Gaia Psychedelics

19 thoughts on “What is ego death?”

  1. You can think of ego death by first defining the ego. The ego is your sense of self, that is to say your identification with form. Your ego is made up of your name, your past, your future, your morals your values. Everything that gives you that sense of “you.” Ego death isn’t technically possible, because the mind will naturally attempt to identify with form, there will always be an ego. The only real ego death would be real death but we can’t even prove that.

    In the psychedelic realm ego death is used when someone goes through a very intense form of ego change, where they don’t know who they are and they don’t even know if they are human. They might not even know if they are on earth or not.

    I’ve experienced what people in the psychedelic realm call ego death. My best description of what it felt like was I was consistently losing my form which essentially felt like death. For example I would be in a setting, my friend would be right in front of me, but I have no memory of how we got there, why we are there, or anything else. The only thing I know is what I can see right in front of me. Some people can sit really well and ease into that feeling but for me my brain was trying so hard to figure out what was happening so it would create whatever story was necessary for the moment and typically it was a story that involved my death. Because I would then experience the story my brain was creating and then would typically feel like I’m dying at the end of the story, and then I would be born into a new moment with a new ego and the cycle would repeat. The story my brain would create was drastically different each time and every time I would experience this false story of who I was so deeply and vividly. It was an extremely scary experience but I did a lot of research afterwards to try and understand what happened and I have a very good idea of what was happening.

    Edit: To be enlightened would also be real ego death. You essentially ease into your real self and no longer identify with form. The only moment becomes the now, and there is no past or future, only the current moment, there is nothing that can define you. You can imagine that this would be really peaceful. The mind is chaotic, always trying to identify with form, always trying to find something more. To be enlightened you lose the need to identify with form, and the mind has nowhere to go and it is essentially at rest. This is the end of suffering. Psychedelic ego death is much different as explained above.

  2. Everyone has their own definition of ego death as it is kind of a slang term and of course everyone has their own unique experience with it. From my own experience and from what I’ve heard from others, ego death can be a phenomenon you experience when you are in such a hard trip that you lose all orientation. You lose your sense of identity. You are reduced to nothing but thought and awareness of that thought. In that moment you do not say I in reference to a person or a name or a human life or a body. You are essentially pure unadulterated thought and there is an overwhelming feeling of surrender that must first happen for you to experience this. It’s like you are surrendering to the fact that you actually never really had any control of anything in the first place and you let your “self” “die”… and then live on in nothing but pure thought.

    I have heard people say that they have experienced ego death in their trip because they felt an immense sense of connection and “oneness” with the universe as they know it. In my opinion, that is not ego death.

    I experienced ego death on a high dose of MDA (not MDMA) and ketamine while in an indoor edm concert and it was one of the most significant experiences of my life. I have experienced oneness and unity on ketamine, mushrooms and LSD as well separately.

    I personally think of the ego as a program that runs in a normal functioning human brain that all thought filters through. Psychedelics and meditation can help us to realize that we are not that program but in fact what we really are beneath all of the layers of reality is just a stream of consciousness. Perhaps we are the universe trying to experience itself. That “trying” is what life is in my belief.

    ps. An interesting property of the ego is that it immediately builds itself back up even after a life altering trip. In my opinion, the only way to permanently shed your ego and live ego-less is through years and years and years of meditation practice. But still I think it is possible.

  3. How I experienced it. Roughly speaking, I had no past or present identity what so ever. No human form or memory of one. I wasn’t able to claim that I was any sort of being having an experience. There was no point or space that could be anchored to. No way of orientating one’s self because there was no self to be found. I’d have to assume it was consciousness without identification of form or memory.

  4. There really is no ego death. Only the ability to not identify with it. To realize your not really an “I” but a part of the interconnectedness of all things. You can have temporary dissolution of ego from psychedelics but the only permanent dissolution i can seem to find is from various meditative practices after a ton of practice.

  5. Ego death sometimes can feel like you’re actually dying. Basically your ego can be ripped to peices only to show you astonishment. Or frighten you into enlightenment. It’ll show you things that are most important, connect you with a collective of consciousness, it might give you an answer or two but you’ll come out with a thousand answers. It’s just a crazy experience in general

  6. Ego death is a state where, if you will, “we is greater than me”. I don’t like the term ego “death” because the ego always comes back. It might seem for a moment that thats how things will always be, but it always comes back. However. You can acknowledge in that state that you, yourself, are not the center of the universe and that we all are apart of something much larger and much more divine than we could ever comprehend. When I say “we” is greater than me, I mean “we” as in everything. Every rock, every star, every atom. Ego “death” allows us to acknowledge that very idea, but when the ego ultimately returns its up to us to decide whether we integrate or not.

    Some people do, a lot of people don’t. I’d like to say that I do. But I’m not perfect, no one is. But I try my best, as we all should.

  7. When you realize that you’re not doing the thinking, it is an ego death. It will come back, this is why regular meditation is essential. Understanding ego death isn’t the same as realizing it. The ego can conceptualize the concept of ego death which can make it tricky.

    To answer your other question in the comments, psychedelics turn off the default mode network of the brain which seems to be the area that’s responsible for the feeling of “self”; but it is only temporary. The only way to sustain ego death is through a regular meditation practice (afaik).

  8. For me: ego death is when i trip hard enough to let go of my baggage. It’s a reset button and once it’s pressed i am able to self evaluate anything and everything from every possible angle. You’re forced to deal with your demons. It knows your secrets and wants you to deal with them because that’s how you move forward, by letting go and dealing with your past baggage. In a way it kind of allows you to analyze you without being you….if that makes sense lol

  9. There’s no such thing, the ego doesn’t die, it’s still there, I think the term “ego death” is just another way of saying you have a different perspective and perception of living.

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