Journey Beyond My Brain: Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor

- through Sophie Solere

Published on

This travelogue is so fantastic that we follow Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor to the end, impatient to know the end. And it is especially the end that interests us here. How does this American neuroanatomist, victim of a serious cerebrovascular accident (CVA) at the age of 37, come to a spiritual vision of existence? Her observations of the world and of herself, during and after her accident, are startling. Some could even be close to experiences felt during deep meditative states. It describes the feeling of inner peace, the discovery of compassion, the conviction of an innate benevolence in most of us, or the feeling of being one with the rest of the world. It also shows that with a certain training, the human being can influence the functioning of his brain. “My stroke gave me the opportunity to become aware of the impact of my emotions on my body. I discovered that it was in my power to let them settle in me, or on the contrary, to drive them away as quickly as possible. »

Such an experience, which still imposed on her eight years of rehabilitation, made her happier to live and gave her a goal: "To help people achieve inner peace and discover the innate joy in them, such is my mission today. There is reason to rejoice for her.

On the other hand, it is advisable to take with great precautions the conclusions which it draws from it on the role of our cerebral hemispheres. As her stroke paralyzed her left hemisphere for several hours, it seems obvious to her that her right brain alone is responsible for the almost mystical state she has gone through. In the same way, she analyzes her new life solely in the light of this distinction. “If I want my intuitive right hemisphere to express itself, I have to put my left hemisphere on the back burner to prevent my little inner voice from drowning me in its flood of words. I just trust my sixth sense. However, in this it illustrates theories that have been questioned for several decades by a good part of the scientific community. The idea that the left brain is the seat of reason (therefore analytical, logical) and the right brain, that of emotions (intuitive, creative), is now considered simplistic, even erroneous. And the vision according to which the dominance of one of the hemispheres over the other would condition our personality is also refuted.

Journey beyond my brain is therefore not to be taken as a scientific demonstration, but as the story of a personal experience. Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor tells us how the brain can influence our state. She also reminds us of this good news: we can influence our brains. Left or right, that is not the question.

photo of author

Sophie Solere

Sophie Solère is an economic and social journalist who has been interested for years in the environment and interdependence. She works for Buddhist News, a media platform dedicated to Buddhist spirituality and wisdom. By practicing yoga and meditative dance, Sophie discovered the power of spiritual journeys, which offer so many paths to (re)find yourself. She is dedicated to sharing inspiring stories and valuable advice on spiritual practice and the environment with Buddhist News readers.

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