>What does the term *EgoDeath* exactly mean, in brief?
Ego death, as I think it should be defined, is a set of insights about, and a powerful experience of, the impotence and logical invalidity of the accustomed apparent control-agent who seems to reside in the mind. Ego death is associated closely with the loss of control, or the loss of the sense of being a legitimate controller.
After the ego-death experience and philosophical insight, the ego remains, but now with a caveat -- it is seen to be largely a practical illusion. The mind revises its assumptions about time, self-control, and personal identity, shifting many ideas together.
Because so many ideas are all revised together, it is slightly subtle or tricky communicating the new conceptual system, but it is not too hard for rational thought. Systematizing the insights of full ego death just requires mature, fully developed rational analysis.
http://www.egodeath.com/intro.htm -- Short introduction to all the main ideas
I am considering turning off the moderator mail that tells me when people have subscribed or unsubscribed. I have to avoid having a goal of keeping discussion group members or maximizing popularity. Even if I intend to be widely read in the long run, in the short run this should mean honing some ideas that are initially unappealing, alien, alarming, or crazy -- it can be a sign of success when people leave the group or reject aspects of the approach I am pulling together.
Is this discussion group limited to the ideas about ego death that *I* embrace? Can people discuss ego death here in terms other than mine? This group actually amounts to a contention over what ego-death is really all about. That debate is very much welcome here and I will try to keep an explicit debate going. My main overall goal is to define a particular set of concepts, a set that is concrete and specific enough so that debate and contention can begin.
I have to be crystal clear about which exact notions I embrace and which notions I reject. I have to do a lot of rejection in order to bring people the innovation that they might be looking for. Will I please the greatest number of people by being vague and self-contradictory, by endorsing and happily affirming any and all ideas about ego death? I could just utter endless platitudes... but Ken Wilber has gained a huge following and is studied by many different theorists and has never given an *inch* to the vague spiritualists; he has never been motivated by telling people what they wish to hear.
Wilber has gotten a lot of criticism because of his crystal-clear rejection of the notions of pop spirituality -- yet because of his clarity of rejecting particular ideas and presenting interesting alternatives, he has become very widely read. If he contaminated his theorizing with acceptance of gooey pop spirituality, he would lose his important audience, though he might gain an even larger newage mass following.
Other people are invited to use this ego-death discussion area to frame ego-death in a different way than I do. However, of course as a dedicated member of this group, I will relentlessly debate against ideas I disapprove of. It is good to have discussion participants here to debate against.
A debate is in order, about the real nature of ego death. It has been hard to provoke a debate against the entheogen spiritualists who belittle entheogens and reserve higher praise for drug-free meditation, but I have honed my position statements sufficiently through a large amount of posting on the subject and responding to the few concrete points that are raised, and modifying my position statements. I have used that kind of discussion not to let go of an extreme position, but to refine my extreme position.
On such a serious matter as transcendent mystic-state loss of practical self-control, I position my egodeath theory as a detailed hypothesis, not as certainty. There is no guarantee my theory is correct. Work out your own salvation/rescue possibly fear and trembling. I do and do not want or intent to be the final word on the subject of self-control problems.
My main point isn't that the mystic state is bound to lead everyone to self-control breakdown and transcendent prayer for rescue.
My main point is that the mind's most interesting, profound, and divine potential, out of all possible mental phenomena, is the self-control breakdown egodeath experience requiring transcendent prayer as to an utterly hidden and unknown hidden puppetmaster of some sort standing over one's own controllership. The minimal such prayer is touching the ground to send away the demon Mara by establishing right mental relationship with the Ground of Being that is, first of all, the Ground of Controllership.
This type of prayer is the original, ultimate prototype and archetype for all prayer. All other types of prayer are lower and derivative from this prayer that saves and restores one's practical controllership. I might assert that this is the one true or most true or most pure religion and the only perfectly correct and pure metaphysical and esoteric understanding of God. All other religious experiences are lower than this experience of restoration of practical personal self-control through this type of prayer.
