"Beyond the illusion of ego exists a deeper conceptualization of self: the universe consists of a swirling, dynamic dance of power-relationships, with the black-and-white construct of the individual giving way to the grayer concept of the individual as a nexus of these connections. No true separation between individual and environment remains. Our consciousness has developed as a tool used by other entities, but it has provided the ultimate tool for our use to which no other nexus has access: self-awareness. The understanding that self-awareness exists to serve the meme breaks that bond of servitude—it acts as the realization of enlightenment. Re-read the last sentence. The individual re-emerges as a discrete point of true awareness—not delusional ego-awareness, but awareness of our status as a nexus in the dance of power-relationships. Every atom in our body changes, replaced with new matter through the course of eating, metabolism and elimination—we literally do not consist of the same substance today that we did last year. At death we remain physically the same structure, but not the same entity. These examples illustrate that we exist as much more than a complex assemblage of particles. Our true substance seems to more closely resemble a hub and relay to vast webs of power-relationships. While we exist in a constant state of physical flux, we remain a stable, self-aware nexus. Coming to terms with our existence merges science and spirituality, leading ultimately down the classical path of enlightenment-beyond-ego. This realization will set us free."
From Jeff Vail's A Theory of Power (Available online here)