I gave a live presentation last night, and when the statement, We have to know where the ego came from was made, I did not ask, “Who’s ego are you speaking of?” because given that lack of information, my mind-read was it was being spoken of as “the ego in general,” as in, the overall dysfunctional human condition.
However, if the question was referring to the idea of each person’s individual ego, as if each ego was formed from a different, single, personal, past experience, my comment would be different. If that were the case, then the person making the statement may think that this thing called ego is just the “bad stuff” you don’t like about yourself–and not your very self.
As a newborn, there was no “ownership” or command of the body; this was learned. The sense of the separate body belonging to us, needing protection and movement by us, is acquired for everyone at about age 1.5 years. (Watch the BBC documentary and experiment on the age that self-awareness begins. See more on “the mirror test” here in Wikipedia.) This could be called “ego.” But it is a functional, “egoless-ego,” and is not problematic. It seems actually necessary, for the body to be simply operated, eventually intelligently operated, and kept safe.
Subtly, we gradually come to mistake the body for oneself, and shortly thereafter, language is acquired, we begin to reference ourselves as “I,” and we learn to apply the “I-thought” to our body. After that happens, then of course we believe that all the thoughts attached to the I-thought pertain to us. The I-thought comes first.
Everything else hinges on and relies on the I-thought, like, “I am a good person” or “I am bad person” or “I am an angry person”– and the fiction of the person is born. This is the growth and development of the false sense of self–as thought. Since thought is not actual reality, but imagination that is free to appear to be anything, identifying as the I-thought, we can acquire and release an infinite number of ideas about ourselves.
In truth, this psychological self has no existence beyond the brain barrier; it exists only in your mind. It is like a computer program that has been written over time, and which is continually being re-written, but it has nothing to do with the hardware that supports it, and has no real existence; only a temporary phenomenal appearance.
So there was no moment in time, no single event from which your ego “came from.” There is no event you need “go back” to and heal, to eliminate the ego. All that will do is re-write the ego again. Even the very one that wants to be done with ego, is ego.
There are nice egos, and mean egos, and still, they are all equally ego; a false idea of who or what you are. An ego that thinks it is good will turn bad. But neither are who or what you are, as proven by you witnessing this change. So, you are not who you think you are. Ego is confusion of yourself with thought, body, feeling.
We don’t ever see the ego, because we are looking through and with the ego I-thought, blinkered, blinded, living as if we are something we are not.
If you actually saw the ego, that would be the end of it, because you cannot be that which you can see.
It is in this discernment and seeing, that the illusion of ego ends, like how a snake (which never existed) disappears when you see it is actually a rope.
When you notice that re-inventing your idea of yourself never works, and you get tired of it, then you are getting ready to actually see the truth of what ego is, and that can lead to ego death. Like just once seeing the snake as the rope it is, you can never see the “snake” again.
When the I-thought is seen through, all the rest of the thoughts attached to it fall away. All your ideas of yourself are abandoned. All your baggage, all your stories about your past and future, and all your problems and fears, simply disappear.
Without the fictional story character called “I, me, or mine,” how can the rest of the stories about “I” survive? Without the story of “I” there is no story of “you,” or “other,” and all the baggage and stories attached to “others” also fall away.
It is the greatest loss there is, and the only final one.
If you are ready to be done with ego, take the “Expose the ego” program.