We can think of the body as a prison cell, and the ego as a prison guard and prisoner.
"The body is the ego's idol; the belief in sin made flesh, and then projected outward. This produces what SEEMS to be a ***wall*** of flesh ***AROUND the mind, keeping it prisoner*** in a tiny spot of space and time, beholden unto death, and given but an instant in which to sigh and grieve and die in honor of its master."
This wall of flesh, is what we call the body, but it is really the idea of SEPARATION, as a "separation device", just like a prison cell, designed to keep you isolated and cut off from others. The body keeps you IN, and keeps them OUT. It fences in actually a PART of your mind, and fences OUT the rest of your mind.
Now the thing is, what is your RELATIONSHIP to the prison body? If you identify with being separate, special, selfish, alone, cut off, abandoned, lost, lonely, in darkness, hiding from God, small/little, weak/frail, having no relationship, sharing nothing, etc... then you IDENTIFY WITH the prison cell.
When you identify WITH the separation device, you believe you ARE DEFINED BY the separation device. That its truth becomes your truth. And now that means you BELIEVE IN what the prison cell implies about you. And this forms "the ego", or the sense of "who and what I am", as defined BY the separation device.
If you see the body as hemming you in, keeping you separate from others, separating you off, causing you etc, then this imprisoned part of mind sees itself as IN the prison, and this produces a sense of identification WITH the prison (a bodily identity), which is what we generally call THE EGO. A sense of... who and what am I, if it's true that I am defined by this separation device.
This buying-into the body identity PRODUCES the sense of ego self. If it is true that you are a separate body, then it's true that you are unwhole and unholy. If it's true that you are disconnected from the whole by the body, then you are alone. All of this "I am separate" identification produces a sense of a "separated self." A self that WAS whole, which has BECOME separated, only because it sees itself as IN a body.
"This thing you made (the body) to serve your guilt, stands between you and other minds. The minds ARE joined, but you do not IDENTIFY with them. You SEE yourself as locked in a separate prison, remote and unreachable, incapable of reaching out as being reached. You HATE the prison (body) that you made, and would destroy it. Yet you would NOT escape from it, leaving it unharmed, WITHOUT your guilt upon it. But only thus CAN you escape. The home of vengeance is not yours; The place you set aside to house your hatred is NOT a prison, but an ILLUSION OF YOURSELF."
"Freedom must be impossible as long as you perceive a body as yourself. The body is a limit. Who would seek for freedom in a body looks for it where it can not be found. The mind can be made free when it no longer sees itself as in a body, firmly tied to it, and sheltered by its presence. If this were the truth, the mind were vulnerable indeed!"
"To hold a grievance is to see yourself as a body."
"See yourself as bound, and bars become your home. Nor will you leave the prison house or claim your strength until guilt and salvation are not seen as one, and freedom and salvation are perceived as joined, with strength beside them, to be sought and claimed and found and fully recognized."
"Listen to what the ego says, and see what it DIRECTS you see, and it is sure that you will see YOURSELF as tiny, vulnerable, and afraid. You WILL experience depression, a sense of worthlessness, and feelings of impermanence and unreality. You WILL believe that you are helpless prey to forces far beyond your own control, and far more powerful than you. And you WILL think the world you made directs your destiny."
"Be free today, and carry freedom as your gift to those who still believe they are enslaved within a body. "
"The ego is idolatry; the sign of limited and separated self, born in a body, doomed to suffer and to end its life in death."
"Our upside-down perception has been ruinous to our peace of mind. We have seen ourselves in a body and the truth outside us, locked away from our awareness by the body's limitations."
"The gap IS little. Yet it holds the seeds of pestilence and every form of ill, because it is a WISH to keep apart, and NOT to join. And thus it seems to give a CAUSE to sickness which is NOT its cause. The PURPOSE of the gap is all the cause that sickness has. For it was made to keep you separated in a body which you see as if it were the CAUSE of pain. The cause of pain is separation, NOT the body, which is only its EFFECT."
"In Heaven God's Son is NOT imprisoned in a body, nor is sacrificed in solitude to sin."