I am having a online discussion with a beginning Buddhist about egoism... most buddhists aren’t very egoistically inclined but he was one of the few who had decided before getting into Buddhism to choose for himself, and had found that that got a lot of things done for himself. He experienced it as a positive, and was wondering what Buddhism had to say about egoism.
Now if you want to talk advaita, there is a lot to say about the problem of the ego. I recall from my reading of Papaji that he talked a fair amount to people who came to his satsangs about it, but I was a little bit hard-pressed to find a lot of references in the dharma to egoism, so the chat wandered a bit.
In the end what I arrived at was that ego as such is largely an illusion, there isn’t such a thing as a little man in your head pulling the strings telling you to be selfish. Instead there are certain primal desires, such as ‘I am hungry and I want food’, which can get connected to the ‘I want more’ instinct, and that greediness creates what we call egoism. So at its root it comes back to desire, one of the Three Poisons which generate samsara.
But perhaps someone here has something sensible to add to our little chat. Would love to hear your take, which I will shamelessly pass on to the poor chap as wisdom from the elders.