["Annatta I": Aryen Hart]
The effort to secure our happiness, to maintain ourselves in relation to something else, is the process of ego. But this effort is futile because there are continual gaps in our seemingly solid world, continual cycles of death and rebirth, constant change. The sense of continuity and solidity of self is an illusion. There is really no such thing as ego, soul, or atman. It is a succession of confusions that create ego. The process which is ego actually consists of a flicker of confusion, a flicker of aggression, a flicker of grasping--all of which exist only in the moment. Since we cannot hold on to the present moment, we cannot hold on to me and mine and make them solid things.
The experience of oneself relating to other things is actually a momentary discrimination, a fleeting thought. If we generate these fleeting thoughts fast enough, we can create the illusion of continuity and solidity. It is like watching a movie, the individual film frames are played so quickly that they generate the illusion of continual movement. So we build up an idea, a preconception, that self and other are solid and continuous. And once we have this idea, we manipulate our thoughts to confirm it, and are afraid of any contrary evidence. It is this fear of exposure, this denial of impermanence that imprisons us. It is only by acknowledging impermanence that there is the chance to die and the space to be reborn and the possibility of appreciating life as a creative process.
Chogyam Trungpa: The Myth of Freedom
I find myself able to "get" that ego does not exist as a solid object, that "I" do not exist, that I am in a continual state of flux. And I get that it is my ego clinging to this false sense of solidity that creates suffering.
But I cannot move beyond the part of my consciousness that sees the grasping of ego and sees through the ego's claim to permanence. Trungpa argues that true egolessness is the absence of the concept of egolessness. In order to truly transcend the ego, we must also transcend the Witness that sees through the ego's false claims.
I've got a long way to go, but working with the sense that I die and am reborn with each passing moment opens up new possibilities for living life as a process of creation.