Brains!

You’re Thoughts Ladies and Gentlemen?

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Brains!

  1. hrm. well, it’s certainly interesting. I think that her claim that we can all just choose to step out of one side of our brain and perceive our world through the other is a bit off. Sure, she was alive, but she was also experiencing a hemorrhage. That being said, she is simply spreading the word of, “may we see ourselves as one.” If expressing this message through brain chemistry touches people, then that’s all that matters.

    What’d you think?
    -Merinmel, the overly analytical lefty

    • jddaughter

      Indeed. A dear friend of mine had me listen to the tape of this particular speech on our way back from Zion National Park. We were having a discussion about the nature of “oneness” in religion, and how it is either be accomplished through an act of systematic exclusion or inclusion. Because I am a bright-eyed, EL Ed, Scandinavian, BYU ,dynastic, Mormon, American, young woman living in Utah, people often underestimate my ability to reason in complete sentences, let alone grasp the complexities of religious theory. Bwahahaha! FOOLS! ….not that I’m an expert….it’s just not hard to surpass expectation sometimes. Fun really, as long as the witch burners are avoided. lol.
      So it was with my friend, who I think took a surprise to my understanding and agreement with him on the issue. I thought it a lovely descriptor of the inclusive side of oneness, or the idea that such an awareness of oneness can be attained at all. There is something to be said, though, about the fact that even this woman could only really lose herself in the “oneness” of the universe while on the brink of death. This reminds me of G’s recent(ish) post here at Exponent about how often, in our attempts to “swallow ourselves up” in any particular cause or group, we often seem to want to disappear to the point of killing ourselves. This is something of particular interest to me since, within Mormon theology (as separate from Many other Judeo-Christian and Asian religions); there is a belief in the possession of separate and distinct physical bodies in the post resurrection. This is actually quite radical in the face of even the more “laid-back” eastern religions I enjoy embracing, since it does not require the complete loss of “self” into an undefined “oneness” that is or is not God, the eternal energy force of the universe.. As G says, “human beings are hardwired for self-preservation”. I apply to the idea that goodness is not an entity in-and-of itself, but a state of balance. To be out of balance is to be, not good. To much all inclusive oneness makes you dead (or…evil?) and the same goes for the other way around. If oneness requires an annihilation of self, I fail to see how that is ultimately better than any other form of annihilation. It’s like what I see as the flaw in Nirvana theory. People who walk around and can’t wait to be in a state of all-inclusive nothingness…are suicidal…in the most cosmic of scopes…and suicidal is an unhealthy adjective to adopt for oneself. Unless there is promise of autonomy after an act of self sacrifice (the belief of Jesus completely destroying himself for the unity and salvation of the entire human family would still be seen as a pointless and crazy attempt without an assurance of a resurrection which preserves autonomy for himself and others in the hereafter) This same thought applies to marriages as well.
      I do agree with you that the idea that we can choose which side we look at life from is flawed. I’m more of a proponent of the body+spirit=soul equation, which means that the state of our bodies (chemically and otherwise) has a direct effect on the self (soul), and that one is not a separate entity from one’s body. The idea that one is separate from one’s body and can step out and decide which setting you want to read life through today is a little flawed. It reminds me of a story on This American Life, regarding a man who suffered unknowingly from a case where his body produces NO testosterone, and how that bodily chemical flaw changed him essentially as a person (just skip ahead to about nine minutes into the broadcast for the story). There’s another story after that about a woman who gets testosterone treatments to become a man, but that story has some ideas regarding gender that I look at skeptically (* image of jddaughter looking at her computer speakers skeptically).

  2. I must have missed that little checkbox down there, letting wordpress know they were supposed to alert me on any follow-up comments. I’m off to bed now, but will return (tomorrow?) to read through your response and keep the conversation going. Sorry for the lag!

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