“Very unconscious people experienced their own ego through its reflection in others. When you realize that what you react to in others is also in you (and sometimes only in you), you begin to become aware of your own ego.” Eckhart Tolle (from The Power of Now)
Ego is consciousness. Like the Church, Ego is the mediator between You as impersonal awareness and the world of form. You have to go through your Ego to walk upon the face of the earth in society. Humans go live in the woods to bypass this Mediator and walk directly on the earth without the high heeled shoes of Ego. The symbolism of leaving your shoes at the door of the temple, is the ritual of leaving your Ego or mediator between you and God.
But we are given a persona when we enter the world as adults. Adolescence is the dressing room where we try on our Ego, and then spend the rest of our lives growing out of it, or buying new clothes that don’t have a pinch.