Death of the Ego, in Jungian terms, really just means the loss of how we subjectively perceive ourselves to be. A loss of identity of sorts but not a loss of who we are. To explain further, it’s a loss of those constructs we tend to use to define who we are when in fact we are really so much more than what we think. According to transpersonal psychology, the ego is a part of us that makes us unique, gives us our personality, our issues, our likes and dislikes, a way of interpreting our experiences through maybe not the clearest of lenses.
For instance, if someone moves around a lot, for example for work or study, this meant having to introduce himself more times than maybe he’d have liked. If someone asked him then to describe himself, he would have said something like “Hi, I’m John, I’m from Canada, I’m a psychologist, an athlete, I like music and sports and cooking and so forth...”
Not that these things aren’t important, and they are all true to a degree, but there is so much more to the person than these constructs.
When we experience an Ego Death (or many victories in transcending the Ego), we can use the opportunity to find out who we truly are. Who are you without the labels, without the should-s, without the programming and conditioning since childhood?
Maybe you will discover that you are a sensitive and intuitive being and although sometimes you don’t want to be that, it is a part of who you are. Maybe you will find out that you have so much love inside of you, that you could burst into a million hearts. Or maybe it will come to you that you are way wiser than you originally thought, as you now understand that we are all connected. Maybe you will experience the Universal Laws and the Higher Perspective. No matter how many graduate degrees you have, that is never in the curriculum!
Maybe you discover that you are very forgiving, and have the capacity to love unconditionally. Or you get to learn to face your shadows and accept them as parts of you instead of denying them and hiding behind Ego constructs. Maybe you realize that your outer world reflects your inner world and that this is constantly transforming because you are constantly working on yourself and shifting.
Maybe you see that people are mirrors of what needs to be healed, and what has already been healed. Or that others tend to drain your energy and you can choose not going to socialize with them if you don’t want to. Or maybe you discover that you are not quite an athlete as you thought, but you just love playing sports. Or that you pop into the kitchen and can whip something up, but you’re not really that much of a cook.
Ego Death is a beautiful thing. It allows us to explore who we really are, instead of fitting into little boxes. We get the opportunity to reconnect with our own soul. We explore our likes and dislikes, our uniqueness, but we don’t attach to labels as our identity.
Death of the Ego gives us a more truthful perspective about ourselves and about others. Then we can understand the difference when we are operating from Ego versus operating from the Heart, and can sense this in others as well. We can transcend the Ego. Then we see that we just aren’t what we thought we were, and when we realize this, we change our perspective on everything. We free ourselves from chains we’ve placed or allowed others to place on us, and life is much more beautiful when we live from a place of authenticity.
July 19, 2017