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False Self

  • is our self-image developed to cope with the emotional trauma of early childhood
  • is a load of habitual thinking patterns and emotional routines that are stored in the brain and nervous system
  • seeks happiness in satisfying the instinctual needs for survival and security, affection and esteem, and power and control
  • establishes our idea of self-worth on cultural values and group over-identification
  • is dominated by external events and our emotional reactions to them
  • develops in opposition to the True Self
  • may insinuate its subtle purposes into religious motivation 

  • OMOH: 71-73, 128-129, 131, 146
  • *OMOH: 65-68, 159, 187
  • MC: 38-39, 44-45, 56, 62, 82, 100, 121
  • IG: 70-71, 98-99
  • AW: 28, 56-57
  • CF: 95
  • MC: 62
  • BP: 64 

The false self is a master of delusion, and what we think we are doing for love of God and pure self-surrender may become subtly infected with spiritual pride.

Related Concepts


Reflection

 

Description

The false self is not made in the likeness of God. It is our home-made self-image developed to cope with the emotional trauma of early childhood, which seeks happiness in satisfying our instinctual needs and relies on cultural or group identification and acceptance.

The false self is our way of conceiving who we are and what the world is. The false self interacts with our environment under the influence of self-protectiveness, with the net result that we experience ourselves most of the time as dominated by external events and our emotional reactions to them. The false self is functioning when we are dominated by external events instead of acting with genuine freedom of choice.

The false self develops in opposition to the True Self and can insinuate that its subtle purposes are religiously motivated. What we think we are doing for the love of God and pure self-surrender can be infected with spiritual pride. The final purgation of spiritual pride is traditionally known as the Dark Night of Spirit.


 

 Reflection: Listening

False self experiences are illusions.

Reflection: Reflecting

Are you dominated by external events? Which particular life situations trigger false self reactions? Does the false self influence your religious activities?

Reflection: Responding

Work to replace false perceptions of the world. Recognize the indicators of spiritual pride.

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