A one to one conversation with Prof.Dr.Kerem Doksat

Ahmet F.Yuksel – Hello, Professor. How are you? How are we getting along?  As you know we did not have the chance to meet lately.  I am thinking that the difficulties of  the daily life and the changes such as a new marriage/daily activities have made you really tired.

Prof. Dr. M.Kerem Doksat- Although I have been together with you only for a few times there is no one else whom I love as much.   Believe me that I can hardly gather myself together after the changes that have taken place in my life during the last two years. 

Ahmet F.Yuksel- I must admit sincerely that I am not searching for a specific reason to love something. Moreover, I have not seen much a brain like yours. As a matter of  fact it would be more correct   if I say that there is only one.

Prof. Dr. M.Kerem Doksat – Thank you very much for the compliment. I am only a traveller among ideas who tries to carry in his brain and his heart both the science and the belief  without being fanatic in both subjects.

Ahmet F.Yuksel-  I will ask you  some questions about the functioning methods of  the brain.  This subject is valuable for some people (not the average man on the street)  and they are eager and curious to know how the brain works.  

Now, with your permission I will start asking:-

Could  you give a brief summary about the characteristics of  the hippocampus and the amigdala.

Prof. Dr. M.Kerem Doksat-  Amigdala is the place where the evolutionary information is kept together with the information obtained in the mother’s womb and the impressions that belong to the first three years of life (the preoedipal stage). In a way, it is the ‘’archaic memory storage’’.  It performs this function together with the lymbic system in which it is found.

Ahmet F.Yuksel –Does the hippocampus have any influence on the amigdala and the lymbic system?

Prof.Dr.M.Kerem Doksat-  It has an indirect influence my friend!

Ahmet F.Yuksel- How ?

Prof.Dr.M.Kerem Doksat- It represses and filters the stimuli that come from the amigdala  and it connects  them with the stimuli that come from our inner world and makes up  ‘’the working memory’’. This is like the ‘’Random Access Memory’’ in the computer.

Ahmet F.Yuksel- All right, then, can we train the amigdala? I would like to have your opinion on this subject.

Prof. Dr. M.Kerem Doksat- Yes, it  is being trained by all the deep meditative (contemplative) activities (transendence:  mystical, artistic experiences/lives, and states of  ecstacy) as well as   by some special techniques and by some symbolic-allegorical thinking. In other words it can be trained by all kinds of  sufi (mystic) contemplation and philosophizing.  It is not possible to reach that place  tnrough the cortical logic.

The thousands of religious, mystical, meditative disciplines in the whole world are the practices which bombard this part of  the brain and they in a way regulate it. Among these are all kinds of  dhikr, the rituals, the states of  trance etc..   Hz.Mohammed, Buddha, Lao Tse had reached that place and  they could taste the evolutionary, in other words the whole knowledge and that was the only one.

However, this truth cannot be expressed by  the words of  the daily language.

It is impossible to convert the words of  Hallaj ‘’En-el Hakk’’ if  I may say so  ‘’Allah’’  (those who wish may call this as God, Yehova, The Inner Truth etc.) into the language of  the hippocampus and the upper cortical language for speech. The experiences cannot be put into words, but they can only be lived as pyschic states.  The famous neuro scientist Joseph has used the following heading in his book : ’’Amigdala and the Lymbic System - The transmitter that extends to  God’’.

The heavy traumas and experiences of horror effect the same regions in a negative way. For example, in the illness named as the ‘’Stress Disorder Following a Trauma’’, it has been shown that among the neurons in this region there was a kind of  electrical process, a sparkling, a kindling.   These people have  sudden flashbacks of memory   about the trauma  and exaggerated reactions to the stimuli  that remind the trauma and in time extreme emotional limitedness develops  develops.  These are the negative influences.

Ahmet F.Yuksel- As far as I can remember you have mentioned briefly the format of  the brain (by this I mean the amigdala) during a tv program in the Haber Turk channel when you were speaking about a film.  Moreover, at that time some people thought that you accepted the divine inspiration  (wahey) as something delirious, because  most probably they could not understand the subject fully.

In that TV programme Mr. Yaþar Nuri was also there.  I have seen that you have complimented Mr.Yaþar Nuri as a theologist, but he has a different type of behaviour.  He never goes into those dimensions and into the path that leads to the essence.  Do you have anything to say regarding this point?

Prof. Dr. M. Kerem Doksat - Actually, the presenter of  the program in a way spoiled the conversation.  The film which we were talking about was the Matrix, the strange film which was one of  the first brain washing tools of  Evangelism that has now become a world wide  trouble. 

When it comes to Mr.Yaþar Nuri, unfortunately he loves to be the one and the only.   Having too little modesty is as harmful as having too much modesty. 

In his education and formation my late father (may he be blessed) has an important role and Mr.Yaþar Nuri could get his degree as an  associate professor by means of  this.  If it had not been so, the narrow minded teachers of theology would try to stop him.  Unfortunately, in the later years he did not call  neither my mother nor me.  He always stayed away from my attempts of   collaborating with him. If it had not been so, the collaboration of  a broad minded academician of psychiatry and a broad minded academician of theology would be very good and productive.   However, he loves ‘’the one man show’’ and this is his choice.

