The Strange Non-Life of the False Self
The Strange Non-Life of the False Self
  • Posted: August 27, 2010
  • 498 words
Key Lesson

The only time little things turn into big things is when we forget the Real things.


Human beings suffer from a kind of spiritual amnesia produced by having assumed a false identity without knowing it. How is that possible?

This temporary false self feels real. There's no mistake about that! It is animated and driven along by the flood of reactions we have as we run around seeking fulfillment. But the fact that this lower nature is driven doesn't mean it is alive.

A bulldozer rolls along too, but it cannot see or understand why it smashes into things. It is a machine. So, in many ways, is the false self.

The false self is fueled by negative emotional reactions, which, in turn, are maintained by habitual incorrect thinking. Because these punishing thoughts and emotions are merely the mechanical movements of our lower nature, they are "in time." This means they have no choice but to fade with the events that gave them birth. As these negative feelings slowly lose their force, so too does the false life of the false self they once animated.

Fearing the death of itself because the temporary reactions that gave it life are now fading, the false self is then compelled to start its strange non-life cycle all over again. It begins to crave and to seek out new, more intense excitements or troubles; and when it can't find any, it creates what it needs to sustain itself until conditions become more favorable.

For instance, the false self loves to pick fights with others, because whether you win or lose is of no consequence to it. Your distress is its life's blood, and so all it needs to do in order to win is to keep you fighting. As a matter of fact, the false self is the master of making mountains out of molehills, because it loves nothing better than dark and bumpy downhill roads.

Our unhappy part in this recurring nightmare is that we willingly go along on this dark drive that leads us to repetitious events and unhappy endings. Why? Because we have mistakenly assumed this false identity that lives for troubles, and we fear that the end of its existence means the end of ours. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The real problem is that our present life-level can't tell the difference between a ride to Dracula's castle and a trip to Disneyland, and so it tells us that we have no choice but to cave in to the demands of the false self. This one point alone is all the reason in the world to dedicate your days to raising your life-level. If this fact doesn't convince you to go to work, then let this next idea inspire you to new and higher actions. Thinking that the end of this nervous nature is the end of who you really are is, as Vernon Howard so beautifully writes, like thinking that the end of the storm means the end of the sky.

The sky is forever. And so is your true nature.

Excerpted From: The Secret of Letting Go, pages 40-41.

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