Brain Scientist, Stroke, and Spiritual Enlightenment

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Brain Scientist, Stroke, and Spiritual Enlightenment

Brain scientist Jill Bolte Taylor experiences spiritual enlightenment after suffering a stroke. Below is the link to a video in which she recounts her story. Enjoy.

/www.ted.com/index.php/talks/jill_bolte_taylor_s_powerful_stroke_of_insight.html

 

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I'll look at this but...How

I'll look at this but...

How many people have found spiritual enlightenment after nearly dying/losing faculties?

Fear does some weird stuff.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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Sorry, I made a typo. Here's

Sorry, I made a typo. Here's the complete web address to the video.

 

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/jill_bolte_taylor_s_powerful_stroke_of_insight.html

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Here we go again

Freaking YAWN...


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That's so unfair!

After my aneurysm I just had a shockingly bad headache for a few weeks.

 

Damn you to hell, [insert_deity_here]! <shakes fist at sky>

 

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I see nothing worth

I see nothing worth commenting on. Hardly a surprise that a stroke victim can be delusional.

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Today's surprise

Today's surprise headline:

Man experiences condition that fucks up human brains.  Now his brain is fucked up.

Somebody call Reuters.

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Obviously even more evidence

Obviously even more evidence that the brain generates our conscious mind - physical damage to the brain can change the mental state and outlook in fundamental ways, just as what would be expected.

 

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Vastet wrote:I see nothing

Vastet wrote:
I see nothing worth commenting on. Hardly a surprise that a stroke victim can be delusional.

You obviously did not watch the video.

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Zymotic wrote:Vastet wrote:I

Zymotic wrote:

Vastet wrote:
I see nothing worth commenting on. Hardly a surprise that a stroke victim can be delusional.

You obviously did not watch the video.


Nope. Was the OP's comment misleading?

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Vastet wrote:Zymotic

Vastet wrote:
Zymotic wrote:

Vastet wrote:
I see nothing worth commenting on. Hardly a surprise that a stroke victim can be delusional.

You obviously did not watch the video.

Nope. Was the OP's comment misleading?

Zymotic was joking. Paisley always answers criticisms with cries of "u didn't watch teh video!!!1"

I'm rather surprised that Paisley hasn't announced that himself in this thread yet.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


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Jormungander wrote:Vastet

Jormungander wrote:

Vastet wrote:
Zymotic wrote:

Vastet wrote:
I see nothing worth commenting on. Hardly a surprise that a stroke victim can be delusional.

You obviously did not watch the video.

Nope. Was the OP's comment misleading?

Zymotic was joking. Paisley always answers criticisms with cries of "u didn't watch teh video!!!1"

I'm rather surprised that Paisley hasn't announced that himself in this thread yet.


Rofl. I'd forgotten about that. This is what happens when I game too hard to surf.

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Paisley wrote:Brain

Paisley wrote:

Brain scientist Jill Bolte Taylor experiences spiritual enlightenment after suffering a stroke. Below is the link to a video in which she recounts her story. Enjoy.

 

"spiritual enlightenment" merely translates to 'emotional experience'

Her logical, detail oriented, fact oriented, language understanding, time (present and past) aware, mathematical and scientific, comprehending, knowing, acknowledging, order/pattern perception, object naming, reality based, strategic, practical, safety conscious brain was damaged, hence now she is extremely emotional and a visionary.

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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jcgadfly wrote:I'll look at

jcgadfly wrote:

I'll look at this but...

How many people have found spiritual enlightenment after nearly dying/losing faculties?

Well, many. But the curious thing about it is, that maybe the brain stepped aside and revealed what the world really is. What is described in that video, was a partial revelation of maya, the world illusion. Our brain makes us able to survive, but it also makes the world ugly and mean. Since we have a civilization, we're not in danger all the time. We can learn to put the left hemisphere to sleep for a while, and explore the greater reality that our brain before filtered away. Then we can analyze it, but uncontrolled, the brain  would tell us of mere habit, that there is no greater reality.

This is what meditation is supposed to do. It's meant to bring the gibbering left hemisphere under our control, among other things, like making the brain bigger and healthier, increasing the quality of life, and so on.. The calmness of mind is a beautiful feeling. This is why people do extreme sports, the extreme conditions temporarily shut off the gibbering mind. Climbing on a mountain or skydiving is a similar thing to meditation, except that in meditation, the brain is tamed by own effort. (first hour is usually spent by taming the brain) In extreme sports it's by power of gravity.
 

jcgadfly wrote:
Fear does some weird stuff.

