What is Ego death?

Re: LK, what is Ego death? It’s when one of your most fundamental mental models fails, resulting in big consequences that can’t be ignored.


Personally, I think it’s a bit optimistic to assume that the ending position of grieving is always better than the starting position. We can categorize pathological grieving processes by which quadrant the person ends in. (NB: This is now Aeolitalk.)

Ending in Quadrant I indicates eustress.
Ending in Quadrant II indicates resentment.
Ending in Quadrant III indicates brokenness.
Ending in Quadrant IV indicates resignation.

Anything but eustress is a form of distress. The x-axis could also be termed Accomodation/Assimilation(+), Disappointment(-). I mean accomodation/assimilation in this sense:

Assimilation is how humans perceive and adapt to new information. It is the process of fitting new information into pre-existing cognitive schemas.[14] Assimilation in which new experiences are reinterpreted to fit into, or assimilate with, old ideas.[15] It occurs when humans are faced with new or unfamiliar information and refer to previously learned information in order to make sense of it. In contrast, accommodation is the process of taking new information in one’s environment and altering pre-existing schemas in order to fit in the new information. This happens when the existing schema (knowledge) does not work, and needs to be changed to deal with a new object or situation.[16] Accommodation is imperative because it is how people will continue to interpret new concepts, schemas, frameworks, and more.[17]”


So, resentment and brokenness both indicate failures to discard the old understanding and navigate the new reality with a new understanding (i.e. an improved set of mental models).

The energy axis could be renamed Libido(+), Depression(-). Brokenness and resignation both indicate failures to reignite the desire to live and thrive. I’ll explain my theory on that in a different post as part of the series on mitigating the infrastructure damage from balkanization.

Anyway, tl;dr- Ego death is a form of grief (a shock, followed by denial, followed by outrage, -> bargaining -> depression -> testing -> acceptance) where you’re grieving that you’ve been so wrong for so long and have to start over and probably make penance.

About Aeoli Pera

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2 Responses to What is Ego death?

  1. Ophiucuck says:

    Pretty much

  2. Pingback: Generation Clocktower goes silent (for once) | Aeoli Pera

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