I deliver this news not as horrific doomsday revelation and negative prediction, but as good news. My good news is that I have discovered a potential of the mind that cannot be topped or matched by any other -- the ultimate, most amazing experience possible: the egodeath experience, revealed as a matter of self-control seizure, breakdown, and deterministic puppet-like prayer to a hidden puppetmaster about which one knows nothing yet is utterly dependent.
Whether one really is a puppet and whether this worldmodel is true is irrelevant -- the point and the value here is that we have the privilege of accessing this most amazing experience possible. All other religious experiences are lesser than this -- so my theory is more grounded in phenomenology (potential mental experiential dynamics) than in epistemology or ontology.
You might not necessarily *have* to experience transcendent experiencing in this way, along these lines, but the main point is that you *can* experience transcendent experiencing along these lines, producing an experience that cannot be topped or matched in intensity, profundity, and mind-changing power.
>in our hearts we hold the power of personal choice.
That hits upon the heart of the matter. Do we hold that power in a way that is metaphysically free? Many mystics and mystic traditions say no. We wield power only relatively; our hand is forced by the Ground of Being. During the mystic state, one's hand (heart, will) is seen to be forced. My hand is firmly on the wheel of choice and decision, but now I see that someone is forcing my hand. The ego is the controller of the personal will, but the ego is secretly controlled by the Ground of Being. When that is seen as terrifying and a dangerous state of dependence on a hidden manipulator-force, one may pray to that manipulator force, feeling that one's only hope is to hope that the manipulator force is a conscious and benevolent being -- God conceived of as personal and benevolent.
I'm effectively defining a "new" goal, or one different than the goals commonly assumed by spirituality. The goal I'm interested in is enabling and explaining a particular kind of ego death experience.
You could say there are two entirely different kinds of ego death -- that which most spirituality is concerned with, and that which I am defining.
There is an enormous amount of tradition behind the form of ego death I am defining. Loss of control, determinism, disempowerment, timeless fixity of the future, cosmic failure of personal power, and cancellation of the personal will are commonly reported in various mystic writings. My task is to pull together *these* aspects of religious experiencing and mystic insight into a simple, elegant explanatory system.
Theories and schools of mystic experiencing and ego transcendence are messy and various, a forest, a chaos, and yet there are certain trends and models that can capture and organize many of the ideas in a fully coherent way that accords with block-universe determinism as I define it.
My goal: find some kind of ego death experience that is intense, rational, and convenient, and package that for easy distribution. Block-universe determinism succeeds at delivering the promised goods.
It's about time to write an essay on the nature of belief as held by the transcendent mind -- or the mature mind, in any case. Suppose I declare that deterministic ego death happens when you believe determinism while in the mystic altered state, and to be rescued from these dire straits requires contrite belief in something like a personal compassionate God or mythic substitute sacrifice. What kind of "belief" is that, and can we say such a mystic afterwards "believes" in a personal God, or "believes" in determinism? No, belief becomes held at arm's length even if it was the key to the peak experience and the key to recovering from it.
I have no interest heart- or body-spirituality. The convenient approach to an experience of ego death is through the mind -- for me, "balance" means having both a rational model of ego death and the entheogenic means to access the mystic altered state on tap. Ego death happens in the mind more than the body or heart. "Heart" in my dictionary is the center of egoic self-control, the center of will -- also represented by the liver, as in the eagle-eated liver of Prometheus.
Jesus' spear-pierced, thorn-crowned heart should perhaps be a liver-heart -- at the center of the crucifixion of the egoic pseudo-king is the will and its self-sacrifice in the name of logical integrity, and then the compassionate heart to rescue and reboot the mind back into a viable state of self-control. Logic discovers the supreme integrity of the deterministic block universe model of spacetime, including the future worldline of one's thoughts. This kills ego and belittles our accustomed assumptions that we are each a sovereign ruler reigning over our thoughts and engendering our own acts of will. But this Realization is packed overflowing with emotions as well, and with strange body awareness, so it's inaccurate to say this form of ego death is cerebral rather than emotional or body-attuned.