When we come to the matter of  wahey (divine inspiration):- 

As it is known, some very special brains become ecstatic and they go into a deep state of  trance and transcendence that goes deep down to this region and as if  automatically some of  them can compose music (like Mozart, Beethoven, Dede Efendi and Itri),  some  can draw, paint (like the great painters) or they can write poetry like many great poets and folk poets.    Also, some very very special gifted brains who have been chosen have their share from the universal, evolutionary whole knowledge and although it would be rather symbolic and allegorical they attain a creativity which goes beyond the centuries.

From the medical point these are states of dissociation, but contrary to pathological and destructive dissociations they are being characterized by the creation of  a masterpiece as if  the divine creativity has been reflected onto the individual.  Therefore, I name these as ‘’associative dissociations’’.

At least  think about Hz.Mohammad  who did not know how to read and write until he received the command ‘’Ikrah/Read’’ ( I am sure that he has learned this after he had received that order) and who said about the Quran-al-Kerim ‘’These are not my words, but Allah’s statements’’ and just think how the magnificence of  the Quran has made the Seven Love Poets believe!     What a great thing this is.

At the start of  Yohanna’s bible there is a similar expression:- ’’At the beginning there was only the word... And God was the word’’.  Thousands of pages can be  written just for solving the depth of  the symbolism in these two declarations  and indeed they were written.

In short, the prophets (represantatives) were also human beings and they too were acting with their brains.  What I am trying to do is to search for the neuropsychiatric explanations of  these phenomena by means of  the indispensable principal ‘’all the things that happen in this universe have mechanisms which can be explained by the laws of  this universe’’.    This field has always been considered as a taboo and it has not been thought over nor studied.  The atheists and other concerned people  have looked down upon these phenomena  either thinking of  them  as  epilepsy or simply by considering them as psychosis.  Of  course, in order to be able to understand even the things that I have said there needs to be serious accumulation of culture and  a broad horizon of  vision and thoughts.    Unfortunately,  the ordinary people do not understand these and when they understand (please pardon me, but they understand  the opposite).

My dear friend please, do not forget a statement of  my  late father: ‘’The religion is not the objective, but it is a means’’.   The delicate border of   being a religious fanatic and being a man of hearts lies in this statement. 

If you ask me ‘’Who are looking at the mattter from this point?’’, then I can give the names of  all who possess sufism (all the masters of sufism).

I will never forget the time when I gave the draft of  a book which I had prepared on this subject to a young  colleague. He had the necessary accumulation of knowledge to understand these whose way of thinking was like mine. After he finished reading it  I asked  his opinion about  the  book.  He was trying to be polite and he  said ‘’Brother; religion is a dogma and one shouldn’t go into such arguments or explanations about religion’’ and this was all he could say and nothing more. 

Whereas, we need this very much. Our intelellectuals are keeping away from the mosques and the religion.  Those who are filling up the mosques are becoming more and more a crowd of  religious fanatics and ignorant people.   In the west,  the churches are loosing their ‘’clients’’ too.  The intellectual people who are in need of  belief  and some people who belong to the creme de la creme of  the society are being carried away by some new, false trends put on stage by some charlatans or  ill people.    In order to kiss the feet of  a female guru who has come from India, the high society people are paying thousands of dollars and taking part in  special rituals.

Ahmet F.Yuksel :  As a result of  the experiments conducted on the brains of the people who have beeen proved to be clinically dead it is very likely that the hippocampus and the amigdala  in the brain (which are the first parts to become activated in the baby brain) are also the regions whose activities last until the real death of  the brain.

What can be the scientific outcome of  this procees of  being the first and the last to be effected ?’’

Prof. Dr. M.Kerem Doksat

During the experiences of stress,plenty of adrenalin, nonadrenalin and steroid are being secreted and these lead to the secretion of  endoginous opiates (the morphin like substances produced by the human body).  These substances have a pleasant effect and they relieve the pain.  When the individual confronts death which is a peak stress and pressure factor, then great amounts of  these substances are being secreted.   In such a situation as the cortical consciousness starts to disappear there is an incredible state of  pleasure and ecstasy.   It is often told that  in such a state one reaches a very bright light and watches both his body  and the people around from above.  Many people who have returned back to life from  the point of death are telling nearly the same things. These are all evolutionary adaptations developed by the brain in order to increase the endurance of  the organism to such a life.  In many people who have returned back to life there is a change of behaviour.  They are no longer afraid of death and they try to live their lives fully.  Most probably death is a plesant and joyous event.  

Actually,  in order to have orgasm some people hang themselves and they get saved from death at the very last moment.  This is a sexual divergence and this is named as ‘’Asphyxomania’’.

Ahmet F.Yuksel

Dear Professor, I thank you for the information you have given. Please, excuse me for having taken so much  of your precious time, please accept my respects. 

Prof. Dr. M.Kerem Doksat

You are most welcome my dear friend and same to you.

Istanbul, May12th.2005


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