left brain

A Stroke of Insight

On Day Four of my recent drawing class, the teacher started the day by playing a video of Jill Bolte Taylor's Ted talk about her stroke and the miraculous, peaceful effect of having full access to her Right brain. I had read her book, My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey, but was very touched by her talk. In it she delineates the powers of our Left and Right brains. The Right side of our brain she states is about the present moment, thinking in pictures and it learns kinesthetically. She describes it as, “I’m an energy being connected to the energies around me via my right brain.”

The Left side of our brain is linear and methodical. It’s all about the past and the future. “It takes an enormous collage of the present and picks out details and then more details about those details,” Ms. Taylor says. It thinks in language. It is the annoying inner chatter. “It’s the voice that says ‘I am.”

If you’re wondering, “What voice?” Then you’ve just identified your voice.

Taylor adds that as soon as that voice says “I am” you become separated from the energies around you. Which reminded me of an old myth on the birth of Self described by Joseph Campbell to Bill Moyers in The Power of Myth:

"There is a wonderful story of the deity (Hindu), of the Self that said, 'I am.' As soon as it said “I am,” it was afraid. Then it thought, 'What should I be afraid of, I’m the only thing that is.' And as soon as it said that, it felt lonesome, and wished that there were another, and so it felt desire. It swelled, split in two, became male and female, and begot the world."

Ms. Taylor's Ted Talk: [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyyjU8fzEYU[/youtube]