Good things take time, and ego death is just one of those things. Admit it, you came here thinking there is some easy fix for this. Some magic words, a simple “how-to” post to give you radical spiritual enlightenment. Well if you want to understand the truth surrounding ego death or at least my own understanding then read on monkey comrade.
What is Ego Death Exactly?
So Ego death is the end of self-centeredness, it’s the beginning of mentalism and the merging with the universal consciousness. It goes by many names. Sufi’s call it Fana or “annihilation”. The ancient school of stoicism called it Ataraxia and Buddha called it Nirvana. Personal identity falls away and you’re left with just the eternal divine.
So how does one achieve this Ego death that I speak of?
Not so fast there. This isn’t going to be a one and done thing, in fact, spiritual seekers the world over can train their whole lives and never get this one thing(ego-death)…well that is until their bodily death kicks in, and it just sort of happens naturally.
note: you can’t have an ego if you’re dead.
So how, if I’m so smart, do I know what an ego-death feels like?
We’ve all done it before. Upon birth, we’re all delivered up to the cosmos as a blank slate, a tabula rasa. From that purity of conscious clarity, no ego within can be found. Literally, even Freud didn’t think that the ego really started to kick in until about three years into someone’s life. Up until then the baby is pretty much still trying to figure out how its sphincter works. Likewise, just like a baby learning to use its butthole, you yourself also have to learn how the ego works. After many years you develop a reflexive muscle and soon the ego takes over.
How the Ego works
The ego is a pattern. It contains a lot of things. Mists of memories, phantom ideas, beliefs, etc. Really it’s an identity, a sense of self that acts as a veil to separate the individual from the completion of an entirety of being.
Understanding what the ego really is, is hard enough. When spiritualists talk about ego here, I think they are really talking about a sort of false sense of self. That is the accumulation of this sense, your ego is a Scarecrow of your “true self.”
So Gradually as life develops, society piles more and more delusional junk onto you. Eventually, because of the weight of this junk, your “true self” starts to become blurred. Now instead the ego identifies itself as “the true self.” Before you’re born you need a birth certificate (apparently if you don’t have a birth certificate you can’t be born, derp.) Finally following the endless course of paperwork to become alive you then get a social security number, a tax ID, you’re forced through the meritocratic education system where your being is further graded.
All of your aspirations, hopes, dreams, and delusions are wrapped up in this identity. Ultimately you don’t have any control over what will happen to you. The ego is good protecting you from your lack of control. Ultimately however it holds you back from meeting your true self.
Ending the “I” : Cogito Ergo Dumb
“You think, therefore you are” The philosopher Rene Descartes decided to break down his ego by casting aside all beliefs, notions, or misrepresentations that he could possibly have about the world. He basically chipped away at his ego until he hit rock bottom. This was called systemic doubt. How far down the rabbit hole can one literally go? How much could he remove from the well of identity without it being truly empty?
What he found was that the only thing that he could not take out of the well of identity was the fact that if he pulled out his doubts of existence, it would still ultimately mean he existed. This is because before the fact has begun to doubt he hit a wall…because doubt requires a doubter. Duh!
I can’t have a doubt if there isn’t something to doubt. So he came up with his world-famous axiom “I think, therefore I am.” However, what he should have said instead was; “I doubt therefore I am”
Descartes and the Advaita Veda: Snuff out your ego through logic.
Part of Descartes’s experiment was really too weird. He assumed this thought experiment called “brain in a vat”. It’s basically the hypothesis that the movie The Matrix was based on. Standford explains the brain in the vat experiment as; “a given person is a disembodied brain living in a vat of nutrients. The nerve endings of the brain are connected to a supercomputer, whose program sends electrical impulses that stimulate the brain in the same way that actual brains are stimulated when perceiving external objects.”
The idea behind this thought experiment is that ultimately we have no access to the things that cause our senses. Therefore it isn’t hard to run with the idea that everything is a facade.
12 Steps to Yoga your way out of Illusion & Kill the Ego
The ancient yogic theory also had its own version of the brain in a vat thought experiment. Instead, they called it maya. Maya is a concept in Hindu philosophy. It denotes a magic power with which a god can make a human believe in an illusion. That illusion is the ego.
