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Anyone ever experience this? (I stole it off a forum after googling "ego death", mmkay?)

I could no longer define myself. I no longer felt separate from anything. I thought I was in "existential hell" -- I was connected to everything, and it was pure, infinite suffering. I told my therapist I wasn't sure if I existed anymore. I felt my identity dissolve. My personal relationships changed. I used to think that my Mother was just MY Mother. Like, she only existed because I was her son. My friends were MY friends. They only existed through ME, they were MY friends, that's all. But that quickly changed during the crisis. No longer was everything MINE or connected solely through ME.

I used to connect to reality believing I was the only true connection. A few days later, I began to realize that I finally disconnected my identity to all my surroundings. My Mother was her own spiritual being. So was my friends, and even my cat. Nothing was mine, my connection to reality wasn't through me anymore. It was through a greater whole.
Just curious.

Meditation will do this to you, if you get really into it.
 

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Anyone ever experience this? (I stole it off a forum after googling "ego death", mmkay?)



Just curious.

Meditation will do this to you, if you get really into it.
As will dissociatives and hallucinogens.
 

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This is the first that came to mind:

"Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration. That we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. There is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves. Here's Tom with the weather."
 

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I don't understand that kind of crisis. I have never been arrogant enough to believe the rest of the world only existed because I did.

I knew that I existed because I got lucky. A small change that happened when the embryo that became me, could have changed what I am, or kept me from existing at all. I could have been a woman, or something in between. I could have been born with an incurable disease. I could have been born mentally or physically handicapped. I could have been so many different things and I wasn't, because I got lucky.
 

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I don't understand that kind of crisis. I have never been arrogant enough to believe the rest of the world only existed because I did.

I knew that I existed because I got lucky. A small change that happened when the embryo that became me, could have changed what I am, or kept me from existing at all. I could have been a woman, or something in between. I could have been born with an incurable disease. I could have been born mentally or physically handicapped. I could have been so many different things and I wasn't, because I got lucky.
Consequence of circumstances...
 

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Interestingly enough, I was actually conversing with someone about a similar topic recently.

I find personal relevance very interesting. Statistically, someone dies in the US every 13 seconds. To family and friends, that loss was critical, and subjected them to mourning for long after; to everyone else, it doesn't matter in the least. It seems like a very basic fact of the matter, however it's very humbling when you think about it--the way that someone's life is of greater value to a certain set of people than to others.
 

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Yes.

In some ways it's the best thing that can happen to a person but it really changed my relationships with people too.

I've had zero "self"esteem issues since this happened.

At first it was difficult. I adjusted but I still feel the same way. Now it's almost like living two lives at the same time for me.

I have 'my life' which doesn't even feel real but I attend to my responsibilities anyway, and the "big picture" life. Which isn't even mine, it could be anyone's life. It's just being objectively aware of the big picture and all the options you and everyone else has, I guess.

I don't go around talking to people IRL about this and I'd never expect most to understand it but it seperates you from people, which can feel weird and lonely but you're also not "trapped" like them and don't fall into the same cycles.
 

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As my habit of contemplating and analysing grew into my teens, the ol ego was relentlessly attacked. I destroyed most lifelines before it had managed to get a foothold in the first place. How? and Why? are very dangerous questions when coupled together and aimed at one’s self.
Thinking wounded my ego heavily.

Escapism in the form of reading fiction or contemplating abstract problems allows me to suspend the ego and thus suppress it. This is my less violent manner of existing and tolerating existence.

Mr Ego still lives and still holds on, a tough bastard. I feel “schizophrenic" as a result, forgetting about myself in order to maintain sanity only to have ego grab the controls every now and then to remind me I’m lacking, that my self has been neglected.

I doubt the ego ever really dies, I’m guessing those who claim to have experienced its death have merely extended the ego to encompass something greater/everything. Much like in religion with the personification of all as being (the work of)God, an entity we can come to terms with a little better thus enabling us to relate to him/her/it/captain donkey, you can defer the decisions concerning yourself and your role to a greater scheme.
Buddhism appears to do the same, only it’s more ambitious in that it seems to remove the need for personifying reality. I guess that’s why it’s more satisfying for the “scientist”, to truly accept being a part of the whole as it is and to become a partial and impartial observer of the overarching system.

I am neither a Buddhist nor am I well versed in psychology, I’m too lazy to read much of anything about either. Feel free to correct me.
 

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I'm somewhat there, though, the feeling starts to dissolve when surrounded by people who don't perceive like this.
 

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Anyone ever experience this? (I stole it off a forum after googling "ego death", mmkay?)



Just curious.

Meditation will do this to you, if you get really into it.
I think it is more perception, not connection. If it were a true connection then this:

Interestingly enough, I was actually conversing with someone about a similar topic recently.

I find personal relevance very interesting. Statistically, someone dies in the US every 13 seconds. To family and friends, that loss was critical, and subjected them to mourning for long after; to everyone else, it doesn't matter in the least. It seems like a very basic fact of the matter, however it's very humbling when you think about it--the way that someone's life is of greater value to a certain set of people than to others.
would not be the case.

