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Death of the Ego, Fear of Death | The Truth Is You

Death of the Ego, Fear of Death


One of the "goals" often touted in "enlightenmenty" talk is getting to the situation where you have allowed your ego to die. Letting go into some perfected relationship with what is without the interference of habits or assumptions. I am of the opinion that this is ultimately impossible. We can get snatches of time spent with "just this", in moments where we reach the state of consciousness we encounter in deep dreamless sleep while conscious and awake. However, we are still dealing with the sub-set of reality that the vehicle of our bodies can perceive. Leaving that all aside though, I think there is a kernel of fear at the bottom of this quest.

One of the things that every person gets to grapple with at some point is the presence of their own mortality. The fear of non-existence, often called death. In some sense, death is the final "let go." All of what we think of as life is released. We move from here into... who knows? It's that final unknown which stirs our bowels with an icy grip. The question we cannot answer. What happens next?

I think that seeking the "ego death" while living often comes with the hope that we will then know what death is, and it will no longer be a threatening mystery. As if somehow, having "died to our self" in the here and now, we no longer need be fearful of the there and then.

Every quest has a reason. It's an intentional act to seek. If your reason for seeking is one of fear, then that fear is what you will carry with you for the whole journey. There can be good reasons for keeping fear close, but for my money knowing that you are doing that is better than not. So, this is something to think about. What lies behind the striving of letting go into ego death? Could it be a fear we are not willing to face? If that's the case, the the resolution of that quest is not ego death, but rather it's facing our fear and not letting it drive us anymore.


* The term "enlightenmenty" was coined by my friend Tim. It's a word that captures the type of wording used when speaking about lofty spiritual matters. I think it's a grand term because it makes no assertion for being the final word on enlightenment. It allows the matter to be held with less seriousness. I am a big fan of that! Try it on for size. You might like it!

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Leave A Reply (2 comments so far)

  1. Sarah Friesema
    5 years ago

    … It’s that final unknown which stirs our bowls with an icy grip…. perhaps "bowels" and not "bowls"?

    • Travis
      5 years ago

      Good catch, Sarah! Edited. Thanks! 😉