Main Pages

By Region



Self (False Self)

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Self (False Self)?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Self (False Self)

Ego, the False Self

The evolution of the urge toward possession is connected to our physical survival. Ultimately, however, it has come to serve the survival of the ego, the false self. When we experience essence, essence doesn’t feel it possesses anything. Essence never says, “I have strength. I have realization.” It is you who says that. Essence is just there; spirit simply is.

Identification with the False Self

The more we are identified with the false self, the personality, the more we are identified with the absence of basic trust. In order to develop basic trust, and consequently more contact and identification with Being, we need to experience the lack of holding imprinted on our souls. As with any other aspect or dimension of Being, we must first work through the resistance to experiencing the absence or “hole” of it, and then when we fully experience this hole, the missing quality will arise.

Facets of Unity, pg. 45

Narcissistic Self

The false self is actually what the narcissistic self is, and it is basically the result of the alienation from Essence.

The Point of Existence, pg. 540, note 22

Phoniness is Inherent to the Life of Ego

In the process of working through our narcissism, we come to realize that to present an image of ourselves, instead of the immediate presence of who we are, regardless of how faithful it is to the original, is to be fake and to live a phony life. It is the life of the empty shell, a life without authenticity, without fundamental truth. This understanding of the sense of being phony that is universally associated with narcissism is more fundamental than that offered by the theories of depth psychology. It demonstrates that phoniness is inherent to the life of ego. It is not only a quality of pathological narcissism or what is called the “false self”; it is intrinsic to the experience of the self in the conventional dimension of experience. The fakeness is simply more obvious in pathological narcissism because the shell is more exposed.

Realization of the Essential Identity is a Matter of Penetrating the False Self and the Discovery of the Real Self

The realization of the personal essence and that of essential identity are two different processes, each with its own stages and characteristics. The most important difference, however, is that the realization of the personal essence involves mostly a development while that of the essential identity mostly a discovery. The realization of the Pearl Beyond Price requires the soul to mature and individuate in her personal life, while the realization of essential identity is a matter of penetrating the false self and the discovery of the real self, essence as one’s identity. Both the maturation of the soul into a pearl and the experience of self-realization of essence usher the soul into the third journey, the journey in presence. The soul is abiding in presence as presence. At this stage the journey is the development of nonduality. The soul’s journey is inseparable from essential presence; this journey is the process of integrating everything into this nondual presence. This process again has two phases or two complementary sides. The first is the essential development of the soul, what we call the essentialization of the soul. It is the complete mixing with essence, where she is not only transparent to it, but this transparency becomes so complete that the two become one. This is the nondual soul, where she and essence are one, a dynamic presence in which all contents of experience are forms of this presence displayed by its creative dynamism. The soul continues to be soul, but her medium is completely essentialized. She is completely the pure, immaculate, and transparent presence of essence, but now this presence has attained the dynamism and the morphing functionality of the soul. Alternately, she is the dynamic and living presence, morphing itself into the various forms and patterns of experience, but these forms are completely essential.

Recognizing that Your Usual Sense of Self is False

So as we approach that self-realization, we start to experience our usual sense of self as a kind of shell with nothing inside. You begin to feel unreal, or fake, as you recognize that your usual sense of self is false. Having experienced your essential nature, you realize your familiar identity is not who and what you are, but just an imitation. It’s a mental construction made out of beliefs and images and their associated emotional patterns, which has resulted in you being something that is not what you are. Self-realization, by contrast, means just being yourself, which means being presence itself. So whenever the experience of the personality, the self, manifests as a shell that is empty inside, you know that you’re dealing with the question of identity: What are you? And that arises at many levels. Every time you realize yourself as a new dimension of being, you will deal with another level of the shell of the personality.

The Mystery that Saves Us from the Obsessions of Our Mind and From the False Securities that Our False Self Thrives On

Thus the indeterminacy of the absolute is the same as the divine darkness, the inscrutable nature of the divine, the ultimate essence of Being . . . . . . . We can know it, but to know it is to know it as mystery, the ultimate mystery from which all being and knowledge arise. To feel the exquisite intimacy of its nonbeingness and to see the absolute blackness of its emptiness is to behold a majestic mystery, luminous and deep, awesome and enveloping, yet inviting in its annihilating touch and caressing in its melting embrace. We behold a mystery that we passionately wish to know, and we know that to know it is to cease being, yet we long to be embraced by its annihilation and love, to be taken in by its cessation. To know it is to cease, and to cease is to know it. To know it is to not know it, but to not know is to know it. To know it is to know it as mystery. It is the mystery that must remain a mystery, which cannot but be a mystery. Its being a mystery saves us from the obsessions of our mind, and from the false securities that our false self thrives on. We behold it as mystery, a mystery that by remaining a mystery liberates us from the traps of the manifest world. We learn to live in mystery, to be supported by ultimate insecurity, and to love the flavor of nonbeing.

Subscribe to the Diamond Approach

See past editions of the Diamond Approach newsletter