Another way I consider the ego is like a chalkboard. We make all manner of grand designs on it and it comes to be the expression we make of our self. Many consider it as a monster or devil. Something we must defeat, kill, if we are to find our spiritual value. I think the ego is to be cared for.
When we look to our chalkboard and see what we have created it is intended we would learn a lesson. We can erase something here add something there, clean it up. When we clean it up, erase enough of it, we begin to see a transparency. It is the transparent nature of ego that lends a place for divine living and there is no divine life without it.
This is how the ego is our teacher. We must learn to love our ego. To care for it and present it properly. Doing this we discover empathy, compassion and love, as you can not clean the ego up without these. In applying these qualities as cleaning agents, or eraser, of our ego, transparency is achieved and what we used to clean it with remains.