We have a sense of I-ness that has remained unchanging throughout our life amidst the changing states of body and mind. That unchanging-I is the consciousness portion of the ego-I. But the ego-I does not remain in this pure consciousness form, but identifies itself with some state or the other of the body and mind, as in “I am tall” or “I am fat” etc. (in identification with the body) and “I am happy” or “I am afraid” etc. (in identification with the mind or thoughts). The “I am” portion in “I-am-this” or “I-am-that” is the consciousness, the “this” and “that” being objects.
So, our body and mind (read thoughts) are as much objects for consciousness as other bodies and things in the world. But our ego-I identifies with the body and mind and confounds one’s body and mind to be the subject or I, rest of the world being made up of objects. This is false subjectivity because one’s own body and mind are as much objects as anything else in the world, the real subject being consciousness per se, by which and to which are revealed the objects of the world including one’s own body and mind.
Thus, the real-I is the consciousness per se, the knowing principle or knower, and the ego-I springs into existence in a thought form when the consciousness identifies itself with body and mind as in “I-am-this” or “I-am-that”. But it is not very hard to see that one’s own body and mind are objects and not subjects because they are revealed as changing entities to an I-ness feeling that we know and feel has remained unchanged throughout our life, right from our childhood to adulthood. This unchanging-I is nothing but consciousness, or pure consciousness if you will because it is distinct from body-consciousness and thoughts-consciousness.
So, the true subject is consciousness, which is our true identity, and not the body and mind. Consciousness does not change. What changes are body and mind. Whenever we attribute any change to ourselves, it is the changing states of body and mind that we identify with and think that “I have changed” though our feeling of I-ness is not affected by such ascriptions through thought. Hence, the clue to the fact that we are only consciousness and not the body and mind is the unchanging-I we feel we are throughout our lives.