To be completely you means being alone. When this is experienced, it will bring very deep grief and sadness. You have to learn to say good-bye to everything you have loved -- not just your Mommy and Daddy, your boyfriend and your cat, but to your feelings, your mind, your ideas. You are in love with all of these. letting go of them will feel like a great loss, even a death. It is not you who dies. What dies is everyone else. In the experience of ego death, you don't feel you're dying; you feel everybody else is dead. You feel you're all alone, totally alone. You have lost a boundary which was constructed from past experiences. But this boundary never really existed! It was just a belief. When you experience reality as it is, there is no sense of boundaries or of being separate, of inside or outside.
Diamond Heart Book II, p. 169
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Experiencing this unity reveals to us that life is beautiful. Prior to this, when you experience yourself moving from the state of the physical or of the personality to the state of the essential or of the boundless dimensions, there is the feeling that life is a problem. The best option seems to be to get away from life, and one may long to disappear or die. From the perspective of unity, there is no such thing as dying, nor of being reborn. There is no such thing as ego death, and no such thing as enlightenment either, since you are already the unity. This is the state of affairs all the time and always -- before you develop an ego, when it is dissolving, and after you are dissolved. All those parts are the unity itself, and so you are not going anywhere.
Facets of Unity, p. 88
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One important thing we see here is that there is no ego separate from the soul. The proverbial ego of spiritual terminology is nothing but the ego-self, the soul structured through ego development. There is no ego as an entity; there is only the soul that can become ego by becoming structured with mental forms. Therefore, the idea of ego death is a misnomer. There is no entity that dies, for the soul does not die. All that happens in such experiences is that an ego structure dissolves, and the soul field is liberated from its influence. More accurately, the soul ceases to structure her experience through these mental forms. This can bring about the dissolution or transcendence of one's identity, but this identity is a feeling that arises from the soul being structured by a particular self-representation. A representation dies, but no entity. Depth psychology itself, as in psychoanalytic theory, does not recognize an ego that is an entity. Ego in psychoanalytic thought is nothing but a mental structure, or a system of mental structures, and the processes and capacities that go into its development and functioning. In fact, some theoreticians consider the ego to be nothing but the organizing process itself. "The basic proposition we wish to develop is that the concept of ego, as it has evolved through its several definitions in the course of psychoanalytic theory construction, has become synonymous with organizing process." (Blanck and Blanck, Ego Psychology II, p. 15)
Inner Journey Home, p. 627
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Beyond this experience, all light disappears, all awareness ceases. There is no perception of anything; there is simply no experience. When the soul is completely concentrated on the absolute there is nothing to perceive, for to perceive total darkness is not to perceive. Light is the awareness that arises out of this total darkness, revealing that the absolute is prior to light, awareness, and consciousness. This experience of cessation is the experience of complete ego death, for it is going beyond the world of manifestation, beyond even awareness of the world of manifestation. There is no awareness of self or soul, for there is no awareness at all, without this being unconsciousness or sleep. When awareness looks out again, which we experience as the return of awareness, the manifest universe reappears. With the return of awareness the logos appears as the displaying of time and space, and all the phenomena of the universe. We are here the absolute, the luminous night, witnessing appearance arising within it, out of it, but we still experience ourselves as the immense stillness and stupendous silence underlying all existence and all appearance. We feel fresh and clear, as if our consciousness has dipped into the cleansing energies of the source, and returned renewed and rejuvenated. This is similar to the rejuvenation we experience after deep sleep, except we are here clear and awake, bright and lucid.
Inner Journey Home, p. 382
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To follow our example, when the soul begins to see the limitation of structure and experiences herself as presence, the structure begins to reveal its nature as a mental construct characterized by past conditioning, ideas, memories, etc. The soul begins to experience an inner emptiness, a meaninglessness, a dread of falling apart, and terror of death and annihilation. These experiences of falling apart or being annihilated actually come to pass as the structures dissolve. The soul experiences disintegration and dissolution, disorientation, and a loss of identity; she feels lost and despondent. These existential crises are actually elements of some stages of working through ego structures that then lead to deeper realizations of true nature, moving to timelessness and formlessness.
Inner Journey Home, p. 231
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The capacity for global disidentification allows us to be permanently in touch with our essential presence, although the identity and the self-representation remains in experience. This condition allows the experience of self-realization to arise, at least occasionally, when the identity relaxes to the extent of total absorption by (or into) essential presence. The more this capacity for global disidentification develops, the more frequent, and the deeper, are the experiences of self-realization. This development continues, in principle, until permanent, full self-realization, where total global disidentification coincides with complete absorption of the self-representation, and complete openness and flexibility of identity. Complete flexibility of identity raises the phenomenon of disidentification to a new level, beyond the normal egoic experience. This flexibility involves the dissolution of self-identity, or more accurately, the cessation of the activity of identifying. This condition, which occurs in isolated experiences of self-realization, but is the permanent condition of full self-realization (enlightenment), is what is referred to by some traditions as "ego death" or "the death of the self." In this state of complete annihilation of identity, one does not have identity in the usual sense; our identity is now with the presence of Being. In other words, our identity has shifted from the self-representation to Being.
The Point of Existence, p. 129
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Looking at the relationship between ego boundaries and our definition of self as we have just done is a way to recognize how deep our defenses go. Resistance operates in a similar way to putting up defenses. Thus, having no resistance and having no defenses both mean ego death at some point—the dissolution of the boundaries that define us as individuals. And we create many other kinds of defenses and walls and hard places to protect ourselves from experiencing certain parts of ourselves and our history. We defend against certain situations, against feeling the implications of those situations and what we perceive about them. So when we perceive something but we don’t want to let ourselves experience what it makes us feel, where does that put us? Immediately we feel we need to defend, to create an inner boundary that allows us to see things without having to feel how they affect us.
The Unfolding Now, p. 55
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