What if I told you that bliss, nirvana, enlightenment, oneness with God, oneness with the universe, ecstasy, heaven on earth, or whatever the heck you wanted to call the happiest you can ever imagine being, actually has a physiological basis in the body?
Just like how diabetes is caused by the death of the Beta cells of the pancreas and how marijuana activates the pleasure centers of the brain, bliss activates a specific area of the brain too.
Holy cow, right?!
This is big news.
How did Jill Taylor discover this?
As a neurologist, Jill Taylor studied brains.
As a stroke victim, Jill Taylor experienced the perspective of one of the brains she used to study.
In her book, My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey, Jill Taylor explains how it took a stroke, losing the functionality of the left hemisphere of her brain, to understand that you don’t have to be a monk with superhuman meditation powers to experience bliss.
Alll you have to do is learn to step to the right.
When the stroke hit, all that functioned was Jill’s right hemisphere. And guess what? Bliss followed. Without the left hemisphere streaming thoughts through her head, analyzing, organizing, and feeding ego into her head, Jill Taylor was able to just “be”, exist as one with the universe.
What else is there to desire in life?
Bliss continued, but Jill no longer felt whole. Human even. She couldn’t communicate with her fellow humans, couldn’t organize thoughts, and didn’t understand what the concept of a number or a glass of milk was.
“Bliss is pretty cool,” Jill thought. But how could she let her fellow human beings know what she had discovered about the location of bliss if she didn’t get her left hemisphere’s functioning back? Searching her mind, learning to activate apparently dead circuitry from the trauma, Jill rewired her brain circuitry to function, one moment at a time.
Returning to us, Jill Taylor gave us her message:
Heaven is a place on earth. If only we can step to the right. That is, step into the right hemisphere of our brains.
Now you understand that the experience of bliss is rooted in the body just like the experience of learning algebra, doesn’t it make you want to pursue it to live a better life?
As any good humble observer, it’s important to learn about the universe and adjust our actions accordingly.
In Part 2, we will explore how to intentionally step to the right.
Dr. Christopher Stepien is a chiropractor, chronic pain specialist, and A.R.T. provider, and clinic director of the Barefoot Rehabilitation Clinic in Denville, NJ. He has been trained under the Integrative Diagnosis system for “clinical excellence”. He loves to help people pursue their own hero’s journey. Please reach out to him if he can be of a service in any way. It doesnt hurt to ask.