Ego – the part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious and is responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity. (New Oxford American Dictionary). Most religious and/or spiritual precepts define our spiritual selves in a wide variety of ways. The spiritual is universal and transcends ego to include greater consciousness. Ego – and here included – is relegated to describe the spiritual which is often ineffable.
The spiritual side of our nature is often left fallow and underdeveloped because our attention is outward in the world of stuff, things and the temporary desires of ego. Meditation and other spiritual practices allow us to look inward and connect with our spirit and allow this part in us to grow and mature.
Many secular people think that the ego must be destroyed to let the Spirit side of us flourish. This, of course, is impossible. We need ego to interface with the politically social world with its rules and meta-rules, and manage the mundane of our lives.
From the point of view of a developed Spiritual Self the ego provides conditions of human existence – or lessons that define the parameters/conditions of having a body and being in a human society. There will always be lessons as long as we dwell in a physical body. This is the good news.
When we accept that the ego will always be there and we develop an ego that has integrity then the work between our Spiritual nature and ego can begin. The friction created between Spirit and ego can be used to help coat our light bodies with more light. This could be called the work of consciousness and transcendence of ego while under the conditions of our physical bodies. Fortunately we return from these higher states of consciousness with more energy to continue the work to let go of the artifices that are ongoing obstacles to the great consciousness.