Finding the Self and Losing the Ego in the State of Pure Consciousness



This chapter focuses on the different but complementary approaches to dealing with ego boundaries in psychoanalysis and Indian psychology. Paul Federn is often credited for introducing the concept of ego boundaries in psychoanalysis. His focus was on ego’s frontiers with the unconscious, where deficiencies in guarding the boundaries against the unruly id impulses can lead to various forms of pathology including depersonalization. By contrast, in the history of Indian psychology, the focus on the ego’s boundaries has been on the frontiers of higher states of consciousness. The Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad, for instance, shows how misconstrued notions of the self keep the ego bounded within narrow confines and suggests that the discovery of the unchanging foundations of selfhood in pure consciousness helps in overcoming ego boundaries so as to rid oneself of selfishness and experience limitless joy and compassion. While the aim of psychoanalysis involves strengthening the ego to avoid pathological consequences of an unruly id, the focus in Indian Psychology is on overcoming the ego boundaries and thereby attaining superior states of being.


High State Indian Psychology Pure Consciousness Connotative Meaning Limited Sphere 
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© Springer India 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Simon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada

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