Great commentary Cabrogal (a girl from Cabramatta??) – where can I get some! Great conversation old head. If ego death is a “curative” factor for some using psilocybin (and other entheogens) might there be a non-drug way of achieving this? The philosopher Wittgenstein, was deeply anti-Cartesian; and it was Descartes “I think therefore I am” (‘Cogito, ergo sum’) that has led to the ego being a central assumption in Western culture, especially under neoliberalism which assumes people are isolated monads (& judges you on what you do, and not on your being). Wittgenstein said the task of philosophy was to sort out conceptual confusions that prevent us from thinking clearly, and Descartes error is central to this. Wittgenstein drew our attention to the 2 ways that we use the word “I”. We use “I” to describe ourselves as an object, as in ‘I have grown a centimetre since I last measured myself’, ‘I have broken my arm’, ‘I have a bump on my forehead’. But we also use “I” as a subject. This is done to refer to our mental states and sensations, such as seeing & hearing etc, and feeling pain. This is where Descartes went wrong, he tried to objectify the use of “I” as a subject. Nietzsche drew our attention to the noun-verb structure of our language, and how it creates ghosts in our thinking, like the “it” in ‘It is raining’; or how we break up one thing into two as in “the lightening flashed”. There is of course no lightening apart from the flashing. So there is no “I” who is thinking, seeing, hearing, etc. It is just a convention of language. In his Tractatus, Wittgenstein says that the ‘I’ who is thinking or seeing (etc) is the world (just as the ‘it’ in “It is raining” is the world). He confirms that this egoless subjectivity is the mystical (of the Lao-tsu or Meister Eckhart variety). Now a number of subsequent Wittgenstein scholars have suggested that we cultivate an imaginary self (or socially construct an imaginary self), but that it has no substance. There is just the narrative of a self. Foucault has one of these in mind when he speaks of the care of the self. However Lao-tsu warns we should drop that readily, with his comment “accept disgrace willingly”. Schopenhauer, who had a strong influence on Wittgenstein, taught that without a self, we were naturally very caring towards each other (cf. Matthew 18:3). Foucault, I think, wants us to cultivate a self based on this more natural way of being. Now I think, for some cases of so-called “depression”, but not all, ego-death is “naturally” occurring. If you look upon so-called “depression” as the ‘winter of the soul’, it makes some sense to imagine that some of our moods arose with the seasons. In ‘summer’ things are rosy as life blooms and buzzes, but it is followed by ‘autumn’ when it goes from being ‘wet and windy’ to ‘fine’ again, sometimes many times in a day. Then in ‘winter’ I retreat into my ‘heart’s cave’ where things ‘crystallise’ as things become very still. Of course ‘winter’ is followed by ‘spring’, and remember the ice-age even had its ‘thaw’. Nature is prolific in ‘spring’, and not everything arising makes it thru to summer. Although I have consumed my share of entheogens in my younger years, I have also experienced my share of ‘winters’, and now see more clearly.