Ego Death and Psychic Development
Ego Death and Psychic Development
Ego death is when a person’s identity is destabilized and decentralized, often. resulting in a period of great change or transformation. When an individual embarks on a process of awakening to their spirit and opening up to their own abilities, it often involves a period of uncertainty where self-identity is put to the test and after a trial, they emerge with a new persona.
Ego death may occur in phases, and there can often be a sense of not knowing which direction to take, or who or what a person truly stands for. It may call into question life purpose, work, relationships, and creative projects, alienating as you do not recognize or identify with aspects of yourself, and living that you once held to be true.
Ego Death in World Traditions
Ego death has been represented in many world traditions. There is satori in Zen Buddhism, fana in Sufism, or the “kiss of the death” in Judaism which all point towards the notions of ego death. It is about letting go of a known state of consciousness and connection to identity of self and merging into a higher, divine one.
An idea akin to ego death also appears in Joseph Campbell’s description of the Hero’s Journey. In the second stage of the journey, the Hero typically needs to “surrender” their old sense of self before they can undergo a transformation. A similar concept may be found in van Genepp’s theory of Rites of Passage.
Carl Gustav Jung (1875 – 1961) was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who was known for his psychoanalytic theories that have had overreaching implications in art, science, medicine, philosophy, and religion. He used the term ego death synonymous with psychic death, which referred to a total loss of the subjective self.
It was also apparent in Jung’s discussion of myths and archetypes. Jung understood ego death as an essential way of transformation of the human psyche, necessary for personal growth. In many spiritual communities, ego annihilation is often mistaken as an end goal rather than a process that one moves through in one’s growth and development.
Ego death or psychic death is a term used in Jungian Psychology, which is related to a transformation of the psyche. Ego death is considered a phase of the surrender of the self. It was explored in Joseph Campbell’s research into the Myth of The Hero’s Journey.
The Id is part of the unconscious mind and consists of Eros (Personification of Love) and Thanatos (Personification of Death), two opposing forces.
Jung viewed the shadow as the dark unexplored aspects of the personality that may only be known through projections. It is what lies in the unconscious and may be accessed in various ways.
Parts of the mind that we are unaware of and that is inaccessible.
That which we are aware of in our mind, which makes up a small portion of our awareness.
A state of consciousness that transcends human awareness, the universal mind, oneness, or zero-point state.
Psychedelics and Ego Death
The trend towards using psychedelics to hack spirituality and experience the dissolving of the identity and sense that connects to the universal sense of oneness. This is largely possible depending on the environment and dosage of the substance taken. The problem with using psychedelics to trigger a sort of ego death is that often it is not in a setting where there is support or context for what is happening. When paired with compassionate and meaningful guides and supports, it can cause pivotal changes, often healing trauma and addiction, among other challenges.
Befriending the Ego
It is possible to work with your ego. There is a commonly held misconception that you must experience an ego death to evolve to some spiritual high ground. The ego is not a dirty word, it is necessary for survival and to move forward with plans and actions in one’s life. It is the kindling that fuels the fire of creative transformation. Without the ego, we would possibly be a shell of a human with no direction or aim.
Rather than seeking ego annihilation as some ultimate litmus test of personal and spiritual transformation, developing a healthy relationship to the ego, one which involves periods of shedding and periods of new growth, is a more empowering view of this process in our lives.
A Psychic Perspective
In psychic terms, and ego death is a process where layers of self held together as identity markers for a period of time, even lifetimes, is peeled away to reveal the new skin. This sometimes turbulent time is coined a growth period, where new information chips away at what was formerly known as truth, and a new reality emerges.
Out of each growth period, there is often a period of consolidation where one’s awareness is integrated, and perhaps abilities are opened wider or become more attuned. Whatever the case, the process of ego death and facing one’s dark night of the soul is a deeply individual experience.
Approaching these more challenging periods with humor and with the company and support of a community, such as a reading or healing circle to witness and hold space, it is possible to surf through.
If you want to explore the psychic tools, meditation, and psychic development, sign up for our Clairvoyant Meditation Free Open House to learn about course offerings. Book a student or professional psychic reading through The Psychic School
Authored by Natalie Colosimo
Natalie Colosimo is a passionate psychic reader who has studied intensively with The Psychic School for several years. Natalie exhibits an innate ability to communicate what she sees using a unique and relatable style.
Natalie refined and developed her abilities through intensive learning readings and healings through The Clairvoyant Training Program and is a graduate of The Clairvoyant Teachers Program. She currently works as a Psychic School staff member.
Natalie will be exploring a variety of blog topics related to all things psychic and hopes to rouse a sense of wonder and curiosity in the unseen world of spirit. Natalie believes that everyone can discover psychic abilities. Everyone can uncover their innate psychic awareness and be empowered to find answers and healing in their lives. She passionately guides and supports others to develop their clairvoyance and seniority.