How To Know If You’re Going Through an Ego Death
What is ego death?
First, one must bring it back a layer and start with the ego…
Ego death ultimately involves our ego. Ego is the Latin word for “I,” In the simplest sense, the ego is defined as “a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance.” Our ego is where we develop our sense of self, usually well-defined (or at least you think) at a young age. Which makes sense; kids are always so sure of who they are and stand in their convictions. However, this sense of self can often wavier over time once the outside world becomes stronger than the “I” we had believed in for so long.
Our ego relates to how we think about our own importance in the world and what we are capable of – this is the image we see of ourselves. This is how we express and define to others how and who we are. Sigmund Freud, a world-known psychoanalyst, eloquently describes the ego as the integrator of the outer and inner worlds and the id – instincts, and the superego – morality (The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2023). This is part of the basis of his psychoanalytic theory, which we can dive into in another post
Ok, so now, what is ego death?
Ego death refers to a concept in spirituality, psychology, and philosophy where a person’s sense of self is temporarily or permanently dismantled, leading to a profound transformation of the individual’s understanding of identity and reality. This is where all that we thought was has now been broken down, and it is time to rebuild a new sense of self, but this takes time. Ego death can be triggered by many means, such as psychedelic drugs, meditation, or intense emotional experiences – and the result when the journey comes to a close, or we have reached our threshold, is a loss of ego or self-centeredness.
The outcome of ego death
Outcomes can vary, and feelings can sway across the spectrum, including unity, humility, liberation, anxiety, confusion, and disorientation. Ego death can also be referred to as ego dissolution and the realization that you are not truly the things you’ve identified with in the past.
How do you know if you are going through an ego death?
Some may actively seek to dismantle their ego, but in other instances, it can happen as a byproduct of a certain circumstance or even a mental health journey. Here are some common signs that a person may be going through an ego death:
- A loss of sense of self: The person may feel their sense of identity and individuality is unraveling or breaking down.
- A feeling of disconnection from reality: The person may feel as though the world around them is unfamiliar or strange.
- A shift in perspective: The person may see things from a new or different perspective, leading to a transformation in their beliefs and values – good or bad.
- A feeling of emptiness or void: The person may feel a sense of emptiness or hollowness where their sense of self used to be – things that once brought you joy now seems insignificant.
- A sense of unity or interconnectedness: The person may feel a sense of unity with all things or a connectedness to the universe – you may end up finding yourself so connected to new ways of thinking and living.
Is ego death a bad thing?
Whether or not ego death is a “bad” thing is subjective and depends on the individual’s experience. Some people may find the experience to be profound and transformative, leading to a greater sense of self-awareness and spirituality. Others may find the experience confusing, frightening, or disorienting, leading to feelings of anxiety or depression. Life can perform a 180, for the good or the bad. The outcome of ego death can be both positive and negative.
If one actively wants to go through an ego death, it is important to approach it with caution and be prepared for the possible challenges that may arise. While ego death can lead to positive and transformative experiences, it can also be a difficult and confusing time. Therefore, I highly suggest having a support system in place from either friends, family, or a mental health professional if needed.
Ultimately, whether ego death is a positive or negative experience will depend on your unique circumstances and how you work to process and integrate the experience into this new life.
Is ego death a growth journey?
For some, it can be seen as a growth journey, leading to a greater understanding of oneself and the world around them. This can involve a profound transformation of beliefs, values, and behaviors, hopefully leading to a shift towards a more humble, compassionate, and interconnected way of being—a more holistic way of living.
During ego death, a person may experience a sense of unity with all things, a loss of the ego’s hold on their thoughts and actions, and a greater appreciation for the present moment. This can lead to a greater sense of peace, fulfillment, and purpose in life.
Final Thoughts on Ego Death
It is important to note that ego death can be a challenging and difficult experience, the outcome may not always be positive, and there may be multiple ego deaths in one’s lifetime. It is important to approach the process with caution and be prepared for any difficulties that may arise, and seek support if needed.
Charka balancing can also help on this journey and I have a quick beginner’s guide on chakras you can find here.
The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. (2023, January 18). Ego | Definition & Facts. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/topic/ego-philosophy-and-psychology
Wishing you love, light and inner peace babes ✌🌈✨💜