No one had yet looked

Contemporary psychotherapy tended to characterize spirituality and religion as a crutch or defense, a set of comforting beliefs to lean on in hard times. In our field, spirituality was a barely studied, nearly invisible variable. Over the past twenty years of my career, I’d seen surprising clinical and epidemiological evidence that spirituality could have a protective benefit for our mental health. But could we discern a concrete physiological function of spirituality in our health and development? Was spirituality thus far invisible in the brain because it was insignificant to mental health or impossible to measure – or was it invisible because no one had yet looked?

From “The Awakened Brain: The New Science of Spirituality and Our Quest for an Inspired Life” by Lisa Miller, PhD