I might agree it's mind *driven* rather than feeling driven, but I still need to define "feeling" because rational deterministic entheogenic ego death is packed with feelings, including the feeling of dread upon encountering the Word that kills ego -- that is, the Thought of loss of control, or control being removed as a scepter is pulled out of your hands and replaced by puppet strings disappearing into the ominous, omen-bearing clouds.
I am prepared to have as little in common with that other ego death brand, desired by heart- and body-spirituality, as Ramesh Balsekar has in common with New Age thinking. The spiritual community was shocked by his outrageous proposal of peace through accepting determinism.
The best road ahead for spirituality is to split into two explicitly defined denominations carefully sorted out:
Freewill spirituality. Feeling-driven. Heart and body driven.
Deterministic religious experiencing. Reason-driven, cerebral, psychedelic. Intellectual revelation. Mind-driven.
I will focus on *contrasting* the two -- this is exactly what is needed. Why does popular spirituality fail to bring ego death, whether a rational deterministic ego death as I define it or an effective and sure ego death as popular spirituality conceives of it (a mood of humility and undefined self-deprecation)? The rational deterministic ego death I define immediately delivers on its promises. If you consider block-universe determinism and use entheogens skillfully, you will immediately encounter the ideas and perceptions and experiences I define. My emphasis is not on enlightenment of what the truth is, but on a revelation of a potential that resides within the mind. The mind has the potential for convenient entheogenic deterministic ego death! That is the gospel, the good news, for which I am an evangelist.
Popular spirituality brings bad news: enlightenment is difficult, strenuous, and inconvenient. Ego death is only attainable rarely. Enlightenment is out of reach, unattainable, hard, beyond the rainbow.
Rational deterministic entheogenic ego death brings good news. Enlightenment is easy, effortless, and convenient. Ego death is immediately available for everyone. Enlightenment is within easy reach -- it is low-hanging fruit, attainable, easy, within your own neighborhood and culture.
So I can market this as easy-path ego death versus hard-path ego death; short-path ego death versus long-path.
You are welcome to define ego death as something vague and hard to attain, as popular spirituality encourages. Or you can define it as something specific and easy to attain -- the way I am showing. People can talk about conventional hard-path ego death tradition here, but it will be tough competition in light of the system I'm packaging, tuned for ergonomic convenience.
You are free to define ego death how you like and walk the path you have defined. I'm intent on revealing the shortcut I have found to an unbeatably intense and surprising ego death experience, strengthened and enabled by a specific, tangible, mentally graspable and comprehensible model. Integral to this model is the entheogen theory of religion, the vision of block-universe fixed-future determinism with a pre-set future worldline for your own train of future thoughts and movements of will, and some explanation in terms of Christianity read purely as myth and only myth -- myth which was designed to reflect this very block-universe insight and point the way past the willing self-crucifixion of egoic, personal self-control.
If you try to portray this as a mind-driven spirituality, remember that it is also peak-experience-driven spirituality, so that's one dichotomy that can't be used against it. This approach is not body-driven or emotion-*driven* -- I readily concede that, with the caveat that the experiencing is soaked with intense emotion and also full of certain bodily dimensions concomitant to the mystic altered state.
Conversely, I do not hesitate to thoroughly condemn popular spirituality and its conception of ego death as a bogus and defective product that can't compete in the marketplace of ideas when a more effective contender comes along. American Buddhism is a way of retreating into regressive emotionalism and running away from religious concepts and of avoiding actual higher religious experiencing. Psilocybin mushroom philosopher Terrance McKenna asserts the latter, saying that popular spirituality is a way of avoiding real mystic experience for a degraded substitute.
