More reading and reflection has brought some amazing insight into the dissolving the ego issue for me...
As I continually ask myself the question "who am I?" I unearth the deeper truths of what I know. In the tenacity to keep asking the question "what is me?" I inevitably discover more and more, the layers within layers of who I think I am. Leaving only the simple, the mundane, the root or core of the now, and the realization on then knowing nothing...
a great quote:
"Before enlightenment a mountain is a mountain, during enlightenment a mountain is not a mountain, and after enlightenment a mountain is a mountain again."
But in regards to the ego and what it looks like in the here and now, in the duality of time and space, I can only regard it as a very real thing and an intricate and intimate part of who I am. My ego represents my self-worth. The value I place upon myself. It is my ability to utilize this power that allows me to move through life gracefully and in flow.
It is also my guide to attract what I want and what I desire. So why would I not honor and respect such power as a basic element to who I am. Yes, non attachment, letting go, surrender, non doing, all this is an added behavior that develops a life of ease and grace. But included in all that is the ego personality as part of who I am as a person, as part of my character.
This quote from Ramana Maharshi
addresses the issue nicely:
The 'I' casts off the illusion of 'I' and yet remains as 'I'.
Such is the paradox of Self-realization.
The realized do not see any contradiction in it.
My feelings of success come with the continual connect of ego power to a higher power, to all that is and to all that is nothing and so on...the big symbolic circle of LIFE.
Great quotes from Spiritual Enlightenment The Damnedest Thing by enlightened author Jed McKenna.
"The fundamental conflict in the spiritual quest is that ego desires spiritual enlightenment, but ego can never achieve spiritual enlightenment. Self cannot achieve no-self."
on being asked, "You're enlighten but you obviously have an ego. Isn't that a contradiction? Doesn't the ego have to be annihilated to achieve nirvana?"
"Both are true. Yes I have an ego and it looks similar to the one I dropped to, as you say, achieve nirvana. But then I came back all enlightened and everything, and I need something to wear. I look around and there's my discarded ego lying in a pile on the floor, so I slip into it and here I am."