Question: What is the real object and need of painfully building up this sense of separateness, of "I-ness", if as soon as it is established, we must commence to wear it down?
Krishnamurti: There is no need whatever, but you are doing it. Your idea of spirituality, of progress, of achievement, is based on greed, and so you begin to acquire qualities, and hence distinction, which creates the idea of "yours" and "mine". You have your particular type, your particular cravings; your mind is hedged about with barriers set up through your cravings, which are the result of sensation and perception. So, through the painful process of acquisition you create an error, which you call the ego, and you pursue that error for a long time, until you know through living that it is an illusion, that in itself it has no reality whatsoever, and you begin, not to tear it down, but to run away from it.
Early Writings, Volume VII
Talks at the Ojai Camp 1932