Ego Death is No Joke: Here’s What Really Happens

Daniel Hannah
10 min readOct 25, 2023

Throughout my spiritual journey, I’ve had some pretty profound experiences. From learning how to astral project to contacting all sorts of entities, some of these experiences have been incredible. In comparison, however, these experiences were surface-level compared to the most real encounter with truth I’ve ever had, ego death: A complete submergence into the currents of consciousness.

My experience with ego death created levels of transformation that I could have never dreamed about. Many years have passed and I still think about that experience a lot, and how transformational it was in my journey of self-realization and personal growth.

In this article, I’m going to tell you all about the phenomenon of ego death. I’m going to share how it works, and what this mystical phenomenon actually means. If you want to read about my personal encounter with ego death, follow the article below. Otherwise, let’s get into it.

Exploring ego death: Understanding the ego

To really get a grasp of ego death, first, you need to understand what the ego is. The way I see it is that the ego is like a plug to reality. It’s what gives you a sense of self, which allows you to experience individuality.

Naturally, we all have egos. It’s part of the human experience. If you didn’t have an ego, you would essentially be a vegetable because you wouldn’t have a sense of self to occupy the body you’re in. You would be as ungrounded as ungrounded can get, because you’re no longer connected to this physical plane.

Your ego exists along a spectrum. The stronger your ego, the more prominent your sense of self becomes (which can bloat to a toxic extreme). The weaker your ego, the more ungrounded you become as there’s less of a sense of self to hold you here.

Too much of an ego and the world revolves around you. Too weak of an ego, and you can’t look after yourself because you’re so disconnected from reality. This is why it’s necessary to have a balanced ego. Ego death on the other hand is a complete loss of ego. This can only be a temporary experience, otherwise, your body wouldn’t have the means to survive without a driver.

To learn more about the ego, follow this link. Otherwise, if you want to learn more about the collective consciousness (what you really are underneath this body), then there’s an article below for that too.

What is ego death?

Ego death is a complete disconnection from reality. It’s a spiritual phenomenon when you detach from your sense of self to experience a complete submergence of the collective consciousness.

When undergoing ego death, every construct that you’re tied to vanishes. You are lost in another dimensional plane, as you completely lose touch with every aspect of yourself and reality. You don’t exist anymore. Reality doesn’t exist anymore. You’re just part of the cosmic rift, and the experience of consciousness experiencing itself.

The experience of ego death can be extremely intense. It can be absolutely profound, but it can be just as horrifying. Ego death is essentially undergoing the death process, and is what I imagine death to be like, so naturally, there will be resistance, fear, and overwhelm before surrendering to it.

What happens during ego death?

If you’re able to surrender to it, ego death offers a window to experience consciousness without experiencing the self. The construct of experience evaporates from its human perception into something much more expansive.

Within this state of consciousness, you are no longer bound by the constructs of our universe such as matter, time, space, or form. Instead, you amalgamate into a singular identity and experience an entirely new dimension of existence, one that’s completely foreign to the human experience.

The lack of separation causes you to experience existence through the lens of the collective consciousness. That means there’s no separation, and that you no longer exist. This oneness of consciousness is often depicted as ultimate reality. You can learn more about this in the article below.

The initial sensation of ego death can be anything from blissful to absolutely terrifying. Depending on a variety of factors, the sensation can accompany an existential crisis and extreme panic. Ego death may simulate a similar experience to physical death, and people will often perceive this process as actually dying.

What does ego death feel like?

Ego death is like opening the curtain concealing the network beneath this universe, and jumping into it. It is impossible to describe the experience of ego death, as the experience is well beyond our realm of understanding. With that said, ego death is probably the closest encounter with truth you can have, at least while experiencing a human existence.

Experiences of ego death may differ from person to person, but the experience is usually akin to experiencing a singularity of incomprehensible magnitude, with all other energy in existence. There appears to be a higher order that is often described as the universal intelligence. Upon awakening from this experience, people usually report feelings of being reborn.

During my experience of ego death, it felt like my consciousness was sucked out of my body and expanded infinitely. There was no me anymore, but I experienced everything in a way that I can’t really describe.

During this experience, there were endless fractal-like patterns, sacred geometry, and a giant pool of raw consciousness which I believe to be the source of all creation. It’s like I was a molecule of water in this infinite interdimensional riptide. I was a part of everything with no sense of separation.

There was a supreme understanding of the interconnectedness of all things, and an unlimited capacity of knowledge that well exceeded our (the physical) dimension of experience. It’s the closest experience I would describe to enlightenment, except you don’t need to be Buddha to experience it.

To learn more about this sacred order in the cosmos that is often experienced during ego death, visit the link below.

Your ego is the cord to the human self

Ego death raises the idea that the spiritual realm can only be reached by the dismissal of the ego. The ego acts as a plug to reality. As long as your ego is present, you can’t reach the next level of existence. This is why people who have very strong egos are also generally the most disconnected from spirituality.

When people experience ego dissolution, they move a little closer towards spirituality. When someone completely loses their ego, their soul leaves their body and enters (returns to) the astral planes. This is why monks and yogis devote their lives to practices of nonresistance and acceptance, to strengthen the bond to the collective consciousness.

