Liara: Thanks for the book recommendation. I've seen of "The Tibetan Book of the Dead" mentioned in various other books, but I don't remember reading it myself. I'll check it out though.
Shaden: I hear where you're coming from, and like you I've read some Buddhist books and Eckhart Tolle's "Power of Now" book too, so I think I understand what you're talking about here. However, I wasn't really talking about the "ego" per se, at least in the way it sounds like you are using the term.
I don't know if you like the idea of separating the mind into different parts - some people do, some don't - but rather than focusing on the area of emotions, I guess I was more interested in understanding the area of thoughts and perceptions. Not to get rid of thoughts and perceptions, but just see if it's possible to "step outside" of direct experience and look at direct experience objectively. I know that some people don't think it's even necessary to do this "stepping outside" or make all these splits of the mind, but at least for me, I think they're useful as temporary thought experiments.