Many people seek out Psilocybin work to experience the well known phenomenon of ego death. Today I want to discuss what that looks like from where I am sitting and shed light on the occurrence in ways that you may not have heard yet.
Before I go into these experiences, I want to talk about what the ego is to me. I never liked the work ego. I feel like it's misleading and it's something most people just want to do away with when they hear the word. I actually call it a persona and those personas are something we should be eternally grateful for. My theory is that when we are children, we create personas to get through our childhood (to survive!). Sometimes we can have one major persona and sometimes we have many, all depending on the severity of trauma and coping mechanisms that were engaged. Let me be clear, we have all been through some form of trauma and most of us are still living from a place of these personas on some level. This does not only apply to severe or obvious trauma. I will lead with some examples of personas:
Example 1: You are a little boy and you were exposed to a verbally abusive father. You create a persona in which you come to the rescue of your mother. You must be strong and rescue the victim/woman in need. You grow up to be very strong on your masculine side, which causes you great success financially, but you are constantly attracted to women who need to be rescued. Ultimately these relationships are not fulfilling other needs for you because you are still acting from a persona, not from who you are as an adult. You are also overly masculine in many ways, shutting down empathy and compassion almost completely as a result. This sounds conflicting doesn't it? Imagine that internal struggle of wanting a strong independent woman to be your partner but you are constantly attracted to one who still plays the victim. And not being able to fully feel love for any of them.
Example 2: You are a woman who was raised by an emotionally distant father and so you attract the same in men as an adult. Who knows, maybe you even land an amazing partner that you end up marrying but he is not in touch with his emotions either. You constantly seek their approval and love on an unconscious level while simultaneously feeling trapped by them because these desires are programmed in, not a reflection of who you are today. You are driven by a persona who seeks to please for affection without recognizing what it really is that you need or want.
Throw the Law of Attraction into this mix and a lot of things start to make sense.
Unfortunately, so many potentially good partnerships end over situations like this. Where you have one partner who is 100% in and the other is on the fence because they don't understand how they could love their partner while at the same time feeling trapped or repulsed by them... while simultaneously being unable to fully commit or separate. It's usually the woman on the fence and the man standing on the sidelines saying "Just let me love you!"
Psilocybin work is great for that. But I digress.
Back to ego death.
I see ego death in two forms. The first is instantaneous. This one is often painful and may include witnessing yourself die or feeling like you are going to die. It forces you to let go of all that you are hanging onto and surrender to the experience completely. I had a participant a few weeks ago who legitimately felt like she was going to die. She requested that I call 911 and told me this was it - she was leaving her body and she wasn't ready to go. Honestly, I don't wish this experience on anyone. I was there with her, deep in it, and I felt the sheer terror and surrender point. Truly, it wasn't a fun ride. In the end she was fine, forever changed, but jeez... No thank you lol. I am sitting here thinking, "why the fuck would you want that??"
The second form of ego death happens over time, with gentleness and ease. This is one I have experienced many times over and I do enjoy the experience. It is also the most common one for people who work with my Medicine. You have a part of you that you no longer need and, in the gentlest of ways, you let go of that aspect of yourself over time, in layers. We are often constantly be shedding pieces of ourselves as we uncover who we really are, we release long held beliefs or false stories, and also through releasing trauma. The gentle way is definitely the way for me!
Have you experienced an ego death? What did it look like for you?