Remember, nothing you perceive is your own. Nothing of value can come to you from outside; it is only your own feeling and understanding that are relevant and revealing. Words, heard or read, will only create images in your mind, but you are not a mental image. You are the power of perception and action behind and beyond the image.
Q: You seem to advise me to be self-centred to the point of egoism. Must I not yield even to my interest in other people?
M: Your interest in others is egoistic, self-concerned, self-oriented. You are not interested in others as persons, but only as far as they enrich, or ennoble your own image of yourself. And the ultimate in selfishness is to care only for the protection, preservation and multiplication of one's own body. By body I mean all that is related to your name and shape your family, tribe, country, race, etc. To be attached to one's name and shape is selfishness. A man who knows that he is neither body nor mind cannot be selfish, for he has nothing to be selfish for. Or, you may say, he is equally 'selfish' on behalf of everybody he meets; everybody's welfare is his own. The feeling 'I am the world, the world is myself' becomes quite natural; once it is established, there is just no way of being selfish. To be selfish means to covet, acquire, accumulate on behalf of the part against the whole.
- Sri Nisargardatta Maharaj, I Am That
The ultimate bind is that both egalitarianism and egoism amount to the same thing. One is attached to the body, the other is attached to the world.
In a truly non-emanationist model of reality, the ego never really arose, nor can it ever really be killed. It is only recognized for what it is, thus making it vulnerable to subordination to what is essential. When one acts for the sake of the ego, the ego consumes and inflates. The ego is sort of like a tool, in that regard; it can be used to harness and store up energies for a maximum achievement, however, it has very little to offer once it has achieved, and never rests on a sole achievement but always creates more.
Subordinating the ego to what is essential, namely being, is perhaps more realistic than trying to kill the ego. Acknowledging that it exists allows you to stop treating it like an enemy and start treating it more like an inevitable feature of life that can work with or against you, depending on how much you're willing to invest in it.