Think of egocentric karmic conditioning/self-hate as a pernicious program that has been installed in the head of every human being. It operates much like a virus on a computer.
Now, when your computer slows down due to a virus, do you say "Darn it! This computer has a virus that is slowing it down" or do you say "Darn it! This computer is so slow!"?
If you're like most people, you probably say it the second way. But language really matters.
If you say "this computer is slow," there's really not much you could do. Yet if you say "this computer is being slowed down by a virus," you have the option of installing an anti-virus and making your computer run efficiently again.
Does that make sense?
Now, if you had a really clever and highly effective virus in your computer - this virus would be installed and operating in a way where it literally blends in and gets concealed extremely well into the essence of your computer. This way, you really wouldn't stand a chance of seeing that the problem isn't really with your computer.
And that's exactly how egocentric karmic conditioning/self-hate is.
Let me give you a example of something that just happened for me, so you can get a sense of what I'm talking about...
Normally I work by myself, but today I had someone working really close to me making phone calls and doing some work on the computer.
It didn't take long before I started to feel annoyed and frustrated that this person was here and I started thinking of this person as an "annoying weirdo who needs to calm down and learn how to behave like a normal human being."
By grace (and thanks to a lot of spiritual practice) I was able to see almost immediately after having that thought, that this thought was put into my system by the ego. And rather than going along with ego and thinking that it was actually me that thought that, I said to myself "Oh! There's ego doing what it's done for most of my childhood, teenage and adult life. There it is trying to ruin my experience of life again. There it is doing all it can to confuse me."
Then I thought, "Wow, it's amazing how the ego wants me to be alone and un-triggered and unchallenged for all of my life, so that it can be alone with me acting like it's the supreme ruler of my life." And then I wondered "Is there ANYTHING that isn't wrong for the ego?" Answer: No. For ego EVERYTHING is a little TOO much this or TOO little that. Everything and everyone SHOULD this or SHOULD that. (Hint: when you hear TOO or SHOULD in your head, become very, very alert and notice ego is judging and trying to control your life!)
To ego there is something wrong with EVERYTHING and EVERYBODY. Nobody or nothing is 100% adequate and exactly as it should be. To ego EVERYTHING and EVERYBODY should be different, even if just a little. To ego I need to change, my fiancé needs to change, my parents need to change, my siblings need to change, my friends need to change, my boss needs to change, my life needs to change, the government needs to change, the world needs to change. And of course, according to ego, if I stop thinking like this, I am in SERIOUS trouble. If I don't want things to change, I am dead, I won't make progress, I won't succeed in life and I won't get ANYWHERE.
To ego, there is a SOMEWHERE to get to and that somewhere certainly is NOT here!
Of course, once the ego reads something this and immediately says "So you think there is something wrong with change?" Answer: nope, but not everything needs to! Ego also says: "So you think there's something wrong with having goals and going somewhere?" Answer: nope, but it's not something that needs to go on neurotic, insane, auto-pilot, gotta-have-it, hyper anxious mode.
The point is that to ego this, right here, right now is always lacking. And the only time when this, right here, right now is okay is when the ego says so. And ego only says so if it has me completely to itself. When it has me indulging in some deadening behavior that leads to numbness and what the ego calls "relaxation" ego is quiet. When it has me indulged in some form of entertainment and short-lived pleasure ego is quiet. Ego only shuts up and when it being 100% fed by my system. Ego always has a problem when things aren't being done its way. Ego only likes the people who line up with its world. Ego cares about itself. And worst of all, ego has found a way to tell us, that ego is who we are!
What a travesty! UNTIL you install the anti-virus of spiritual practice. Only with it, do we stand a chance at reclaiming our lives from this nasty tyrant that drains us of most of our life force.
The incredible power and cleverness of ego is really not to be underestimated. I'll share another little bit to illustrate what I mean by its power:
In previous stages of my life, ego had me convinced there was something wrong with me and that I was worthless and useless. When I started doing spiritual practice in earnest, I slowly took away the ability of ego to convince me that any of that was true. I woke up out of that amazingly tricky and compelling evil trick of ego and freed myself from believing any awful thing about myself. But EGO CAME BACK! Because ego is just like the bad guy in Terminator. When you think you've defeated it, it doesn't take long before it pieces itself back together and comes back a completely new form to fool you. How it came back for me? It came back telling me that I was wonderful, better than everyone else, special and amazingly indispensable and talented! What it lead to: arrogance, wanting people to give me credit and appreciate the gift that I am, anger when someone else was complimented and I wasn't (jealousy), competitiveness, center-of-the-universe thinking and a sense of being the only one on the planet who knew what I knew. And yes, initially this inflated sense of self felt way better than all those years of deflation and depression, but honestly, it wasn't really long before I started to suffer just as much for believing I was better than for believing I was worse. They're both lies of ego. And what I've found is that ALL EGO LIES HURT AND CREATE SUFFERING FOR MYSELF AND FOR OTHERS.