On a December morning in 1996, Dr. Taylor woke up with searing pain behind her left eye, the beginnings of a hemorrhagic stroke. As the left side of her brain shut down, she began to feel disconnected from her body and entered an almost-euphoric like state. It took her a while to make sense of the experience, but as her right arm became paralyzed, it dawned on her that she was having a stroke.
“How many brain scientists have the opportunity to study their own brain from the inside out?,'’ she said. “In the course of four hours, I watched my brain completely deteriorate in its ability to process all information. On the morning of the hemorrhage, I could not walk, talk, read, write or recall any of my life.'’
Her account of the experience of stroke is vivid, and at one point, she recalled, she felt like someone had taken a remote control and hit the mute button. “I was shocked to find myself inside a silent mind,'’ she said.
What is so surprising about Dr. Taylor’s story is that she experienced a sort of euphoria as she was left with only right-brain functions. She lost her sense of self, but she also shed the stress of her life and, as she puts it, “37 years of emotional baggage.'’
“Imagine what it would be like to be totally disconnected from your brain chatter,'’ she said. “I felt a sense of peacefulness.'’
i can certainly relate to that. However, from her website, she discusses her subsequent book, and from what i remember from Neurobiology in college, i don't fully agree with where she goes with it:
This book is about the wonder of being human and as such is a plea and a prayer that we strive to be equal to how big we really are. What a piece of work is man — 50 trillion cells functioning in purposeful harmony. The two hemispheres of our brain are yoked opposites: limit-setting rationality (time, judgment, ego) in perpetual interplay with the eternal and unbounded now. Together, and only together, do these two halves of our awareness make our human destiny.
A healthy person, and a healthy society, honor and live more or less equally out of both halves of the brain. When I asked Taylor how she’d describe our current state of societal balance, she said: 85-15. “We don’t just not engage the skills of the right hemisphere, we mock them!”
That is to say, we live and we strangle each other in our left-brain ego-boxes, refusing to trust or even acknowledge that a different kind of world is possible. Here’s how Taylor puts it: “I realized that the blessing I had received from this experience was the knowledge that deep internal peace is accessible to anyone at any time...My stroke of insight would be: Peace is only a thought away, and all we have to do to access it is silence the voice of our dominating left mind.”
--mainly because there's nothing dictating that we are supposed to live out 50/50 from the two halves. Many people are pre-disposed to be dominant in one side or the other, and there's reseach showing how we can re-wire thru the opposite half to survive a brain injury, and still function quite well. The connection between the two halves is as important as the halves themselves. But these are minor points compared to the significance of why you posted this article, and its very interesting- especially how you connect it to Tony B's attempt to take Tony's briefcase, as well as the Vegas Trip connection... i think we had a dedicated NDE thread at one point, but i couldn't find it after a very quick search, but maybe its time to resurrect it or start a new one!