If there truly is no “I” anywhere, as a segment of what is, why is the belief in it so widespread? And why does it appear to be so difficult to loose it?
There are obviously many aspects to this belief in an “I”.
Partly, it may be evolutionary. It seems that the belief in an “I” belongs to the middle phases of the development of humans, and the same may be true for the evolution of species. And humanity is still a relatively young species.
Partly, it is cultural. We are raised in a culture where “I” as a segment of what is (as a human being, as awareness and so on) is taken for granted. It is hardly ever questioned, and when it is – it is often taken as just a play of words or coming from another set of ideas, not as a direct expression of lived realization.
Partly, it is just habitual. We are used to it. We can’t really imagine anything else, and even if there is a glimpse of something else, it usually remains just a temporary glimpse. And then we may try to get back to it through the idea of it again.
If what is has not awakened to its true nature – as a field of what is with no “I” anywhere and functionally connected with a particular human being – then it is just habitual and natural for us to identify with a segment within what is. That too is just what is, temporarily.