Stages of ego death

1) Ego dissolution

Ego dissolution is a partial loss of self. This means that you disassociate from reality, but you’re still here. You still know that you’re alive. You can still think, you still remember who you are, and know that you’re a human living on Earth. But you’re not here completely. Once your ego is nearly dissolved, you will reach a point where you need to surrender to go deeper into the experience. This is where it gets really scary.

2) The surrender

Before leaving your body, you need to surrender to the experience as naturally, your ego is going to resist what it perceives to be death. If you’re able to surrender, your consciousness completely exits your body. You are at the complete mercy of the experience, without the ability to do anything besides experience.

2) Ego death

Ego death is the complete loss of self. You cease to exist, as does this realm of existence. Ego death is very different from sleep or a coma. During sleep or coma, you go into an unconscious state void of experience. During ego death, you experience something much more complex and profound than what you’re capable of perceiving during waking consciousness. You don’t exist, but something certainly does

3) The Rebirth

The rebirth occurs when your consciousness reenters your body, and you wake up from the experience of ego death. The experience of ego death is so profound that upon waking up from it, you feel like a different person. You often have new insights and understandings, and feel reset on all levels of your being.

How do people undergo ego death?

Ego death is a rare phenomenon. Many people speak of ego death as if they’re not feeling their usual self, when this is not the case. Ego death is a complete disassociation from this realm of existence where you no longer have any human sense, memory, thought, or construct that makes you human. You no longer exist in any sense of the word.

If you’re heavily disconnected from yourself, but still conscious in the sense we understand, that’s ego dissolution. Even though ego death can be achieved in different ways for different people, here are the most common ways that people experience ego death:

Ego death via plant medicines

Using psychedelics to achieve ego death has been an ancient practice due to their relationship with consciousness, and their ability to induce mystical phenomena such as rebirth, spiritual awakenings, and divine healing.

The deepest stage of the plant medicine experience induces ego death. When you no longer exist, that is the experience of ego death. You need to go very deep into a psychedelic trip to experience ego death, and it generally only occurs on heroic doses.

Using plant medicines to achieve ego death is like taking the sledgehammer approach to spirituality. This is how my experience happened, but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. I can’t express how terrifying the process of genuinely believing you’re dying can be. If you resist it and there’s too much pressure on you, you can permanently lose your mind this way.

Ego death via spiritual practices

Inducing ego death via spiritual practices is extremely rare, but it does happen. This is by far the most elegant way to experience ego death, but is something that’s only achievable at a level of spiritual mastery.

Some people have experienced ego death through spiritual disciplines such as meditation, yoga, prayer, and fasting. With absolute presence and nonresistance, practitioners will claim that the connection between them and ultimate reality intensifies. If they do it just right, their consciousness may completely disconnect from this reality.

Ego death via a critical threshold of suffering

At times of extreme suffering, people have reported undergoing ego death. This usually happens during a time of someone’s life when their pain becomes too much to bear. So they end up completely surrendering to it which can cause that person to undergo a temporary death process.

Ego death during times of great distress acts as a rebirthing experience. This can happen during a spiritual awakening and allows people to have a new beginning as a spiritual being having a human experience.

The rebirth process through ego death

Due to the potency of the experience, ego death raises many questions about the nature of consciousness. Besides just being an extremely fascinating phenomenon, it can also trigger other spiritual phenomena such as divine healing, and the onset of psychic abilities.

Upon coming back to your body after experiencing ego death, people usually experience a spiritual rebirth. This is known as your second birth where you undergo an awakening process that renews (or creates) your faith in spirituality, as people believe they have been to that place which feels so much more real than reality. The spiritual rebirth renews a sense of purpose, fulfillment, and prosperity.

The rebirth also has the ability to completely eradicate the fear of death. This is due to people believing that they have already gone through the death experience, which makes the real deal much less intimidating. This phenomenon gives you a huge amount of new knowledge and wisdom that can be applied to your life.

How does ego death change you?

My experience with ego death immediately, tangibly, and permanently changed my life. I woke up from the experience with a completely new sense of self. From being incredibly depressed and living a sad life, my experience was ego death was the spiritual wake-up call I needed.

I’m not suggesting that you seek out this experience for the benefits. That can be extremely dangerous, even life-threatening if you force yourself into ego death via psychedelics. But it’s called a rebirth for a reason, and it can be the single most transformative moment in your human experience.

Here are some of the changes people notice after going through a spiritual rebirth experience.

  • Temporary disassociation from your usual self
  • Renewed sense of self (embodiment of the higher self)
  • Complete erasure of your suffering
  • Completely different perception of life and oneself upon waking up
  • Reset your patterns and attitudes
  • Sudden changes in your belief systems
  • A sudden and deep faith in spirituality

Ego death is no joke

Ego death should definitely not be taken lightly. I would say it’s the most intense experience that anyone can undergo. It has a tremendous capability that can’t be fully understood, but the experience must be respected because it is a complete submergence into the infinite.

Spiritual disciplines are like slipping into a warm bath (the bath being the spiritual realm). Inducing ego death is like plunging into the ocean, and some people are definitely not prepared to go that far. Don’t underestimate how powerful this experience is.