What fear? I've listened to it (twice) and there wasn't anything about fear. Isn't fear a product of left hemisphere?

 

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Paisley wrote:Brain

Paisley wrote:

Brain scientist Jill Bolte Taylor experiences spiritual enlightenment after suffering a stroke. Below is the link to a video in which she recounts her story. Enjoy.



Where do you get "spiritual"? She explained the mechanism of her physical brain, and how she experienced the functioning of her brain while the left hemisphere was physically damaged.

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HisWillness wrote:Where do

HisWillness wrote:

Where do you get "spiritual"? She explained the mechanism of her physical brain, and how she experienced the functioning of her brain while the left hemisphere was physically damaged.

Isn't that obvious? Based on that experience, she deduced a brotherhood of all people, highest quality of life (nirvana), relativity of our own mind (therefore selflessness), and so on. This is why it was a spiritual experience, otherwise it would be just an accident.
Of course, we already have our own right hemispheres waiting to save us from the mean left hemispheres, and we don't have to hit our heads for enlightenment Smiling

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:3

Hey guys. I found out all you have to do is take some really nifty drugs, or suffer brain damage and you get "spiritual enlightenment".

 

You don't have to sit and try and convince yourself something special is happening.  Just pop some pills and away you go into nirvana!

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


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ClockCat wrote:Hey guys. I

ClockCat wrote:

Hey guys. I found out all you have to do is take some really nifty drugs, or suffer brain damage and you get "spiritual enlightenment".

No offense, but it looks like you don't get the whole concept of spirituality. Spirituality is anything, that leads to development. This is why things like global peace and brotherhood are spiritual, because it's much better than what we have now. This is also why Ben Creme always devotes a half of his magazine to stuff like human rights, activism, achievements, education, ecology and green technologies, new trends in politics, economy, and so on. That's the progress, which is spiritual.

 

ClockCat wrote:
You don't have to sit and try and convince yourself something special is happening.  Just pop some pills and away you go into nirvana!
Nirvana, eh? It's not that easy. The problem with drugs is, that they take you only to the astral realm, which is mostly like a bad copy of this world, just like Hollywood is a cheap, kitshy copy of the outer world. Getting HIGH is not any significantly high. Kids like to play in astral. But adults should start to aim for the higher realms, which provide a personal strength and virtues to be brought into this dense-material realm, and also the astral, that place needs a cleanup as well.
Some drugs are really good for musicians.

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Luminon wrote:ClockCat

Luminon wrote:

ClockCat wrote:

Hey guys. I found out all you have to do is take some really nifty drugs, or suffer brain damage and you get "spiritual enlightenment".

No offense, but it looks like you don't get the whole concept of spirituality.

Oh man. This is why I don't need a television. You can't buy this kind of entertainment.

The whole concept of "spirituality" was just debunked by brain damage, and you're seriously still going? I don't want to be the one to make the brain damage joke.

"Spirituality" is nonsense, Luminon. It doesn't mean anything. If you want to talk about changes you consider positive, just say that. You don't need a word that invokes magical non-entities.

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Luminon wrote:Based on that

Luminon wrote:
Based on that experience, she deduced a brotherhood of all people, highest quality of life (nirvana), relativity of our own mind (therefore selflessness), and so on. This is why it was a spiritual experience, otherwise it would be just an accident.

No, she felt a brotherhood of all people. She felt that. Not "deduced". She would have needed her left hemisphere to deduce. Note that she couldn't function at all as a result of her "enlightenment". She would have died without other people around who had functioning left hemispheres.

Luminon wrote:
Of course, we already have our own right hemispheres waiting to save us from the mean left hemispheres, and we don't have to hit our heads for enlightenment Smiling

But apparently it helps. Enlightenment, it seems, would be completely dysfunctional, and result in a cataclysmic loss of life, should it ever become popular. This woman just demonstrated that fact. We developed the left side's serial functioning in such a way that we're kept alive through the works of our cunning left hemispheres. You're using your left hemisphere to communicate with me, while considering it "mean".

One positive note, though: it turns out enlightenment really is (neurologically speaking) nonsense. It's when we enjoy the euphoria of calming the left side, and activating the right side, giving ourselves some peace, and reducing words to nonsense.

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HisWillness wrote:Oh man.

HisWillness wrote:
Oh man. This is why I don't need a television. You can't buy this kind of entertainment.

