While there are quite a few ways of seeking to conceptualize what the ego-self is, I’d like to offer a very simple, straightforward one.
Ego can be analyzed in the following terms:
- I want.
- I know.
- I do.
The I, apparently static and unified, somehow selects and then identifies itself with desiring; likewise, with the act of knowing; and with the act of doing.
Therefore, the teaching says:
- Desire is the seed of misery. Understand that you lack nothing. Abide as the desirelessness that you essentially are.
- You know nothing. What you are is neither the knower nor the ignorant one.
- You are not the doer. You do nothing. What you are is anterior to doership.
To cut swiftly through all three misidentifications, which are shot through with the rajas guna, the teaching may simply say: “Keep quiet. Just be still.”