I do not mean to use ego in its technical sense in psychology. I would refer to use spirit but it has its own baggage. May I try to point more directly? Ego equals the aware source of aim, direction and movement through which all external influence and internal influence must be filtered before becoming self-movement–the first mover, the prime mover, the decider, he who cannot be object without being at the same time subject, he who I cannot escape without ceasing to be, he for whom every pause in thought, every hesitation in expression, the chooser of words, the budgeter of energy and attention, the distributor of focus and effort, and he who is responsible for the accuracy, the quality of any of it. He is only ever seen in his effects but he should not be mistaken for them.
What of him? He is ever-changing in his manifestation, and yet always the same. He never steps in the same river twice. He is like fire. Heraclitus was on to something. But further, he is shaper and shaped. He is producer and production. He is not merely ceaseless flow. He is the director of flow.
Socrates’ famous expression in Plato’s Apology: the unexamined life is not worth living…the philosopher’s task is to examine himself and others to see whether they care about the greatest improvement of themselves, and if they claim to whether they really do!…
Above the door of that temple to the god Apollo at Delphi where it was revealed to Chaerephon who asked the god, “Is Socrates the wisest?” that “There is no one wiser” (implying not that he out-competes all in wisdom, but that he has something which cannot be beat) is inscribed the phrase know thyself!
That the language of object and limitation fails to capture the self is not a fault of that language. That ego or spirit is inadequate is not a fault of those terms in particular. That the very notion of sign (language being one of the classes) is inadequate for the characterization of that which signifies is no fault. That the reference to what we act upon cannot be applied to the agent acting is no fault.
What to do with this self? It is happening. I am doing it!