Ego Death

In thinking about the ego and death, you can think about the body surviving the ego or the ego surviving the body.  Thinking about the ego surviving the body is a popular way to think about an afterlife.  If your ego cannot imagine a world without itself, it would think of an afterlife where it can go on being you without all the problems associated with the body. You can imagine floating around in a world full of pleasures and devoid of pain.  You could also imagine more realistic visions of your death. You could imagine dying and getting all the loving sympathy of everybody in your community. You could imagine the people who treated you badly feeling remorse. You could imagine people you like and love being so sad that you are gone. You can imagine all kinds of loving attention being bestowed upon you after your passing. Feeling satisfaction in imagining that, is all ego. That is an ego’s ideas of a body’s death.

You can alternatively imagine the ego dying and the body living. When the ego dies, you will see that all those people who you love and like, love and like you too. You see proof of their affection in everything they do. Without ego, you can see that the people who treat you badly are suffering badly, but, because you have no ego, you take no pleasure in their suffering. In life after ego, you recognize the joy associated with being in a body.  Problems no longer stick to you without the ego grabbing on to them. When the ego is gone, you are no longer concerned about what others think of you, because you don’t even think of you. You just bop along in the present moment, doing what needs to be done, happily.

Thinking about death can help to put your life in perspective. Imagining the world without you is nearly unimaginable. It is natural to imagine that what you think of as you will somehow survive your death and be at peace. It also possible to imagine the opposite, that what you think of as you will die and your body will go on living and be at peace. For now, we are alive. We can imagine anything.


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