The ego is an amazing construct. That’s all it is, though.
“I” does not exist. “I” is a construct, and we forget that “I” is a construct. It is a convenient fiction that we use to communicate with one another. It is sort of a place-marker as well, a milestone in the old sense of a stone that marked the distance between one mile and another.
Or maybe a better analogy is to say that our ego is a bookmark. Here is where we are in this story, in this place, at this time, but there is story before and story after, and this character is going to be different at the end of this story than they were at the beginning. Maybe not even the same.
Or if the story is a tragedy, or a comedy (which are often interchangeable) the person, that “I,” does not change, does not learn, does not grow, and becomes a sad, stuck being. Or that “I” becomes a comical thing that is most useful as an object lesson, some”one” to be laughed at and not by any means imitated.
So when we become unstuck, and lose track of who we are, this is important, because it reminds us that the “I” who we thought we were is not “I” at all, is not even real in the remotest sense. Every day “I” is a reorganization or a recreation in response to what is happening in the world around us, for the most part. The true “I” is not the ego, is not the being named Harold Dlorah or Debra Sue Eusarbed.
Whatever the True “I” is, we are its expression at a certain point in space and time, in response to stimuli and circumstances. Whatever is experiencing this existence is the True “I” and most often what we feel to be ourselves is not our Self at all.
We apparently need reminders from time to time that we are not who we believe we are, that Harold Dlorah and Debra Sue Eusarbed are only characters in a tale that is still being written and played out on a stage far larger and more complex than we can imagine or behold. And behind every character is the same Author who is not One but Many, and who is not Many, but One and None.
It is wise to remember not to take the ego too seriously or believe in it implicitly, because when we lean in to take a look at it, it vanishes like the magician’s assistant; there but not there. Somewhere? Perhaps? Behind the curtain, under the false floor or reflected in the mirror or, or, or? She was there, now she is not, now she returns again. Where was she?
By going away, she becomes someone else. The magician’s assistant is not the same person who stepped into the magic box; she is changed because she underwent transformation, she was there and not-there at the same time. In a way she is more mysterious than the magician. Who is she? She is the one who was not there, and is there again now; One and None.