What is Ego Death?
Ego is a combination of three elements:
“Ego” refers to our experience of “self”, Who we are and what we believe. It’s a tool we use to quantify the experience of life and reality.
This concept is used to differentiate “self” from “other.”
Our ego is generally a good thing — it helps catalog and organize our experiences to help filter through the endless stream of information we’re exposed to on a daily basis, most of which is irrelevant.
It also helps in separating opposites such as good and evil, right and wrong, or love and hate.
Ego death is a complete loss of subjective “self.”
The lines between ”self’ and “others” become blurred and may no longer be recognizable.
Without an ego, we’re given a completely unbiased view of the world.
Ego death is believed to create a state where you’re more spontaneous and in the moment. We feel more connected with the world around us and take on a more objective view of the world.
Experiencing ego death is one of the primary reasons people seek out the assistance of psychedelics, but it can also be achieved in fleeting moments through meditation or breathwork.
Ego death can feel scary at first. Our entire basis of reality comes from our understanding of self and others. Losing a grasp on the differences between the two can be terrifying — especially the first time it happens. It can feel like you’re actually dying.
The feeling of death and rebirth are extremely common when using DMT — which is a direct result of what we consider “ego death.”
DMT & The Default Mode Network (DMN) | What is Ego Death?
From a scientific perspective, ego death is a dampening of the default mode network (DMN) — which is thought to be responsible for maintaining our perception of time, memory formation and retrieval, and the ability to separate self and others.
The DMN is involved with repetition tasks as well. It’s used to make the things we do more efficient.
Have you ever left your house and then suddenly wondered if you’ve locked the front door?
Chances are you did, but it was so automatic you weren’t even paying attention when you did it. This is a direct result of the DMN taking control of our automatic thought processes.
Psychedelics like DMT are thought to “reset” the DMN.