What is Ego Death And How Does it Work?

This article was originally published on Psychedelic Spotlight and appears here with permission.

Mystics and psychonauts describe ego death as a form of transcendence for stimulating insights and personal growth, but how does it work, and is it actually good for you?

Imagine you wake up in your body but you have no idea who you are. Everything around you feels new. You can’t remember your name or any biographical information, and you are seeing the world without any bias or historical context. In the dimness of your mind you can remember that you are human, and you are standing on a planet spinning in space, but beyond that you are clueless. You have just entered ego death.

Ego death, or ego dissolution, is a term used in psychedelic and mystical communities to describe a temporary state of autobiographical amnesia, a psychological condition where you are fully awake and functional, yet cannot remember any information about yourself, even your name or your gender. Ego death is often described as feeling very light and pleasant, as if the weight of the biographical self had been lifted from the body. Alternately, depending on context, ego death can be extremely disorienting and terrifying.

What Does Ego Death Feel Like?

Imagine walking into a room and instantly forgetting what you walked in for, and you stand blankly waiting for some piece of information to pop into your mind and solve the puzzle. But then that moment stretches on for minutes, and you still have no clue how you got there, or what you were doing. If you find yourself in a state of temporary amnesia, you may have also forgotten how you came to be there, or how long it might last. Without knowing answers to any of these questions, the experience can become very frightening.

Some people experiencing ego death on psychedelics for the first time may believe that the state will last forever, and they will never return to their “old life”. This realization is often met with horror and panic, and is one of the primary causes of bad trips and freak outs. Some people may come to the conclusion that they have died and entered an entirely new world, hence the term “ego death”. But drug induced ego death is always temporary, and when you come out of it and begin to …

Full story available on Benzinga.com

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