The characteristics of a graduated ego may be seen transformed and seemlessly incorporated with other forms of definition of self and group, making it difficult to recognize there’s an ego in there at all (even though there is).
As a society, we currently are compartmentalizing attributes of the human psyche, ego (service to self) being one of those attributes. What we find with a transformed ego is not the elimination or neutralization or death of the attributes of any of these compartments (one of them being the ego), but the elimination or neutralizaton or death of the walls between compartments. We find that the percieved negative qualities of the ego, such as service to self, isolation, individualization, seperation, and the dualistic nature of ego, can be put to good use when it is combined with service to others, cooperation, compromise, inclusion, and the principles of unity, etc. The lines or compartments start to become blurred: “in my wanting to help or even save a stranger even if it means the sacrifice of me… is this just ego-gratification, or is it the disolving of ego, I can no longer tell the difference, they are becoming one-in-the-same.” It is not the death of the ego, but the evolution of it.
In your path towards service-to-others, stop trying to define the ego in its present definition.
Maybe we are truly graduated when we recognize that service-to-others and service-to-self are one-in-the-same.
Everything good that I do for the group (service-to-others) is good for me (service-to-self).
Don’t forget, EVERYTHING is a microcosm of God, a piece of God that contains the whole of God. Everything good that I do for the group (for God) is good for me (for God).
It’s all good!