The whole concept of "spirituality" was just debunked by brain damage, and you're seriously still going? I don't want to be the one to make the brain damage joke.

"Spirituality" is nonsense, Luminon. It doesn't mean anything. If you want to talk about changes you consider positive, just say that. You don't need a word that invokes magical non-entities.

The funny thing is, that even the greatest skeptics can be deeply spiritual, Carl Sagan, for example. And a lot of religional dignitaries are utterly non-spiritual. You see what religion had done, it usurped the concept of spirituality for millenia, it's time to take it back for everyone and into all aspects of life. For example, spirituality in science would mean something like a research useful for humanitary purposes, published freely for everyone, and not stuff like nuclear, chemical or conventional weapons. Spirituality is an universal concept which should give an intuitive meaning.

 

Don't worry, I'm always careful with what and who I invoke Smiling

HisWillness wrote:
No, she

felt

a brotherhood of all people. She felt that. Not "deduced". She would have needed her left hemisphere to deduce.

Yeah, you're right, that's the word! She felt it as a real thing, so it would be good to behave according to it. Someone should go explain it in places like North Korea.

HisWillness wrote:
Note that she couldn't function at all as a result of her "enlightenment". She would have died without other people around who had functioning left hemispheres.
The problems with functioning and danger of death were caused by stroke, not by enlightenment. Enlightenment can and does happen in many other ways which are more natural and make people more able, not less. They become a great workers, activists and teachers, or whatever they already were.

 

HisWillness wrote:
  But apparently it helps. Enlightenment, it seems, would be completely dysfunctional, and result in a cataclysmic loss of life, should it ever become popular. This woman just demonstrated that fact. We developed the left side's serial functioning in such a way that we're kept alive through the works of our cunning left hemispheres. You're using your left hemisphere to communicate with me, while considering it "mean".
I was joking, of course. This is why the emoticon was there. (I really, really don't know how many smileys should I make so everyone will understand when I'm joking.) What you mean is denouncing the eastern notion of enlightenment, which basically means sitting under a tree for 30 years or to follow some guru like a tag. This is understandable, we are Western people and we function differently. There are different methods for a Western person to attain enlightenment.

HisWillness wrote:
  One positive note, though: it turns out enlightenment really is (neurologically speaking) nonsense. It's when we enjoy the euphoria of calming the left side, and activating the right side, giving ourselves some peace, and reducing words to nonsense.
This is an incorrect notion of enlightenment. Have you ever heard of a golden middle path? Having a cake and eating it? I mean, having both left and right hemisphere working and cooperating. This is the key to geniality, by the way. What about living in eternal peace AND understanding the words? And everything what is necessary? The brain is a good servant, but a bad master. There is a lot to improve on an average brain.

I doubt that neurology knows anything about enlightenment. It is a long, gradual process with major waypoints, which are called the enlightenment. It is a gradual expansion of awareness, including the everyday life. It is gaining a control over the physical body, then emotions, mind, and intuitive, creative higher mind. I'm just guessing, but an enlightened person should be in control of primitive emotional reactions like run/fight, which has something to do with amygdala, reptile brain and adrenaline glands. He should be also intelligent above the average. And there might be some strange activity going on in hypophysis, epiphysis, frontal lobe, corpus callosum, and so on.
An enlightened person is compared to a common person, like a modern man compared to a caveman.

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Luminon wrote:HisWillness

Luminon wrote:
HisWillness wrote:
  One positive note, though: it turns out enlightenment really is (neurologically speaking) nonsense. It's when we enjoy the euphoria of calming the left side, and activating the right side, giving ourselves some peace, and reducing words to nonsense.
This is an incorrect notion of enlightenment. [...] I mean, having both left and right hemisphere working and cooperating. This is the key to geniality, by the way. What about living in eternal peace AND understanding the words?

You just agreed with me, but started by saying that it was an incorrect notion of enlightenment. I suggested that nonsense (the "language" of the right side of the brain) makes up the experience of enlightenment, and that's a perfectly good explanation for those feelings. That is, in the absence of a functioning left side of the brain, the right side -- in all its playful glory -- is left in charge.

Luminon wrote:
I doubt that neurology knows anything about enlightenment.

And yet, there it is: a woman who suffers from a stroke and experiences the exact same things as someone who goes through enlightenment. Your version involves a great deal of hit-or-miss strategies to access what we all have naturally, and you pretend like it's mystical. It's not -- it's just the right side of the brain.

