The Pea is Called the Ego Identity
The true identity will expose the false identity, the personality. So the death experience is needed to see the true identity, which in turn will reveal the false identity, what most people call “myself.” There are many other levels. When you ask people “What is your self?” they respond according to their level. At the surface level someone will call their card-holder identity “myself.” If someone is at the body-image level they will call that image “myself.” If you are sensing your body at a deeper level you will call those sensations “myself.” There are many other levels. If you pursue this question of who you are, what is your self, you may discover that none of that is really you. But to know that, the true identity must be there, to make the contrast. Then we can directly experience the very subtle psychological identity, which we call “the pea.” Everyone has a pea. The pea is what is called ego identity in psychological literature, and in spiritual literature it is called “the ego.”
Diamond Heart Book Two, pg. 57
When the Mind Defines What is "I" We Have a Fake Center
So when you say, “I,” it is always the Absolute saying it. No one ever says, “I” without it being the Absolute saying it. The “I” is always uttered by the Origin. No one can say, “I” except for the Origin because of the mere fact that there is only one thing. If you really understand Holy Truth, you understand that there are not two, that duality is an illusion of the egoic mind. You might not be aware that you are the Origin when you utter the word, “I,” but nonetheless, it can only be the Origin that is saying “I.” We have a case of mistaken identity when we take the “I” to be something that our mind defines as us. When the mind defines what is “I,” we have a fake center, a superficial center, a fabricated center, which we refer to as the pea. That is the normal identity, the identity of the personality, which functions as the center of our lives, of our actions, of our experience. We may feel that we are at the center of our experience, but for most people, that center is the ego identity. When we see through this, we initially realize our center to be the Point, the Essential Self. (See Almaas, 1996.) Then we see that the Point is nothing but the reflection of Being in the mandala of appearance. To put it another way, the Essential Self is nothing but the appearance of Being when you see it in everyday life. When we see this, we become more awakened to the nature of Being, and progressively let go of our subtle concepts until we realize Being’s absolute nature. Then we know that we are not connected to the Origin; we are the Origin.