Whole Brain Living / Divine Revelation

Whole Brain Living / Divine Revelation


HostLisa Garr

GuestsDr. Jill Bolte Taylor, Susan Shumsky

In the first half, Harvard-trained neuroanatomist Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor shared her concept of "whole brain" living. She told Lisa Garr (email) the story of how she first became interested in studying the human brain as she sought to understand the differences in the brains of neurotypical people versus those of people like her brother, who has schizophrenia. Specifically, she noted, she wanted to examine the ways in which the brain creates one's perception of reality. Another momentous incident in Bolte-Taylor 's studies occurred when she suffered a massive stroke at the age of 37, which rendered her unable to walk, speak, or recall any details about herself. "It was a fascinating experience," she recalled. "How many brain scientists have the opportunity to study their own brain from the inside out?"

Drawing upon her firsthand knowledge and academic research, Bolte-Taylor has developed a framework for happier, healthier living she calls the "whole brain" approach. As opposed to a strictly psychological theory, she explained, the whole brain concept is rooted in the physical, neuroanatomical structures observable in the human brain. The four resulting modules, Bolte-Taylor continued, correspond to tissue divided into thinking versus feeling functions, in each of the brain's two hemispheres. She went on to propose four "characters" living inside each of us that can be imagined as the embodiments of each module: our personality, the pain of our past, the playful creative, and the wise person. By exploring these characters within ourselves, we can learn to put them to work for us as needed in order to make us happier, more accountable and responsible, and less angry, Bolte-Taylor argued.


Dr. Susan Shumsky, an author in the human potential field who has taught meditation, prayer, affirmation, and intuition was the guest in the latter half. She talked about the events that led to her becoming part of the staff of famous guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and her knowledge of the various types of meditation and their benefits.

Shumsky also discussed what happens to us when we die, which she asserted is not the end of consciousness but merely its reconfiguration. "The art of living and the art of dying are exactly the same," she elaborated. "If you have mastered the art of living, then you will have a very graceful death." Depending on one's level of enlightenment in life, she related, possibilities for the next state of consciousness include merging with the ultimate reality of the universe (Brahman), spending time with God while retaining one's identity, being reincarnated, or becoming stuck in a "gray area" of the astral plane. A number of factors can hinder the quality of the choices a soul can make, Shumsky claimed, such as arrogance, addiction, and over-attachment to earthly concerns.



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