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Old 03-27-2008, 02:31 AM   #16
Stefan Stenudd
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Dojo: Enighet Malmo Sweden
Location: Malmo
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 538
Opposites are not the whole

The doctor talks about experiencing nirvana, but that is extinguishing. She might mean satori, the sudden moment of enlightenment described in Zen. Any Zen monk would tell you that such a brain hemorrhage is an experience that might work as well as a koan, to give you a moment of satori.

She also talks about "the life force power of the universe", and we sure can relate to that.
Is her experience of it an illusion, caused by a brain malfunction? Maybe, but not necessarily. As a scientist, she had probably lived a life devoted to logics and reason, so this sudden burst of what can be called inspiration might be new to her. When all of a sudden her left brain hemisphere is struck out, her right hemisphere finally gets to show its perspective to her, and she is amazed.

I am not that attracted to the idea of defining man's mind too much by the differences of the brain hemispheres. The mind is a whole. Splitting it into different parts does not necessarily explain the whole.
Also, the principle of opposites is quite archetypal in human thinking through the ages - like yin and yang, good and evil, heaven and hell, man and woman, et cetera. Even scientists are easily seduced into that kind of reasoning. They should beware, as soon as they jump to such conclusions.

In aikido, we have tori and uke. We tend to think that tori is the one doing aikido, and uke is doing something else by attacking -- but really, aikido is what happens in the interaction between tori and uke. It is the whole, not any of the parts.

Stefan Stenudd
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