My apologies that yesterdays post went out late. When I uploaded the post I filed it as a draft. I should have published it. I will endeavor to publish correctly in the future. Also, I am still resolving the issue with the daily update emails that shows each paragraph as one long line. I will keep looking into that issue until I get it resolved.
Today we are going to start to look at how false self develops its identity. Are you ready? Here we go!
False Self Should Not Have an Identity
As we have discussed this idea of false self, we have gotten a feeling for the nature of the false self. In our discussion on the origin of false self we talked about how we are supposed to train our false self to listen to true self. False self is designed to be the physical interface for true self and nothing more.
Because we do not train false self properly it begins to take on an identity from its surroundings. By the time it is about age seven it has developed a very clearly defined idea of who it thinks it is supposed to be. It is also very attached to that self created identity.
Unless we learn to see through this false self identity as we grow older we continue to accept the identity and the attachments. As we grow older we continue to add items to that identity. Because we have not learned better, we also continue to create attachments to the new additions to our identity. Of itself, the identity is not that much of a problem. The real problem is the attachments. Without the attachments the false self identity gradually fades away. In fact that is how we eventually rid ourselves of it – we let go of the attachments.
None of this should happen. False self should be trained to look to true self for identity. Some of us start to look for a better way because our false self identity has finally become so painful that we cannot live in it any longer. During the next few days we will look at how to identify the false self identity and gradually ease our pain and unhappiness.
How False Self Constructs Its Identity
When we talked about how fear comes from false self, we also mentioned how false self begins to develop it false identity. As a young and improperly trained mind false self creates attachments to the items it finds around it. It attaches to its body, its thoughts and the people around it. It begins to weave these attachments into the beginning of its false identity.
As it grows older it begins to find other external things that it can weave into its false identity. It might pick a political party to identify with. It might pick a religion or ethnic group to identify with. It might view its job as a part of its identity. Pick an external situation or object and some false self probably views it as part of its identity.
Elsewhere on this site we have heard about how false self views any challenge to its attachments as a challenge to itself. Think about this for a minute. If false self thinks that it really is all these situations to which it is attached, then it has no choice but to defend itself when those situations or attachments are questioned.
By questioning the situations or attachments you are questioning the identity of false self. It thinks that it has to defend or even attack when questioned or else it will lose its identity. It does not see that the identity is based on improper understanding. All it knows is that it is being questioned and must defend or attack.
This is the source of the pain that comes when we live within this false self identity. We are always defending or attacking in order to protect our false identity. After awhile this becomes wearisome and many of us seek a better way to live.
A Few Things You Are Not
False self probably has hundreds of external situations that it thinks collectively create its identity. I would be writing for years if I tried to list them all. Instead we will start with a few today and continue the list tomorrow.
You are not our body. True self knows that this body is only temporary and will exist only for the current lifetime. False self is encouraged by those around it to view its body as an integral part of its identity. Any injury to the body becomes an injury to false self which causes continuous pain and suffering.
You are not your opinions. False self is constantly looking for something to help create its false identity. Thoughts are very handy because they are always close at hand. False self creates opinions on everything and then attaches to those opinions. False self takes those attachments and adds them to the false identity.
You are not your possessions. False self takes anything close at hand and attaches to it and then adds those attachments to its false identity. Possessions are always nearby so they are easily added to the false self. Like any other attachment false self sees loss of or damage to a possession as damage to itself. Once again we see another continuous source of pain caused by false self.
You are not your clothes. This is a variation on the idea of you are not your possessions. I will mention it because many of us acquire clothes for the purpose of creating an “image”. That “image” usually originates from false self looking to create or project its false identity. We become unhappy if we do not have the right clothes to project this “image”. We also become unhappy if this “image” does not make us happy. That is a bit of circular logic, but false self does not care about logic. It just goes and acquires some new clothes which it will use to project its “new image”. And of course it will become unhappy with this “new image” and will have to create another “new image”. And on it goes until we become tired of the pain.
That’s it for today. Tomorrow we will look at more things that false thinks we are and true self knows we are not.
Until tomorrow –
Es kava turen hai
We work towards an identical goal.
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