Acute crises and dysfunction always precede or coincide with any evolutionary advancement or gain in consciousness. All life-forms need obstacles and challenges in order to evolve. In the case of the ego, most of the challenges it encounters are self-created through its unconscious patterns. Eventually, the ego brings about its own demise. In that sense, it can be considered a necessary precursor for the next stage in human evolution, which is the awakening of consciousness.

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose