Log in

No account? Create an account
26 May 2009 @ 11:00 am
MSOI passages  

On the morning of the stroke, Bolte had many interesting perceptions and insights. While her left hemisphere was flooding with blood (still unbeknownst to her at this point), she stepped into the shower and had these thoughts:

"When the shower droplets beat into my chest like little bullets, I was harshly startled back into this reality. As I held my hands up in front of my face and wiggled my fingers, I was simultaneously perplexed and intrigued. Wow, what a strange and amazing thing I am. What a bizarre living being I am. Life! I am life! I am a sea  of water bound inside this membranous pouch. Here,in this form, I am a conscious mind and this body is the vehicle through which I am ALIVE! I am trilllions of cells sharing a common mind. I am here, now, thriving as life. Wow! What an unfathomable concept! I am cellular life, no -- I am molecular life with manual dexterity and a cognitive mind! (Author's italics)

"In this altered state of being, my mind was no longer preoccupied with the billions of details that my brain routinely used to define and conduct my life in the external world. Those little voices, that brain chatter that customarily kept me abreast of myself in relation to the world ouside of me, were delightfully silent. And in their absence, my memories of the past and my dreams of the future evaporated. I was alone with nothing but the rhythmic pulse of my beating heart" (pp. 42-43).

When she finally realized beyond any reasonable doubt what was happening (because her right arm became completely and abruptly paralyzed), her first impressions were "Oh my gosh, I'm having a stroke! I'm having a stroke!" And then, "Wow, this is so cool!" (Italics are the author's.) Already, the reader begins to understand how right-brained assessment (purely experiential and non-judgmental) differs markedly from left-brained observation (the problem-and-solution seeking consciousness we normally experience in our dealings with life).

A few paragraphs later, she writes

“I stepped across the threshold of my bedroom, and as I gazed into the eyes of my reflected image, I paused for a moment, in search of some guidance or profound insight. In the wisdom of my dementia, I understood that my body was, by the magnificence of its biological design, a precious and fragile gift. It was clear to me that this body functioned like a portal through which the energy of who I am can be beamed into a three-dimensional external space” (p. 45).

I am struck by how similar these thoughts are to thoughts I've had during meditation.  When I am able to rest deeply in alpha and theta brainwaves, my perceptual space enlarges. My focus softens and the scope of my cognition widens. My sensations at these times are much the same as those that Bolte describes in these passages.



Current Location: Flying Star in Bernalillo
Current Mood: interested
Current Music: Nice but unknown
kragen on May 29th, 2009 04:30 am (UTC)
How fascinating!