What is ego? In an enlightenment context, the word ego refers to a deeply ingrained, unconscious, compulsive, and mechanical need to remain separate and superior at all times, in all places, under all circumstances. Ego is expressed as an irrational refusal to say yes to life, to love, and to God—to an unconditionally positive relationship to the human experience.
The true face of ego is rarely seen for what it is except at those brief moments when you have recognized something as being absolutely positive, wholesome, and good, and are compelled to respond, to say a wholehearted yes to that which you have recognized. It is only in those moments that you come face to face with the force of a powerful inertia within you that blindly resists, defies, and denies that which is radically positive. This is what ego is: that immovable stance, deep in the human heart and mind, that irrationally resists any call from within or without to embrace the greatest goodness. When we aspire to evolve at the level of consciousness, to live a spiritual life, to become an enlightened person, we open our hearts to the thrilling possibility of something so inconceivably glorious that it's just too positive for most of us to bear. And it is only when we dare to even consider saying yes to this highest good that we will experience this kind of profound confrontation with our own self—both with the anti-evolutionary force that exists in all of us, and with our normally untapped potential for extraordinary developmental leaps.