When he refers to "ego" he refers to the thoughts in our head that highjack who we really are. We are the one listening to our thoughts. The thoughts are conditioned by the structures and forms of life, culture, the world. We tell ourselves stories about being right or being victims, but really, we don't have to relive these past stories endlessly (which is the dysfunction of life). Instead we should recognize that these structures are self-sustaining, and so is the ego (as a byproduct of these structures). When threatened, they fight back. That which we resist, persists.The three predominant states of egoic relationships are: wanting, thwarted wanting (anger, resentment, blaming, complaining), and indifference.
Anyway, what struck me was just how much those three states represent the 3 main stages of Fowler that we talk about:
Stage 3 is like Tolle's "wanting" state. We seek approval from a structure.
Stage 4 is like Tolle's "thwarted" state. We recognize that we aren't going to get what we want, so we feel anger, resentment, we blame, we complain.
Stage 5 is like Tolle's "indifference" state. We stop caring. We marginalize the source of our pain by considering it irrelevant.
Tolle would say all of these are still the egoic mind taking charge. We are still letting forms and structures override who we really are. Whether we are wanting or thwarted in it or indifferent to it, we are still unaware that those structures are self-sustaining and that we are greater than they are and have potential that transcends them.