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
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
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.