JBT: Never quite like that. During the
stroke, I felt enormous, like a genie
who had just come out of its tiny,
little bottle. That’s the power of what
we really are. That’s why my energy
is probably blending with yours as
we talk on the phone, even though
you’re 100 miles away. We are all this
enormousness that gets squeezed
inside these tiny little bodies and we
think this little, tiny body is what we
are. But it’s really just the tool we use to
do stuff in this physical world. I tend to
live in that expanded state, and then I
come back to tiny, little Jill when I need
to talk to people.
KK: I love that rather than seeing
yourself as a stroke victim, you say
you’re a “stroke triumphant,” capable of
seeing the gifts in that experience.
JBT: When people look at those
who are disabled or recovering from
anything, they look at what they lost
instead of what they’ve gained. If your
cells are no longer performing what’s
normally defined as the regular job of
the brain, consider what those cells
might actually have been inhibiting
before. That is now the gift that
For example, if you lose your
sight, your hearing often improves.
Those cells that would normally
process vision aren’t getting any
input, and so they send their little
dendrites next door to the auditory
cells and say, “What are you doing,
and can we help?” And then hearing
improves. Then if the sight comes
back, the cells and their dendrites
perform vision again. So imagine
what insight they might have now.
All they knew before was vision, but
now they know vision and hearing.
The possibilities are just remarkable.
KK: There’s a great metaphor about
unity and oneness in that.
JBT: Exactly. As humanity, we are one
animal. We all play different roles, but
how well do we support each other?
The body’s cells cooperate; humanity
does not. That’s why we’re in the
situation we’re in today.
For me, this becomes the
relationship between the microcosmic
world of our internal structures, all
the cells that make up the individual,
and the macrocosm of the greater
human population in relationship to
the planet. On top of that, we have
created this magnificent internet that
has become the nervous system of the
planet. This evolution is fascinating—
KK: Do you believe that we were
actually designed to work together?
JBT: The brains of humans from
2,000 years ago differ in biological
structure from our brains today. We
had spoken language then, but the
priests used to read to the people;
the average person didn’t have
reading language in their left brain.
And we didn’t have sophisticated
mathematics, either. As a species,
we were more right-brained.
We were living in the present
moment. We were concerned
with acquiring food, shelter, and a
mate. Everything was much more
spontaneous and less planned.
Since then, we’ve become much
more left-brained. We started caring
more about what is outside of us
instead of what is inside of us. The
values that go with the left-brain
materialistic focus of “me” and “mine”
became more prominent, shifting
from wanting to be kind to wanting
to have more money or status than
others. We became more competitive
instead of cooperative. Both our
brains and society now emphasize
a different value structure than our
divine self emphasizes.
KK: So in some ways humanity is
evolving, and in other ways, it seems
JBT: Well, we’re still evolving, and that
evolution will continue. We have lost
our collective whole. As the portion of
our brain that is focused on intuition
or divine caring is devolving, our left-brain portion is evolving, but I do have
hope that we’re going to settle ourselves
out evenly. I’m a true advocate for the
whole brain. Now that we have these
magnificent left brains, let’s figure out
how we can use them to truly be in
service to the right brain.
That’s the conflict for most people:
In any decision that I make, is it my
right-brain value structure making that
decision, or is it my left-brain value
structure? I think we will find more
peace in the world and become a better
humanity when we allow our right
brain to lead that conversation while
allowing the skillset of the left brain to
be of service in manifesting it.
KK: How can those two hemispheres
work more cooperatively?
JBT: Generally, the right brain is pretty
happy. It’s present. It’s aware. It giggles.
It cares. It’s kind. It’s compassionate.
Then there’s the left brain, which
generally doesn’t like our right brain at
all and thinks it’s frivolous because it
cares about things with no real value,
like art and music. But when I do my
glasswork or my stone carving, I’m
using my whole brain. That allows me
to escape the routine circuitry of my
left brain so that I can come back with
a bigger-picture perspective, allowing
me to make better decisions. It also has
physical benefits because everything
flows better inside our cells. Healthy
attitudes result in overall health.
KK: What about left-brained people
who really make an effort to be more