Vedic teachings call this sort of human ignorance avidya. It’s stringently marked by supreme desire and aversion. What a veiled web that avidya weaves in our lives. So much so that it drapes from us our true identity. It’s only by using yoga to achieve ego death that we can reconnect with our higher selves. Men who are driven by instinctual desires turn into some kind of animal. They are, anyway, giving into their primordial instincts. However, this forever keeps them from achieving their ego death.
1)Transcend Suffering & achieve Self-realization
Thinking about sense objects will attach you to sense-objects. When you grow attached to sense objects you become addicted. If you try to break away from your addiction, you then become angry. As a result of this newly found anger your mind clouds and confuses. Eventually, the lessons of experience don’t sink in deep. Accept suffering as a part of life and let yourself be defined through it. Suffering is a part of life.
2)Connecting to “The Higher Self”
Christ calls it “the kingdom of heaven,” Yogis call it “the Atman.” In cult machine speak, it’s your inner divine. Atman is the eternal light of consciousness. It is not the mind however, it’s a part of the divine or Brahman. Your goal right now for spiritual discipline is knowledge of the identity between one’s true self in order to kill the ego.
When you kill the ego and connect to your higher self you’ll realize that your body is not real. Neither is any of the barriers that stand in your way. Getting to know your true self or higher self is REALLY the goal of ego death.
3)Connecting with the Divine
Indeed liberation from the ego is the ultimate goal here. Liberation is called Moksa and it directly is a side effect of living according to virtue.
Shariratva is an ancient Vedic practice of ego death. Ego death causes a person to surrender this identity and to identify oneself totally in the Infiniti of the cosmic being, aka “Brahman”.To have true knowledge of the all, brahman, God, The Grand Poobah, or whatever it is to know what god is. Brahman is what the Vedas call it. It is the light of consciousness that illuminates the mind and is the true self. Killing the ego or casting away the illusion is a way to cure the disease of suffering.
Phenomenologist Philosophy & the Vedic “Sariratva”
Consciousness is a kind of space. Its presence isn’t felt until it comes into contact with something that it is not. Philosophers of phenomenology call this “intentionality.” Cambridge defines intentionality as “the teaching that every act of consciousness we perform, every experience that we have, is intentional: it is essentially “consciousness of” or an “experience of” something or other.”
Keeping up with the Vedas we see that Brahman is the light by which consciousness founds itself. Brahman is intentionality itself, the whole of the phenomenal illuminating consciousness.
4) Work on overcoming Suffering
Part of being is doing. Really you can connect to your divine nature by working at something. God’s inherent nature is to create. Anyway, ego death is going back to knowing that part of yourself again. The divine that forgot itself at your birth. Go needs a break once in a while. You’re work should be based entirely around breaking away at the 5 fundamental causes of suffering or “Kleshas.”
The keshas will keep you in a devils circle. They are aversion(dvesha), attachment(raga), self-centeredness (asmita) and fear of death(abhinivesha). Believe it or not, there is you behind that facade of the ego. I mentioned before the Ayida. It’s not just a sort of illusory being but a given ignorance. It’s ignorance of our true nature. Let me tell you this. Too much Ayida (ignorance) in your life makes for a really shitty life. I’ve already said that. That’s because it keeps you sucking on this world.
Meditation can help you realize the self behind the ego. This is because meditation helps to expand the consciousness beyond the conceivable realms of reality. Another way to gain a little “you” time is through knowledge. A person who is wise “beyond their years” has accelerated their mentalism. You can also do Yoga, hermeticism, or prayer. Whoever can perceive the supremacy of being the same in all things recognizes the eternity and Infiniti amidst the world of the dying, can see the truth.
5) Know Your Dharma aka (Destiny) and Fully Live your Inner Truth
Realize your personal story and how it connects to the cosmic totality. All have an internal calling that we fulfill. When you throw yourself completely into whatever you are doing, with total focus and ethics then you are fulfilling your Dharma. In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna called upon Arjuna to fulfill his Dharma. He commanded him to pick up his bow and go to war. For Krishna’s sake; Arjuna was born into a family of kings and warriors. Thus it was his Karmic duty to fight!