The perception is easy to arrive at. It isn't that big a deal. The connection is something else again. That is why we all run around lamenting that we have not found "the one", because we hunger to be known right down to our very core (with, of course, as little risk as possible). That is why people feel "different" or "odd" or "separate" or whatever. We do not connect. Not really. We just perceive/recognize the larger set and realize we are no more than a member of that set. Of course individual experiences by the members of society is how a larger set (society, humanity, God, whatever) can learn. If everyone were truly connected, there would only be one experience, one perception. This is why the practical status of free will is important in the grand equation, - separate learning experiences. There has to be the condition of "Other." Of course, according to many theologies, it is a temporary condition. Funny how in fiction it is sometimes portrayed as such a terrifying notion, specifically, being subsumed into a larger "being" (I.e., The Borg, The Ori, that episode on Star Trek Voyager (Coda) where the alien creature, disguised as her father, tries to convince Captain Janeway to enter the "afterlife"), but, in every day life it is just plain old religious dogma. I sense that humanity struggles with feeling a bit of ambiguity toward this idea.

What about you? Looking forward to being subsumed, are you? ;-)
 

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Anyone ever experience this? (I stole it off a forum after googling "ego death", mmkay?)

"I could no longer define myself. I no longer felt separate from anything. I thought I was in "existential hell" -- I was connected to everything, and it was pure, infinite suffering. I told my therapist I wasn't sure if I existed anymore. I felt my identity dissolve. My personal relationships changed. I used to think that my Mother was just MY Mother. Like, she only existed because I was her son. My friends were MY friends. They only existed through ME, they were MY friends, that's all. But that quickly changed during the crisis. No longer was everything MINE or connected solely through ME.

I used to connect to reality believing I was the only true connection. A few days later, I began to realize that I finally disconnected my identity to all my surroundings. My Mother was her own spiritual being. So was my friends, and even my cat. Nothing was mine, my connection to reality wasn't through me anymore. It was through a greater whole."

Just curious.

Meditation will do this to you, if you get really into it.
The before state sounds incredibly narcissistic.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I don't understand that kind of crisis. I have never been arrogant enough to believe the rest of the world only existed because I did.

I knew that I existed because I got lucky. A small change that happened when the embryo that became me, could have changed what I am, or kept me from existing at all. I could have been a woman, or something in between. I could have been born with an incurable disease. I could have been born mentally or physically handicapped. I could have been so many different things and I wasn't, because I got lucky.
It's not really that I ever thought that the world existed because of me.

But I have a distinct memory of being a kid, maybe 4 or 5, and having this really deep epiphany that my brother was another person with a completely different world inside his head than mine, and feeling simultaneously interested by this and scared, because it made me aware of the fact that people mostly act selfishly, which disrupts the world in others' heads. It's not that I didn't feel empathy or sympathy before this, it's that I had this extreme experience of it, like I really knew it for the first time, instead of just feeling it by default.

Ego death doesn't mean you never get your sense of self back. It can't last permanently, if you got stuck in that state for long periods you'd come across pretty "crazy". It's just the momentary experience of being de-centered from your own experience of reality so you see that you're only a small part of something much bigger. You realize that your perceptions and the things you think are true and the stuff you cling to, and by extension, the things your society has told you are true, are an illusion. It doesn't make you better than other people morally, or anything like that, but it can make it harder to interact with people who haven't had similar experiences, because they can't get any distance from their own perceptions sometimes or see through their own BS (the comforting lies they tell themselves).

I feel it's easy to tell who's been radically decentered in this way and who hasn't just by interacting with them. I could be wrong. But it always seems obvious.

Ista said:
The before state sounds incredibly narcissistic.
People are misinterpreting the paragraph, probably because it's not written very well, but this is difficult stuff to articulate. The before state is not the state of thinking your mother exists FOR YOU or to make you feel good. It's the state people are in all the time, where their perception of who others are is contiguous with and contingent upon their own Ego, which in common use means something like "sense of superiority", but in the psychological sense simply means "I am". Most people interpret others in and through their own sense of who they are, through their own worldview, social programming, and their own preferences. There's nobody who doesn't do this, which is a realization you come to when your ego dies for a split second. It's a melancholic realization, because you are forced to realize that even you do this, and will do it, and it's beyond anyone's control.

Most people are narcissistic, especially the ones who think they aren't, I've found.
 

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I think it might do some INTPs good to have a little ego death experience. Then they'd stop thinking they were "logical" and "objective"... They might even begin to see that they're in the same boat as everyone else. Looking through that same glass darkly.
A little humility can accomplish the same thing. Short of that, a smack upside the head.
 
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Discussion Starter #20
A little humility can accomplish the same thing. Short of that, a smack upside the head.
Yeah, I don't even know if it's a humility problem, though. I don't think hubris is a big INTP problem.

I think it's a problem with not getting outside their own heads enough. All of my thoughts make perfect sense to me, but I know that doesn't make them logical. It helps when interacting with other people to realize that you're not always on the logical high ground.

I think it'd take a lot of pressure off, for some of 'em...
 
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