The ego is a programme inserted into the mind with the specific intention of discouraging us and making the game of life more difficult.
Who put it there?
We did. Or rather our higher selves did- our angels, our souls.
Why on earth would we want to do that?
For the same reason that a sportsperson aspires to play at the highest level, against the toughest opposition. For the same reason I'd rather do a cryptic crossword. We crave difficulty because the rewards are greater.
Why aren't we aware of this?
Because of the programme. It erects a barrier of worry, worry, worry between ourselves and our Source. The challenge is to work this out.
But according to Franco DeNicola- from whom I got this series of ideas- we've played under the restrictions of ego for long enough (something like 15,000 years) and it's become boring. We've gained the rewards- and now it's time to change the game.
And all the chaos we're seeing around us right now is an indication that this is what we're doing.