The ego is like an image projected on a screen, similar to what they do in a drive in theatre. As soon as the machine is turned off, the image dissappears. Stepping out of mind, the ego dissappears, similarly. As soon as the mins becomes active again, the ego pops back into existense. The mind thinks that it need identity, something to identify w. It casts around desparately, and creates the ego, and fills it like you blow up a baloon. Deflate it, there's merely a 2 dimensional film left. Deflation hurts like hell, can feel like death. After yrs of ego identification, it's totally automatic.
I like the way Ramana Maharshi has said it:
“It is the same in the case of the cinema. The screen is always there; the pictures come and go, but do not affect the screen. What does the screen care whether the pictures appear or disappear? The pictures depend upon the screen. But what use are they to it? The man who looks only at the pictures on the screen and not the screen itself, is troubled by the pains and pleasures that occur in the story. But the man who views the screen, realises that the images are all shadows and not something apart and distinct from the screen. So also with the world. It is all a shadow play,” said Bhagavan.
Those who know their true nature, which is analogous to recognizing that you are the screen, stay conscious of their true nature even while engaged in the world; they are no longer fooled into believing they are isolated and separate individuals. They see the changing nature of the world of form (the images on the screen) and no longer get "lost" in that world.
All that said, though, it's not necesarily bad to have an ego. It may be necesary in order to accomplish things.
No, it's not a bad thing. Ego is only troublesome when it is mistaken for what you are. While engaged in the world ego is certainly a useful tool, but when it isn't needed those who consciously abide in their true nature very easily let the ego drop away.
Yeah an ego ain't a bad thing,,it's how most of us experience consciousness,, or "ego consciousness".
Yes, ego is one way consciousness experiences itself as form. What most people overlook is the formless nature of consciousness, and they end up remaining identified with the limited expression of consciousness as ego. It is that limited expression that isolates itself from all else, and that is the "dream" that one awakens out of when true nature is realized.
Ego is not an enemy; too many people turn it into an enemy and attempt to "kill" it, which is a fool's task. Only an ego would attempt to get rid of ego; it's an impossibility. What's necessary is to see/realize the illusory nature of it, to see it for what it actually is, a concept, a story being played out in the mind because of habit and conditioning.
I suggest checking-out a wonderfully loving fellow named Mooji
I agree - Mooji is great. I'd also suggest Adyashanti as well. He has a great website with lots of free stuff, and there are numerous youtube videos of him out there too. Adya has some guided meditations that help people learn to "be still" so that true nature can be recognized. These meditations aren't formulaic, where you have to follow some prescribed technique like saying a mantra or visualizing something. Instead, they are ways to release all efforts to achieve something, to get "somewhere", or to understand some concept.