The Origin of Human Attachments
All attachments originate from the ego-self.
What is an ego? Do we all have an ego-self?
An ego is an identity of any individual. Yes, we all have an ego-self, with no exception.
As soon as a baby begins his or her perceptions through the five senses, that baby begins to develop an identity, such as “this toy is mine” and “I want this.” Well, there is nothing wrong with that initial identification. However, as time passes by, the human ego may continue to expand and inflate to the extent that it may become problematic with all its attachments.
What is the ego-self?
Simply look at yourself in front of a mirror. What do you see?
A self-reflection. Is it for real? Can you actually touch it? Not really; it is only a reflection of someone real—the real you in front of the mirror!
Now, do something totally different. Place a baby—if there is one immediately available—in front of the mirror. See what happens. The baby might crawl toward the baby in the mirror. Why? It is because the baby in front of the mirror might think that the baby in the mirror is another baby, and just not his or her own reflection.
Likewise, the ego-self may look real, but it is not real. To think otherwise is self-deception.
How is the ego-self formed?
Descartes, the great French philosopher, made his very famous statement: “I think, therefore I am.” Accordingly, you think and you then become what you think you are—the byproducts of all your thoughts and your own thinking.
Unfortunately, Descartes’ famous statement is only partially true: it is true that you identify yourself with all your thoughts projected into your thinking mind; but it is not true that your identities thus created by your thoughts and your own thinking truly reflect your true self. The fact of the matter is that you are not your thoughts, and your thoughts are not you. To think otherwise is a human flaw, which is no more than self-delusion or self-illusion. In other words, you are not what and who you think you really are.
Gradually, all your life experiences with their own respective messages—the pleasant as well as the unpleasant, the positive as well as the negative—are all stored at the back of your subconscious mind in the form of your assumptions, attitudes, causal concepts, and memories.
Accumulated over the years, millions and billions of such experiences and messages have become the raw materials with which you subconsciously weave the fabrics of your life, making you who and what you have now become—or so you think. In other words, they have now become your “realities” or your ego-self with its many attachments to make you believe you are what you think or wish you were.
Likewise, a baby originally does not have the ego-self (at least, not yet), and thus sees the reflected image in the mirror as another baby. But you, on the other hand, with your own ego-self, see the reflected image in the mirror as the same you, and not a different person. So, your ego-self is simply a reflection of you; what you see in the mirror is not real, just a reflection. But the problem is: you think it is the real you, and your false identity may lead to an identity crisis.
Learn how to let go of your attachments to the material world that define who you think you are, and these attachments may include your attachments to money and wealth, career and success, among others.
Stephen Lnd au
Copyright© by Stephen Lau