There is much confusion about this matter of the ego and much looseness in the use of words concerning it. We are told to eliminate the ego and to eradicate the personal self. But the fact is that so long as he is upon this earth he is using a body and a mind and inheriting a whole combination of factors, tendencies, characteristics which have come down from former lives and together now constitute his personality. They will still be present so long as he is alive. To destroy the ego completely would necessarily mean to destroy the physical body, which is a part of it, and to remove his particular individuality which sets him apart from others. This cannot be done, but what can be done is to render the ego subservient to the higher self, an obedient instrument of the higher will.
-- Notebooks Category 8: The Ego > Chapter 1: What Am I? > # 197