Perhaps one of the key features about the ego which many people do not realize, is that it is constantly attacking itself.
The ego IS the idea of self attack. It is the idea of you, attacking you. It is self destructive, which is why it leads to sabotage and suicide. It is just another word for your own will to will against your own will.
It would perhaps seem too insane to consider that the ego actually attacks itself on purpose, and this alone might deter you from even considering it. But the ego is not sane.
The ego is not like the kinds of people that you think are normal people. You think that due to separation, what one person does to another they do not do to themselves. You think that you can attack without consequences, or be attacked by another without them receiving the attack.
The ego's main plot here is the idea that, because you are separate from your brother, what applies to him does not apply to you. This allows both parties to get away with murder. Or appear to. And this creates an illusion in this world, as though it is "ego" to attack someone and get away with it.
But beware. This is a decoy!
If you fixate on this idea that one person does something to someone else, causing effects in them, without receiving the effects - which certainly APPEARS to be the case almost all the time due to separation, then you will not notice the ego's underlying insanity. You'll think that it makes total sense that something can apply to one person and not another, or that you can cause effects which you do not receive - ie giving and receiving at not one.
The ego's secret insanity is that it deliberately attacks itself, and it is NOT escaping the effects of the attacks it tries to cause, nor does it want to. It is both its own attacker and its own victim. It deliberately wants to hurt itself. It also seems to simultaneously want to get away from that hurt. It should be fairly obvious that it is completely insane, to the highest degree, for someone to want to intentionally harm themselves, consciously and deliberately, and to simultaneously enjoy and suffer doing so.
Anyone in their right mind would recognize that they are one with all brothers, and share a mind of oneness, and therefore what applies to you applies to everyone equally. In this mind of oneness it is impossible to cause or do anything without receiving the effects. It is therefore in your vested interest to share only love, that you will receive only love. But when you enter into the ego and attempt to give without receiving (which is attack), you can be sure you will experience attack.
The ego is clever at making cause and effect unconscious. It makes it SEEM as if attacking another will not attack yourself. But the ego is fundamentally insane. It IS the idea of self attack, and so attacks itself on purpose. It would sacrifice itself in the name of saving itself. It is constantly two-faced. You think that normal people have "one face" or one personality or one side to them.
The insane ego is never one-sided, it is always contradictory, hipocritical, self denying, a liar, a cheat, manipulative, and it is even capable of showing up as "good cop" and "bad cop" simultaneously.
I had a dream once where some creepy man was trying to get to me, and so I ran to escape and I did escape, and met another man on a hill who appeared at first to be helpful and welcoming. It seemed like he would help me to be safe. But what quickly became apparent, was that in fact this man was the same "person" as the other man - as if he was the same man in disguise. He was both of them. And so the ego's two-faced secret was revealed, that it is perfectly capable of playing the part of victim and victimizer, attacker and savior, enemy and hero, or any other polarities which makes it SEEM as if they are two completely unrelated separate things.
The ego's illusions are ALWAYS geared towards getting you to believe that one kind of illusion is better than another. That one way of behaving or less evil than another. That something will actually help you without hurting you. That a solution will work without any side effects. It's always bullshit. The ego is fundamentally insane and so always has in its back pocket some kind of "clause" or excuse or secret that disguises the fact that it has NO intention of making its solutions work, and it has NO interest in being truly helpful, because ALL of its sides and solutions take you away from wholeness.
We have to be careful to discern and listen and recognize, that both positive and negative are part of the ego thought system. Both good and bad, right and wrong, all opposites. The ego plays both sides of every argument and does not care who sins. It will happily fund every war and conflict on both sides just for the sake of increasing the conflict. It is fundamentally existing in a state of self conflict and being divided against itself, thwarting its own moves, willing against its own will etc.
This is why we have to learn that "this world holds nothing that I want"... because everything it offers, the "good" and the "bad", are both ego deceptions designed to get you to take a side and fall for one of two of its traps. It does not care one shit about which side you take or whether you go light or dark or right or wrong, so long as you fall for the trap of believing that one of two choices is better than the other and will save you. There is no salvation in the ego. All of its roads lead to hell.