Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Brain Scientist Jill Bolte Taylor Talks About Her Stroke

Brain Scientist Jill Bolte Taylor Talks About Her Stroke


And the "euphoria" and "nirvana" she experienced when her left brain went offline.

From her bio:

"Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor is a Harvard-trained and published neuroanatomist. She specializes in the postmortem investigation of the human brain.

On December 10, 1996, Dr. Taylor woke up to discover that she was experiencing a rare form of stroke, an arterio-venous malformation (AVM)."
The account she gives in this video of losing her sense of self - the boundaries of where her skin stops and the background emerges - is extraordinary. Her unique training in brain science coupled with an ability to articulate this experience is rare. I was riveted.

An excerpt:

"It was as though my consciousness had shifted away from my normal perception of reality where I'm the person on the machine (she was on a cardio-glider exercise machine) having the experience to some esoteric space where I'm witnessing myself having this experience."

"I'm standing in my bathroom getting ready to get into the shower ... I lost my balance and I'm propped up against the wall and I looked down at my arm and I realized I could no loner define the boundaries of my body. I can't define where I begin, and where I end, because the atoms and the molecules of my arm blended with the atoms and molecules of the wall."

"Because I could no longer identify the boundaries of my body I felt enormous, and expansive. I felt at one with all the energy that was, and it was beautiful there. And all of a sudden my left hemisphere comes back on line and it says to me "Hey! We got a problem. We got a problem. We've got to get some help."

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