Carl Jung saw the ego as the center of ones conscious awareness.
Based upon our socialization influences and our natural tendency to psychically self-protect ourselves against threats and fears, both real or imagined, Jung saw that the norm possesses an ego that is externally and materially focused. The authentic-self is walled off behind the denied parts of ourselves somewhere in our unconscious, or our “Shadow”.
We unconsciously agree to show the world those parts of ourselves that we find acceptable and Jung termed this part of our ego, the “Persona”.
The ego can become whole, Jung stated, when an experience is of such a psychic magnitude that it cracks our Persona and we choose to “Individuate” instead of continuing to employ the strategies of our False-Self, or Persona.
“Individuation” is a self motivated internal unearthing of our Shadow and then a re-assimilation of our denied parts into our center of conscious. This opens our awareness and increases our ability to accept ourselves and others thereby leaving us true to ourselves and a healthy honest ego. Our fears dissipate and we live more in the moment, not pulled hither and yonder like we once did.
Within the dark recesses of our Shadow, lies our authentic self and along with it our full measure of creativity and confidence. To accept these parts of ourselves back into our conscious awareness, requires much effort, courage and perseverance. The reward is heightened experiences, feelings and ultimately more love.
So the ego is a contrivance unconsciously created by us in our response to our fears and denied parts of ourselves. This would mean that we judged part of ourselves as unworthy and literally sacrificed those parts of ourselves to garner acceptance from others. So, that means the more we attach our happiness and well-being on things outside of ourselves the less happiness and well-being we will experience.
Huh! Who woulda thunk?