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Maurice Nicoll on False Personality

A man fully awake has no False Personality. For us who are studying how to awaken this means that the more awake we are the less are we in False Personality. Or, to put it the other way round, the more a person is in False Personality the more is that person asleep.
Now a person who is asleep in False Personality has no real existence. There is no real person. A man must become quite open to himself without deception. This is true relaxation. He must cease to hold himself in certain beliefs about himself, poses, pictures, ideas of himself. Anxiety and fear, which prevent us relaxing, subtly arise when a man endeavours to maintain what is not really himself. He lives on one side of himself at a time, and the rest is dark to him. He is not open to himself. The False Personality, always pre-occupied with different forms of internal considering, with questions of whether a good impression is being made and appearances kept up, causes a strain in Being.
It is as if a man kept on standing on his toes and did not understand why he felt exhausted. All the time he is keeping something up which is not himself, something imaginary, something which does not fit him. And this happens with everyone. If we had no False Personality all this anxiety and nervousness which all secretly feel about themselves, whether they admit it or not, would vanish. Not only would our relationship to others change, but our relationship to ourselves. We then would understand what it is to relax. One reason is that the False Personality can only love itself. Self-love, which attributes everything to itself, keeps us in anxiety for it is afraid of loss of esteem and position.
Now False Personality never admits anything. It is always right. If it pretends to confess its sins, it does so out of vanity, as a pose, to shew off, to gain merit and applause. This absurd thing composed of self-evident lies and false imagination you might think easily seen and destroyed. On the contrary its existence is most difficult to see and its strength is extraordinary. It will neither allow itself to be found out nor allow ourselves to find ourselves out, that is, what we really are. If it did, its power would be destroyed, and we should be free from our greatest enemy, that is, the person we imagine ourselves to be, whom we serve as slaves from the moment we wake up in the morning to the moment we fall asleep at night.
So we cannot deeply relax when we serve in this way, for False Personality will keep on making us correspond to what it imagines itself to be. It will not allow a person to be at rest, but must prod him to act in the way he is supposed to act, to keep up his reputation, his character-role. So if a man has a picture of himself as being a hard worker the False Personality will drive him to work hard even at the point of death. It makes each of you keep up your pictures of yourself.

(Maurice Nicoll in Psychological Commentaries, vol.3 page 908)