Ego Dissolution: Understanding Self-Dissociation

You may have had an experience where you feel yourself disassociating from reality. Whether you’re going through something, practicing a spiritual craft, or taking a plant medicine, ego dissolution can be a disorienting feeling, but it also opens a space for huge levels of growth to occur.

Ego dissolution is the experience of temporarily feeling disconnected from your body, and losing a sense of reality. This phenomenon ranges from a subtle feeling like you’re not fully here, to feeling like you’re completely losing your mind.

It doesn’t necessarily sound like a good thing, but this experience actually opens up a space for some transformative experiences to occur. Let’s look at why.

What is ego dissolution?

Ego dissolution

Ego dissolution is a phenomenon when you temporarily disconnect from your ego, which leads to a loss of self. In this sense, you become ungrounded as you perceive yourself and reality through a different lens. It’s that feeling when you think ‘man life is weird, what on Earth am I doing here?

Imagine that you’re living your life from a 1st person perspective. You’re so ‘in it’ that there’s really no narrative. But you may have experiences where you start to disassociate, and that first-person perspective becomes a third-person perspective.

Suddenly you’re experiencing your self through a different lens. You certainly don’t feel your usual self which raises questions about the nature of your consciousness.

Your identity becomes what you associate with

The ego is your sense of self. It’s the I, or me that separates you from the fabric of nature by giving you a sense of individuality. Having no ego would mean that you’re not a separate entity at all.

You identify with your thoughts, memories, personality, beliefs, ethnicity, the jobs you have worked, the experiences you have had, the people you meet, the music you like, and the shows you watch. That conglomerate of associations is what creates your sense of identity, and that’s exactly what the ego tries to reinforce.

Often, we start to believe that we are what we associate with. But that’s the humbling truth of experiencing ego dissolution. None of that is you. You are consciousness, and everything else is just a mask. There is always so much wool blanketing the true self, that in general, we never really experience it. To learn more about the ego, follow the link below.

What happens when you start losing your ego?

Naturally when your ego dissolves, so does your sense of identity. Everything you know becomes a foreign subject. This loss of individuality increases feelings of connectedness with the universe as your psyche transitions into a collective of nature. This can lead to some interesting states of consciousness.

During ego dissolution, you are still conscious. You still have a sense of separation and identify as an individual, but that sense of separation lessens. If you were to go much deeper into this sense of disconnection from self, you would experience ego death. Ego death is a complete loss of self, and submergence into the collective consciousness.

What does ego dissolution feel like?

When you start losing your ego, everything that you identify with is stripped away. This phenomenon can be disorienting, but it can also be relieving as it provides a different perspective to view your life experience. Ego dissolution is characterized by:

  • Feelings of disorientation
  • Sense of alienation
  • Unfamiliarity with oneself
  • Changes in thought processes
  • Changes in perception and outlook of life
  • Sense of disconnection from your body
  • A sense of being more connected to a deeper part of oneself
  • The nature of existence becomes more philosophical

Why ego dissolution creates a window for personal growth

Ego loss artwork

You may experience ego dissolution from events that push you out of your normal headspace. When you enter a space that becomes more attuned with spirit and less with self, you temporarily exit your normal mind. This often happens because you become very present. You’re not thinking about things, you’re just being. Therefore, your sense of identity lessens, because you’re not reinforcing it.

The psychedelic experience also has a strong connection with ego dissolution and ego death. During any sort of psychedelic trip, ego dissolution is a fundamental part of the experience. This is why psychedelics have such an enormous healing potential, they force you out of your normal patterns and programs.

When big sudden and unexpected life changes occur, it forces people to really question their lives. Your wife or husband leaves you. Your employer lets you go. The landlord wants their house back, and suddenly your entire, familiar life caves in.

Part of your identity is tied to that partner, to that house, to that job. So when these aspects of your identity are suddenly taken away, you’re forced to take a long hard look at yourself. Likewise, when you live a lifestyle where things are constantly changing, naturally, your sense of self is going to weaken because there’s no stability, thus no reinforcement of self.

Your identity is malleable

Usually, we feel pretty secure in our identities because they’re all we’ve ever known. They’re our houses, but what happens when your identity becomes dislodged from your consciousness, and suddenly there’s a new space to fill with experience?

This is why ego dissolution creates a unique window that allows you to experience yourself from a completely different perspective, where you are temporarily unbound from your identity and the patterns and programs that are associated with your sense of self.

Ego dissolution is valuable because it opens a window for self-transformation, and grants you an unbiased view into who and what you really are, where real change and transformation can take place. When you become dislodged from your personal reality, this is where the most potential for growth lies.

You are forced into an extremely personal journey. You start to redefine who you are, what you like, and what happiness means to you. For once, the framework of your identity becomes malleable, and you are able to mold your identity much more quickly.

You can identify programs, patterns, and insecurities that have remained hidden from conscious attention. Ultimately, ego dissolution is an extremely intriguing and insightful experience that can help you understand yourself, and begin making changes for a better life.

How you can leverage ego dissolution

During ego dissolution, you become unstuck from your sense of self. This means that you become more malleable because you gain a subjective 3rd person perspective into who you are, rather than an objective 1st person perspective.

When experiencing these states of consciousness, you tend to ask more questions. These can be really important questions that snap you out of your patterns and force you to really question things. Some questions might be:

  • Who am I and why am I living this way?
  • Why do I do the things I do?
  • What really makes me content in this present moment?
  • What gives me a deeper sense of fulfillment in life?
  • What is really holding me back from having the life I want?
  • What other states of consciousness can be achieved?

If you’re experiencing ego dissolution, use it as an opportunity to question the nature of your reality. By doing this you can gain new insights and perspectives that can greatly benefit your life. Don’t be worried about the experience because you will feel like yourself again. But encourage the transformative process to occur while you have this window.

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