Many people throughout history have often claimed to feel a sense of oneness, a connection to the all of creation. Mystics, shamans, people who have experienced near-death experiences, and even common everyday people have had experiences where they no longer feel separate from other people, animals, or the planet. They get an understanding that everyone – and everything – is connected, and that what we do to another, we do to ourselves.
There are so many personal accounts of this expansive, freeing sense of oneness and interconnectedness. Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell discovered this sense of oneness when he was in space, and in 1973, he founded the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) in 1973. The IONS mission statement states that they exist to study consciousness through the meeting of science and spirit to help birth a new worldview that recognizes our basic interconnectedness and interdependence.
Scientists are always trying to explain these experiences by explaining what happens in the brain. There are those who postulate that there’s an area in the brain that gets activated which leads to the experience of oneness neurologically. Many people believe that by quieting the mind through meditation, for example, it can help us discover this sense of oneness.
Neuroscientist Jill Bolte Taylor, PhD. had a stroke which allowed her to conduct her own personal experiment to determine whether there is an area in the brain that leads to this sense of oneness. Dr. Taylor distinguishes the difference between the right and left hemispheres of the brain. When the stroke damaged her left hemisphere, she was operating from the right hemisphere, and she felt this sense of oneness. She says, “I am an energy being connected to the energy all around me through the consciousness of my right hemisphere. We are energy beings connected to one another through the consciousness of our right hemispheres as one human family.”
She concludes with saying,
“We have the power to choose, moment by moment, who and how we want to be in the world. Right here right now, I can step into the consciousness of my right hemisphere where we are – I am – the life force power of the universe, and the life force power of fifty trillion beautiful molecular geniuses that make up my form. At one with all that is. Or I can choose to step into the consciousness of my left hemisphere, where I become a single individual, a solid, separate from the flow, separate from you…Which would you choose? Which do you choose? And when?”