There are hundreds of forums in which freewill ego death is discussed to death -- as a rule, in the form of vague, emotional, lifestyle spirituality. So I do not hesitate to put forth in this forum at alternative, just as the ever-bold Andrew Cohen, editor of What Is Enlightenment, did not hesitate to welcome the black sheep of Ramesh Balsekar into the pages of that magazine, to the deep shock of the world of familiar spirituality.
http://www.wie.org/j14/balse.asp -- "while Indian thought has long been criticized for its deterministic inclinations, it appeared that Balsekar had taken this fatalism to an unprecedented extreme. It was, in the end, as much a desire to explore these troubling areas as to pursue our overall interest in the teachings of Advaita that ultimately brought me to Bombay to speak with him. And while I had come anticipating a challenging meeting, looking back on it now it is clear to me that ... there was no way I could ever have prepared myself for the dialogue that was about to take place."
How has the entire world of spirituality so forgotten the deterministic tradition? It happened at about the same time as entheogens were forgotten. We are rediscovering entheogens, which are the origin of religious experiencing and thus the origin of religion. And so sooner or later we are bound to rediscover the tradition of heimarmene, Fate, providence, election, determinism, Necessity, including the problem that it poses and a variety of solutions to, in some sense, transcend heimarmene (Fate).
>--- BlackPepla~at~aol.com wrote:
>> The philosophy of determinism is a very
>> hard sell.... one problem
>> is that determinists themselves can't fully agree on
>> what determinism means.
>The main problem I'm having with the philosophy is
>that it seems to come from total
>head-logically-obtained-knowledge and ignores the
>different and useful kinds of knowledge that our
>bodies hold for us.
>For instance, I believe that in our hearts (heart
>chakra, or chest area, or whatever) we hold the power
>of personal choice.
>When we start to turn our attention inward, even for
>brief moments, to what different centers in our bodies
>are telling us, the mind connects up with the body and
>we become grounded and begin to feel real personal
>I just see this determinism theory as maybe what
>happens when you have been too much "up in your head"
>from reading and tripping, and not grounded into the
>body. Perhaps if I knew that people who participated
>in Tai Chi or Hatha Yoga *also* saw it all that way, I
>might feel differently, I don't know.
>>Are you in an egoless state at the moment?
There are two possible components a person may envision in the idea of the egoless state. I'm permanently in an egoless state as far as one of those two components: I know intellectually and rationally that freewill, like separate-self, is essentially illusory, a practical illusion of convention, a virtual projection only.
Enlightenment as a lasting, established condition of the mind generally does not entail both a permanent state of visionary cognition and the possession of the transcendent intellectual worldmodel -- only the latter is perpetually present or available on tap to the mature or perfected mind. Enlightenment is not an everlasting state of visionary cognition.
However, visionary plants have the ready potential to ergonomically feed and produce the visionary state often, such as twice a week for long and intense periods. The shortage and rarity of the mystic visionary state is a myth; completely unnecessary.
The better Buddhists, the better Muslims, the better Christians, the better Jews, the better magicians, the better alchemists, the better astrologers, the better Hindus, and the better shamans know that the intense mystic state is readily available on tap through the divine food, manna, bread from heaven, lotus, Soma, elixir, holy grail, divine plant of Mary, alabaster jar, and bowl of mind.
>>Are you living from a condition of seeing through Mr. Hoffman most of the time?
Intellectually, the understanding of the illusory nature of freewill/separate self is always available to my mind, on tap, from memory. The visionary state of loose cognition, with the vivid sense of no-free-will/no-separate-self, is normally not present. Those who have no intense visionary state on tap wish that they could be in an intense visionary state all the time, and unjustifiably, overzealously define enlightenment as entailing such a permanent visionary state.
>>Have you heard of the "Shakti" machine? It's a little machine that duplicates for us hoi polloi the efforts of a Canadian scientist called Persinger, who hypothesises that many "supernatural" effects (UFOs, ghosts, visions, etc.) have been the result of peculiar kinds of electromagnetic disturbances to the brain, that are replicable.
John Horgan's book Rational Mysticism paints a most unflattering picture of the machine. Such a machine would be nice; the closest effective thing we have to it in terms of ergonomics is visionary plants. It would be logical and rational to study visionary plants and chemicals first -- a proven technology for transcendent experiencing -- and then study mind machines.
