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“Close Your Eyes and Turn Right”
The Wisdom of the Right Brain


Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, at 37, a brain scientist, had a stroke, and watched the whole process, including a deep immersion in the realm of the right hemisphere of the brain. Her perspective on the “right brain” is inspiring thousands. You can see this 18 minute video at www.ted.com/index.php/talks.

Actually, there is one brain, with separate right and left hemispheres in the cerebral cortex. To simplify, we say, right brain / left brain. The left brain is the realm of language; it talks (incessantly), judges, lives in the past and future, thinks linearly and literally, makes lists and gets things done. It is a serial processor - logical, sequential, rational. The left brain gets good grades and all the rewards in our society.

The right brain, totally present in the now, has holistic visions, wordless wisdom. It speaks in silence, images, intuition, dreams. It is a parallel processor and cares about emotional expression, context, and synthesis. The right brain loves abstraction - loves in general. While the left brain is busy cutting the universe up into pieces, the right brain is bringing it all back together with open arms and a song. Whether we see a forest as a cash cow or a sacred sanctuary depends on which hemisphere we are using.

Right and left hemispheres work together, but with enough distinction that when Jill’s left brain shut down during her stroke, she experienced blissful silence, awareness of the whole, one ocean of energy. She said it was Nirvana.

Our left brains have been ruling the roost. We have become so left brained, so lopsided in our brain use, it’s amazing that we don’t limp and that our heads are still round! We have proven that the intelligence of the left brain is awesome. But it is a bit chatty, and doesn’t have a clue about context, peace, the meaning of life. While it keeps us busy, it doesn’t make us happy. As a result, collectively, we find ourselves in deep trouble. But simultaneously, we are on the verge of an evolutionary transformation, for the right brain has held its own, and carried on quietly while we ignored it. Times are changing.

Daniel Pink, in Wired Magazine, The Revenge of the Right Brain, says that in this new Conceptual Age, we would be wise to develop the right brain skills of meaning making, empathizing and creativity, because all the left brain jobs are being usurped by computers or sent overseas. His recommendation? “Go right, young man and woman, go right.”
Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now, is doing a 10 week online class on Oprah.com, with millions of viewers. (Totally right brain wisdom.) Simple but powerful energy healing techniques like EFT and EMDR are healing people where Western medicine has failed.

What’s going on?
We’re in a bad situation, here on our small planet. The perfect storm. No mastery of the multiplication table is going to see us through this crisis. We need a stroke of luck, or a waterfall of grace, depending on which labels our left brain likes. We need things to go right. Not more information or clever antics - we need wisdom. Fortunately, we have access to greater wisdom by “moving to the right of the left hemisphere.”

The famous chemist Kekulé was stumped about the molecular structure of benzene. In a dream, he saw a snake biting its own tail. He awoke with the answer. Benzene was shaped like a ring. Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”

So how do we get there? Taylor says, “I believe that the more time we spend choosing to run the deep inner peace circuitry of our right hemispheres, the more peace we will project into the world and the more peaceful our planet will be.”

How? By silence, art, music, a walk in the woods. Meditation, yoga, tai chi, singing, dance. By authentic spiritual practices, imaginative play, energy work, holding a baby. Immersion in love. Being present, being quiet, watching - inside and out. Ask the right brain!

Mother Nature allotted 50% of the higher brain’s real estate to an unfathomable intelligence inside us that speaks nay a word, sees the whole picture, and is intimately connected to the source of peace. As Jill Taylor said, we can “purposely choose to step to the right of our left hemispheres and find this peace.”

How do we get there? Close your eyes, turn right, be silent and you’re there.

This is earth shattering news to the left brain. But it isn’t the left brain that needs to hear it. Something else needs to. The awareness that recognizes that we have a right and left brain. WHO has a right and left brain? That is the seat of consciousness.