Being separate, “I’ is at odds with other egos, each competing for a limited share of food, shelter, power, money, and status.
Because it is so small and limited, “I” is set against the overwhelming forces of Nature. Dwarfed into insignificance by a vast, cold universe, the ego sees its primary task as survival.
In a lifetime, “I” stakes its claim on a person’s likes and dislikes, along with a fund of memories, all aimed at trying to maximize pleasure and minimizing pain. Despite this endeavor, which continues day after day, the ego is haunted by anxiety.
No matter how much “I” acquires in terms of externals, there is an inner sense of insecurity. The ultimate insecurity centers on aging, disease, and death.