The Ego is the Greatest Self-Deception!

Even when old and sick, the wise Elder Khemaka spoke these wise words &
thereby made himself and 60 listening Bhikkhu friends awakened Arahats! 

"Friends, I do not speak of 'I Am' as inside form, nor do I speak of 'I Am'
as outside or apart from form! I do not speak of 'I Am' as within feeling,
nor do I speak of 'I Am' as outside or apart from feeling! I do not speak
of 'I Am' as within experience, nor do I speak of  'my self' as outside or
apart from experience! I do not speak of 'my ego' as being within mental
construction, nor do I speak of 'my self' as outside or apart from mental
construction! I do not speak of 'my ego' as within consciousness, nor do I
speak of 'my self, ego or identity' as outside or apart from consciousness!
Friends, although the concept 'I Am' has not yet been eliminated fully by
me regarding these five clusters of clinging, still I do neither regard any
among them, nor within them as 'This entity is what I am... This is my ego!'
Friends, even though a Noble Disciple has broken the five minor mental
, eliminated the five lower fetters, still, regarding these 5 clusters
of clinging, there remains in him a residual conceit of conceiving 'I Am',
there lingers a subtle desire for possessing a core ego: 'I Am' and there
hangs on a latent tendency to construing or contriving 'I Am', that has not
yet been uprooted! Sometime later, while he dwells contemplating the rise
and fall of the 5 clusters of clinging: 'Such is form, such is the originating
cause and ceasing of form. Such is feeling,
such is the originating cause &
ceasing of
feeling. Such is perception, the originating cause and ceasing of
perception. Such is mental construction, such is the originating cause and
ceasing of mental construction.
Such is consciousness, such is the initiating
cause of consciousness and
such is its ceasing! As he dwells thus seriously
contemplating the rise & fall in these five clusters of clinging, any residual
conceit 'I Am', any remnant desire to conceive and deposit 'My Ego', and
any latent tendency to construe a fixed and stable identity as 'My Self',
that had not yet been uprooted, becomes uprooted & eliminated completely..."

While the elder Khemaka spoke these words, he and 60 Bhikkhus awakened!

Source: The Grouped Sayings of the Buddha. Samyutta Nikāya III [130-1]
As book:

The causes produce arising when present, while ceasing when absent:
Food, ignorance, lust for form, and kamma causes the body and form.
Contact, ignorance, lust for feeling, and kamma causes all feeling.
Contact, ignorance, lust for perception, and kamma
causes all perception.
Contact, ignorance, lust for construction,
and kamma causes construction.
Name-&-Form, ignorance, desire to be and remain c
onscious, and kamma
consciousness to emerge, when present, and cease when absent.
No ego, self, soul or identity can ever be found neither within, nor outside
these ever changing and incessantly arising and ceasing transient states...

The best way to comprehend No-Self (anatta) is to begin with observing
and reflecting on Impermanence (anicca) and Suffering (dukkha).
Then eventually one comes to understand: Whatever is always otherwise
and never the same, never identical cannot ever be an identity, a self...
Whatever is always ultimately suffering cannot be under the control of a self,
since if it were, then this self would by this control change it into something
pleasant and happy. But no self can do that, since it is not in full control.
If a self is not in control of even itself (fully autonomic) it cannot be a true self,
but just conditions that plays out their cause and effects...

The Ego Tunnel - Prof. Dr. Thomas Metzinger TED video:

More on this deepest self-deception: The conceit that 'I Am' (Asmi-māna):

Without any Ego!

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Updated: 25 February 2012