Last month, I wrote in Stroke of Insight about Jill Bolte Taylor’s conscious experience of a stroke. A fascinating presentation she gave at TED. While I disagreed with her understanding of the experience (brain hemispheres vs resolution of consciousness), it was a remarkable process for a brain scientist to have a systematic experience of a brain disabling disorder.
This month, the ‘What the Bleep’ folks interviewed Jill about this and her book. Its quite an interesting interview about how some of the thinking about brain function has changed. Some great points about being able to have whole brain functioning, although I still think she blends values of awareness with hemispheric function. Related but not the same thing. She makes clear that in her stroke experience, her brain stories shut down so she was able to open up, not through spiritual awakening but through physical impairment. This adds to the idea presented in What Awakes.
The interviewer also mentions an interesting detail (on page 2) from her book: “when a person has a reaction to something in their environment, there’s a 90 second chemical process that happens in the body and then after that, any remaining emotional response is just the person choosing to stay in that emotional loop.”
That very clearly demonstrates the science behind an unattached emotional experience vs one that is resisted. I’ve talked about that a number of times. Even long after waking, anger and other emotions we might brand “negative” are still experienced. But they simply wash by and away. Like we might experience a siren go by. This is the true normal. What is abnormal is the investment and holding of emotions. That is the resistance I’ve talked about. And that is the root of the ‘wheel of karma’, the experiences that repeat on us like a bad meal. It is the root of suffering. And thus it is the flag of our response.
Eckhart on Oprah has been discussing this in detail as I mention here.