Luminon wrote:
An enlightened person is compared to a common person, like a modern man compared to a caveman.

Not true at all, and that kind of thinking would keep someone far away from enlightenment. The right side of the brain does not differentiate things, and deals with feelings and personal connections. Enlightened people are those with access to their feeling, intuitive, nonsensical, playful parallel processing center, which just happens to coincide with all the observable functions of the right hemisphere!

If you need to draw a parallel to Western civilization, it's apt: we favour the left side of the brain because it's so obviously superior to the right in making plans, or communicating with one another, or calculating the means to our survival. But without the right side of the brain, we wouldn't enjoy that survival, and we wouldn't enjoy the calculating, either. We also wouldn't be able to give ourselves context, or appreciate the warmth of other people's company, which would give us new reasons to calculate not just our own survival, but the survival of the group.

What you call "enlightenment" shares everything in common with someone who can appropriately access the resources of the right side of the brain. There's no reason to call it "spiritual", because there's no "spirit" involved.

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HisWillness wrote:If you

HisWillness wrote:

If you need to draw a parallel to Western civilization, it's apt: we favour the left side of the brain because it's so obviously superior to the right in making plans, or communicating with one another, or calculating the means to our survival. But without the right side of the brain, we wouldn't enjoy that survival, and we wouldn't enjoy the calculating, either. We also wouldn't be able to give ourselves context, or appreciate the warmth of other people's company, which would give us new reasons to calculate not just our own survival, but the survival of the group.

Can we truly say, even so, that a meaningful existence for us can not be one dominated by the playful side of the brain? I mean to say, the reasoning here is circular, is it not? Analysis (a left-brain activity) of our condition favours a dominantly analytical approach (left brained) to our condition. Wouldn't our spontaneous brain equally return favourable judgement on a spontaneous approach?

Quote:

What you call "enlightenment" shares everything in common with someone who can appropriately access the resources of the right side of the brain.

But what deems what is and isn't appropriate access, Will? If we were a right-brained society we'd be considering a similar question regarding the aptness of left-brained resources wouldn't we. Shouldn't we ask first whether spontaneous and playful psychology is viable for humanity and not just assume it isn't?

Quote:

There's no reason to call it "spiritual", because there's no "spirit" involved.

So you're saying there's no reason at all why it might be apt to differentiate between the world the right brain senses and the one the left thinks it is using the concepts invoked by the word 'spirit'? I might disagree with you on that.

 

PS sorry I can't watch the video, my sound card, she be cactus atm.

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Luminon wrote:jcgadfly

Luminon wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

I'll look at this but...

How many people have found spiritual enlightenment after nearly dying/losing faculties?

Well, many. But the curious thing about it is, that maybe the brain stepped aside and revealed what the world really is. What is described in that video, was a partial revelation of maya, the world illusion. Our brain makes us able to survive, but it also makes the world ugly and mean. Since we have a civilization, we're not in danger all the time. We can learn to put the left hemisphere to sleep for a while, and explore the greater reality that our brain before filtered away. Then we can analyze it, but uncontrolled, the brain  would tell us of mere habit, that there is no greater reality.

This is what meditation is supposed to do. It's meant to bring the gibbering left hemisphere under our control, among other things, like making the brain bigger and healthier, increasing the quality of life, and so on.. The calmness of mind is a beautiful feeling. This is why people do extreme sports, the extreme conditions temporarily shut off the gibbering mind. Climbing on a mountain or skydiving is a similar thing to meditation, except that in meditation, the brain is tamed by own effort. (first hour is usually spent by taming the brain) In extreme sports it's by power of gravity.
 

jcgadfly wrote:
Fear does some weird stuff.

What fear? I've listened to it (twice) and there wasn't anything about fear. Isn't fear a product of left hemisphere?

 

Thanks for your interpretation - shame it doesn't square with hers. It's always easier to look at something with a preconceived conclusion, isn't it? The events just fall into place.

As for not hearing fear in a discussion after the fact, that's expected in hindsight. As for when it happened, no one knows for sure if she experienced fear but it is an expected human reaction based on other observations.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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Eloise wrote:Can we truly

Eloise wrote:
Can we truly say, even so, that a meaningful existence for us can not be one dominated by the playful side of the brain? I mean to say, the reasoning here is circular, is it not? Analysis (a left-brain activity) of our condition favours a dominantly analytical approach (left brained) to our condition. Wouldn't our spontaneous brain equally return favourable judgement on a spontaneous approach?

