A Superhighway to Bliss

Discussion in 'Eastern Philosophy' started by kmguru, May 25, 2008.

  1. kmguru Staff Member

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    A Superhighway to Bliss

    JILL BOLTE TAYLOR was a neuroscientist working at Harvard’s brain research center when she experienced nirvana.

    Dr. Taylor says the right, creative lobe can be used to foster contentment.
    But she did it by having a stroke.

    On Dec. 10, 1996, Dr. Taylor, then 37, woke up in her apartment near Boston with a piercing pain behind her eye. A blood vessel in her brain had popped. Within minutes, her left lobe — the source of ego, analysis, judgment and context — began to fail her. Oddly, it felt great.

    The incessant chatter that normally filled her mind disappeared. Her everyday worries — about a brother with schizophrenia and her high-powered job — untethered themselves from her and slid away.

    Her perceptions changed, too. She could see that the atoms and molecules making up her body blended with the space around her; the whole world and the creatures in it were all part of the same magnificent field of shimmering energy.

    “My perception of physical boundaries was no longer limited to where my skin met air,” she has written in her memoir, “My Stroke of Insight,” which was just published by Viking.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/25/fashion/25brain.html
     
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  3. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    Super fascinating! Thanks for posting.

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    I wonder if the sitting meditation traditions of the inscrutable east provoke a similar brain response.
     
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  5. kmguru Staff Member

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    I had a similar experience many many years ago when I was in college and came back from an ROTC exercise...super tired...lay outside on a lounge chair made in to a bed...watching stars...then it happened.

    I saw myself moving up the sky and moving through space beyond Earth...suddenly felt all connected like that described in the Celestine prophecy with plants radiating visible light of all colors...hard to describe in words...no, I was not on drugs...it was so peaceful etc.

    Several years later, one of my students in my meditation class had a similar experience...

    I suppose we all have that capacity to transcend in a moment of bliss that makes this life worth living...and one never forgets that moment....
     
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  7. greenberg until the end of the world Registered Senior Member

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    Really, she exprienced nirvana? According to whose definition of nirvana?
    Is she really beyond suffering, forever, never to experience suffering again?
     
  8. kmguru Staff Member

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    Perhaps hers, the neuroscientist...
     
  9. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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  10. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    Interesting what she says about the difference between perception and conception as right and left phenomena.

    The past and future are both conceptual...meaning the right brain can only deal with NOW.

    Reminds me of Sri Chinmoy's poem:

    Time, you can go your own way.
    I will remain in the eternal now.
     
  11. kmguru Staff Member

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    There are two functions that the brain does.

    NOW - the now part is the actions you take at the moment based on a simulation of that action.

    FUTURE - What you will be doing in the future that provides the basis for what you are doing now.

    Because Neuroscientists do not study information science, cellular automata/ control theory and decision theory, it is difficult for them to explain how the brain works. So we get this explanation and treatment based on biochemistry.

    Imagine sending probes to Mars based on Arithmatic (not Spherical Trigonometry) OR take away Calculus and see if you can make gasoline out of crude oil....
     
  12. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    Is there a definition? Her experience seems similar to the reported experiences of others as well as my own. I felt it had something to do with biology, maybe the two halves of our brain, this seems to confirm it. No one knows the future.
     
  13. Prince_James Plutarch (Mickey's Dog) Registered Senior Member

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    So...we should abandon logic, time, ego.......to live in some lala stroke land of Right Brain empathy and emotion?

    Pardon me while I laugh.
     
  14. EmmZ It's an animal thing Registered Senior Member

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    Sounds like fun but it's nothing to do with a permanent cessation of suffering.
     
  15. kmguru Staff Member

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    What is "suffering"?
     
  16. EmmZ It's an animal thing Registered Senior Member

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    Birth, sickness aging, death, having to part from what you like, having to experience what do do not like and failing to satisfy your wishes.
     
  17. kmguru Staff Member

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    If your consider Birth and Death is suffering...then anything that exists or does not exist is suffering....that is a null argument....
     
  18. EmmZ It's an animal thing Registered Senior Member

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    Not according to some schools of thought.
     
  19. kmguru Staff Member

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    For people with zero IQ?

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  20. EmmZ It's an animal thing Registered Senior Member

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  21. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    It seems to be the same thing. Relief from suffering in the Buddhist sense isn't that you don't feel pain or go through bad experiences, it's that your attitude about them is different, there is no real you to experience them. There are perceptions and sensations, but they basically consist merely of information and conditioned responses. You speak like something supernatural is supposed to happen. Why do you think enlightenment brings on laughter? It isn't because of the relief, it's because it counters all your preconceptions about it, it's too close, too obvious, too biological for any mysticism to arise about it. You feel so thickheaded for trying to grasp something so near.
     
  22. kmguru Staff Member

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    Some words to keep in mind (See also Wkipedia)

    Dukkha - Suffering, Attachment ...

    Sukha - Bliss, Happiness ...

    Tanha or Kamana - Desire, Thirst that leads to Attachment
     
  23. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    Empathy....how does one feel the pains of others without they themselves experiancing the same pain firsthand?
     

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