Yoga teaches that all the cells of our body are conscious, so consciousness does not just reside in the brain. Indeed the brain is just another part of the body to be observed and guided. Brain scientist Jill Bolte Taylor had a unique opportunity to observe her brain when she suffered a massive stroke. Her left hemisphere was damaged, and what she discovered about consciousness and perception is amazing.
Her right brain consciousness revealed that she was energy, the life force energy of the universe, one with all other life around her, deeply peaceful and loving, fully aware of the present moment. Her left brain consciousness was quite different, concerned with details, with past and present, with individual identity and ego, a noisy chatterbox with all the emotional baggage of her 37 years.
Here is Jill telling her story at a TED talk in 2008. This is fabulous, please look and listen! I call it “Finding Nirvana” but she tells in a wonderful and humorous way, the experience of her stroke, and what she discovered about herself.
Jill Bolte Taylor concludes that we can align ourselves with either part of our consciousness, that we can choose to rewrite unhelpful scripts that are run repeatedly by a little group of cells in the left hemisphere, and that we can choose to ‘step to the right’, and feel the deep peace and love that is part our true nature.
Which side of the brain do you live on? More on consciousness and cells tomorrow!