How do I overcome my shameful egotistical neuroses when it comes to reading?
For example, reading some philosophy and I imagine a wiser, more articulate version of myself dictating it. Or reading a moving poem and thinking of my friends and acquaintances reading it as if I was the poet who wrote it.
Don't bother trying, I'm not sure if it's possible without insane willpower.
It's easier to feign it by blocking yourself off from other people. Nobody can tell you you're a self absorbed prick asshole if nobody is around you, and you can more easily ignore your own glaring personality problems.
It's not shameful nor egotistical. It's merely a natural projection of yourself onto the work. It's unavoidable as long as you associate yourself with your own thoughts, as most people do. Does it make sense that a different voice would dictate philosophy to you?
Even when someone else is speaking, it's your interpretation of what they say, you can't receive their message purely. In the end you're receiving the message through yourself, even though it came from another source. This is along with your perception of where that person stands in comparison to you (seeing them as wiser, for example).
I get the same thing OP
My current strategy is this, whenever I have these certain egotistical thoughts, I stop for a second and think 'okay, your little fantasy is over, time to get back to reading'.
I imagine it a bit like baseball, with the thrown balls being analogous to the thoughts one's mind presents. Some thoughts are the thrown balls that one wants to go for, and one swings for them. The shitty thoughts like the egotistical fantasies, one just don't swing and lets them fly by. I found that actively fighting and resisting the thoughts to be of no help, and instead a passive acceptance of what they are works best.