What is “ego”? The part that thinks of itself as “I”? Ego is basically a tool for existing in this world. Ego is the tool that we create in order to perceive a coherent world and be able to communicate about it with others, who have developed the same tool, in a coherent manner. It is a perception and communication tool.
Now, why do we associate with it? Or, rather, why do we allow ego to take over and associate itself with the totality of our being? This is the same as if I made a hammer, held it up and say “I am hammer!” and the other hammer next to me would go “Hey, nice to meet you! I am a hammer too!” People who associate themselves with various objects and tools usually end up you-know-where for being incoherent with our common agreement that we must associate ourselves with a single universal tool – the ego. The situation is insane. Well, it is perfectly sane from the point of view of the
hammer ego but it is insane from the point of view of the human being.
We develop a very complicated and beautiful tool, it is a wonder that allows us to talk about this world, have conversations through other tools of the same kind, enjoy all sorts of things and suffer enormously from the hole deep down that keeps reminding us that we are not the tool. Yes, the tool is wonderful, but it remains a tool. No matter how beautiful the tool is we should be able to put it aside at will. Now that we made the tool, the task is to unlearn it, to make us able to put it down and pick it up when necessary.
Now, how does one disassociate oneself from one’s ego?