In newsgroups alt.drugs.mushrooms,alt.drugs.pot,alt.drugs.psychedelics,alt.philosophy,alt.philosophy.zen,alt.zen,rec.drugs.psychedelic,talk.philosophy.misc
Subject: Re: LSD and Ego Death. - Rick Strassman, M.D., DMT The Spirit Molecule, 2001
Sub Zero wrote:
>>This is quite an interesting site to say the least...
Ken Kubos posted excerpts:
> Rick Strassman, M.D., DMT The Spirit Molecule, 2001
> ISBN 0-89281-927-8
> Mystical States Pg. 234-235
> In order to establish the close similarities between spiritual experience
> and what is possible with the spirit molecule, I will first review briefly
> the features of a mystical experience.
> The three pillars of self, time, and space all undergo profound
> transfiguration in a mystical experience.
I applaud this emphasis on the transformation of time as well as self and space. The philosophy of time doesn't get *nearly* enough attention in the theory of mysticism or in the philosophy of determinism.
The initiation experience leads to re-conceiving many things, but most notably time and self-control (self as controller). Lately I'm searching mystic theories for expressions such as "god of time" or "controller of time".
I want to portray the speared liver (such as in Odin, Jesus, and Prometheus) as the time axis killing the ego-as-controller. Can the ego-as-controller create its own future? Not if the future already exists or is frozen into place.
Perceiving time or the future as frozen directly kills ego because ego is considered by the mental model to be essentially a manipulator of one's future. The moment one's future is considered to be frozen, King Ego (an upstart would-be sovereign) is stripped of his scepter.
> There no longer is any separation between the self and what is not the self.
> Personal identity and all of existence become one and the same. In fact,
> there is no "personal" identity because we understand at the most basic
> level the underlying unity and interdependence of all existence. Past,
> present, and future merge together into a timeless moment, the now of
> eternity. Time stops, inasmuch as it no longer "passes." There is existence,
> but it is not dependent upon time. Now and then, before and after, all
> combine into this exact point. On the relative level, short periods of time
> encompass enormous amounts of experience.
> As our self and time lose their boundaries, space becomes vast. Like time,
> space is no longer here or there but everywhere, limitless, without edges.
> Here and there are the same. It is all here.
> Let me tell you why you're here. You're here because you know something.
Ego doesn't really control or change the future, it only appears to.
> What you know, you can't explain. But you feel it. You felt it your entire
> life. But there's something wrong with the world but you don't know what it
> is, but it's there. Like a splinter in your mind. It's driving you mad.
> You want to Wake Up!
Waking up seems like a desirable idea, but we wake up to the frozenness of the future -- cosmic determinism and fatedness. We become dead as metaphysically autonomous controllers, and have to seek some other form of life and identity instead.
>I want to free your mind. All I'm offering is the
> - The Matrix ( Morpheus in the Movie)
> Ken Kubos, Ph.D.
> E-mail: kubos~at~execpc.com
> Web Site: http://www.execpc.com/~kubos/
-- Michael Hoffman/Cybermonk
http://www.egodeath.com -- simple theory of the ego-death and rebirth experience
Mike Anderson wrote:
>You [consider] egoic free will as illusory, [because] the experience of time as "flowing" is itself illusory. ... I experienced ego death quite unexpectedly. The sense of timelessness and "eternity" was extremely powerful,
This is an essential point. Today's uninspired philosophers merely *think* about timelessness and talk about it; in contrast, the loose-cognition state presents timelessness as a forceful, shattering experience, like being crucified in eternity, for eternity, like Prometheus chained to the rock while Zeus' powerful eagle descends from the heavens and consumes Prometheus' will again and again.
The inspired philosopher does not merely *think* or "philosophize" about timelessness, eternity, and ego-death; he *experiences* it, forcefully, even against his will, so that it is experienced as a life-or-death problem and a dire situation demanding a solution with the urgency of an emergency.
Mike Anderson wrote:
>I had a remarkable feeling of omniscience. And yet, ... I cannot myself predict my own future actions, although I should be able to in some sense ... let's say that during ego death I come to the realization that I will raise my right hand in five seconds. How would this square with the very powerful "illusion" that I have the ability, on some level, to then choose NOT to raise my right hand, thus contradicting myself? Is that choice simply not available to me somehow? It seems to be such a "real" choice, it is simply hard for me to accept that I would not be able to make that choice. Would my hand simply raise itself against my own "will" somehow?
