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Egolessness: Possible?

consciousness psychology ego mind philosophy

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#1    ava1enzue1a

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 08:41 PM

Contrary to certain arguments, isn't it possible to be egoless? First, a description of "ego" found here:

Quote

Ego is essentially a conceptual, conditioned form of self: a collection of images and ideas, reinforced by the tendency to separate from the rest of life... it's a mechanism... it's neither good nor bad, it just IS.

There are of course arguments out there (including what is mentioned in the above link) that suggest it is not possible to be egoless, such as:

Quote

The Ego is an essential mechanism that enables us to exist as physical human beings. Aspiring to be Ego-less is like aspiring to be a body-less human being.

Or this example:

Quote

To imagine that one can function without ego is really just more ego (the spiritual kind).

With that in mind, however, if ego is the "I" perspective, essential for having individual "experience", then isn't it possible to be egoless e.g. via lack of consciousness/sentient through things such as seizures and comas, where there is no "I" perspective? Or "lost time" such as those of people with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), as another example?

Upon further reading though, I may already have answered my own question, at least partially:

Quote

...[the ego] never goes away entirely, it will always be back.

This would make sense as people are described as "coming to" or "coming back" from seizures and comas. But what exactly is that state of being "under"? Oblivion? Simple "loss of consciousness"? Egolessness indeed? Or something else...?

Thoughts?

Edited by ava1enzue1a, 01 February 2013 - 08:52 PM.

"To imagine is everything, to know is nothing at all." Anatole France

#2    Taun

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 08:57 PM

The only way to be totally egoless - is to die... Or to be a machine...

If a person COULD be egoless, IMO they would lose touch with humanity and could very easily be a very terrible 'thing'... With no sense of "self", you would have no sense of humanity, no connection to others and either be a robotlike follower, or a cold calculating machine....


#3    AsteroidX

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 09:01 PM

Separating ones ego from oneself I believe is acceptable. I cannot think of an example where a person in history did not have an ego. Including Gandhi, Buddha etc. Although enlightened there was still an ego and in there teachings they teach some about this subject.


#4    rimbaudelaire

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:21 PM

 Taun, on 01 February 2013 - 08:57 PM, said:

The only way to be totally egoless - is to die... Or to be a machine...

If a person COULD be egoless, IMO they would lose touch with humanity and could very easily be a very terrible 'thing'... With no sense of "self", you would have no sense of humanity, no connection to others and either be a robotlike follower, or a cold calculating machine....

Consider "HAL" (2001 Space Odyssey/2010): would you argue that HAL had an ego? Is there a significant difference between 'selflessness' and 'ego-less'?


#5    Jinxdom

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 05:06 AM

I believe everybody has an ego but it can be manipulated to be useful or a hindrance. I also see the idea of no ego not meaning actually having no ego but meaning that you know and can see how your ego works and influence it when you want to.

Like the difference between an actor and a person with DID; that a good actor can portray himself as somebody else but still knows he is still himself and a person with DID simply cannot. From an outside view it would be really hard to tell the difference.


#6    White Crane Feather

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 05:27 AM

 ava1enzue1a, on 01 February 2013 - 08:41 PM, said:

Contrary to certain arguments, isn't it possible to be egoless? First, a description of "ego" found here:



There are of course arguments out there (including what is mentioned in the above link) that suggest it is not possible to be egoless, such as:



Or this example:



With that in mind, however, if ego is the "I" perspective, essential for having individual "experience", then isn't it possible to be egoless e.g. via lack of consciousness/sentient through things such as seizures and comas, where there is no "I" perspective? Or "lost time" such as those of people with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), as another example?

Upon further reading though, I may already have answered my own question, at least partially:



This would make sense as people are described as "coming to" or "coming back" from seizures and comas. But what exactly is that state of being "under"? Oblivion? Simple "loss of consciousness"? Egolessness indeed? Or something else...?

Thoughts?
Ego can be dissolved during altered states of conciousness, but you are right, it can only be contemplated after the fact. The experience of ego dissolution can go to memory but during it it is completely impossible to realize. Some consider it blissful some consider it disturbing.

"I wish neither to possess, Nor to be possessed. I no longer covet paradise, more important, I no longer fear hell. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, But I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light.  Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, Consuming myself. "
Bruce Lee-

#7    Jinxdom

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 06:06 AM

 Seeker79, on 02 February 2013 - 05:27 AM, said:

but you are right, it can only be contemplated after the fact.

I don't think that is quite true for everybody. Even as a write this post my mind is asking why I am doing it and if I should. Basically a conversation in my own head. (oh noes I talk to myself I must be crazy =D). I don't need to contemplate after the fact because I acknowledge it before I say things.


