Most people wrongly define ego as pride. But its true definition is more like "our definition of ourself". Because of our survival instinct we all are ego-centric. That means our world revolves around us. So because ego is all important we create beliefs that bolster our ego, like the illusory belief that we as ego beings are eternal (i.e.: our egos survive death).
What I believe is that the internal self we experience is a combination of god essence and ego. God imparted himself into the first cells he created to make them living. And from there every cell division and plant or animal reproduction was just a branching off of that god essence. Now we can't say we are god but we can say we are part of god. Each of us is a part of god experiencing this world. And when this body dies then the god essence and most of our memories and feelings continue on. The darker parts of our ego just die along with the body. So what survives is the best of each one of us. This belief of mine deviates a bit from the common belief of the complete "self" surviving death.
In this dark world everything we"ve been taught and everything we believe is an illusion, something out of harmony with reality. We make up these illusions and readily give ourselves to them because they placate our fears. We fear chaos so we want government. We fear what happens after death so we create religion. We fear nothingness so we bolster the ego. We fear boredom so we create entertainment. But the self/ego is an illusion because it is just the result of all our experiences and thoughts. It is not truly real as it can be changed with a thought. When we die it completely dissolves as our brain dies. No punishment/rewards after death, no karma, no "reincarnation" for the ego. All that remains for us is just our story and our ability to learn from it, and possibly a nice place to get refreshed before this god essence goes back to experience more.
God the creator (not the religious god) is everywhere. Evolution happens because his essence interacts with matter. So the inanimate becomes animate. What animates us is the god essence. We don't exist only as separate egos (individuals) either before this incarnation or after it. We aren't deciding what our next lives should be like, nor are we being rewarded/punished for the previous life. All that exists is god (well, maybe matter also but that came from him). Forget your self and blend with the One. Take the red pill and get out of the matrix of illusions. Becoming one with god is much more satisfying than separating yourself from him by clinging to your ego-satisfying illusions. This is the highest level at which a human can live. A helpful tool to help your mind release its death-grip on ego and its illusions is to do Zen meditation. Many types of buddhism have devolved into a type of religion but Zen's only goal is to help you return to your natural state of being, free of the ego and its illusions of the mind. It teaches you to learn Zen and then forget it once you've been liberated. People live in jail cells of their minds, with limitations imposed by their belief in culture, religion, etc. Very few people have ever experienced complete liberation although everyone believes they are free. Just as in the movie "The Matrix" once you are liberated you'll be in shock for a while because the difference is so noticeable. It takes a while to get over the "loss" of your illusions but then you start appreciating your new found freedom of mind. For me the experience of oneness with god is an upward and outward energy, the opposite of the contraction of energy that happens as a result of traumas. It brings a magic to normal everyday life. Everything is looked upon with wonder and awe, knowing that it was all created by god. Natural life essence can be detected and a deep appreciation for all life happens and then one is less inclined to even step on an insect. Worry loses its grip on your mind. Openness to others is much easier. Human values are expressed naturally and easily. Try it, you'll like it.