The Eastern world has numerous ideologies and concepts, where religions like Hinduism hold something for everyone, including the atheists (Samkhya). However, as the ages moved on beyond the time of the Rishis who channeled such deep philosophies, the light became dimmer as these ideologies moved down the line further away from those who perceived this information. Many Hindu/Vedic terms lost their meaning, where many words lost their true essence to meet the demands of the mundane world. As an example, the word Dharma has yet to be properly defined in Hinduism, though there will be many who counter-argue (all coming up with different interpretations). As Buddha Shakyamuni taught his way of life, calling it the "Dhamma", in fear of conversions, the Hindu priestly caste began to express that Shakyamuni was teaching a different Dharma, where Dharma ended up being synonymous with term "religion". Especially, since these countering religions do not stress the importance of the Vedas, to the priestly caste who profit from the ritualistic Vedic practice, such countering teachings were corrupted forms meant for outcastes (untouchables) who are too "filthy" to read the Vedas. Therefore, such beliefs lead to the idea that Buddha Shakyamuni was an incarnation of Visnu, who came to help lower castes from falling further (Srimad Bhagavatam), though my sentiments believe that such was solely done to stop conversion to a religion that lacked a caste system. Interestingly enough, Buddhists do not believe Buddha Shakyamuni to be Visnu, nor does the concept of Ahimsa (non-violence) seem to be a Hindu one where the Vedas stressed conquering of neighboring tribes (Ashvamedha which was also done in the Ramayana) and animal sacrifice (Yajur Veda), though Hindus have sought to own the concept. It seems that it was only after Asoka the Great where Buddhism reached the ruler-ship of the extensive Indian (Mauryan) empire that Ahimsa was politically practiced (I could be very wrong here), and the size of the empire only reached that extent while Asoka was still a conquering Hindu.
Hence, spiritual terms and concepts have evolved over time, where such evolution has caused differing interpretations. It is important to note that one's interpretation is expressed through the numerous religious and societal programmings that filter one's outlook and experiences and can potentially inhibit grasping the true essence. As an example, many will be triggered by my prior paragraph, particularly Hindus (as I was in restructuring my own programming), but really, that attachment to an "identity" as opposed to truth, or even the ability to ask these "dangerous" questions, is where the ego becomes faulty.
It was only through my experience of ego-death, that I began to understand what "ego" truly implies. A concept that is thrown around in spirituality to mean, "arrogance" by individuals who have this corrupted ideology of "humility" provided by religion, where "humility" implies a subservient attitude as opposed to using one's gifts to better humanity. Hence, "humility" should be the ability to properly express one's own strength, one own God-Self, without deterring others, another spiritual term gone awry.
My experience of ego-death left me feeling expanded, completely lost to my individual self. I couldn't remember my name, my gender, prior memories, and when they did began to sprout through fearful efforts where I thought I was losing my memory, it was like a Van Gogh painting-mirage showing me the illusory nature of what we deem to be "reality". From this experience and seeking thereafter, I began to realize that the world of form-tangible, is simply a result of the intangible realm of Spirit flowing through all. Nonetheless, thereafter experiencing the limitless, I began to understand how I perceive this "reality" through limitation, where I perceive as a male (not female), as an Indian (not any other ethnic), as an American (not any other nationality), etc. All of these expressions are limitations to the unlimited, this is our ego-identity.
Using the law of attraction, instead of seeking the new job or fancy car as depressingly propagated by many "teachers", I sought Higher Self, which led me to understanding my own intuition and the ability to filter through these "teachers" to find one's that fit my own resonance. Not one of the teachers that I would recommend to others would bash the "ego", but teach transmutation to liberate the ego attachments that no longer serve us. Nonetheless, these teachings of bashing the ego run rapidly through spiritual ideologies, and really sounds like an excuse to point the finger elsewhere (dualist concepts of separation) as opposed to owning one's own bullshit.
In definition, the channeled entity Lazaris describes the ego as the part of us that lost connection with Spirit, and has tirelessly attempted to support us. Hence, fear is simply a faulty protection mechanism where our ego was really trying to protect us from further harm based on its experiences (including past lives embedded in our subconscious). It is the child trying to figure out the world on its own, without proper guidance. Its done the best it could given the delusory circumstances we've all been plagued under creating suffering (the veil of maya in the age of Kali Yuga, the age of rapid wisdom). Panache Desai expresses similar sentiments, where without our ego, we would lack a personality, given that our programmings would all be cleared and there were be no need for expression. Hence, there is a reason for our individuated existence, for the infinite would not be infinite without each of our expressions and experiences. Therefore, the concept of being a drop attempting to return to the vast ocean is flipped, where the ocean requires the drops to be the ocean, and more esoterically, the ocean is within the drop. Our individuated ego expressions is simply a way for the infinite to get to know itself, hence, there is relevancy to all of our experiences, expressions, and limitations. They are relevant, something those that bash the "ego" are trying to negate.
In Saiva, the trinity would be Shiva (Father), Shakti(Holy Spirit/Shekinah), and Jiva (Son). Jiva is the individuated soul-expression, or jiva-atma, where the soul in the body and great spirit is compared to the Upanisad concept where the air inside of the jar is the same as the air outside of the jar. This is a way to connect to the infinite, but the jiva housed in the jar (ego-identity) is still Shiva, for the universe was created for Shiva's (ours; Shivoham's) delight. We created these limited expressions because these are the movies that we would like to watch. Just as every television show or movie may show you the vastness of human expression, not all of it is relevant to what we would like to experience (We don't attempt to watch every movie/show possible, but only those that are relevant). The same applies to our Jiva-Atma, our individuated-expression, though we can tap into the infinite to recoup, bring forth higher wisdom (Akashic Record), etc., our experiences are not meant to be completely absorbed into the infinite, but to have relevant expressions in our Jiva-Atma experiences. To think otherwise appears to deny the purpose of our individuated existence.
Overly educated and continuously exploring and revealing more behind the veil.
"It cannot be too highly emphasized that the mystic swims in the same waters in which the psychotic drowns."
-James Wasserman, The Mystery Traditions