Sunday, March 30, 2008

A Neuroanatomist Witnesses Her Own Stroke

Wow, what a speech, tying together so many aspects of all I've studied (many of us have studied) about what it is to be a human.

Neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor talks about observing her own stroke as it happened.

(If the embedded video gives you trouble, view it on the TED site here.)

Wonderful insights about the functions of the two hemispheres, and what she experienced as parts of her mental function dropped away, leaving her for a time with nothing but the experience of the moment of Now.

Aside from the inspiring beauty of her story, what smacked me in the face was the great similarities between what she says and what I discussed last year with members of my cancer community, about being at peace with it all, as Buddhists have done for millennia and as teachers like Ram Dass (nee Richard Alpert) continue to do today. A lot in common, too, with the description of psychedelic experiences such as described by Aldous Huxley in The Doors of Perception.

Powerful speaker.

I'm listening to her talk for the third time through. I know exactly what she's talking about re "no longer the choreographer of my life," and several other things, so I have no doubt at all that what she ultimately describes is available to every one of us, and that includes you.


  1. Such a beautiful, powerful presentation -- intelligent, eloquent, and genuinely moving. A rich, precious gem.

  2. This is truly a revelation. Her total sensory right brain recall of the experience, side by side with the analytical observations by her left hemisphere and the final distilation of the two into the who we are and what we can choose to be conclusion is powerful and persuasive. Thank you for bringing this to us, Dave.


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