Friday, July 8, 2016

The False-Self, Healing

"This was also the point in my life when I became a master at masking my true thoughts."    --an unknown blogger

Simple Mindedly browsing though some blogs, I came upon this curious and very honest statement, "this was also the point in my life when I became a master at masking my true thoughts..."
How many of us relate to this? One guesses very many; it seems that one of our many fears is that we will not be accepted as we are, that we apparently see ourselves fearfully as a certain type of monster. While there are those rare individuals in every society who rub against the grain, some who are evil, for most of us this is a fear we face each and every day.

Recalling the words of R.D. Lang, "every man is involved whether or to the extent to which he is being true to his nature." The false-self as Lang views it is the complement of an inner, spiritual self, if you will, which is occupied with maintaining its identity and freedom by being transcendent, unembodied, and thus never grasped, pinpointed, trapped or possessed.
Its aim, writes Lang in his book, The Divided Self, "is to be a pure subject, without any objective existence. Thus except in certain safe moments, the individual seeks to regard his existence as the expression of a false-self, not himself.

 In spiritual terms, this is devastating, and it is very common. How often do we encounter the "fake" smile and the yawn which quickly follows it? How often do we feel divided, yet proceed with the response that is expected, even when it feels untrue to our deeper self?
And how often must we force ourselves to comport an attitude which we don't feel yet believe for social reasons to be obliged? In some societies these behaviors are usual and expected; societies in which the group is more valued than individuals frequently demand this behavior; one learns, 'a smile often hides a frown.' And in these groups, this behavior is normative.

Yet here in the West, often there is the sense of a dis-connect with the self and others. We are afraid to say who we are, or what matters most in our short lives; maintaining this stance may lead to a sense of grief, depression or loss over time.
As Lang expresses the situation, having an identity for the self, a private identity and another identity developed for the consumption of others is at times functional, and also may be at times non-functional leading to a sense of dis-reality, a feeling of not being real, a fake.
While living one's truth is not always easy, healing the self, gaining a perspective beyond the solution of the "false-self" is very healing to a soul; the soul seeks its original wholeness.

The false, divided self is like a child, eternally small, anxious, weak and not responsible for what happens in any given interaction. This is because a feeling arises that it wasn't truly me who did those things--it was someone else. Alternatively, there is a sense that one may do things--but only to a point-- because the truer, inner self would not go that far, or allow those thoughts or behaviors--would they? So it's not me.

The end point of many spiritual traditions is to encourage the maturity of the individual, to acknowledge the rightness of all creation, individuals included, so as to bridge the gap, with the clear knowledge, the belief in the harmony and rightness of matters to each one.
This existential dawning of both 'false' and true, undivided, self is widespread across today's societies; writers as diverse as Henry Fielding, Kierkegaard, Sartre, D.H. Lawrence and Carl Jung have acknowledged its role in the modern world. It is becoming a constant theme as societies settle into an industrialized, group identity. This leaves little room for the self, so you then must carve a whole one.

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