The ego, as defined by a simple google search is “a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance.”
Many philosophies talk about ridding the self of ego, but to lose one’s self worth- or self esteem is not the actual intention behind that quest for removing the ego.
If we fixate ourselves on having no self-esteem or self-importance, we are still clinging to the fact that we have no self-esteem or self-importance, and that clinging is the ego.
To have or to not have is not the ultimate goal of liberating oneself of the ego, or of any other mind-matter. It is to exist with of an awareness of the ego, but not to be part of it. The Self can observe the fluctuations in ego, it can watch, as if tides of the sea coming and going.
It can be aware, yet not take part.
The ego is responsible for the sense of “i-ness” the thoughts that make us think we are good, bad, strong, weak, ugly, beautiful, talented, useless.
It is also responsible for a sense of guilt, that we have done something wrong. The reality of these feelings are that they exist as something we have learned, when as children we are scolded for certain behaviour, or praised for another.
In later life if we are scolded for doing something “wrong” we are merely recoiling at the possiblity of getting hurt, either physically or emotionally.
Guilt should not be our moral compass, it just indicates what we learned to be good or bad throughout life.
We are perhaps just as damaged to go in the opposite direction, to feel a sense of vindication or guiltlessness. Again, our ego boosts us far above the reality of the situation, that we are the heroes, when in truth we are merely the observer.
So ego is neither good nor bad, it just is. We can better spend our time allowing the observation of things, and watch as the changes pass over us, and not allow them to become us.