannot find the altitude of Jabal al-Nour and I would have to ask someone where Jesus received his revelation. Altitude sickness tends to affect people above 2500m, but susceptible people can suffer from symptoms above about 1500m.
When googling one of the doctors involved, Shahar Arzy, he can be found atop a mountain on his university profile. Prophetic?
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