I am reading the first few pages of Facets of Unity by Almaas, and am as always very impressed by the clarity of his writing, and the realms he is exploring.
On page 7, he writes about the ego as being developed to compensate for loss of contact with Being (which I understand as human self + soul + Big Mind/Heart, which are all facets of Big Mind).
I am sure it will be clarified further into the book, but for now, I wanted to clarify for myself how I see ego (to more easily modify it as I read on)...
Ego as structure
Ego can be used, in a conventional psychological sense, as ego structures, as that which allows this human self to function and operate in the world. It is the personal voices in the Big Mind process. This form of ego is necessary for our human self to function, and its healing, maturing and development continues before and after awakening to realized selflessness.
To use a crude analogy, the Mars Rovers need software to function, and this software is continually developed and refined to allow them to function in more effective, and sometimes new, ways. The ego is to our human self what the software is for the Mars Rovers.
Ego as a sense of I
The other way the terms ego is used is as a sense of a separate I, placed on our human self.
Spirit, the field of awake emptiness and form, is functionally connected with a particular human self, and forgets about itself as a field, with inherently no center and no I anywhere, and develops a sense of a separate I, placed on the human self.
There is a perceptual center in the human self, and this perceptual center is made into an "I" center.
This is the version of ego that comes from and creates the illusion of I and Other, and creates all the drama, discomfort and stress.
Without it, when the field awakens to itself as a field, there is just awake emptiness and form, with no I anywhere. There is a sense of ease.
Ego structured in different contexts
Going back to the ego structures, and this is what I expect Almaas will write more about, we see that they come out differently depending on which context they are formed, or reorganized, within.
When formed and organized within the context of a sense of I, they are formed within the assumption of separation. They reflect, and operate as if, there is an I as this human self, and Other as the wider world. There is, by necessity, trauma here as well, to different degrees - reactiveness, habitual and obsessive patterns, and so on.
When the field awakens to itself as a field, realizing that there was no I there in the first place, these ego structures are invited to reorganize within this new context of realized selflessness. The reorganization is bound to happen to some extent, and it can be helped along with some conscious alignment with and facilitation of this reorganization process.
It will allow the human self, emotionally and in terms of view, to realigned within a realization of no I anywhere. It reorganizes, gradually and in a deepening way, to all as Spirit.
Emotionally, there is less reactiveness, they give a sense of fullness, and of ongoing support and nourishment. The view functions gradually more transdually, differentiating while reflecting a nondual realization.
And it is certainly also possible for the field to never forget itself as a field, even as it is connected with a particular human self. It stays awake to itself as a field, while the human self develops and matures. This may be more common as humanity evolves further, although who knows.