His first tactic was to identify the ways in which the ego, or mind, comes to exert its control. This occurs, he said, because the mind is first and foremost a mechanism for survival. At some unspecified point in our early development, we found it "necessary to stop being ourselves". The mind replicates behavioral strategies that, in the past, proved successful in ensuring survival.
But in appealing to the past, the mind prevents us from living authentically in the present.
Worse still, this strategy means that we continually repress what we genuinely feel on the grounds that it may topple the fragile machinations of the mind regarding what we think we ought to feel. In so doing, we automatically close ourselves off from experiencing the joy that naturally comes when we move into the present because "the mind has no inherent capacity for joy. ... It only thinks about joy" . The result, he warned, is that we unconsciously poison ourselves with various neuroses, jealousies, fears, accumulating false religious teachings instead of living in joyous, authentic awareness.