28 May 2008

Neuro-mystical brain insights?

OK, I'm intrigued by this video of Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, the Harvard-trained neuroanatomist who has been making waves of late with her new book that describes her own massive stroke and its effects on her brain and her perceptions of reality (you can get the higher-def version of the video here, if you have a fast connection). In brief, she considers the left side of the brain to control logic, language, and the like, while the right side of the brain is more kinesthetic and expansive, blurring the distinctions between "I" and "other". When her stroke damaged the left side of her brain, she reports mystical feelings of expansiveness and oneness with all creation that she ascribes to her right brain.

I haven't yet read her book, but what caught my eye was this article in the Sunday NY Times discussing her experience. I'm not too keen on the comparisons to Eckhart Tolle's work (what I've seen of his stuff has been less than compelling), but what Taylor has to say is very intriguing. I hereby solicit comments from my readers who are more knowledgeable about such matters, or from anyone who also finds this stuff intriguing.

1 comment:

Pam said...

Peter sent me the link to the Times article and I found it interesting enough to view the video. While I didn't find it awe-inspiring, one thing she said has really stuck with me. That we can "turn off" the left logic language side from time to time. I haven't explored the deeper meaning this could have or the consequences it might have (ie, if I don't do it right, am I really repressing the thought/idea/emotion just to have it pop up again with a scarrier face?), but it has helped me kinda say "shhhh" to some of the incessant chatter that goes on up there.