Live according to the inner divine light that shines within you. It is your truth, your essence that will guide you to fulfill your life’s work.
6)Cleansing Space: Harmony in the Psychospace & Worldspace
“Clean your room,” says the psychometrician Jordan Peterson. “Harmonize your space,” says Franz Bardon the great Hermetic Magician. There is something to keeping order. Two dimensions exist for the seeker to accomplish this:
Psychospace: These are psychic objects. It relates to the mind.
Worldspace: This refers to your worldly belongings.
Forgive yourself for your past. Releasing the energy of regret or hatred is the way out of the cycle of stressors. Keep yourself clear. Do whatever it takes to keep your mind from attaching to unnecessary obstacles.
7)Pointing Ego self towards the Divine center
This is central to the teachings of Rolo and the subjective canon. You have to rise above the idea that you are separate from God. The way to do this is to keep yourself centered on the communion with divinity. God is at the core of your reality chiming in at every moment.
Get to know more about the divine nature. Read theology, take a walk in the forest and observe nature. Study literature or whatever awakens the divine creativity within you. Whatever is ethical and makes you feel connected to the entirety of the cosmic order. Do it!
Wise yogic souls know that they are not separate from the divine. Instead, they are one with the Godhead and thus with the entirety of the universe itself! That also includes every being within. It’s not they who are free of misery and unhappiness, but they’ve accepted them and thus transcended them. They see it from new heights. It’s not that it doesn’t affect them, but that it affects them differently for they now know.
8)See God in All Things
The entirety of being is generating from one thing. The supreme soul of everything is present throughout the omniverse. Divinity is in every object, every creature, it’s in each individual being and it always has been and always will. Everything in creation is the Godhead. Once you realize your true self, you’ll then begin to realize that same self in everything around you. In your computer, your hands, your house, in the sky.
9)Find a teacher
It helps to humble yourself. Whether it be a moral character to be or a guru or pastor, you’ll always need to bow your head. Seek those who have gone before you and paved the way. If you don’t find a teacher your path to ego death will be much harder. Great teachers have all laid down paths in their temples.
If there are no great teachers among you there is another way! Great teachers leave behind legacies. If they haven’t any formal writings than often times their students jotted down notes. If they were any good there will be compendiums of their knowledge. It’s ok to pick up a book every once in a while, it won’t hurt you. Therein you can let your chosen guru speak to you from beyond the ages.
10)Find out where you came from: Follow your lifeline back to its beginning
Samsara is the endless cycle of death and rebirth. Ultimately the goal is to be free of this. With each karmic tally by Yama, it will determine whether you scale the mountain to heaven or if you’re meant to relearn or be held back. Once you can learn your spiritual awakening you’ll be released from the endless cycle of death and rebirth. Just like the vampire king in adventure time.
Remember that you’re a figment of the divine cosmic mind, not a hamster in a fucking wheel.
11) Meditate and Master your Thoughts
Meditation is very good for mystical insight into the self. Who knows, maybe you’ll even achieve your own Moksa liberation. Time and skill will tell, but meditation is something else. You’re not an astronaut, you’re not expanding out into the objective reality. You’re seeking to conquer the psychospace. Therefore it is now time to indeed sink deeper into the self. Remember this, because the mind itself is far more vast than the entirety of the objective universe. Think about that one. Meditation is easy and it’s fucking free. There is no doctors prescription that you need to take to the pharmacist.
12) Action without action
The final step in this column is a chinese word: Wu Wei wu. It means effortless action.
It’s important to understand that this process of dissolving your ego and achieving ego death will take time. This is a muscle that you now have the skill and know-how to exercise. You will most likely stumble along the way. Keep at it and continually practice these steps. Over time they will become second nature. Like walking. When you want to go somewhere you never think; “Ok, one step, two-step, one step two step, left foot, right foot, left foot right foot.” You’ve been walking so long know that you can do it without thinking, without acting. You will it and it just happens. Let that be the process of your spiritual awakening and ego death.
