Because the 'ego' and the 'self' are largely linguistic identities, they are actually very poorly developed.

Humans have a very limited self-awareness, and are rather more attuned to the vague ocean of otherness that is living.

This is because any awareness of the self beyond linguistic convention must bring us to the awareness of death.

We flee the awareness of death just as a prey flees its predator.


Perhaps this is why certain spiritual teachers recognise that only at the point of death is anything like a 'self' realised [and also why initiations use near-death experience as a tool to enlightenment].