Self-Sacrifice Does Not Mean Self-Hatred

I’ve written much lately about how ego sacrifice and transcendence is a common theme throughout religious history, and how overcoming this sense of “self” may be what all the religions are generally referring to in their highest and most exalting revelations and transformations of liberation, salvation, exaltation, awakening, and becoming One/Nondual with God, the Divine, the Transcendent, the Eternal, the Universe/Nature. This is even now being recognized as an effective therapeutic and true discovery process by scientists of the brain and psychology. Our sense of “self” may be the very source and cause of all of humanity’s suffering, estrangement, separation, division, fear, violence, etc. Continue reading “Self-Sacrifice Does Not Mean Self-Hatred”

Ego Sacrifice & Transcendence a Common Theme in World Religions and Science

(This is the conclusion of a series exploring the nature of the human ego in the world’s religions and science, beginning with this post.)

We see this theme repeated over and over again throughout religious history into the present day, from Judaism through Christianity, in Hinduism and Buddhism, in Islam, in Confucianism and Taoism, and even into modern day scientific studies, that the overcoming of “self” or ego is central to our flourishing in an abundance of Life and Love in the world, and in realizing higher Truths that go far beyond our typical everyday minds and consciousness. Continue reading “Ego Sacrifice & Transcendence a Common Theme in World Religions and Science”

The Neuroscience of Ego Dissolution and Transcendence

(This is the continuation of a series exploring the nature of the human ego in the world’s religions and science, beginning with this post.)

“To me, mystical or spiritual experience is what happens when your ego is put aside. Spiritual experience is about a sense of merging with something larger than you. And it’s your ego that stands in the way. To the extent that you can subdue it, or just put it off to the side for a few hours, amazing things happen, and you realize that you are part of a larger energy…”

—Michael Pollan, bestselling author and journalist, from a 2-hour long interview with Tim Ferriss

Continue reading “The Neuroscience of Ego Dissolution and Transcendence”

Ego Transcendence in Secular Science

(This is the continuation of a series exploring the nature of the human ego in the world’s religions and science, beginning with this post.)

In modern times the nature of the human ego has also been recognized by many in scientific disciplines, in psychology and other fields. I described some of this in an earlier post, in the psychological study of cognitive development in children. But what about losing the sense of “self,” the sense of an “I”? Continue reading “Ego Transcendence in Secular Science”

The Passing Away of Ego-Self in Islam

(This is the continuation of a series exploring the nature of the human ego in the world’s religions and science, beginning with this post.)

In Sufism, which is the mystical approach to God within Islam, an “inward dimension of Islam,” there are many teachings about the path of sacrificing and transcending the “self.” There is a purification of the “inner self” that must occur in order to enter into Divinity, into unity with Allah. Sufis believe that they can enter into this “divine presence” during this life. This is done through a combination of repentance of sins, removing evil traits from one’s character, and developing virtues. Continue reading “The Passing Away of Ego-Self in Islam”