“If the sailboat is your lifeboat, we saw that it is in stagnation because it is held so by the heavy anchor that is the Ego, burdening the vessel through the rope of Attachment. The boat has been put together for your journey upstream and the wind of Evolution is blowing in your favour. If only you know what is good for you, by now you should have simply cut the rope so as to abandon the anchor, submerged and buried where it belongs; and you should then row with diligence towards your destination that is Liberation sans phrase.
“Do I hear you murmuring ‘it is easier said than done’? Well, the easiest of tasks would look difficult if you are not trained for it. Did you ever train your mind as you trained your feet to walk and hands to hold the steering wheel of your car? ‘No’, you admit. Then get busy now and make up for lost time. The past has gone beyond recall and the future is uncertain. The living present is all that you have and so, make the most of it.
“An earnest student is recognised by his questions. Ask, ‘What is this Ego, which I am enjoined upon to abandon?’ The Ego, Sir, is nothing but your tiny little self, a small fraction, that manifests hydra-headedly as the two branches of thought ‘I’ and ‘Mine’. The first viz. ‘I’ represents Aggressiveness and the second viz. ‘Mine’ stands for Possessiveness. Is there any essence or substance in either of these mentations? Let us investigate.
“You say ‘I am Supervisor and so the Assistants should carry out my orders’ and you assert ‘I am the bread-winner and hence my dependants should show implicit obedience.’ Is this ‘I’ valid all the 24 hours of the day? Once you leave the office-premises at close of work, is your Assistant under any obligation to yield his seat in the bus to you? No, because the business-relationship is circumscribed by the four corners of the workplace. And once you retire from service it is not valid even there. A very transient thing is this workplace-Ego, but it clouds your vision and leads you into emotion. You are something more than a puny Supervisor and you will continue to exist even after you demit office.
“Again if your authority in the family is determined by your bread-winning, are these not days when son and daughter come to earn more during a month than what you are doing in a year? They contribute a great deal more to the family-coffers and even your long-suffering wife appears to display greater regard to them as time passes! Your assertiveness in this aspect is reduced to a thing of shreds and patches long before you retire. Here again, your ‘I’ is shown up to be an impostor.
“Now take up ‘Mine’, which, I said, is the manifestation of Possessiveness. I have brought a pen with me here and I shall be able to take it back with me when I leave this hall at the close of this programme. But suppose I try to take this microphone also. Will not the organisers deny me the pleasure of that possession? Why? Because the mike does not belong to me as the pen does. So what is the legal status of possession? I should be able to retain that object wherever I go, without any let or hindrance.
“When someone we know has breathed his last, in what manner is the news conveyed to us? ‘He has gone away.’ The physical body of bones and sinews which we have been identifying by a name is still lying there; and so what has ‘gone away’? The life of course. Here we admit by implication that it is the life that is ‘he’ and the body was only his possession. If so why did ‘he’ not take away what was ‘his’ when he left the world? Evidently because he had no title to it. It was not really his possession which, according to a legal figment, is defined as ‘nine points of the Law.’ The tenth point has upset the applecart, it being all-powerful! If the body itself is not ‘Mine’, what else in the world could be claimed as ours? Don’t you agree now that the concept ‘Mine’ is without essence or substance, it is not even hollow, it is something non-existent.
“ ‘I’ and ‘Mine’ are illusions, mere mirages which a fond mind conjures up to delude your intellect in order to perpetuate its own existence. With ‘I’ and ‘Mine’ deservedly dismissed from your Mind, the ingredients of the Ego are seen to be nothing and the Ego itself is not to be seen. The anchor that was holding your lifeboat to ransom has made itself scarce; and what need do you have now for the Rope that was tying it to your boat — the rope of Attachment? We shall tackle this hobgoblin in our next class.”