The False Self
I saw all the deeds that are done under the sun; and see, all is vanity and a chasing after wind. What is crooked cannot be made straight, and what is lacking cannot be counted. I said to myself, “I have acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me; and my mind has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.” And I applied my mind to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a chasing after wind. (Ecclesiastes 1:14-17)
Turn away from mortals,
who have only breath in their nostrils,
for of what account are they? (Isaiah 2:22)
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?
Yet you have made them a little lower than God,
and crowned them with glory and honour. (Psalm 8:3-5)
We walk a fine line between understanding that we are god-like and at the same time keeping in mind that we are worthless by ourselves. Jesus echoes this sentiment when he calls the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven the one who is the least, the one who serves others. We can be an exquisite vessel that carries or channels life-giving sustenance to other human beings. We fall from grace the moment we believe that it is we who give life. Our words can build up or tear down. We are capable of great courage and yet, we can be cowards when ruled by fear. At critical moments during our lives we can see the choices we have before us. But when the threat is absent, when we are alone, what thoughts rule our minds? When our guard is down, what is ruling our internal life? Subtle fears creep in, our thinking gets muddled, the image of ourselves that we have constructed emerges—the image that we believe protects us, the image that we believe helps us get along in the world. It is a story we tell ourselves about ourselves, built on fear, and we wish to preserve this false self because we confuse it with our real identity. When it is threatened with extinction we feel it as if our life will be extinguished. This false self is the part of us that experiences terror and fear in the presence of God because God is truth. Our false self fears the truth because the truth of the false self is vanity, and pursuing it is like pursuing the wind.
Help us, dear God, to see through the illusion of the false self, the part of us that fears the truth and the part of us that fears death. Help us be mindful of our true heritage; help us to be mindful that we are like a container waiting to be filled by your truth, your grace, your mercy, and your understanding. May our thoughts, our words, and our actions open our being so that your infinite love can pass through us unhindered. May your presence cut through all the illusion of this world and reveal itself to our hearts and minds. May our awareness raise the consciousness of all creation to your love. Amen.
From The Readings
2012-113 You need to know that you are on this path. And you need to know that whatever twists and turns you feel, that you are still on the path. It is the false self, the ego that wants you to believe you are on the wrong path. Because if the ego can take you off your present path, then it is so much easier for the ego to control what you feel and what you think, and entangle you in a world of illusion. This is why a truly loving relationship is so valuable in the world: because if it gives truth as well as the comfort of love, it reminds the ego that its purpose lies only in alignment with the higher self and the highest purpose of your soul. That in this place of alignment, there exists a source of life and love that overflows, just as the cup overflows on the table he sets before you. Do not be deceived by false prophets who believe they know the mind of God. Do not be deceived by those who would say that they know the shame or the jealousy of God. God cannot be shamed. God is not jealous. The shame and jealousy, these are the dominion of the false self, which holds itself up as pious and self-righteous and claims authority, which it does not have. The keys to the kingdom of heaven have been given to you. And it is true that those things that you bind on earth can be bound in heaven. But also the things that you loosen on earth can be set free in heaven. Know that these are in the present moment. Know that these sit in and exist and permeate all of creation. It must be so because your design, your very being, your thoughts, your creative impulse, create the heaven that exists, just as these may be turned away from God and create hell. You must trust that time is an illusion. You must trust that the appearance of the world is an illusion. You must trust that the souls that you wish to commune with, that you communicate with, that you experience God with, are present with you at all times. This is what is known as the communion of the saints. We may put on a different face, you may see eyes of a different color, or skin of a different color, but the soul with which you need to commune, to help, to give nourishment, is the very one in your presence. Once you have had real communion, while you are on your journey and purpose, it is then that the scenery changes. Sometimes it is a communion of pain, of hurt and suffering, of rejection, and this communion propels you into a new sphere. There are times that the pain of separation occurs because attachment has become so restrictive, so binding, that the breaking of the bond is necessary, just as the breaking of the bread, the breaking of the body is necessary for the soul to progress on its path back to God and oneness. But how fortunate you are that you understand your purpose; that you understand that you are here to recognize and to acknowledge your role as a help to those in need, to those who suffer the passion of the soul, the soul’s passion on its journey toward God. And you are here to hold that, just as God holds all of creation, all of the brokenness and separation. And you become a member of his body, a co-creator, co-sustainer, a loving presence, a healing presence. And you will understand that you can do this without moving, without walking somewhere; that you can do this inside your own being for the benefit of the world and all of creation; that you are connected by this communion of saints; that you can do this without speaking; that you can do this simply by surrendering and accepting. I will carry you where you need to go, and when the time has come I will bring you to me. I will bring you into the presence of those who will speed your journey, those who will comfort you, and those who you will comfort, and in the giving of yourself over to me, you will find everything you need and find great joy in everything that you have. And this is what I mean when I say to those who have more, more will be given. But also to those who have much, much will be required. These are laws of the universe and of my providence.