As the exploration of the Self is reaching deeper levels, and the awareness extending, the role of the EGO is inevitably coming into the surface. What is it exactly and why do we have it?
My approach I wish to examine this topic is through the spiritual lens, from the point of view that our aim is to become ONE with the Universe, and how the concept of EGO provides a paradox to that matter. So do we need it or not?
Social Contracts requires each person to take up a role to be useful for the society for example a teacher, a student, a doctor etc. But going further there are other roles, which provide another layer or scale to this segment, to be a mother, a father, a daughter, a son. Roles with culturally defined obligations. These two layers have already determined the individual in a certain kind of box and cultural norms have a strong force to push the person into a well-walked path into a behavior pattern which has existed and seen before and attached strongly to it. That is how the daughter starts to behave just like her mother, and the teacher starts to teach the same topic to their pupils exactly the same way as all the others. The role became a second skin, and without questioning people growing into the shame of a concept. But that concept is not just tasks and obligations anymore, but contains all the shadow habits picked up on the road, which all turned to unchangeable behavior patterns, while the real Self is slowly put to sleep.
But before the EGO get the perfect bad reputation, there is another side of it.
Ego also works as a pattern-recognizing system to comparing those patterns to each other to help you navigate. The same way as the EGO learns what to do in the role of teacher or mother, it also learns who or what harms you and records an image into your defensive system for further recognition. It is the survival mechanism. The snake's bite causes death so people take necessary caution for every single creatures what even just a little bit of a reminder of that snake. And if we want to go deeper, it has to be noted that the danger of the snake is so deeply implanted that even a new born baby has the awareness of it. Does that mean that the 'danger pattern' of the snake is genetically coded to human? Who knows? But it shows one thing for sure, that EGO have a necessary part we need for survival. It creates patterns, categorize actions, people, things and sort them in order to help you navigate your life with ease. You know that if you get close to something or someone, which will cause you harm, you will avoid it in the future, and if an event cause you happiness and prosper, you go forward to it. So it seems all good. Or not?
And that is where it got tricky. You experience an event what cause you enormous harm, but instead of proper investigation of a real cause, you define the whole event as a damaging one. And the entire situation will go down to the restricted zone, and you avoid everything what could even just remind you of it, and you limit your area of experiment as well. You throw the baby out with bathwater.
Or on the other side of the scale when you experience something cause you happiness, and you start blindly bond yourself into it without recognizing, that a certain addiction took place and you numbed all your other senses.
According to my point of view, and it is just my humble opinion, I would say that EGO is a great tool if you can use it what is it for but not more. It can help you navigate and draw a map, but it should not be the commander who deny access from learning or force you behave in a certain way because of you identify yourself with the role and take that role so serious, that the masks became your skin.
After all the real Self is the one you will find, when all the masks have fallen down, when you dare to face your fear, analyze them, take them into apart and learn that damn lesson about their working mechanism, and their roles. That is the method what will expand your horizon, instead of limiting it, and that is the way what leads you towards to alignment with the ONE to the entrance gate of your real Self.