The 'I'-thought is a mistaken assumption which has no real existence of its own. It can only appear to exist by identifying with an object. When thoughts arise the 'I'-thought claims ownership of them - 'I think', 'I believe', 'I want', 'I am acting' - but there is no separate 'I'-thought that exists independently of the objects that it is identifying with. It only appears to exist as a real continuous entity because of the incessant flow of identifications which are continually taking place. Almost all of these identifications can be traced back to an initial assumption that the 'I' is limited to the body, either as an owner-occupant or co-extensive with its physical form.
- Advaita philosophy