#8    libstaK

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 08:36 AM

 Jinxdom, on 02 February 2013 - 06:06 AM, said:

I don't think that is quite true for everybody. Even as a write this post my mind is asking why I am doing it and if I should. Basically a conversation in my own head. (oh noes I talk to myself I must be crazy =D). I don't need to contemplate after the fact because I acknowledge it before I say things.
And WHO in your mind is asking why and if you should?  Could it be an aspect of Ego which is checking to ensure that the mind is functioning in the way it wishes ...

Edited by libstaK, 02 February 2013 - 08:37 AM.

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In you is hidden the treasure of treasures, Oh man, know thyself and you shall know the Universe and the Gods."

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#9    Jinxdom

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 08:53 AM

 libstaK, on 02 February 2013 - 08:36 AM, said:

And WHO in your mind is asking why and if you should?  Could it be an aspect of Ego which is checking to ensure that the mind is functioning in the way it wishes ...

Ego but it sounds less crazy if you just call it a conscience* though :P , that is why I don't think you need to have hindsight to recognize that it is there. Think of it like when you read a book. You hear the words in your head of the words that you are reading(Which btw if you can stop yourself from doing that and picture letters and lines of text as pictures you may accidentally end up speed reading) but it's you.

Now that I think about it a little bit more; if I did on paper it would sort of almost be like automatic writing. Except not a spirit.

And no it doesn't tell me to do anything.

Edited by Jinxdom, 02 February 2013 - 09:23 AM.


#10    Mr Right Wing

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 01:07 PM

 ava1enzue1a, on 01 February 2013 - 08:41 PM, said:

Contrary to certain arguments, isn't it possible to be egoless?

Yes and theres two ways that I know off.

There is the consumption of certain legal substances (legal in UK anyway) which let you experience the loss of self. During the experiences you come to understand how only one thing exists and that its everything including you.

Or you can read up on philosophy such as that covered by Buddhism which if you understand takes you to the same place.

Edited by Mr Right Wing, 02 February 2013 - 01:09 PM.


#11    White Crane Feather

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 01:45 PM

 Jinxdom, on 02 February 2013 - 06:06 AM, said:



I don't think that is quite true for everybody. Even as a write this post my mind is asking why I am doing it and if I should. Basically a conversation in my own head. (oh noes I talk to myself I must be crazy =D). I don't need to contemplate after the fact because I acknowledge it before I say things.
Your ego is not dissolved. Ego dissolution is a very specific state. I'm not talking about when you are normal, I'm talking about an extreme altered state of conciousness. You don't have an internal dialog in during dissolution. Dissolution is usually only available through skilled meditation, OBEs, or mind altering drugs, and in some cases seizures or NDEs. During a positive dissolution experience it can feel like your mind has expanded into everything and you are in and apart of everything. You don't have a sense of self, there is nothing but expanded existence. it's very moving to come back from. It often changes people's lives. Haveing figured out how to create the experience, I have actually have come to appreciate the ego more. It takes the ego to reflect upon the non ego and remember, contemplate, and appreciate the non ego state which of course at that point is just a memory. During a negative ego dissolution instead of feeling you are expanded into everything, it feels like everything has been blasted at you or stuffed inside you. It is horribly terrifying, but yet again during it, you don't know who you are and cannot contemplate what is happening. Only after do you realize you might have been flirting with death. It changes lives to, but it usually scares people straight from using mind altering substances.

"I wish neither to possess, Nor to be possessed. I no longer covet paradise, more important, I no longer fear hell. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, But I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light.  Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, Consuming myself. "
Bruce Lee-

#12    StarMountainKid

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 03:42 PM

I think during meditation one becomes ego less in the sense that thought, memory and experience dissolve and one becomes just awareness with no motivated purpose.

The ego must not exist to be in this state of consciousness. As soon as one realizes this state of consciousness by thinking about it, for example, when the ego returns to regain its sense of self, that meditative state ceases to exist.

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#13    Mr Right Wing

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 04:24 PM

 StarMountainKid, on 02 February 2013 - 03:42 PM, said:

I think during meditation one becomes ego less in the sense that thought, memory and experience dissolve and one becomes just awareness with no motivated purpose.

The ego must not exist to be in this state of consciousness. As soon as one realizes this state of consciousness by thinking about it, for example, when the ego returns to regain its sense of self, that meditative state ceases to exist.

To reach oneness without drugs requires a knowledge of science and philosophy. Only when someone realises reality is just a collection of perceptions do they realise that theres no divide between mind and the thing being experienced as reality. It is one thing.

Edited by Mr Right Wing, 02 February 2013 - 04:25 PM.


#14    Frank Merton

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 04:30 PM

When I look at a rabbit looking back at me, we see two different things.  If I had no ego I would see me as the rabbit sees me.


#15    Mr Right Wing

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 04:37 PM

 Frank Merton, on 02 February 2013 - 04:30 PM, said:

When I look at a rabbit looking back at me, we see two different things.  If I had no ego I would see me as the rabbit sees me.

What part of the rabbit is made out of something other than perception?






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