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Well... swim did read that the ego is not an innate human characteristic, but a socially constructed one. In other words, one is not born with it, but upon growing among other persons (who has an ego) a child "learns" to have an ego, which is just a pattern of thoughts and feelings.
LSD changes the way the mind works and how it percieve the things, so a tripping person may see the objects melting, for example. The persons eyes are seeing the "real" objects, but due the presence of LSD the way the mind processes the impulses from the eyes gets changed, and so the person gets the subjective impression that theyre melting, for example.
Swim thinks the same thing happens with the percieved ego. Being just a pattern of thoughts and feelings, it gets changed by the LSD experience, to the point it gets unrecognizable, and so the person feels it hasnt an ego anymore. Swim thinks that, being an mental "object" as any other thought, the percieved ego may "melt" pretty much the same way objects seems to do when one is tripping.
(Note: swim is pretty sure pharmacologists, neurologists, or whatever, may say LSD interferes with the brains part that is responsible for the sense of "self", and so thats why one feels an ego-death when tripping. Swim thinks it is only a different way to say the same thing swim said, because ultimately the thoughts and feelings are reflected (cause electrical impulses) in the brain, so having the thought-patterns changed is the same of having an electrical change in the brain.)
SWIM thinks SWIY has a very good point; he had a wonderful trip and things only started going 'interestingly' (SWIM wouldn't call it bad) when SWIM got upset about his recently deceased friend and then came across sober people.
SWIM feels he somewhat validates your point because he, during his trip, didn't really feel like he was where he was, it was almost as if his mind was walking around and his body was elsewhere.
SWIM then preceded to travel for an hour or two trying to figure out who he was and what he was like in society and when SWIM finally 'found himself again so to speak' SWIM felt very tall for his mind has a physical bearing again and it was much further from the ground than he remembered; it was very strong Lucy. SWIM says its very hard to explain and will put up a full trip report soon!
SWIM would love to hear many others opinion on the matter if SWIY knows someone who has experienced or knows alot about ego death.
For SWIM ego death, or ego dissolution, happens on higher dose trips, where SWIM has a realization that he is just a part of the whole, that he does not have boundaries with all other life, including plants and animals. He feels at one with the universe and nature and all the boundaries that exist in the normal world, are just illusions, created by the mind. For a brief period he feels he can understand and relate to anything and everything in the universe. He feels he reaches a point of pure awareness, and he isn't worried or concerned with his present self, but more concerned with collective consciousness and unity.
SWIM very much knows what you mean.
SWIM always reads people as he walks past them, like he understands why they're doing what they're doing, he understands it's their front against something or that they aren't happy.
SWIM also have a wonderful experience in the fields when he was tripping where about 30 birds, most if not all he believes were creations of his mind were appearing out of the long grass and flying around him. He was also surrounded by flowers which he watched grow and weave around each other, the grounds roots growing and expanding whilst the trees bent in different ways the grassy hills swayed and rippled in unison with him.
It was a collective as SWIY mentioned and SWIM did wonder why people would chose to remain in such an ignorant state of sobriety and seperate themselves off from the whole SWIY mentioned.
SWIM really does need to write his trip report.
SWIM thanks SWIY alot. SWIM needs such information to makes sense of his trip and jog his memory into remembering how SWIM felt and what happened in SWIM's trip.
Supposedly the ego is in a particular segment of the brain, and due to LSDs effect of severing communication within parts of the brain ego loss occurs.
Originally Posted by terrapinzflyer
^^^^^^^ would you care to provide some documentation for that? Turtle would STRONGLY disagree with this claim.
Though it's hard to speak of the brain as having separate segments, communicational breakdown may have a lot to do with ego death. SWIM thinks ego death is closely associated with dissociation. Though psychedelics aren't classified as dissociatives, they do bring about dissociative symptoms in high doses. This is a fascinating subject. I would love to see some proper neurological findings on this phenomenon.
Agreed ^ this would be interesting from a neuroscience point of view. That said, swim definitely agrees that it most likely has to do with dissociation, although as nature boy pointed out they are not classified as such they certainly have dissociative effects, especially at the dosages that are causing ego death or dissolution. Swim thinks that it probably has to do with the amount of sensory overload, because when a swimmer takes lsd their brain is more or less bombarded with sensory information (ie visuals, audio hallucinations, bodily kinesthetic distortions etc) and the brain has difficulty differentiating between self and environment, between "real" sensory information and drug induced and what humans experience as a result of this is ego death. Just speculation tho, would love to see more research into the neurology of ego death