Have you ever wondered:

  • If science can explain spirituality and how various spiritual practices work?
  • Does spirituality fix human problems?
  • Why all human cultures have developed spiritual practices?
  • How does science explain the enlightened states that are reported by some spiritual paths?

A forthcoming book, Spirituality Explained, will suggest credible scientific answers to all of these questions (and more)! Although the working title of this book makes a very bold claim, the ideas in this book have been presented to a significant number of people from various related disciplines (in 22 presentations). Positive feedback indicates wide agreement that these ideas actually do explain spirituality in a new and very scientific way, and this explanation of spirituality contains no “spirits.”

The Author

Frank Heile, the author of Spirituality Explained, holds a Ph.D. in Physics and considers himself to be an atheist. He has been doing a number of different spiritual practices (with positive results) for many years (About).

Frank’s Upcoming Speaking Events

On Sunday, November 19th, Frank will be the featured Sunday Brunch speaker at the San Francisco Regional Mensa Gathering in Emeryville, CA. The link to the program is here and the registration link is here. The Sunday only registration is $17 which would include Frank’s talk (but not the brunch).

If you are a member of a group and if you would like Frank to speak at one of your events, please Contact him.  See the Events tab for more information about previous presentations.

More about Spirituality Explained

Spirituality Explained uses a specific three-agent model of the human brain (and consciousness) to explain spirituality. The key ideas are:

  • The model of the human brain is composed of three separate but interconnected and interacting agents.
  • Each agent has different goals and uses different techniques for achieving those goals.
  • The names given to these three agents are Thinker, Doer, and Experiencer.

The book uses the three-agent model to explain:

  • How human consciousness differs from animal consciousness
    • How spirituality arose when human consciousness changed
  • The problem that spirituality solves and how spiritual practices ameliorate that problem.
  • The properties of spiritual enlightenment
    • How certain practices lead to spiritual enlightenment

The models and other ideas in the book are completely consistent with all known laws of physics.

Everyone; atheists, agnostics, spiritual or religious people and even scientists will derive value from this scientific explanation of spirituality.

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Preview of Spirituality Explained

Latest Video!

Here is the video of the 23-minute talk Frank gave at the Science of Nonduality Conference in San Jose on October 20, 2017. The new idea that was introduced in this video is the integration of Attention Schema Theory (AST) with the three-agent model.  AST was proposed by the Princeton neuroscientist, Michael Graziano as a model that explains the subjective experience of awareness.

Click below to watch the video:


Click the following button to view or download the PDF of the PowerPoint slides used in this video.  Some of the ideas that were expressed verbally during the presentation have been added to this PDF in blue text.  In addition, some new ideas were included that wouldn’t have fit in the time constraints on the presentation.



The quickest introduction to these ideas is from the single page poster submitted to the Stanford Neuroscience Symposium in October 2017. This poster has the clearest and most compelling explanation of the core ideas from the current three agent model. This 2.5 page PDF contains the content of that poster.  (For a more complete explanation of the model, see the playlist of 8 videos below this poster.)

Click below to expand and read the PDF:



14-Minute Video:

The following 14-minute video was created by a two-person documentary video production team at Three Bridges West. They interviewed Frank for an hour in August 2017 and this video is the result. This is an excellent and easy to understand explanation of the core ideas in this model that explains spirituality:

Click below to play the video:



Playlist of 8 Short Videos:

The following links are to 8 short YouTube videos that add up to 1 hour and 8 minutes of total video. This represents the July 2017 version of my ideas for the book.  There have been significant changes since last April when I had last updated this page. These videos were created using video recordings from two talks Frank gave in July 2017: at the Mensa Annual Gathering in Hollywood, FL on July 7th and at the Humanist Community of Silicon Valley Meetup on July 30th.

Part 1: Spirituality: What, When, and Why? (10 min)
Part 2: Where Do Human Agents Live? (6 min)
Part 3: The Three Agent Model (9 min)
Part 4: The Three Agent Block Diagram (6 min)
Part 5: Agent Self-Models and Goals (12 min)
Part 6: What is the Problem that Spirituality Fixes? (4 min)
Part 7: How Does Spirituality Fix the Problem (11 min)
Part 8: Kinds of Consciousness & Comparisons (7 min)

The Resources page includes these videos, older videos, and additional PDFs that explain this model.

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