The ego's not a bad thing. It's necessary. We need to have something to work with-something to grow from. Our ego gives us each a unique playing field for life, where we can learn and create and evolve.
The problem is that we think it's all we are. In reality we are far, far more. And less too. We all have a true inner self-a part of our being that can't be diminished or exalted by possessions or circumstances and has nothing to do with our likes and dislikes. It's not determined by our history or our attachment to material and emotional things. The true self is that part of us that's connected to all other life and yet is distinctly us. We don't often see it; it's frequently overshadowed by the big, noisy, dramatic false self (the ego). But sometimes we get glimpses of it through conscience, acts of altruism, and moments of joy. Mostly it is revealed in times of deep suffering.