The Ego is an exquisite instrument. Enjoy it, use it—just don’t get lost in it. Ram Dass

Jill Taylor Bolton, a brain scientist, had a stroke. As she was having it, and afterwards, she analyzed what was going on to learn more about the brain. During her stroke her cognitive faculties, what she calls her left-brain, stopped functioning. All she had was her intuitive, right brain experience of reality, which enabled her to feel and see her oneness with everything. It was a powerful mystical experience. The only problem was that she couldn’t distinguish between her own body and the wall against which she was leaning. Then when she finally got to the telephone she couldn’t recognize the numbers, nor remember that she had to dial them in sequence. Her TED talk about her experience is truly amazing and worth watching.

Through her description, we are reminded of two things. First, that we are actually wired to sense and experience Oneness. Second, we are also wired to be able to function in the space-time continuum. She says it’s the left brain that does this. Others ascribe this functionality to the ego, which helps us understand why the ego is necessary. It helps us function in linear time, prioritize tasks, classify things, and choose what’s next. These are all useful and necessary functions, and we should be grateful for our ability to do them. The ego is only a problem when we forget and think that its view is the only way to see and engage in life.

Spiritual Contemplation: Explore the difference between the ego/left brain functions and having a “big ego,” or being so caught in the ego that you don’t experience your connection and oneness.

Affirmation: I am not afraid of my ego, nor do I let it rule me. It has a place in helping me operate in the world but I do not forget and think it’s the master of my life.