Will Science Really Explore The Nature Of Consciousness?
Science has long held the firm belief that conscious is an illusion. Dogmatically, without any proof whatsoever, they want you to believe that your conscious experiences related to self-awareness and 'mind' are nothing more than illusions produced by brain chemistry.
However, age-old scientific paradigms like this are slowly crumbling. More and more scientists are now willing to embrace the idea that our existences cannot be explained merely by reducing us to the level of biochemical robots. Consciousness is something that coexists with our brains. Sooner or later I predict that scientists will somehow find suitable methods to open wide the doors leading to discovery and learn more about consciousness.
One such scientist opening up those doors with a keen interest in consciousness research is Dr Jill Balte Taylor a Harvard-trained brain scientist. In 1996 she had a massive stroke in the left side of her brain and experienced some very strange things.
At the time of the stroke she stopped working out on her exercise bike realizing that something was not right. Fully consciously unaware her experiences got stranger and stranger... With a pulsating pain behind the left eye her perceptions changed: A dark shimmer rose from the floor blurring the edges behind. Everything went silent including noises from outside the room. Light looked different. She held out her hand and described it as something weird looking like a claw not belonging to her as the throbbing pain behind the left eye continued...
Waking up after 10 minutes sleep, in spite of the continuing disturbing circumstances she had lost the ability to register fear. That's because the sensory parts of her brain related to this as with the other losses in sensing had shut down due to a massive stroke. In spite of the unrelenting pain the weirdness continued; going in and out of a Nirvana-like state of bliss losing her sense of separation as if she was one with everything: In so many words she said the experience made her feel free like a genie out of a bottle...
Desperately trying to call for help she had great difficulty in reading a colleague's phone card. Having lost the ability to decipher the writing and numbers all she could see was indeterminate colours looking like pixels. Having recognised the lab's logo she managed to decipher her colleague's number on the card by matching the squiggles (produced by the pixels) to those on her phone. Thus, she was then able to call the number.
As she began telling the colleague about the stroke all she could hear from her voice was gibberish. The response at the other end of the line was also unintelligible gibberish to her. However, she could detect from his voice tone that the colleague would get help.
Help was soon given.
After carefully operating on Jill to remove a golf ball sized blood clot interfering with the language processing part of her brain it then took some 8 years for her to fully recover from the affects of the stroke.
What can we get from this?
During the stroke she lacked the left-brain's ability needed to process the raw sensory data from the world about her and translate it into a coherent reality. Therefore, our physical bodies are the interface between the consciousness and the world about us
Now, truly grateful to be alive Jill continues sharing her experiences while encouraging everyone to look into the nature of consciousness with its related practices, insights and experiences. In her talks she makes the distinction between the brain's left and right hemispheres. She describes concentrating our attention on the left brain as something to choose to become a solid individual and separated from the 'flow of us all...' She goes on to say choosing the right brain can take us to the place where we all exist describing it as the universe life-force energy powered by the 50 trillion plus cells that make up our body.
Like others who have had similar experiences she makes the point that by understanding the nature of conscious and who we really are is one, as realized by accessing our inner-peace circuitry, there will be more peace in the world.
The choice, she says, is up to us all.
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