The Psychedelic Experience by Timothy Leary
From the chapter The First Bardo: The Period of Ego Loss Leary says:
"If we imagine history running back in time,
we inevitably come to the epoch of the "big squeeze" with all the
galaxies, stars, atoms and atomic nuclei squeezed, so to speak, to a
pulp. During that early stage of evolution, matter must have been
dissociated into its elementary components. . . . We call this
primordial mixture ylem.
At this first point in the evolution of the
present cycle, according to this first-rank physicist, there existed
only the Unbecome, the Unborn, the Unformed. And this, according to
astrophysicists, is the way it will end; the silent unity of the
Unformed. The Tibetan Buddhists suggest that the uncluttered intellect
can experience what astrophysics confirms. The Buddha Vairochana, the
Dhyani Buddha of the Center, Manifester of Phenomena, is the highest
path to enlightenment. As the source of all organic life, in him all
things visible and invisible have their consummation and absorption. He
is associated with the Central Realm of the Densely- Packed, i.e., the
seed of all universal forces and things are densely packed together.
This remarkable convergence of modern astrophysics and ancient lamaism
demands no complicated explanation. The cosmological awareness- and
awareness of every other natural process- is there in the cortex. You
can confirm this preconceptual mystical knowledge by empirical
observation and measurement, but it's all there inside your skull. Your
neurons "know" because they are linked directly to the process, are
part of it.] The mind in its conditioned state, that is to say, when
limited to words and ego games, is continuously in thought-formation
activity. The nervous system in a state of quiescence, alert, awake but
not active is comparable to what Buddhists call the highest state of
dhyana (deep meditation) when still united to a human body. The
conscious recognition of the Clear Light induces an ecstatic condition
of consciousness such as saints and mystics of the West have called
The Shroomery's Take
"Ego loss"..sometimes called "Ego
transcendence" or "Ego death", is the state of mind when one
temporarily bypasses, sees through, or otherwise transcends the limits
of the ego.
Often this is reported as feeling a loss of
sense of self identity, no sense of time/beginning. A feeling of being
connected with the universe filled with love and peace and everything
being one. The other side of this spectrum could be utter chaos,
depending on your worldview and beliefs.
The ego is the function of the
mind/consciousness that "filters" perceived reality through a set of
pre-conceived notions and assumptions. It's basic function is to
protect the mind/body from perceived threats to its reality. The ego
can be associated with the "beta" brainwave, such as when you are
actively engaged in conversation or doing something physical.
Ego loss, this author feels.. is an inaccurate term. Ego transcendence is a better description.
The ego is not some annoying obstacle to be rid of. It is a tool
for spiritual growth, and has many lessons to teach us. One must not
struggle against the ego, but flow with it, understand it, accept it,
and become one with it. This is transcending the ego.
To go through ego loss, in laymans terms.. is
to transcend the limits of the ego/individual personality, and become
more aware of our existance as eternal spiritual beings.
Discuss at The Shroomery BB
Here's a great thread about Ego Loss