• In Ingela Visuri’s study of autistic spiritual experiences, what struck me is the very distinct character of the autistics’ experiences. In Ingela Visuri’s words, “unexplainable sensory experiences” – invisible touch, invisible presence (i.e. bodies), and even imaginary friends. It would stand to reason that since this peculiar type of spirituality appears peculiar to autistics it would seem to be generated or stimulated in turn by the peculiar way “autistic brains” process information which are well know to have a deficit in Theory of Mind processing {ability to make inferences and judge others’ intentions) and so would likely be a an influence or cause of this peculiar type of spiritual experiences. I should note – for reference – that Dr. Persinger showed that a sense of “presence” of other beings by people seems to be generated to an extent by the temporal lobe, as I recall. I have done some research into neuroscience and without question the human brain is incredibly complex, however the general thrust that the peculiar physiology of autistics would likely generate peculiar spiritual experiences would appear to be a reasonable proposition.

    Ingela Visuri, as a result of her intensive study of spirituality in high functioning autistics stated that “The results also indicate that distress triggers the participants to seek out supernatural ascriptions and invisible relations.” In reviewing types of spirituality “distress” appears to be a cause in many different scenarios of spirituality such as the processes of grieving, recovering addicts, depression, as well as many others very likely. Tapping into unconscious spiritual processes which most likely are deeply embedded in the human unconscious, makes a lot of sense.