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My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D. (YouTube video recommendation)

Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) Convention

In this inspiring TED presentation, Dr. Taylor, who is a Harvard-trained neuroanatomist, describes her experience of having a stroke in 1996. I cannot due her presentation justice in this description, but basically Dr. Taylor’s left hemisphere of the brain was silenced during this stroke and throughout some of her recovery process. The left hemisphere, among its many other functions, is responsible for our almost incessant self-talk (the little chatterbox in the head) as well as our sense of self. In fact, people basically identify themselves with this “voice in the head.” Dr. Taylor completely lost her ego, or sense of self, during this episode and experienced the world in a whole different way. In essence, she experienced the nondualism to which many religions and spiritual practices point (e.g., Hinduism, Buddhism, Gnosticism, Taoism, Sikhism, Sufism). So, because of her stroke, Dr. Taylor did not see her “self” as separate from “other.” This realization has had a profound and lasting impact on Dr. Taylor, as you can see from this video.

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