As you close your eyes and try to know yourself, not through thinking or seeking further than what is already here, you will sense a presence of “you” – the one that you are very familiar with. That “one” can only be known by you and felt by you. That “you” is actually a mental construct of ideas – a false self that exists fed by ideas. So long as ideas exist, you can be sure “you” have to be around. In fact, existence can only continues because of ideas.
If you visualize yourself as a form, you can be sure that form in your mind are kept intact by ideas. Just as cells keeps the body intact, ideas keep identity continuing. Ideas or views are fundamentally egoistic as it helps to reaffirm the existence of identity, making the self more real to each moment. Ideas are multidimensional in operation as it is not simply one or two ideas to each moment, rather a complexity of uncountable conditionings of ideas that brings about the realness of who we think we are.
Take for example “table”. The letters t-a-b-l-e is a concept, an idea that has a sound with it. Even each alphabet, “t”, “a”, “b”, “l”, “e” is a concept of its own, having its unique pronunciation sound. Then comes the meaning of table – to mean a shape that is useful for eating, writing, etc. Can you imagine in just a word alone, multiple levels of ideas are existing within it. What about when the word “table” is being put into a sentence. It is impossible to imagine the massiveness of ideas that construct the entire meaning of that sentence. Thus when we think of something, though only for a second or two, that momentary thought has unknown supportive ideas behind it.
Consider the number of years we have lived, the number of months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, seconds – you can now understand how the present idea of who “you” are came to be. There is no permanent entity within it except a continuum of ideas and views. They are seamless and unbroken streams of consciousness perpetuating every moment and thus there is this sense that “you” are permanent, yet it is merely an illusion created by conditioning held fast together by grasping or clinging. Just as the beads in a rosary are held together by a string, clinging holds ideas together and create an illusion of identity making the “you” very real and solid. Behind it all, they are merely a facade of emptiness, devoid of meaning and identity. Yet that emptiness is not empty per se as it is neither a space or not a space – both are merely concepts born from ideas – thus each meaning given to it has not at all transcend what could be possibly beyond the understanding of consciousness. In the same manner, what is beyond the mind or consciousness is neither form nor formless, as both are also conceptual construct of the mind that experiences it.
It is not farfetched to say mind is the ego itself. Yet it is also not entirely true, for to realize the potential of what is beyond the mind, an extra ingredient that must be beyond ego must first arise within the mind so as to enable the initiating of that path. That extra ingredient when manifesting itself in the mind will come in a form of information and from there a new view is created. It is no doubt another view, another idea, yet that bit of information is unique in the sense that it has the capacity of undoing the construction of ego, slowly but surely breaking down the self-cherished meaning of identity. It has the effect of nullifying the existence of ego in a gradual way, only when this beginning information is supported by your own wisdom, having the gut feeling that this is the way out of these dreams of ideas.