eli5: What is an “ego death”?


eli5: What is an “ego death”?

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10 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Ego death is a “complete loss of subjective self-identity”. This means, you do not know who you are, what you are doing, what your past is, what your name is, how the people around you relate to you, what species you are, etc. This is a failure to connect to your long term memories.

There are a number of ways for this to occur, Meditation, Psychedelics, Brain Damage, Hypnosis.

In the Buddhist Tradition, Ego Death is gaining a sense of self that feels pure, true, intentional rather than one tied up in programming and unconscious decisions.

From Wiki: the ego death that Buddhism encourages makes an end to the “usually-unconsciousness-and-automated quest” to understand the sense-of-self as a thing, instead of as a process.[54] According to Park, meditation is learning how to die by learning to “forget” the sense of self: Enlightenment occurs when the usually automatized reflexivity of consciousness ceases, which is experienced as a letting-go and falling into the void and being wiped out of existence […] [W]hen consciousness stops trying to catch its own tail, I become nothing, and discover that I am everything.

Anonymous 0 Comments

A complete detachment of mind and body – you are no longer “yourself”, or even a person, you just are.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s an effect of certain drugs where your perception that you exist as something distinct from the experiences you’re having is temporarily suppressed. It’s known to happen from ketamine and from the family of drugs that includes LSD, mescaline, and shrooms. Some people have also reported it from extremely high doses of cannabis.

Depending on your state of mind at the time, it can be a very distressing effect, or can be pleasant.

Anonymous 0 Comments

I just means your brain stops talking to there other side, but you need the solutions to work other wise you go no where.

Or it splits your thoughts to fine solutions in NP time at the same time?

Anonymous 0 Comments

Ego death is were you, the person, dissolves. You don’t know you existed, you don’t know who or what you are, you just simply are. People experience it differently. When I had ego death I was a rock next to an ocean. I didn’t know I ever was human. I simply was a rock at peace and saw thousand of years pass, civilizations rise and fall. It is quite surreal. When you have ego death you are truly at peace.

Anonymous 0 Comments

A lot of commenters have provided a textbook definition which is certainly helpful but the root of your question may also be what does it mean for a person and what could be a result of it?

Ego death can be very uncomfortable and even scary for many people. While some may stumble into it accidentally others may actively pursue it and if its uncomfortable you may wonder why?

Separating your ego/self from your consciousness, while scary, also can offer perspective that some may see as therapeutic and beneficial to personal growth in the long term.

For example, maybe a person’s ego tells them they are a smart human american man who likes cars and sports and maybe they look down on certain kinds of people with unconscious bias because they don’t adhere to their idea of what that person should be and act like. Maybe before ego death that person never really thought about these things consciously and afterward they may now better analyze having experienced what its like to be free of these tendencies, if but for a fleeting moment in time.

The perspective I mentioned from detaching from one’s ego could allow them to observe these things in a conscious way. Perhaps this theoretical person decides they don’t want to be defined by being smart or being a man or being american and maybe they experience a lasting perspective or personality shift. Maybe they gain more empathy for other people unconsciously operating meat suits who are going about their own daily lives governed by this somewhat fabricated ego themselves.

To summarize in a simple philosophical sense, an ego death offers perspective that helps some people reevaluate their lives and personalities.

Anonymous 0 Comments

when you realize that nothing matters except for your own behavior regardless of how others act. we can judge others for how little they care but aren’t we doing the same thing about whatever it is we don’t like too?

Anonymous 0 Comments

euphemism for a drug binge that altered a person’s personality… alternatively if you study mindfulness and buddha the idea is that you don’t exist (this is stuff you *learn*, not “get high and figure out..”) this information is seemingly backed up by psychology and the fact that just about every cell in your body is in a constant state of being replaced.. that times the fact that every time you remember something you fundamentally change that memory(and so if you aren’t your memories, and you aren’t your body..yea..what is this?)

… so yea.. your ego should be dead already if you are paying attention, but a lot of people prefer stories and lies to reality because reality is difficult.

but also if you do get high on psychadelics this does tend to make you realize this acutely.. *because* these drugs facilitate the general situation that the brain is in.. i.e. nothing really makes sense, it is in constant motion.. and you are not the same person you were yesterday.. and very specifically if you get high on mushrooms(my prefrence) you are super weird.. so like in that moment you are particularly *not you*.. and if you did this voluntarily for your “entertainment” or whatever then this becomes fairly apparent because you will be expieriencing things that you typically wouldn’t, think things you typically wouldn’t.. ect… so yea.. you really don’t exist in any specific sense.. but you already knew that didn’t you?

Anonymous 0 Comments

Most of these answers are incorrect…

Your ego is the version of yourself the outside world tells you is you.

Over time you begin to believe in this version of yourself and it can be empowering but also deceiving.

People who cultivate a public persona, are very attractive, funny, creative, or popular, or like
losers, failures, criminals, or outcasts can start to believe they are these things and become trapped in these identities by being forced onto them (losers, perfect, and strong people) or by using these personas to bolster weakness ( vanity, body builders, politicians, anorexia can be like this).

Ego death is a way of separating the interior self that is authentic from these identities that may become more habit and exterior expectations than real spiritual and personal desires.

This ties into Jungian concepts of the persona etc…

Basically, a reversion to a state of childlike perception of the world free of your preconceived judgements that prevent you from loving and experiencing people as they are and freedom from their judgements and perceptions that force you into an identity that lacks the depth or real desires you hold.

Edit: The part I left out is the losing of the perception of being separate from everyone and everything and gaining the recognition of being connected to all other things… I think this the other phenomena that most people here have already touched on.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Experienced it a few times and have concluded it’s mentally good for some people.

I saw and fixed a lot of problems I didn’t notice before. Addiction being the main one.