Shankara - On the ego
Type of Spiritual Experience
Atman = Higher spirit
A description of the experience
The truth of Brahman may be understood intellectually. But [even in those who understand] the desire for personal separateness is deep rooted and powerful, for it exists from beginningless time. It creates the notion, ‘I am the actor, I am he who experiences’. This notion is the cause of bondage to conditional existence, birth and death. It can be removed only by the earnest effort to live constantly in union with Brahman. By the sages, the eradication of this notion and the craving for personal separateness is called Liberation.
It is ignorance that causes us to identify ourselves with the body, the ego, the senses or anything that is not the Atman. He is a wise man who overcomes this ignorance by devotion to the Atman”