You keep implying we're not who or what we think we are.
Yes, not what we seem to be. It's all icing on the cake of self-deception.
So we can change the picture by thinking differently about it?
That might change an attitude and make us more receptive to change, but assertions alone don't do the trick, don't change the tangible and intense feeling of who we think we are.
What happens if we slice through the cake?
A deeper level of the cake likely reveals our deepest dread, that at the core of ego-mind there's only emptiness, that its whole makeup is a mirage of sorts. What a vulnerable condition that would be, what an unacceptable contradiction, and what constant uncertainty that would produce.
And that's it? Sounds like devastating would be a better description.
Yes, pulverizing. But when the dust really settled, then what?
Perhaps our separation from Self would be so clear, so vivid, that we
would be overwhelmed how Self is never separate from us. Perhaps, with
barriers down, with reluctance removed, we would be so overcome by the
Beloved's presence, by awakening's sweetness, that we we would happily suffer whatever necessary for
greater closeness to Self alone.