Egoic Trances

Have you ever found yourself drawn into a movie so much that it seems as though you were actually there? Where you have literally been part of the action, even though your body was still sitting in front of the TV or in a movie theatre? That’s usually considered a hypnotic trance.

In Falling Into Grace, Adyashanti suggests that the storytelling mind can easily put awareness into an egoic trance. It is pretty easy to be drawn into your mind’s stories (last week’s show), just as easily as you can be drawn into a good book, movie or TV show. 

If you think of awareness as being aware of the raw information coming in from your senses, then only being able to be aware of the story inside your head is an egoic trance. Literally, your ego (your concept of who you are) has managed to hijack your awareness so completely (into the story your mind has going inside your head) that the story is literally all that exists for you in that moment.

Think of someone so mentally ill that they walk down the street having a conversation with someone who is not physically there. They might be replaying an old scene inside their head and have lost touch with physical reality. You may have done this yourself, to a lesser extent, when severely stressed and you found yourself replaying an event and thinking of all the things you could have or should have said. 

An egoic trance – where your mind has told you a story that seems so true that you believe it and live it – overrides the raw awareness of your being and leaves you just as hooked into the story as you were into the movie and its hypnotic trance.

There is spiritual danger here. By allowing an egoic trance to take hold, you remove yourself from reality, or as Eckhart Tolle would say, from the present moment or the ‘Now’. You become unaware of things as they really are because the story has literally taken you over. Eckhart Tolle might also say that the ‘pain body’ has taken you over when your mind tells a story so enthralling that it puts you into an egoic trance.

Hear the show replay here: