Those who have undergone it describe it as a sensation of losing their sense of self. Simply put, it is a form of existential transformation where you get detached from your ego and relinquish your self-identity.
To grasp ego death fully, it’s essential to understand what is meant by “ego”. The ego constitutes your self-perception, shaping how you define yourself. More significantly than you might realize, it influences your perception and navigation of the world, as well as your interactions with others and the level of your self-worth. Imagine your ego as dominos that are all perfectly aligned, and with one simple push, they will all fall and cause a chain reaction that will change the whole structure.
What is Ego Death?
In simple terms, ego death is the complete loss of subjective self-identity or the absence of who you have built yourself to be. The ego is a constructed sense of self in your own mind, although it’s nothing but a fabrication. Ego death can also be looked at as the “splitting” of the mind which can give you the ability to truly look at who you are without rationalizing your flaws or strengths from any self-perspective.
This unique experience can be either the most beautiful or most frightening experience in your life. If ego death is understood and dealt with properly, it transitions from a single experience to a new way of life, with a new understanding of why things are happening giving you a new approach to life itself.
Ego death is a transforming occurrence culminating in the complete surrender of all aspects of self-identity, including both conscious and unconscious planes. Mental activity disappears completely, leaving just pure consciousness. This condition, which is sometimes described as existing beyond of time and space or as having a sense of united consciousness, surpasses ordinary perception.
The issue with ego death is that it may draw out great pain when uncovering the mask that the “real you” wears. It will throw you out of your comfort zone for sure. Although ego death can lead to tremendous personal growth, it must be acknowledged that ego death has both positive and negative consequences.
Benefits of Ego Death
The pursuit of ego death is usually associated with the recreational consumption of hallucinogenic compounds. In therapeutic settings, it’s rare to see such high doses of a psychedelic substance administered that it will cause complete loss of self or ego death. When our self-perception is no longer bound by our ego’s tale, we get the freedom to explore unknown territory, shaping our lives in accordance with our actual desires. Here are some of the benefits of experiencing ego death:
- A greater clarity about ourselves and our ambitions in life.
- Liberation from old habits and behaviors that have outlived their value.
- A pervasive sense of calm and overall well-being.
- The ability to see things from a neutral point of view.
How To Experience Ego Death?
Ego death can be seen as the liberation from our attachment to self-perception. This shift can evoke a profound sense of fear, akin to losing our identity. Yet, it is an indispensable facet of spiritual progress, offering remarkable benefits.
In theory, ego death can be achieved with meditation and breathwork exercises but does it really come close to the one caused by psychedelics? This phenomenon is common on high doses of psychedelic substances, such as magic mushrooms or LSD, and it can be seen as a journey of intense self-reflection. Our existence goes under scrutiny, leading us to reconsider every aspect of our being. While the moment might be unsettling and overwhelming, it also unveils an excellent opportunity for profound personal transformation.
Ego death is a tough challenge with tremendous rewards. Those who have walked its paths frequently report feeling lighter, unburdened, and more in tune with themselves. Understand that ego death is a huge step forward in your spiritual progress.
The Dark Side of Ego Death
As we already mentioned, ego death can be either a terrifying or profound experience. There are a lot of factors that will affect how you’ll react to psychedelics like prior substance use, gender, age, and body composition. However, ego death can confront you with aspects of yourself that you not yet been prepared to confront. This sudden revelation of overwhelming emotions can have a great impact on your well-being. Here are some negative impacts of experiencing ego death:
- Ego death can expose vulnerabilities leading to an overwhelming sense of fear.
- Ego death may lead to discomfort or even revulsion with one’s own behavior and beliefs. This can create a sense of dissonance and challenge one’s sense of identity.
- Ego death can potentially induce significant alterations in thought patterns, potentially leading to a more negative and self-destructive mindset.
The Bottom Line
Ego death is a transformative experience that reveals new perspectives on reality, providing a previously unknown viewpoints. While the experience might be difficult and unpleasant, the benefits are significant, including increased self-awareness and personal development. If you’re stuck in a rut or yearning for a new perspective, going into ego death could provide the transforming experience you’re hoping for.