It seems as though we have to battle the ego in all things. It seems as though the ego is a 19,347th degree black belt in cosmic jujitsu. Even a master the likes of Chogyam Trunpa (Tibetan Buddhist teacher) has used the description; "The problem is that ego can convert anything to its own use, even spirituality." The problem, as I see it, is calling it a problem. Better stated is; the DYNAMIC is that ego can convert anything to its own use, including spirituality.
Something as sophisticated, complex and fluid as the ego would seem to have a divine purpose. The level of intelligence and multifaceted interaction it engages in would point to a possibility this is true. If so, isn't it time to acknowledge its purpose? It's "perfect" resistance to a reality that there is a God? And if something is performing its function perfectly, acknowledging that perfection would seem to me a cessation of hostility towards it.
Understanding the ego and its function allows me to see a reflection of myself. If the reflection is one of self-indulgence, greed, insecurity, avarice...well, isn't that a good thing? But Pat, Pat...you don't understand! The ego contorts the picture so that we aren't seeing ourselves that way! Okay, fair enough. What comes next? Usually conflict in the form of Life (people, places and things) pushing back on the individuals projected image of themselves. And the individual "selling out" to maintain that projected self-image. (by "selling out" I mean the individual doing anything and everything to convince you of something they themselves don't truly believe) If an individual is in a constant state of conflict something is going to give. A mental breakdown, an addiction, bizarre behavior...humans can only manage so long before the inconsistencies of self take their toll.
So, ultimately, the ego did its job. The pain, suffering and/or humiliation incurred was simply the road needed to convince the individual that though they are a wonder, so too are those they interact with. Overcompensating because of low self-esteem is an idle pursuit. Seeking validation from the car you drive to the clothes you wear (and a hundred other things) is as pointless. It seems possible, without the ego, we might never come to such a conclusion. To me, that's no problem at all.
Update: Woke up this morning to see this on AOL's scroll. Went to youtube and sure enough, there it was. As classic a case of entitlement as one could ever witness. An ego out of control. Watch.