January 22, 2009

A Stroke Of Insight - Welcome To Lala-land

I have talked in previous posts of the fact that we are all energy, the world is energy, everything is energy. Great. Now what? Well, I've been wondering: Knowing that we’re connected to everything, is there a way we can somehow feel it, in our bodies as well as our minds? I mean, talking about it and discussing it is very intellectual and all, but it’s just that--talking. So, would there be a way for us to, say, see this connectedness? If there is, then how can we get to such a state of awareness? What do we have to do? Is this when I'm supposed to lock myself up for years to meditate? Huh. Yeah, right! Not happening, not with me. I've got too much to do, too many things to experience. But maybe it doesn’t take all that much to reach that point. Maybe, if we can understand why it is we cannot see our 'energy state', we can sort of hop on to the fast track to accessing that state. In 1996, Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, a neuroanatomist, found herself experiencing a stroke: a blood clot had ruptured in the left-hand part of her brain, causing her to forget how to “walk, talk, read, write, or recall any of [her] life.” And how exactly is this related to what we’re talking about? Well, as it turns out, because of this stroke, she only saw herself and the world as one. “[She] could no longer define the boundaries of [her] body. [She couldn’t] define where [she began] and where [she] end[ed]. Because the atoms and molecules of [her] arm blended with the atoms and molecules of the wall. And all [she] could detect was this energy.” Wow! So. . . what does that tell us exactly? That we need to get a stroke, and a particular one at that, since it can only affect the left brain? Not exactly, no. But we learn that, because of the hemorrhage, her left brain was out, leaving the right one to do all the work. And the two hemispheres are quite separate entities (except for a minor bridge at the bottom), they are two distinct individuals with different "personalities."

The left brain’s the logical one, the one that “thinks linearly and methodically, [. . .] it’s that little voice that says to me, ‘I am. I am.’” It’s because of the left hemisphere that we individualize ourselves.

Cogito ergo sum.” (RenĂ© Descartes, Principles of Philosophy.). I think, therefore I am. Sounds to me like Descartes was talking about the left brain’s perception of the world, because the right brain’s totally different. It is the hemisphere that store “information in the form of energy streams.” It is the one that thinks “I am an energy being connected to the energy of all around me.” Therefore, if we want to be able to experience that feeling of one-ness with the world around us--the way it truly is as all our atoms are connected to all those around us--we have to shut off our left-hand brain.

Huh. Yeah. Don’t quite know how to do that yet, but I figure this is a pretty good start, huh? And when I do, I'll let you know :)

Alessa PS: For more information on Dr. Bolte Taylor, you can get her book My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey or check out a video of her below (it's a little over 20 minutes long).

1 comment:

  1. As an answer to your first non-rhetorical question, I believe it is possible for us to experience oneness with the universe. However, this can only be done by not getting caught up in our thoughts.
    Why? The past, future, and even the present are ungraspable, yet the only reality we have is the present (this might sound contradictory to some, but it isn't as our present actions are the only ones we can control), and thoughts take us away from that reality. Need an example? I'm doing the dishes, but I'm thinking of how boring it is to do the dishes and how life would be so much better if I had some cleaning lady. I then let myself get carried away and start thinking about all the extra things I could do if I did had this cleaning lady. Yet, in reality, all I'm doing is the dishes, and breathing, and maybe if I wasn't caught up in all my thoughts I could actually hear what's going on around me, or feel my chest burning and aching from the fact that I believed in my thoughts of disliking doing the dishes and hoping for a cleaning lady.
    For many of us, that's what we always do - go through life caught up in our thoughts, fighting them even, when they have nothing to do do with what's happening in the present moment. But if we were to stick with what's happening in the present by keeping a clear mind and focusing on/doing what needs to be done now, eventually, the separation between us and the 'outside' vanishes. At first in a flash, but if we persistently 'get real', the realization of oneness lasts longer.
    This being said, does there really need to be a short way to get there?