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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Jill Bolte Taylor: the clarity of the present moment

A few days ago I heard on the radio the astonishing story of Jill Bolte Taylor, a brain researcher who suffered a massive stroke and "studied" it as it was happening. She witnessed from the inside the sudden silence of her left hemisphere (analytical, verbal, logical). It took her eight years to fully recover and her perception of Humanity changed drastically. The video I found on internet is quite long but worth listening to.

"In that instant, I suddenly felt vulnerable, and I noticed that the constant brain chatter that routinely familiarized me with my surroundings was no longer a predictable and constant flow of conversation. Instead, my verbal thoughts were now inconsistent, fragmented, and interrupted by an intermittent silence.

As my brain chatter began to disintegrate, I felt an odd sense of isolation. My blood pressure must have been dropping as a result of the bleeding in my brain because I felt as if all of my systems, including my mind's ability to instigate movement, were moving into a slow mode of operation. Yet, even though my thoughts were no longer a constant stream of chatter about the external world and my relationship to it, I was conscious and constantly present within my mind."

Listen to Jill Bolte Taylor's Interview with Terry Gross / Fresh Air on NPR.
Watch the video

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