“Who am I?” asks the False Self

Hello Gary,

I hope you are well.
I thought I’d give you an update on how things are going.

Gratitude has become an integral part of my life now and is such a powerful yet simple tool. I thank you so much for introducing the practice of gratitude into my life. Recently I have been reading a lot of material by Guy Finley and have found that it echoes of what you teach.

Realizing that we are not our thoughts was a major shock for me and really made me start asking the question: ‘Who am I?’ It was while I was contemplating this that I remembered the Free Session in the course you offer called ‘The Attention’. I couldn’t believe it, all my questions were answered….I had listened to it many times before but this time it made so much more sense. I realized that I have created so many different false selves that I have mistaken them for actually being the real me, but they are not the real me.

I was really excited when this awareness came to me but then I became scared….fear and anxiety kicked in big time. Since then the false self seems to have become louder and I think that this is because I am challenging its existence and it doesn’t want to die. I know that the false self is not real but it does appear to be so much of the time because of the emotions I feel, especially anxiety. It feels that I haven’t moved forward but I know this is also the trick of the false self.

I am confident that with my commitment and persistence with this process of self-awareness I shall succeed….it is inevitable.

Again, thank you Gary for the wisdom that you offer.

Peace and love to you.

M in the UK.

Dear M.
A big part of figuring out what you are involves figuring out who you are not. Notice that I say “what you are” and not “who you are.” That’s because “who you are” is very much a function of the false self.

It is astute of you to notice that the false self is playing this trick of telling you that you are not moving forward. The interpretations the false self makes of emotions is usually that you are moving backwards or getting worse.

Keep in mind that our emotions are real feelings, but the interpretations we make about them are not facts. In the beginning the assumptions we make about emotions are usually incorrect because the come from the false self, or what we can call ego mind. he truth is often about 180 degrees from what the false self thinks it is.

I agree with your assessment that the fear that you are feeling is the fear that the false self is generating. It is afraid of being found out and losing control of the Authentic You. I allude to this in a couple of my podcasts. I think it is on the podcast about on Overcoming Fear.

It is kind of amazing that the false self has an emotional reaction to being found out and then tricks us into thinking it is our emotion. It then gives us a false interpretation of what is causing “our” emotion. We believe the thoughts that aren’t our own about emotions that aren’t our own. This is a very clever trick and one that requires a good deal of self awareness to slip out of.

The journey to discover what you really are is mostly about discovering what you are not. When you dissolve all the illusions about your self, only the Truth is left.

About your commitment to succeed, be wary here. The idea or ideal of “success” can also be a trick of the false self. This is particularly true if we hold beliefs about failure in relation to our definition of success. When we use terms like success in this process we are often getting set up for some type of false self judgment about measuring progress and failure.

It would be wise to clearly understand what you have defined the symbolic word success to mean.

If you define success as love, peace, happiness, joy, compassion, and Truth, then yes, continue to use the word success. But if this is what you mean, then why not use these symbolic words instead.
By the way, in your quest to sort out all this false self stuff from the authentic you it might be helpful to be aware that only the False Self asks the question, “Who am I?” The authentic self doesn’t bother with such questions.