Everything that he accomplishes in the way of self-improvement, self-purification, or self-mastery is accomplished by the force of the ego. No higher power, no grace of the Overself, no faith that transcends materialism is needed for these things. Whatever it is, and however beneficial it be, reform of the ego's character will not lead directly to the destruction of the ego's rule. For although the ego is willing to improve or purify itself, it is not willing to kill itself.
-- Notebooks Category 23: Advanced Contemplation > Chapter 2: Pitfalls and Limitations > # 124