Does ego-transcendence always happen gradually or can it happen all of a sudden like is described by the term satori?
Is it helpful to do things to the ego that purposefully humiliate it in order to weaken its hold on us as souls?
The word satori means sudden enlightenment in the Buddhist tradition. Buddha realized this state after years of prolonged spiritual seeking and purification through deep meditation and renunciation.
The root word of humiliation is humility. Humility is essential in transcending ego consciousness. Humiliation of the ego however may cause the ego to rise up in self justification and thus defeat the purpose of transcending it. In addition, one’s constant humiliation of the ego may only give the ego more attention and thus reinforce it! Thus, many of us have chosen self-forgetfulness as an easier route of transcending the ego.
Self-forgetfulness involves offering oneself in service to others in our activities and meditations. Much more can be written about this and I suggest you study the Ananda Course in Self-Realization to learn the yoga techniques of ego transcendence.
The path to enlightenment requires spiritual evolution and transformation of consciousness through the guidance and grace of a true guru. Buddha is such an enlightened Master as are the Masters of this path of Self Realization.
May you find your guru and experience the grace of his guidance and transforming power in your life.