Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Stroke of Insight

In this video, neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor gives an captivating recounting of her own stroke when an embolism the popped in her brain, a unique experience for someone who is already a student of the mind. Strangely enough, her story so closely resembles feelings I have had while under the influence of the mushroom psilocybe cubesis that it approaches the uncanny.

The loss of connection with one's own body (incomprehesion of speech, difficulty producing fluid motor movements, loss of sense of self...) as well as the simultaneous oneness with the surrounding universe are all common feelings when tripping on psilocybin. This very much agrees with my belief that we all experience our reality through a series of mental filters, and while we most commonly have a shared set of filters, at times certain events, spiritual experiences, medical conditions, or drugs can rearrange and replace some or most of these filters, resulting in an altered state of consciousness. And it appears the filter set which psychedelic mushrooms introduces to the mind is somehow similar with the set under which Taylor was experiencing reality when stroking.

Link: TED | Talks | Jill Bolte Taylor - My Stroke of Insight (video)

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