Ego Death

What is Ego Death?

Daniela BomatterTeachings

“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”

― Joseph Campbell The Hero’s Journey

There are many definitions of ego, and all the great traditions and teachings speak about ego death or transcendence in one way or another. But what does it really mean to transcend ego? What does it mean to “kill” the ego, and is it even possible?

Andrew Cohen has spent more than three decades looking into and wrestling with this question, both in his own inner experience and through the interior lives of his students. It’s a deeply subtle matter, and it goes to the very heart of the quest for enlightenment.

Every daring and serious seeker will at some point confront this ultimate predicament. In the context of enlightenment, this is the cave you fear to enter – and if you sincerely want to know the truth that the question reveals, you are indeed a brave and rare soul.

In Andrew’s teaching, the ego has two dimensions. The positive ego, which is the coherent, emotionally healthy self-organising principle of the frontal self. This is contrasted with the negative ego – the unhealthy, neurotic, wounded and divided self.

The truth is that enlightenment does not simply depend upon transcending ego. It depends upon the fatal wounding and ultimate transcendence of a very specific dimension of what Andrew calls the negative ego.

In postmodernity, this particular dimension of self has been given an elevated status that is, tragically, creating an almost impenetrable barrier to authentic spiritual awakening or enlightenment for countless people.

This barrier to enlightenment has become a cultural phenomenon. It has stealthily crept into the spiritual conversation, in the process attaining a seemingly venerated and sacred status. If left unchecked and unexamined, Andrew Cohen argues, it will keep us all imprisoned – spiritually unfree – forever.

To discover how a specific dimension of self is keeping you apart from ultimate freedom – and most importantly how it is absolutely possible in this life, here and now, to transcend it – tune in to the next bi-weekly masterclass with Andrew Cohen, live and direct from the Manifest Nirvana campus in Tiruvannamalai.

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