Recognizing the False Self – Attachments are Painful


Today we continue with our week of looking at the contrast between True Self and False Self.  In the last two days we heard about how the false self is the source of all of our fears.  We saw that fear is something that is learned during each lifetime.  Yesterday we got a feeling for how we can overcome our fears when we recognize the power of our true selves.


Today we will look at why the false self creates attachments and how those attachments cause unhappiness.  Tomorrow we will finish the week by hearing about how to use our true self to break those attachments.


How False Self Creates Attachments

We have learned that false self is afraid of everything, even its own shadow.  It hijacks those fears to take over our life until we use true self to retrain false self to not be afraid.


There are a lot of things that false self does because of those fears.  We have stated that false self knows that it is not supposed to be alone to make all the decisions about the lifetime.  Consequently it looks for external things to help it make those decisions.


In other words, false self is looking at external objects, people, ideas, etc. for validation.  Through that validation false self feels less afraid.  False self finds things other than true self for validation and gains an artificial sense of security from that sham validation.


The next thing that false self does is begin to think that it must attach to those things from which it gained this artificial sense of security.  Gradually (sometimes immediately) it forms an attachment to these external situations and then mistakes the attachment for itself.  In other words, the false self begins to think it is the things to which it has formed the attachments.


As we have seen in our previous posts regarding illusions and happiness, whenever we look outside of our self for happiness we will only find an illusion.  To expand on that idea, whenever we have an attachment we are accepting that something outside of us can make us happy.  Whenever we think that something outside of us will create our identity we are accepting an illusion which will inevitably lead to unhappiness.



Let’s look at a few common examples of attachments.  We will look at why we create the attachment, why we maintain the attachment, and why that attachment will always lead to unhappiness.  Tomorrow we will hear about how to start to overcome these attachments and find true happiness.


Attachment to Our Body

Entire books have been written about this attachment, but we will attempt to summarize the discussion in a few paragraphs.  As we have heard about, the false self is born without fears.  It is also born without attachments.  Initially it looks for guidance from true self.  That process is not known on this planet at this time so false self starts to look to itself for guidance.


False self knows that it is not supposed to be alone and begins to look around its immediate vicinity for something to use to create an identity.  Of course one of the first things it finds is the physical body it is using for this lifetime.  It creates an attachment to that body and begins to think that the body is its identity.  This is reinforced because everyone around the young child has the same attachment so there is nothing to invalidate the attachment.


This attachment causes pain in many ways.  First, we fear if we lose the body or any part of it we will be losing our “self”.  False self mistakenly thinks that any injury or sickness means an injury to our “self” so we must feel pain.  After all, an injury to our “self” has to be the worst thing we can possibly imagine.  As we become adults we have become so tightly attached to our body that the least perceived threat of injury to our body causes us to exhibit extremely fearful behavior.


Attachment to Our Ideas

Next to the attachment to our body, the attachment to our ideas is probably the strongest and the most common.  At an early age we train ourselves out of receiving any ideas from true self.  The only source of ideas is now false self.


It does not matter whether false self originates an idea or it receives the idea from its surroundings.  Either way, once false self stumbles upon an idea that it agrees with it attaches itself to that idea.


False self is always looking for ways to create or validate its identity.  These ideas get caught up in that search.  False self now starts to think that it is the ideas and thoughts that it perceives.  This always strikes me as sad.  Why should we choose to create or identity out of thoughts of hate, intolerance, greed, and the like?  It does not make any sense, but we do it any way.


Just like with the attachment to the body, false self views any questioning of its ideas as an attack on its identity.  If we think that we are our ideas, then anyone who does not agree with us must not like us.  If they do not like us, how can we like them?


Hopefully you can see how quickly this way of thinking can degenerate into outright conflict.


Attachment to Possessions

So far we have looked at how easy it is for an infant false self to become attached to its body and its ideas.  It is pretty easy to see that the things (body, thoughts) the infant false self perceives in its immediate vicinity are the thing to which the false self will attach most easily.


Another early attachment is to possessions.  The infant false self has its body, its ideas, and its possessions as its immediate physical surroundings for its first few years.  There are people around and it attaches to people, but that will be a separate discussion.


As we have seen with the other attachments, the infant false self views the physical objects in its immediate vicinity as part of its identity.  Just like the other attachments, any loss of the physical object is viewed as loss of identity.  Therefore loss of any object, or even the thought of the possibility of losing an object, will cause unhappiness.


Is it any wonder we are so obsessed with physical objects?  We attach to them as infants, never learn that they are not our identity, and spend our life acquiring them and then fearing that we might lose them.


Have you ever said to yourself that there has to be a better way?  That was your true self attempting to show you the way to true happiness.  We will talk about that tomorrow.

Until tomorrow –


Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.



Discuss & Comment

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