But our right brain isn't about judgment, it's about feeling. As a result, it's possible that we'd feel as though there was meaning one day, and none the next. Whether we'd be right or not is something only the left hemisphere could mediate. I don't think it's circular thinking, given a balance. The right part of the brain deals largely in nonsense, and through the fusiform gyrus, the left brain makes sense of at least some of the dream-like massive parallel processing that goes on in the right hemisphere.

Eloise wrote:
But what deems what is and isn't appropriate access, Will? If we were a right-brained society we'd be considering a similar question regarding the aptness of left-brained resources wouldn't we. Shouldn't we ask first whether spontaneous and playful psychology is viable for humanity and not just assume it isn't?

I think you misunderstand my position. By saying "appropriate", I'm not suggesting a repression (or suppression or depression) of the right hemisphere by the left (the purported path to civility) I'm suggesting that without the full functioning of the playful side, the serious side will lack energy to perform. Western society, however, clearly favours the left hemisphere, despite claiming to favour the right ("It's all about having fun and enjoying yourself", etc).

Eloise wrote:
So you're saying there's no reason at all why it might be apt to differentiate between the world the right brain senses and the one the left thinks it is using the concepts invoked by the word 'spirit'? I might disagree with you on that.

We'd be arguing about synonyms, so it might get dull. If someone says they're in "high spirits", or that someone is "spirited", I don't jump down their throats because spirits have never been shown to exist. I say "Oh my god" all the time -- it's just an expression. If, however, someone asserts that the spiritual part of the mind is located in the right side of the brain, then I might have to call them on mislabeling ignorance.

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fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


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HisWillness wrote:Eloise

HisWillness wrote:

Eloise wrote:
Can we truly say, even so, that a meaningful existence for us can not be one dominated by the playful side of the brain? I mean to say, the reasoning here is circular, is it not? Analysis (a left-brain activity) of our condition favours a dominantly analytical approach (left brained) to our condition. Wouldn't our spontaneous brain equally return favourable judgement on a spontaneous approach?

But our right brain isn't about judgment, it's about feeling.

I was hoping you wouldn't call me on that.. dammit. Yeah I struggled to find an expression for the right brain favouring a perspective, Ok, but I think you caught my drift, didn't you?

HisWillness wrote:

As a result, it's possible that we'd feel as though there was meaning one day, and none the next. Whether we'd be right or not is something only the left hemisphere could mediate.

That and it would only matter to the dominantly left-brain aspects of our psychology anayway. According to the right brain we'd be "right" regardless. Yeah?

HisWillness wrote:

I don't think it's circular thinking, given a balance. The right part of the brain deals largely in nonsense, and through the fusiform gyrus, the left brain makes sense of at least some of the dream-like massive parallel processing that goes on in the right hemisphere.

The thing I see as circular is saying that the sensical state is in some way superior to the dreamlike one. Ultimately it's just different and all the notions of better/worse, more or less this or that, are concepts of order they're only of value in left brain psychology.

To be clear, I don't think it's circular for the left and right brain to complement each other to the end of some specific psychological perspective which favours one or the other. What's circular in my view is to then assume one particular psychological state as some kind of necessity of realism. If the right brain isn't real then what is it?

 

HisWillness wrote:

Eloise wrote:
So you're saying there's no reason at all why it might be apt to differentiate between the world the right brain senses and the one the left thinks it is using the concepts invoked by the word 'spirit'? I might disagree with you on that.

We'd be arguing about synonyms, so it might get dull. If someone says they're in "high spirits", or that someone is "spirited", I don't jump down their throats because spirits have never been shown to exist. I say "Oh my god" all the time -- it's just an expression.

I was thinking more along the lines of the whimsy and spontenaiety that marks right brained perception, I didn't mean it in a semantic way.

References to it being nonsensical and dreamlike tend to indicate a belief that it has no anchor in the physically real. Clearly the right brain activity is not anchored in the physically real as the left-brain orders such things, but the right brain is real and physical, and the left brain has a limited scope. It doesn't seem to me to be a given that the right brain has a definitively unrealistic perspective.

HisWillness wrote:

If, however, someone asserts that the spiritual part of the mind is located in the right side of the brain, then I might have to call them on mislabeling ignorance.

Yeah.. No that's not what I'm saying. You won't ever catch me asserting that some "spiritual part of the mind" even exists, that would be completely meaningless.

