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Your false self

So many people live under a cloud of angst, perpetually stressed and at war with themselves, knowing down deep that they have sold out to what Richard Rohr calls the “false self.”   The false self is the sum total of other people’s expectations and the voices embedded and looping in their…
By Seth Barnes
So many people live under a cloud of angst, perpetually stressed and at war with themselves, knowing down deep that they have sold out to what Richard Rohr calls the “false self.”
 
The false self is the sum total of other people’s expectations and the voices embedded and looping in their minds. It’s the trophies on the wall and in your mind – the name dropping and recitation of past accomplishments. It’s the need to impress people – looking to them for applause rather than to your heavenly Father.
 
Your true self is like Jesus’ vision of the kingdom – a pearl of great price waiting to be discovered. Rohr has diagnosed the syndrome of the false self better than anyone I know. Here are some quotes taken from his wonderful book Everything Belongs.
The small mind works by comparison and judgment; the great mind works by synthesizing and suffering with alternative truths.  
The ego cannot stand this suffering, and that is exactly why it is so hard for religions and individuals to grow up.  The ego prefers a satisfying untruth to an unsatisfying truth because the ego demands instant satisfaction and the settling of all dust.
 
Our false self is who we think we are.  It is our mental self-image and social agreement, which most people spend their whole lives living up to — or down to.  It is all a fictional creation.  It will die when we die.  
 
It [the false self] is endlessly fragile, needy, and insecure, and it is what we are largely dealing with in the secular West.  
 
The false self is inherently needy because it has no metaphysical substance whatsoever.  It is formed entirely in psychological and mental time and changes or dies easily.  Yet most people spend their entire lives projecting, protecting, and maintaining this fiction.  
 
The false self is passing, whimsical, and utterly preoccupied with self-maintenance and not much more.
 
Initiation merely tries to direct, facilitate, and speed up the process of REDISCOVERING our true self.
 
The true self is indestructable and characterized by an inner-abundance.  It is not needy, easily offended, or hurt.  The true self is characterized by contentment, an abiding low-level peace and happiness, although now and then it becomes pure joy.  It knows that ALL is ok — despite it all!

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