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Thursday, June 5, 2008

A Lesson of Oneness

Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor is a neuroscientist whose stroke left her with abilities mystics have sought for millennia. She wants people to “step into the consciousness” of their brains’ right hemispheres and experience the phenomenal oneness that awaits us there.

Dr. Taylor is getting a lot of press these days due to release of her book My Stroke of Insight. Here’s a recent New York Times article. Here’s video from her recent appearance on Oprah, and here’s a video of her speech to the prestigious Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) Conference.

Because of her work at Harvard’s brain research center, Dr. Taylor was well aware that the left half of our brains gives us logic, time, ego, analysis and other structural faculties. The right side gives us creativity, empathy and things of a more intuitive nature. In 1996, Dr. Taylor, at 37, suffered a stroke that incapacitated parts of her brain’s left hemisphere. She found she could experience the right brain without impediment.

“I felt like a genie liberated from its bottle,” she writes. “The energy of my spirit seemed to flow like a great whale gliding through a sea of silent euphoria.” She saw her body’s atoms and molecules blend with the space around her and realized the whole world and all of its creatures were parts of the same shimmering energy. “My perception of physical boundaries was no longer limited to where my skin met air.”

It took her eight years to recover, but the knowledge the stroke provided has remained. Her driving motivation these days is to make sure people know that they can choose to live more spiritual and peaceful lives with the help of their right brains.

Of particular interest to me is her message that organized religion is a far cry from the intensely beautiful spirituality she has experienced. The daughter of an Episcopal minister, she says, “Religion is just a story that the left brain tells the right brain.”

“Nirvana exists right now,” she says. “There’s no doubt that it’s a beautiful state and that we can get there.”


4 comments:

Doreen said...

What a wonderful post. My right half is definately dominent..I'm creative..intuitive and am always worried about others feelings and always go for the underdog..the runt of the litter!! :)

Dr. Taylor sounds like a very insightful person. I will have to visit the sites you suggested.

Thank you for sharing.

Best wishes,
Doreen

Anonymous said...

"It took her eight years to recover". What was she recovering from? Mind expansion? Spiritual awareness? A stroke of luck? The number eight: "signifying the balancing out of opposing forces or the equivalence of the spiritual power to the natural. Also because of it's shape-the eternally spiralling movement of the heavens-double sigmoid line-the sign of the infinite.
Because of it's implications of regeneration, eight was in the Middle Ages an emblem of the waters of baptism. Further-more, it corresponds in mediaeval mystic cosmogony to the fixed stars of the firmament, denoting that the planetary influences have been overcome."(A Dictionary of Symbols)
So was her "baptism" in recovering from her journey or from bringing the spiritual into matter through her physical journey? Tribes getting high to experience the Divine, Jimmy's transcendental guitar notes enabling us to "touch the sky", Zen bowls om of vibrational healing, electric shock therapy, Timothy Leary, sooner or later we all have to "fetch wood, carry water". Earth, a very grounded experience.

Christine LeFever said...

Thank you, Gregory, for sharing this incredible woman with us. I have enjoyed hearing her on the Oprah link, and I totally relate to what she says about what God is.

Beautiful!

Christine

linda marcov said...

only wish I could sit down with you like old times and share a glass of wine and conversation about our shared ideas and beliefs. You as always never cease to amaze me... dear friend. much love sent your way.