Wednesday, 27 May 2009
And Full As Much, For More There Cannot Be.
Left brain versus right brain cognition, fascinating stuff, all of it. The mind gazes at itself, its processes, its composition, and is comforted to know its own quantity and quality. A talk by a brain scientist who really enjoyed having a stroke has been drawn to my attention, and it's mesmerising. Refreshingly unscientific, she evangelistically describes the blissful feeling of oneness she was given when the left side of the brain was left inoperable by the stroke, leaving only the right brain, unencumbered by the linear concerns and separate identity of the left brain, all those cognitive mechanisms that allow us to read and cross the street and analyse the world and remember to buy bananas on the way home. She decries the world, led, so it would seem, by the linear left brain, which in its identification of a separate self gives us fear and hatred and wars and murder, as we protect the illusory self from harm. And yes, the self is illusory; it has been scientifically postulated, if not proven; just read Patricia Smith Churchland's article on the putting together of the identity, reformed anew each morning, so presumably not there most of the time. This theory is sometimes cited by those who point to Advaita (or whatever the correct moniker is today) as "proof" that there is no one, only oneness, us-ing. The mind sees its reflection and is comforted to know itself, smug even; the left brain has protected itself with knowledge. We can also look at the nature of the very matter that makes up everything, as particle physicists and nanobiologists do, and the more we look, the more it is obvious that there's nothing there. There is nothing wrong with any of this. It only occurs to me that most of "us" walk around, or think, or talk, or love, or do, or be, or are enchanted by what is - the endless beauty of a leaf - or are disgruntled in turn, this then that, in perfect balance, left brain and right brain, working together, just as they do, and that this, just as it is, is perfection. The hate and wars and mediocrity and senseless waste and selfishness and aberrations decried by so many only serve to make possible great compassion, love, selflessness and genius; one may not be apprehended without the other. The answer to every question is so screamingly, glaringly, obvious: this is it. We live in paradise. This is paradise. This is it.