The truth is that while men, in our society, are encouraged to have strong egos and to function in competitive, aggressive, intellectualized modes that may indeed cause them pain, for most women the ego is like a fragile African Violet, grown in secret from a seed, carefully nursed and fertilized and sheltered from too much sun.
Becoming aware of our inner man and woman means to discover the roots and creative potential of both the male and female aspect within ourselves. Becoming aware of the inner man and woman means to understand that they have different visions of life. It means to understand that they have different perspectives and views of life. The inner man and woman are our two wings of love and freedom. Through awareness, acceptance and understanding, we can allow our two wings to develop in a deep and natural harmony. In the world today, a one-sided development of the male side leads to destructivity. A one-sided development of the male side leads to ego, struggle, exhaustion and a separation from life. A one-sided development of the female side leads to passivity and dependence.
The challenge of abating one with a genuine ego problem is to not try to put him down. Any and all antagonization, in his mind, is merely compensated for by his own descriptions: his feelings of persecution by the envious and his ideals of worth. Arguably, the genuine ego is more of a circumstantial defense mechanism rather than a steady arrogance in need of starvation.
When true happiness shows up, the ego is bored with it: It's too plain, too ordinary, and it doesn't leave us feeling special or above the fray. It doesn't take away our problems, which is the ego's idea of happiness. The ego wants no more difficulties: no ore sickness, no more need for money, no more work, no more bad feelings, only unending pleasure and bliss. Such perfection is the ego's idea of a successful life. However, the happiness the ego dreams of will never be attained by anyone. The ego denies the reality of this dimension, where challenges are necessary to evolution and blissful states and pleasure come and go.
Enlightenment is a paradoxical phenomenon. You need to be commited to become enlightenment, and to do whatever is necessary to make it happen. But at the same time you can not force enlightenment to happen by sheer will. It is like the situation with happiness: you can not force happiness to happen, but you can create the right circumstances for happiness tohappen. You need to be willing to die, to let go of your limited sense of I, to achieve enlightenment. I can feel a deepening thirst to die, to dissolve into the silence, in my heart and being.