Straight to the chase, to the source. Our reality is based on the experience of separation due to the fact that we are not conscious of the true nature of the ego.
The nature of the human mind is egoist. From a very early age, we are already defining who we are. We define our sex, our name, our qualities, our possessions and ideas. Once we find something we’re content with, we want to claim it. The object we want becomes ‘mine’; my partner, my car, my theory, my athletic body. And even things we are not happy with will get a ‘my’ label; my problem, my illness, my overweight body, my sister’s illness, my sensitivity.
Having a ‘my’ (mine) label gives us our identity and sense of self. I’m someone with a good figure, brilliant ideas, a rich inner world but I have a terrible life. The ’my’ mechanism, which is the ego, always wants to better everything. It’s never ok with what IS. It wants. It wants better, it wants more, and it wants something else or wants nothing at all. Whatever it does or doesn’t want, the ego’s motivation to remain wanting is to strengthen its identity, its life force. It doesn’t even matter whether it’s a positive or negative identity; the goal of the my-mechanism is to reinforce the ego.
An über-me (a superior me) or an unter-me (an inferior me), through a success story or a drama, a Me is a Me. Problems in themselves can be particularly good at giving a big dose of me-ness because problems, in the exchange with others are pre-eminently a source of attention and therefore food for the me. Problems reaffirm the ‘me’ and ’mine’. In whichever form problems come, they appropriate attention and feed the little ’me’.
Another component of ‘me’ is ’yours’. Comparing yourself to others is a ploy to strengthen your identity. My ideas are more idealistic, better and more intelligent than yours. My problems are much worse and far more exceptional than yours. The ’me’ we distinguish ourselves from others with, is the my-mechanism that will do anything to keep its identity intact. Or in other words the ’me’ which separates us from others, especially from our true Self. Separation and duality are our common reality. Everything you ’own’ keeps you a prisoner in duality.
The minute you make something ’mine’ you lay claim to it and as a result you feel the fear of losing it. The fear of losing something holds the bow tightly strained in order to keep it intact and to keep control. It makes you feel uneasy and cramped, anything but relaxed. If you turn it around: everything you make ’mine’ but don’t want (like a bad feeling or an illness) will keep you constantly occupied to rid yourself of it. However, since you have made it ‘mine’, you will never be free of it.
And take, for example that you’ve made someone ’mine’ who you think will make you happy, then you consequently want to determine what happens to this ’mine’. But you can never control another person. If you do try this, the love will leak away and will lose its spontaneity.
The irony of all this is, once you see through the my-mechanism, is that the other and therefore duality no longer exists. It’s an illusion. There is only complete unity. Because everything in this reality is transitory. Eventually all of the ’mine’ will disappear. This ’you’ that you have built up, with the aid of this mechanism is nothing more than a bundle of materialized ideas.
The my-mechanism also creates ‘my’ feelings. If a feeling comes up, that looks like sadness then it also makes it ’mine’. And the ’mine’ gets a story, a cause and an effect ’that’s because this and that happened to me.’ ‘The nasty feeling has to disappear because it’s not a nice feeling.’ You’re fighting against something which would never have been a problem if you hadn’t made it ‘mine’.
A lot of people are unsure of themselves, unsure of the ‘me’ they’ve created inside their head. With one person the insecurity lies in not being able to comply with expectations and with another it’s the way they look or something else. Take a normal day: You’re having a bad hair day and the clothes you choose make you look chubbier than you would like, but that’s how it is.
You haven’t accepted your chubbiness, but you comply with the body you have. You walk through a shopping mall, and on the other side a man looks at you with raised eyebrows. At least, it seems that way. Immediately your my-mechanism gets activated. That look is about me. He thinks I look silly. You feel a cramp of disapproval in your stomach. You look away and see a beautiful, slender lady walking by.
You immediately start to compare. The ‘my-your’ mechanism is fully active.
You can probably recognize a similar situation with yourself. Denying yourself makes you unhappy. That’s logical because intuitively we know that we were meant to shine. The core of this miserable spiral into suffering is the moment that you stuck ‘mine‘ on what you saw. Your body, how the other person looked at you, the stare and the passer-by were compared with the ‘me’. So answer this question: Are you your body? Or are you the one who lives in your body, who uses it and experiences through it?
It’s all about seeing through this constantly active identification mechanism. So, this means that on your path to awakening you develop vigilance, that you stay alert to the invasion of the ego. That you keep a sharp eye out for all the subtle thoughts, feelings and experiences through which the ‘my-mechanism’ is activated. This is where your chance at freedom lies. The mind remains. It’s an illusion that it will disappear. As long as you wander around in this reality the ego is present. But if you stay vigilant then the ego will, as soon as it pops up, be seen through and will therefore stay in its position in service of you instead of taking you over. The ‘my-mechanism’’ recedes and therefore you enter inner peace. Or, as it is often said in Eastern manuscripts; the ‘you’ dies. The images and ideas you had about yourself cease to exist. An enormous liberation!
See if you can notice what you identify yourself with today (and whenever you think of it in the future) and what you make ’mine’.
Make a list if you wish. That also would be a good reminder if you tend to get back to old habits.
By recognizing the ‘my’-mechanism, you simultaneously recognize that you are caught in the ego-mode. What you can discover is that everything you see is only about you. My and you is exactly the same.
We go a little further. Look again at the list you made and ask yourself, and every time you catch yourself making something ‘me':
What it’s all about is that you start realizing that nothing is really yours until you make it ‘’mine’’. Be shocked by this insight. Keep on observing, keep on tracking down the ‘’my-mechanism’’.
I'm shocked to see how often I make things ‘mine’. My thoughts, my fear, my sadness, my space, my time. Where does it end? What’s the purpose of this mechanism?
If you investigate more carefully as to what you make ‘mine’ you might notice that not all of the ‘my’ is destructive or holding you back. Existence creates all these beautiful things in the world through you with the help of this mechanism. It’s the projecting mechanism that converges the light into images. We just forgot to use this mechanism as a tool and have imprisoned ourselves by all these irrational thoughts that aren’t constructive to what we want to manifest.
Besides that, the ‘I’ is the vehicle through witch we experience. We can think, feel and experience through our senses from this my-position, that’s really remarkable!
Is the my-mechanism the same as ego?
No, the my-mechanism is what precedes the ego. It’s the mechanism that builds the ego. The ego is a bundle of thoughts about who you are and about how you relate to this world. A balloon of ideas which came into existence because you made these thoughts ‘mine’. The my-mechanism is a functionality with which we were born, it grasps ideas to build an ‘I-image’ or ‘ego’.
If you can recognize this mechanism then you can use it to neutralize or rebuild your I-image and image of you in the world in a way that is constructive to you.