Why are we so afraid to lose our Ego?
Updated: Jan 17
When I talk with clients about a quiet mind and what that experience entails, I find that I am often met with fear and outright resistance.
What is fascinating is that each of them understand the significance of being controlling by the often hurt, wounded, irrational aspects of our ego, the subconscious mind.
Yet still there is a fear of losing it.
While the ego is essentially us it is understandable how losing ourselves would cause this reaction. Yet in many of my clients they have reached a place within where they are moving away from the hurt ego and have established a healthier inner partner as the subconscious healed from past negative experiences.
So why the fear?
Is it just fear of the unknown? Of losing themselves into some cosmic consciousness with no individual identity?
Upon reflection, I do feel the twinge of losing who we are as individuals. While it sounds wondrous to become part of a loving, eternal ground of all being, I can't help but hear a little voice that says, "What about me?"
I have been focused on inner parts healing for over 25 years yet still occasionally feel the back and forth immense inner joy and outright terror of death.
When I am coming from my egoic self there is that same fear I feel from my clients. The terror of absolute emptiness and ending. For me, this fear is an absolute reality. It is what I experienced years ago after returning from a week in Ojai listening to J. Krishnamurti's talks and dialogues.
As anyone who has spent time with illumined beings knows, the mere presence has a profound effect upon our psyche. In this case, I was also deeply moved to inner exploration to delve into what Krishnamurti was expressing.
When I returned home the change within me had been profound.
Lost all interest in watching TV, in listening to music, in other daily activities. I still functioned at work but had a whole different perspective.
The ego in me had temporarily lost control.
I was living in that stillness, that silence that Eckhart Tolle so wonderfully calls the Presence.
I had been in the process of building a stone patio, and while I continued that work, there was an entirely different perspective. When searching for the next stone to place onto the sand, I would just look at the stones and know which one to choose. It showed me that you could still function but from a different awareness.
This continued in me for about a week.
And then one night, lying in bed listening to the sounds of the night, I felt an increasing rush of energy rise within me. As it grew in strength it became a feeling of fear, then terror, and increased into a sense of absolute and complete horror of death, of non existence, of total and complete annihilation. I saw a pit blacker than I could have ever imagined for it was palpable fear opening up beneath me. Like a black hole in space opening to tear me apart forever.
And in this rush of energy for self preservation and survival, I was pulled back from the edge of this abyss and popped, literally felt like I popped, back into my old self.
I was back firmly in my egoic self, shaken by the experience of impending ego death.
It took me several days to understand what had happened.
That the utter terror my ego had about destruction caused it to fight for its very survival. And it won. Temporarily.
Years later, after addressing my emotional issues and essentially reclaiming my more authentic self, I understood the ego as that powerful inner protector that we all have since birth. Deep within our reptilian brain resides this presence to protect us.
And it did its job, from its perspective.
But I had also showed this part of me that healing brings new perspectives, insights and awareness, and that the ego can transform and become healthier and more open to deeper inner work and that presence.
But in that moment of impending ego death I came to understand the resistance we have to losing ourselves.
I know now that if I had been able to move through that black hole I would have emerged changed and closer to what it took me years to rediscover. But that experience taught me the value of emotional growth work, so it was the lesson to needed to learn and prepared me for my passion work today.
So when my clients show fear of losing themselves into some greater Presence, regardless of how kind, loving and utterly amazing that is, I have a greater understanding from where that fear arises.
So let me leave you with these questions.
How were these amazing beings like Echhart Tolle, J. Krishnamurti, Jesus, Buddha and many more transformed by their experiences?
Were they totally connected and lost into this Source, or did they still retain some essence of individuality?
More next time....