Buddha on Ego ("I am")
- To say that the mind, or the mind-objects, or the
mind-consciousness, constitute the Ego; such an
assertion is unfounded. For an arising and a
passing away is seen there; and seeing
this, one should come to the conclusion that
one's Ego arises and passes away.
It would be better for the unlearned worldling
to regard this body, built up of the four elements,
as his Ego, rather than the mind.
For it is evident that this body may last for
a year, for two years, for three years, four,
five, or ten years, or even a hundred years and
more; but that which is called thought, or mind,
or consciousness, is continuously, during day
and night, arising as one thing, and
passing away as another thing.
Therefore, whatsoever there is of corporeality,
of feeling, of perception, of mental formations,
of consciousness, whether one's
own or external, gross or subtle, lofty or low,
far or near; there one should understand according
to reality and true wisdom: "This does not
belong to me; this am I not; this is not my Ego."
[To show the Egolessness, utter emptiness of existence,
Visuddhi-Magga XVI quotes the following verse:
Mere suffering exists, no sufferer is found;
The deed is, but no doer of the deed is there;
Nirvana is, but not the man that enters it;
The Path is, but no traveler on it is seen.]