Is it Filch It Friday again, already?
In the end, I went and filched from cce because that girl is seriously filchable. She sent her many readers to Ted Talks today and then did a sweet dissection of the science of hot – a topic she clearly knows inside and out.
I am going to send you to Ted Talks too – for a talk on the science of awareness.
Cause I know nothing about hot.
Truth to tell, I don’t know much about awareness either, but I know someone who does when I see her.
It is a twenty minute talk – fair warning, it is a little slow to get started and you may wonder if I have lost my mind, but oh, my heavens, please do yourself a favor and watch until the end. Jill Bolte Taylor is a neuroanatomist who was inspired to study the brain by her brother who has schizophrenia. If you have ever spent time with someone with schizophrenia, you know that they often struggle to hold fast to a line you and I probably take for granted, the one between what is normally considered reality and something other.
Jill Bolte Taylor watched herself have a stroke. That is to say, she paid attention as, little by little, the left side of her brain, the part that keeps track of the past and the present, of how to dial 911, of the meaning of the little scratches of black on white on this screen, disappeared. A whopping cerebral hemorrhage took the left side of her brain offline and, for good measure, took reality with it.
The right side of her brain, like an often overshadowed younger sibling, stepped in when given the chance. This is the part of the brain that knows nothing about division, nothing about separateness, nothing about this and that, yes and no, me and you. It knows nothing about what is real, and everything about what is.
This is what happens when you lose consciousness and gain awareness.
If watching that makes you feel inclined to ditch your computer and engage in some meditation, prayer, yoga or other contemplative practice, feel free. I’ll miss you, but I’ll understand. That’s how much I love you…
Last week, for an hour, Mate, Youngest and myself turned off the lights. We had each been in a different part of the house: Mate was writing in his tiny office off our bedroom, I was writing in my tiny office in the pantry, and Youngest was, as is his wont, simultaneously IMing, video chatting, talking on the phone and yes, texting in his room.
Once the lights were out, the idea of staying in our separate spaces without our umbilical electronic connections was unthinkable. We gathered in the living room and played poker in the candlelight. We laughed and leaned against each other. We wrangled about the legality of borrowing from the bank and who had forgotten to ante.
I want my little family to take some time each week to step, as Bolte Taylor says, to the right of our left brains. I want us all to spend more time in that other space, where
differences dissolve and the light glows from the inside out.