I'm not sure if I agree with Eckhart to 100%. This is my idea of ego:
A man without an ego is like a car without a driver. The driver can be drunk or crazy or full of hatred, but he can also be reasonably relaxed. The ego is nothing you can get rid of, but it is possible to calm down. It is possible to realize that most thoughts, opinions, beliefs, likes and dislikes are nothing but misapprehensions.
Yes, the ego might be a bunch of conditioned responses and in a sense an optical illusion but still, what would you be without it? Where would you go? Would you like to stay in bed for the rest of your life? Someone has to drive the car. Someone has to pick up the kids from school and buy groceries or whatever.
The delusions are like a manuscript to a tragedy. We have always been driven by delusions. When we wake up and realize that the delusions was nothing but delusions, that the play was just a play, we get disillusioned. What will now take us anywhere? Who will now come up with new ideas and make up new plans? I think we need to realize that we need the ego, it may be an illusory ego, it may have been conditioned in a dysfunctional family in a dysfunctional culture, but without it we have nothing. We need the delusions, the matter is what delusions and what manuscripts.
The play is over. We are leaving the theater and stream out to the streets. Tomorrow we are back to work again, caught up in traffic jams and worries about bills we need to pay and lazy workmates. This is life as it is. Welcome to the reality.
What if we blow this little planet to pieces in a nuclear war.
What would the reality be like if no one was there to perceive it? There wouldn’t be any colors and not any sounds. It wouldn’t be hot or cold, good or bad. Just an endless empty space without any quality at all. Isn’t that an interesting thought? We are creating this world with our senses.
The voice in my head can sometimes be immensely nagging, going on and on about something; sometimes like a nagging mother, sometimes like a wino in a commuter train. Shut up for Christ’s sake, I want to get lost in my book! Yap,yap,yap…
What the hell to do? How do you deal with a nagging inner voice? How do you deal with talkative winos in commuter trains when you want to read your book in peace?