Louis Sass' masterpiece of a book on schizophrenia, Madness and Modernism, discusses the paradox of simultaneously feeling omnipotent and impotently controlled from outside the self.
>My experience was a very disturbing one, particularly since my ego did not really understand what was happening. At the time it seemed as if I was dying, and the painful, eternal nature of the experience caused me to believe that I was in fact trapped in "hell" somehow. (I was raised as a Catholic, wouldn't you know). I am eager to re-enact the
experience based on the knowledge that I now have. Do you have any advice to make it less painful/shocking? I am terribly afraid that I will find myself in the same uncomfortable state of mind despite my intellect!
o Egoic free will as illusory
o Time as "flowing" only in an illusory way
o Unexpected ego death, felt as eternal and painful [compare Prometheus]
o The problematic nature of predicting one's choices, perhaps especially during the loose-cognition or ego-death state
>My experience was a very disturbing one, particularly since my ego did not really understand what was happening. At the time it seemed as if I was dying, and the painful, eternal nature of the experience caused me to believe that I was in fact trapped in "hell" somehow. ... I am eager to re-enact the experience based on the knowledge that I now have. Do you have any advice to make it less painful/shocking? I am terribly afraid that I will find myself in the same uncomfortable state of mind despite my intellect!
As an emergency measure, when destructive chaos is a deadly serious threat, transcendently postulate and pray to a compassionate mystery savior outside the system of time, will, and personal control.
The more intellect you bring to the situation, the more forceful is the realization of the insolubility of the problem of control. There is no solution, yet faith in the recovery of stability can happen; producing the rebirth of the illusion of the stable controller-agent -- this is the concept of "resurrection" or "rebirth with and as the mystery-god". You should expect that the loose-cognitive state, combined with reflection on the problems of ego death, will continue to be painful and problematic, even past the tenth significant session. It is a mystery that we can experience such control-instability and die as a controller, and yet re-stabilize and continue to live.
One quarter of the ego system dies permanently after a series of ego-death experiences. The ego system is half illusion, and half of that illusion is delusion when the mind mistakes the illusion for a simple reality. That delusion permanently is revealed and discarded like a child's clothing after one grows into maturity. Thus one quarter of the ego (the gullible delusion part) is destroyed during ego-death.
John Frank wrote:
>I am concerned about intolerance. I often experience loss of ego moments and have listened to heavy mystic-rock for many years. Love the site, it has helped me gain insight into the loss of control I fear and desire. Given today's climate, what can I do to heighten these experiences?
There is an overview at
or slightly better paragraphing at
The latest postings are at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/egodeath. Recent focus is on mapping Christian theology to the timeless deterministic cyber-death experience.
There are some accepted vehicles for the Holy Spirit. Salvia is named for divine salvation.
Verily, Christ lives in the flesh, which we eat, uniting with Him in us, so that we die and are reborn in Him. Amanita is an accepted vehicle of the Holy Spirit -- this is evidently a main traditional Christian sacrament.
Capped nutmeg adds spice.
The Holy Spirit descends in many bodies to bring death to the self-willed self -- the false pseudo-sovereign -- and lift up the spirit in new life in the true Governor. Investigating the variety of forms of the flesh of the Holy Spirit is rewarding. The Anti-Christ has not blocked all paths between the flesh of the Holy Spirit and the mind of the sinner who seeks salvation and reconciliation.
It would also elevate the soul to donate online to relevant philanthropies, made easy via http://www.reformnav.org.
I would also like to upload more lyric explanations and links to purchase songs about mystic-state cyber-control breakdown and transformation. Pink Floyd, "Learning to Fly": "My sole intention is learning to fly" = "My soul in tension is learning to fly." Dukes of Stratosphear has many hyper-60s-style songs with lyrics about the mystic state phenomena.
