Mere = used when you are saying that the fact that a particular thing is present in a situation is enough to have an influence on that situation.
“I don’t like work–no man does–but I like what is in the work–the chance to find yourself. Your own reality–for yourself not for others–what no other man can ever know. They can only see the mere show, and never can tell what it really means.”
― Joseph Conrad
Art by Rafal Olbinski.