Remember that everything can be cast on with a shadow of a doubt, except the fact that the “I” exists. But that firstly we have to assume is that all of our beliefs and thoughts from the ego are lies and illusions. Adopt the mentality called “Skepticism.” Reality is supremely riddled with paradoxes. The thing in question regards itself only in so far as it is displaced from it. To refer to me or ego is sort of absurdity. Loss of your subjective identity. Everything collapses and the only thing that you have is purity.
Ego death is a concept that’s wholly unexplainable.
Ego’s are the perceptions of our “selves” that we build up over a lifetime. They contain all of our beliefs, experiences, hopes, dreams, and conceptions about the world. Very often though they can become problematic.
Signs that you need an Ego death
1)Greed: You’ve sold your soul to the devil. The entirety of existence you’ve placed solidly on reputation and things. Stupid you. Maybe you say that your egotistical and it’s gotten you into trouble.
2)Anxieties & Paranoia: You’re suckling the teet of the closest thing to you. That is your extra super accumulation. Your OCD is grasping ahold, you can’t relinquish control or accept fatalism.
3)Insatiability/Obsessive: In spiritual awakening ego death is necessary for massive transformation. It is like shedding the skin of a snake or a caterpillar in a cocoon emerging as a butterfly. How do you kill the ego?
4)Depression: Something isn’t right in Kansas right now.
5)You’re kind of an asshole: You’re an arrogant pompous sonofabitch.
6) Addiction: Dependence has been likened to having a monkey on your back. Not a nice monkey, but a mean and nasty monkey.
Why do egos become problematic?
Because the ego appears as an outgrowth of the world, it’s often the thing that we latch on to. It’s like a breast and we’re like the babies. Not only does the ego sustain the ongoing reality of being, but it also provides a sort of satiation from facing reality.
All of our selves become wrapped up in this one thing. Yet the ego is only a very narrow field of vision of reality. We can only see through the ego anyway. Therefore it’s so close to us, so close in fact that we often begin to distinguish the ego as what we are, to begin with.
Ego death is not really entirely possible. All of the things that I’ve taught you really help you subdue the ego. You can’t really kill the ego. It’s always there, haunting your soul. However, ego death helps you learn to live with it.
“When you want to dissipate the room of darkness, you turn on the light. The darkness is never gone, it is just replaced by light.
Likewise, when you want to dissipate the ego, you turn on awareness. Ego is never gone. It’s merely replaced by awareness.”
Ego is the thing that allows us to set ourselves apart in the world. It is the one-sided lens that we use to view the world. Think of it like a telescope. You’re awareness and focus are confined to a single direction.
BONUS methods to Ego Death
Off to the Nunnery with you!
Becoming a monk is a way to get rid of the ego. Since society plays such a huge role in building the ego, staying away from society altogether will bring ego death. As they say, “If you don’t use it you lose it.” Let the ego atrophy and it will just sort of stuff off. If you’ve got the balls for it.
Jibber-Jabber with God
A relationship with God is like a weed wacker for the ego. This is because the closer that you come to God the more you begin to dissipate. When you’ve gotten really close, you completely disappear. It is a sort of suicide, but a beautiful suicide. To die in God is to live really. Voluntarily die into love with God.
Go with the flow
It’s cliche but life really is a river: the life river or river of life. If you’re fighting against the river you’re not flowing. You’re trying to hold onto ego. Inevitably this of course leads to weird depressive states in your monkey brain. You can’t quite figure it out, but you not fulfilled, so you keep fighting. Ego death is when you finally let go, stop swimming, and let the current take you. Exactly like Kierkegaard’s Knight of Faith you put your faith entirely in the natural motion of the cosmic order.
Regardless of what you do Ego death comes. Just Wait it Out and it comes with Time
Time and experience are the great teachers of life. In the theory of moral sentiments by Adam Smith, he said: “Time, the great and universal comforter. It gradually composes the weak man to the same degree of tranquility which regard to his own degree of manhood teaches the wise man to assume from the beginning.” In this way only by assuming first and foremost wisdom, above all else, have we found an adequate substitute for time.
Some people have this and you don’t even know it. If you’re above the age of 80, more than likely your ego has dissolved almost completely. Because at this point you’ve had so much life experience that you get to more easily peer behind the cracks in reality.