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 30 different presentations). Positive feedback indicates wide agreement that these ideas actually do explain spirituality in a new and very scientific way. 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

Frank is speaking at the Foundation for Mind/Being Research (FMBR) meeting at Unity Palo Alto, on Friday, May 25th, 2018 from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm. The flyer describing the talk and the exact location of the meeting is here. The cost is $15 for non-FMBR members or $5 for students (note that they only accept cash or checks at the door). If you think you might attend the talk, please email Frank@SpiritualityExplained.com to let him know!

Frank is also talking at the Regional Gathering (RG) of the San Diego Mensa Group on Saturday, May 26th from 12:45 pm to 1:45 pm. The location of the RG is here and the full Regional Gathering schedule and info about Frank’s talk is here.

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.

Latest Video

Frank spoke at a concurrent session of The Science of Consciousness Conference in Tucson, Arizona on April 3rd, 2018.  The 20-minute video of this talk is here. This video explains multiple different types of conscious awareness using Attention Schema Theory combined with the Three Agent Model. These types of conscious awareness include animal consciousness, normal modern human consciousness, flow state consciousness, and enlightened states of consciousness.

Sign Up Now

Previews of Spirituality Explained

The following videos and PDFs are the most up-to-date, complete and easiest way to get a preview of the contents of the forthcoming book.


Most Up-to-Date Video Describing the Full Model!

Here is the video of the 43-minute talk Frank gave at the San Francisco Mensa Regional Gathering in Emeryville, CA, on Nov 19th, 2017. This video fully integrates 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. AST provides both an awareness model and a self-awareness model for each of the three agents which gives the most compelling explanation of spirituality so far! You can either watch the full 43-minute video, or you can watch some or all of the 7 individual short videos (below) that make up the full video.

Click below to watch the full 43-minute video:


The individual short videos that comprise the original 43-minute video are:

Part 1: The Origin of Spirituality
Part 2: World Models & Agents
Part 3: The Three Agent Model
Part 4: Ordinary Spirituality Explained
Part 5: Attention Schema Theory
Part 6: Agent Awareness Models
Part 7: Spiritual Enlightenment Explained

After each video completes, click the “Next Video” button to view the next 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.


Stanford 2017 Poster:

The quickest introduction to these ideas is from the single page poster presented at the Stanford Neurosciences Institute Symposium in October 2017. This poster has the clearest and most compelling explanation of the core ideas from the current three agent model. The (unreadable) image below shows the layout of the original poster as presented. If you click on the image you will get a very readable 3 page PDF that contains the (slightly modified) content of that poster.

Click below to expand and read the PDF:



14-Minute Interview 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:



Science and Nonduality Conference 2017:

The following 22-minute video was recorded at Frank’s talk at the Science and Nonduality Conference in San Jose, CA, on Oct 20, 2017. This was the first talk where Frank began to talk about Attention Schema Theory combined with the three-agent model. The SF Mensa Talk on Nov 2017 (above) is the talk that fully incorporates Attention Shema Theory with the three-agent model.

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

Sign Up Now