Abstract and Keywords
To introduce the Handbook and the range of hypo-egoic phenomena that it represents, this chapter describes the psychological roots of egoic and hypo-egoic functioning, drawing on theory and research in philosophy, psychology, cognitive science, and neuroscience. Two forms of self-processing—self-as-subject and self-as-object—are first identified and functionally described. The chapter then describes how these self processes offer humans a mental model of ourselves, others, and the world that allows us to represent or simulate reality as we perceive it in the present, the remembered past, and the imagined future. Though a major evolutionary achievement, the conscious self model becomes a liability when people overidentify with its inherently self-centric functioning. The chapter introduces the concept of hypo-egoic functioning, describes its nature as currently understood, and provides a glimpse of the multidisciplinary scholarship that has begun to explore this phenomenon and its various expressions.
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