27 February 2012

Choosing to be One with the Universe

Today I watched this amazing TED Talk about a neuroscientist, Jill Bolte Taylor, who describes how she began to experience the world differently when she had a massive stroke and her brain functions began to shut down. As scary as a stroke may sound, undergoing this bodily trauma changed Jill's life and worldview forever, and I think that listening to her story can help us realign our thinking too.

Jill starts the Talk with a description of how the two different hemispheres of our brain perform separate functions. Each side cares about and thinks about different things. Per Jill, the right side is all about THIS present moment - right here, right now. It thinks in pictures and learns through the movement of our body. It experiences things via the 5 senses. It says, "we are energy beings connected to each other." It's thought is that in this moment, "we are perfect, we are whole, and we are beautiful." Conversely, the left hemisphere thinks linearly and methodically. It's all about the past and future. It totally picks apart the beautiful collage created by the right side of the brain and categorizes all of the details into "hey, remember this!" and  "you need to do that!" The left side of the brain says "I am,"  and consequently we are separate from the energy flow around us. When Jill has her stroke, the left side shuts down.

Because she is a neuroscientist, Jill is able to very accurately describe how the switching on/off of the left hemisphere of her brain completely changed how she saw things during the stroke, such as how she perceived her in body in relation to her surroundings. When the left side of her brain would turn off, Jill describes feeling one with everything around her - everything is energy... there is boundless fluidity rather than separate entities. She says that she was unable to depict the boundaries of where things started and stopped. She was in awe of this new way of viewing her world. And then suddenly the left side of her brain reactivated, and she snapped back into problem-solving mode ("you need help," "something is wrong")...

I won't describe the whole experience - you can watch the video and hear it from her. But, how INCREDIBLE would it be to shut OFF the side left side of our brain? To be more connected to how our energy is one with the Universe, and not segmented into a million little tasks, descriptors, and boundaries? What if we could visualize the world around us like an ebbing and flowing ocean, perfect in this very moment and guiding us to exactly where we should be? I was so moved by this video - I immediately realized that (most of the time) I resort to lists and check marks and boundaries and entities to experience my world, to feel something moving, to communicate with people. Now all I can think about is how desperately I just want to melt into every moment and be ONE with everything - to experience things by being a part of them, not separate from them. To feel the force field of energy that I am and let everything around me just flow right through me. How beautiful would that be? No... how beautiful COULD that be? I am going to read more about getting in touch with the right side of my brain and disabling the limiting, calculative left side of the brain.

Here is an amazing quote from the speaker:
"(Referring to the right part of her brain) I am the life-force power of the universe. I am the life-force power of the 50 trillion beautiful molecular geniuses that make up my form, at one with all that is. Or, I can chose to step into the consciousness of my left hemisphere, where I become a single individual, a solid. Separate from the flow, separate from you... these are the "we" inside of me. Which would you choose? Which do you choose? And when? I believe that the more time that we spend choosing to run the deep inner peace circuitry of our right hemisphere, the more peace that we will project into the world, and the more peaceful our planet will be ” -Jill Bolte Taylor

I would love to hear your thoughts about this, and if you have been able to have the kind of fluid, beautifully connected experience that Jill describes (not from a stroke...). I yearn to rewire my brain so that I too can experience this, and on a daily basis. 

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