I am, on the other hand, inclined to say that "spirit" refers to quite real and relevant aspects of our universe and existence which for the most part tend to be perceptible out of the scope of a psychology based on order, measure and dichotomy, ie left brain psychology. So spirit exists, and pretty much in the way claimed by spiritualism across the board, ie not conducive to being modelled in a limited psychological framework such as left-brained realism, and for the most you might say its just the reality which the dreamlike, imaginative right-brain senses.

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HisWillness
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Eloise wrote:I was hoping

Eloise wrote:

I was hoping you wouldn't call me on that.. dammit. Yeah I struggled to find an expression for the right brain favouring a perspective, Ok, but I think you caught my drift, didn't you?

Yeah, I get your drift. The loss of either hemisphere would be a heavy dysfunction. You may have read too much into the word "superior" when applied to the left hemisphere. I was identifying the same bias that you were.

The thing is, the bias is understandable. It's all well and good to say we'd be happy as "natural" children of the earth, but we would most likely live no longer than 40, and suffer diseases we couldn't identify. So for the parts of our lives where we weren't being miserable and set upon, we'd be very peaceful. Not that we'd be able to tell one moment from the next, of course ...

Eloise wrote:
That and it would only matter to the dominantly left-brain aspects of our psychology anayway. According to the right brain we'd be "right" regardless. Yeah?

It's speculation, but I'm not sure we'd be able to tell. If we were sad, it would probably approximate "wrong".

Eloise wrote:
The thing I see as circular is saying that the sensical state is in some way superior to the dreamlike one. Ultimately it's just different and all the notions of better/worse, more or less this or that, are concepts of order they're only of value in left brain psychology.

Well ... except we'd be as sad as the other animals when they got sick and didn't know why or how to deal with it. Not that we knew how to deal with being sick until the 19th century, really, but that was part of developing the bias towards the left hemisphere.

If we can't plan or discern, we would definitely find ourselves being sad, or at the very least, uncomfortable. Try feeling one with the universe while being mauled by a tiger. From a distance, the right side of the brain just wants to cuddle the tiger, but probably fears the tiger as well. One problem: without the left side, we have no way of dealing with those feelings in a productive way. "Productive", here, meaning recalling tiger behaviour and planning away out of getting mauled.

Eloise wrote:
What's circular in my view is to then assume one particular psychological state as some kind of necessity of realism. If the right brain isn't real then what is it?

Obviously the physical right hemisphere is real, but that hemisphere wouldn't lead us to reality in any specific way. Functioning without the left hemisphere would leave us without language and calculation. Not an enviable position.

Eloise wrote:
References to it being nonsensical and dreamlike tend to indicate a belief that it has no anchor in the physically real. Clearly the right brain activity is not anchored in the physically real as the left-brain orders such things, but the right brain is real and physical, and the left brain has a limited scope. It doesn't seem to me to be a given that the right brain has a definitively

unrealistic

perspective.

From my limited understanding, and in broad strokes, the left hemisphere provides discrimination between self and other, and between objects. One could argue that neither a broken up universe nor one perceived as a whole is the real universe. I see that, if that's what you mean.

In fact, I'd say it's often helpful to weaken the influence of either side: when confronted with idiocy, one might feel the emotions of affront rising, but the left hemisphere can step in and "cooler heads may prevail". On the other hand, an over-use of left-brain functioning can rob us of insight and creativity, linking things together that the left hemisphere would find ridiculous.

So yes, I think get what you're saying.

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Eloise wrote:I am, on the

Eloise wrote:

I am, on the other hand, inclined to say that "spirit" refers to quite real and relevant aspects of our universe and existence which for the most part tend to be perceptible out of the scope of a psychology based on order, measure and dichotomy, ie left brain psychology. So spirit exists, and pretty much in the way claimed by spiritualism across the board, ie not conducive to being modelled in a limited psychological framework such as left-brained realism, and for the most you might say its just the reality which the dreamlike, imaginative right-brain senses.

That's a difficult one to call, though. You seem to be implying that left-brain thinking will never have a perspective on what we consider the spiritual element. After all, each hemisphere gives a different perspective, and left-hemisphere thinking has given us a more consistent grasp of physical reality than we could appreciate with right-hemisphere thinking.

Don't get me wrong: the variety of optical illusions are a way of tricking the left hemisphere, so it's not like the analytical mind is never fooled. But the analytical mind also has ways to get around being fooled, whereas the right hemisphere has only the moment, and the present emotion.

 

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence