the enemy is within?

Last night, I came across this article about a TED Talk that went viral at some point. In it, a neuroanatomist shares her insights following a stroke. So, a person who studies the brain extensively suffers a brain injury and lives to share her experience. It’s pretty rad as a concept, yeah?

You can read the article and watch her popular TED Talk here.

I’m not here to talk about her or her TED Talk. I’m here to talk about the article about her and her TED Talk.

You see, at the end of the article, which briefly touches upon the universal awareness that we are all one and how the hemispheres of the brain affect our ability to tap into that awareness, the writer writes:

We can choose to run the deeper inner-peace circuitry of our right hemispheres, or we can let the left hemisphere keep us separate. What are you choosing?

If I could comment on the article, I would. Because, once again, a human being has decided to make us our own enemy and frame our body part(s) as something that harms us. Now, I haven’t listened to the TED Talk, so maybe this idea is direct from the woman who had the stroke. But, since it’s a pervasive idea in our societies, it deserves some acknowledgment and pushback.

This is the same argument we hear about the ego. This part of our brains, ourselves keeps us on a lower path, keeps us warring with one another. Which, let’s face it, is completely inaccurate. The ego is not inherently problematic. The ego amidst unhealed trauma is amazingly problematic.

Knowing the difference is key.

But every, single part and aspect of you is working for your own much-deserved Good. You must understand and accept that if you want to live a life worthy of you. There is not half of your brain working with you and half working against you. To say or suggest that is to be so simplistic, it’s a disservice to toddlers let alone the adults among us.

The more relational aspects of you (conventionally relegated to the brain’s right hemisphere) exist for certain specific reasons, as do the more compartmentalizing aspects of you (conventionally relegated to the brain’s left hemisphere). Both are necessary, vital to survival in this material plane we call Life On Earth. If all you wanted to do was relate and get closer, you wouldn’t last long. You’d be burned up, eaten, physically damaged to the point of death just because you had to get closer to something. Similarly, if all you wanted to do was differentiate, you would find yourself alone and having to reinvent all the wheels. You’d die before you got a chance to enjoy all the wonders available to us due to a history of shared human experience and cooperation.

As remiss as I am to tell you what to do, I’m hardily suggesting you never listen to anyone who tries to turn you against yourself. Unless you have a true personality disorder (and, hey, you might), you are not a danger to yourself. All is well and all is purposeful. Just because the purpose feels challenging to find doesn’t mean it’s not there. Keep searching, keep introspecting, keep thriving.

Both hemispheres of your brain are on-board with that.

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