I can't reply now, so must just confirm for others' posting:
>So, OK then, let us talk about ego death - in so far as this list allows one to talk of it then. Is ego death which is not drug induced allowed on this list?
Yes. Serious on-topic contributions are much valued, regardless of position. I am very pro-debate, unlike common spiritual discussion groups. I get more out of postings I disagree with than most simple agreement.
>Mystics should keep their mouth shut for at least twenty years after their first big experience - for there is more dear Horatio; and a little learning can be a dangerous thing if one assumes that it is all the learning there exists to be done.
That's terrible needless prohibition. People must choose between that view and mine: I say, study and have mystic experiencing immediately and ergonomically in full, and speak richly of it immediately without hindrance. Choose whose paradigm you listen to -- that which is premised on difficulty and long waiting, or ease and immediacy on tap. There is no substantial reason to wait, delay, and silence oneself.
If you like the paradigm of difficulty, waiting, and long silence, you will get your wish for a version of mysticism that pushes away mysticism into a hard-to-attain realm. I define and choose the theory of immediate lightning-path mysticism without delay. The slow path is actually just an excuse for no path; that is, for poor effectiveness.
>>I am a drummer and the guitar posts have no interest to me
Guitar Amp Tone & Ego-Death Experience
For drums, consider:
Neil Peart, Dionysian drummer of Rush
James Arthur, who is Jon Bonham reincarnated and author of http://www.jamesarthur.net and author of the book Mushrooms and Mankind.
Mushrooms and Mankind: The Impact of Mushrooms on Human Consciousness and Religion
by James Arthur
2000. Current rank 58K (popular)
Aaron wrote (paraphrased):
>>As they grow older, many are turning to ego diffusion as an escape mechanism; seeking to lose themselves so they do not have to experience pain or loss. There were some posts about people wanting to live life in an elevated state from day to day and how that was a bastardization of satori/rebirth/enlightenment. Wasn't the practical improvement of life what the Enlightenment era was about? If so, was the Enlightenment a step in the wrong direction?
I'm still reading Nasr's book Knowledge and the Sacred to try to understand why the Enlightenment lost sapiential knowledge. Probably due to a reactionary extremist pendulum swing, overcompensation: "Religion can be abused, therefore, away with all traces of religion and the transcendent." A key clue may be that the earliest scientists were esoteric mystics; the transition from a "Traditional" sapiential culture to flatland modernity with its literalist non- mystic state religion did not happen in one move, but a series of two moves; there was an interesting brief transition period that was both sapiential and modern-scientific.
Early Ken Wilber would say that the Enlightenment was a step forward but something was temporarily necessarily oversuppressed; but recent Ken Wilber would emphasize something equivalent to: the sapiential and exterior scientific-modern threads are distinct threads of development and there was no good reason why increasing modern-scientific consciousness had to result in a reduction of sapiential-experiential mystic gnosis.
My project of systematizing ego death and theoretically explaining ego death in pre-modern mystic-religious systems is essentially a project of synthesis, finally succeeding at the balance of combining enlightenment and the Enlightenment.
>>Is ego gratification as important as ego diffusion? Seeking both is multilateral, not hypocritical.
I suppose, but your usage of terms is unclear to me. It could be interesting to conjecture that today's spirituality is mere degraded ego diffusion rather than ego transcendence. I would have to guess how you are associating the various ideas you mention. I can only guess what you have in mind by "ego gratification".
I abhor superficiality, fakeness, pretense. People should just be real. Americans perhaps in particular are in deep conflict: people both are, and are not, supposed to be proud; are and are not supposed to be geniuses, are and are not supposed to accomplish great things and be great. Too much, we praise great people for being humble, instead of simply praising them for being great -- and genuine. We say "if you are self-deprecating, you are real; if you are proud, you are fake." I don't buy such superficial assessment at all; it puts all emphasis on irrelevant mannerisms.
Best would be for people to be proud in certain aspects and humble in certain aspects, in accordance with reality. Everyone pretending to be self-deprecating only backfires, I'd expect.