When you identify with the mind & body, one is forced to take thought from the mental realm, which in turn creates an ego. Every thought you have is stored away in your memory bank and recalled as proof of there being a personal 'me'. There is not, however. There is just a hard drive with stored experiences on it called memories that we hold within our mind as a mental reality.
"You cannot suffer the past for future because they do not exist. What you are suffering is your memory and imagination" – Sadhguru
An ego is a mind that rises in thought in and of itself due to identifying with the mental realm instead of the Spiritual. It is not inspired nor supported by ones Incarnate Soul (subconscious), Soul or Spirit as the conscious mind (ego) cannot be guided by Spirit unless it is in its temple. If the mind rises in thought, it rises out of its temple. The mind must be still to stay in the temple.
Egoic thoughts are called false images created by a mind cut off from itself as Spirit. False images are a collection of thoughts that form beliefs, ideas, concepts and put together narratives that forms a fictional story through a false identity seen as separate to Spirit.
An ego is akin to Jake Sully believing he is this blue Avatar while forgetting his true Self in tank controlling it. He creates a whole personhood separate to his true Self as a human. Can you see the similarity?
Consider for a moment what you would be if you were devoid of not thought - not mind but the thinking mind. You would have no memories nor expectations for a future. You would be completely in the now as - what? This is what you are here to find out and will find out once you master the art of the meditative mind. Correction - once the art of meditation is mastered. I corrected myself as the you disappears - the false persona no longer exists. In true meditation, it is only the Universe experiencing itself through an avatar.
Understand there is two I am's. I am that I am. I am Spirit that I am mind. If you do not know yourself as Spirit, then you will only know yourself as the one I am which is form and form is not your true Self. It is your avatar, your costume. It is fatal to identify with it. In doing so you will suffer every time a form transforms into something else. You will call it a death and see it as the nonexistence of yourself or a loved one and this is not true.
"Death is merely getting out of one car and into another' - John Lennon.
As Presence - as Consciousness, one can always say I am not this or I am not that, but one can never ever say I am not. One always in all ways is, whether they are asleep as consciousness or awake. Whether they are in form or outside of it.
Disidentify with mind by re-identifying as Spirit. This is done with the non-discriminating mind aka meditative mind, with the cessation of incessant thinking. This is done by being deeply conscious in present moment awareness. Realize one cannot awaken with a thinking mind. The mind must be in a state of being before the true Self is realized.
~ Tracy Pierce