This is again pretty basic, but a good reminder for me…
Two meanings of the word ego
The word ego seems to be typically used in two different ways.
One is in the western psychological sense, as the software for a (relatively mature) human being. It is an organization of the psyche which allows us to function in the world, with at least a minimum of effectiveness. This ego is necessary, and can be more or less mature and well functioning.
In eastern traditions, it often refers to a sense of I, or a belief in the idea of I. This is the ego that drops away in an awakening to selflessness.
The software reorganizing and realigning
I listened to Spontaneous Awakening by Adyashanti yesterday, and he seems to use the word in the more common psychological sense. The ego, in the sense of the software for a human being, is there before and after an awakening to selflessness. And it may be relatively mature and healthy before and after, or not so mature and healthy before and after.
At the same time, it seems that it does naturally reorganize (to various degrees) after an awakening – it realigns in this new context of Spirit awakened to its own nature. And in this sense, it tends to mature and heal following and within an awakening to selflessness – especially if that maturing is emphasized and encouraged.
Maturing and dropping away
So in a western psychological sense, the ego remains after an awakening – and tends to realign and mature within this awakening, especially if that is encouraged.
And in an eastern sense, the ego is obliterated in the awakening. The sense of I is seen through as only a temporary appearance created by the belief in the idea of I. There is only what is, with no I anywhere. The content of awareness may be the same as before, but the context changes – from a sense of I to a realization of selflessness.