Life doesn’t pause for themes. It’s the wonderful thing about life, and about a blog. You can get going on a theme – like one of “care of the heart” or of “dialogue” – and yet at the same time you can jump ship  – anytime you’re moved to a new topic. (And even discover that all themes merge together.)

So today, I was thinking of a friend of mine, Richard, who has an issue with his brain.  Something is going on, but exactly what is not yet clear. I’d told him on the phone about Jill Bolte Taylor’s “Stroke of Insight.” If you haven’t heard of her or her book by that name, she was a 37 year old brain scientist when she had a stroke that affected her left brain. It took her eight years to fully recover. This wasn’t the encouraging part that I wanted my friend to hear. The encouraging part was about how she discovered nirvana.

My friend said he was spending a lot of time on the internet so I went out looking for videos from Jill. The first one that came up was this TED talk:

As Jill spoke of the brain, I had two things that I was relating to: my friend with the brain issue, and A Course of Love. Briefly, here is how she described the brain’s two separate hemispheres:

Right Brain

Here and now

Information as energy coming in from the five senses


Connection – connected as one human family, perfect and whole

Left Brain

Linear, methodical

Past and future oriented

Picking out the details, categorizing them

Associating, projecting

Feeling separate

Jill’s talk illustrates this in amazing ways. She says, “Step to the right of your left hemisphere.” We can choose the side of our brains that we spend the most time with. The way of A Course of Love is one of “stepping to the right.”

Broadening your view from the specific to the general is one of the most difficult tasks of the curriculum.  It is easy to see why this is so when you recognize how bound your thinking is to specifics.  Again this is why we call on love and the hidden knowledge of your heart.  Your heart already sees in a manner much more whole than the perception of your split mind.  Even your language and images reflect this truth, this difference between the wisdom of your heart and that of your mind.  Your heart may be said to break, but the image that these words call forth is of a heart cracked open, not of a heart in separate pieces.  Your brain, on the other hand, is separated into right and left hemispheres.  One side has one function, one side another.  While your brain and your mind are not the same, your image of your mind and what it does and does not do is linked with your image of your brain.  Let this image go and concentrate on the wholeness of your heart, no matter how you view its current condition.  Be it wounded, bleeding, broken or full, it rests in wholeness within you at the center of who you are.

It is from this center that truth will light your way. 7.18-19