Right Mind or Left Field

If I give it any thought at all, I cannot help but be consumed in awe by the workings of the human mind. This has been a long-term fascination of mine through my physical therapy practice and my personal search for rhyme and reason to my own, sometimes bizarre, thoughts and behavior. I was blessed with the opportunity over the Christmas break to rekindle this flame.

Jill Bolte Taylor is a PhD in the area of neuroanatomy – she is a brain scientist. Jill has written a life-changing scientific memoir highlighting a sudden brain hemorrhage at age 37, and her eight year recovery titled, “My Stroke of Insight.” At the core of the story is her personal experience and discovery of the differences between the circuitry, processes, and perceptive purposes housed within the two hemispheres of our brain. When you finish her book you will have a new appreciation of when you are in your “right mind” and when you are out in “left field.”

The left hemisphere of our brain holds the logical analysis of the details of our experiences, and forms our linear perceptions through language and comparison. It is our material, time and space mind. As Jill was experiencing a massive bleed within this left hemisphere, she reports a loss of linear and temporal thought, a loss of external language and internal "brain chatter," and a loss of personal boundaries and judgment. In other words, as Jill lost the separate ego identity field of her left brain she entered into the peaceful pasture of her right mind. Now, with her right hemisphere dominant, she felt an overwhelming sense of calm, silence, and oneness with everything around her. Heaven. One of the most interesting aspects of her account was the loss of temporal thought. While in her right mind, Jill did not experience thoughts of the past or the future. In her right mind was only the present and therefore she no longer experienced thoughts of comparison, judgment, fear, or loss.

You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You.      Isaiah 26:3

In our right mind is only the present moment which is timeless and eternal. Our right mind is spontaneous, uninhibited, nonjudgmental, joyful, and free. It is not bogged down with details, timelines, entitlement, or comparisons, but sees the big picture, wide view, and seeing out of both eyes wisdom resides here. The great human moments of intuition, insight, and inspiration all occur as products of our right mind. The Two Great Commandments can only be incorporated into human existence when we are present with our right mind… The Gift of unity with our Creator, and the ability to love others “as” ourselves can only occur if we truly believe we are one with them.

To live in this world we need both sides of our brain, but the human race as it stands today has become heavily weighted and focused in our logical and material left hemispheres. We are bags-of-water beings of high-productivity and high-technology, trillions of over-scheduled and over-stressed cell parts. When time is
always of the essence, there is very little room for the likes of our right mind.

Do you think this is what Jesus meant when He said to be “in” this world but not “of” this world? Being in our right mind means being connected to our
heart’s consciousness instead of out in left field attached to our ego’s consciousness.

star cluster

Armed with this scientist’s unique journey and insight we can identify more quickly when we are out in left field rather than in our right mind. We can remind ourselves that our left brain’s job is to calculate, categorize, explain, and divide the material world into digestible parts, and we can applaud our right mind when it holds the hand of the Divine and sees the majesty, magnificence, and
unity of all creation.

Rumi reminds us, “Sell your cleverness and purchase bewilderment."

Your thoughts always make the blog. All my respect of your right mind. Michele

Dr. Taylor's book, TED talk, and story can be found at:
I highly recommend her
18 minute TED talk. It may change your life.