I suppose the ego came there [into human activity] first as a means of the outer consciousness individualising itself in the flux of Nature and, secondly, as an incentive for tamasic animal man to act and get something done. Otherwise he might merely have contented himself with food and sleep and done nothing else. With that incentive of ego (possession, vanity, ambition, eagerness for power etc. etc.) he began doing all sorts of things he might never otherwise have done. But now that he has to go higher, this ego comes badly in the way.
Sri Aurobindo – Letters on Yoga – IV: CWSA, Vol. 31, p. 217
The ego-centric man feels and values things as they affect him. “Does this please me or displease, give me gladness or pain, flatter my pride, vanity, ambition or hurt it, satisfy my desires or thwart them?” etc. The unegoistic man does not look at things like that. He looks to see what things are in themselves and would be even if he were not there, what is their meaning, how they fit into the scheme of things—or else he feels calm and equal, refers everything to the Divine, or if he is a man of action how they will serve the work that has to be done or the life of the world or the cause he serves etc. etc. There can be many points of view which are not ego-centric.
Sri Aurobindo – Letters on Yoga – IV: CWSA, Vol. 31, p. 228
The ego thinks of what it wants and has not. This is its constant preoccupation.
The soul is aware of what it is given and lives in endless gratitude.
The Mother – Words of the Mother – II: CWM, Vol. 14, p. 257
The extent of your difficulties gives you the measure of your ego.
The Mother – Words of the Mother – II: CWM, Vol. 14, p. 258
The ego is what helps us to individualise ourselves and what prevents us from becoming divine. It is like that. Put that together and you will find the ego. Without the ego, as the world is organised, there would be no individual, and with the ego the world cannot become divine.
On the other hand, everyone knows what egoism is. When you want to pull everything towards you and other people do not interest you, that is called egoism; when you put yourself at the centre of the universe and all things exist only in relation to you, that is egoism. But it is very obvious, one must be blind not to see that one is egoistic. Everybody is a little egoistic, more or less, and at least a certain proportion of egoism is normally acceptable; but even in ordinary life, when one is a little too egoistic, well, one receives knocks on the nose, because, since everyone is egoistic, no one much likes egoism in others.
The Mother – Questions and Answers: CWM, Vol. 3, pp. 240 – 41
It is not the soul but the ego and its pride that feel defeat and humiliation.
The Mother – Words of the Mother – II: CWM, Vol. 14, p. 259
But what we consider here as the true Nirvana is the disappearance of the ego into the splendour of the Supreme. And this way is what I call the positive way, the self-giving that is integral, total, perfect, without reserve, without bargaining.
The Mother – Questions and Answers: CWM, Vol. 3, p. 269
But hidden, but denied to mortal grasp,
Mystic, ineffable is the Spirit’s truth,
Unspoken, caught only by the spirit’s eye.
When naked of ego and mind it hears the Voice;
It looks through light to ever greater light
And sees Eternity ensphering Life.
Sri Aurobindo – Savitri: CWSA, Vol. 33 , Book Two, p. 272