Literally, you are a figment of your own imagination.Nisargadatta Maharaj
Yes. Any ideas of an I or me are images and words in my own mind, combined with sensory impressions. I am, literally, a figment of my own imagination. Any ideas of there being a separate I or me here, and how this separate I or me are in the world, are figments of my own imagination.
It’s very simple. It’s very easy to not notice clearly. And it makes a huge difference when it’s noticed, either through a spiritual opening or awakening or through inquiry.
The ideas of an I and me in the world are still here, and they are essential and very useful for navigating and functioning in the world. And yet, when they are recognized as what they are, as imagination, they are held more lightly. The heaviness of taking it all as real and the final word is gone, or at least recognized as created by the mind and not inherently real or true.
Yes, and we can find this for ourselves. My experience of myself is (partly, largely) created by my ideas about myself and the world. These ideas are created by my own mind. They are literally imagined. So I – as I experience myself – am a figment of my own imagination.
And that’s true whether I hold these ideas as true or not, whether they seem to reflect a final and absolute reality to me or they are recognized as ideas.
The ideas themselves are essential for us to function in the world. We wouldn’t be able to navigate and operate in the world without them. If we hold them as true and solid, then we tend to create stress and distress for ourselves. And if we don’t, we can hold them more lightly and use them just for practical purposes.
If and when life goes against these ideas, as it will, to the extent we hold our ideas lightly and see them as imaginations, our mind creates less or no stress for itself.