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COMMENTARY ON FALSE PERSONALITY AND SELF-LOVE

Questions are asked at different times in which the term "self-love" is used. I have explained that this term "self-love" is not used in this system of teaching and when I use it myself I have usually added that it is not a technical Work expression. In the early days of the Work in London we often discussed among ourselves why this word was not used and I remember someone saying that perhaps it was because it was either a worn out word or it did not contain any clear meaning. On one occasion, at a private talk among a few of us, Mr. Ouspensky said that if we could find another term for it, it might be of some use to describe False Personality. Various words were suggested such as "self-esteem", "self-admiration", "self-importance", and others, but when the term "self-liking" was suggested, he said that perhaps it came nearest to what he had in mind. He added that the whole question lay in the emotional reactions of False Personality in a man or woman. He said man, or woman, must be shaken to their depths to get rid of False Personality. We are easily offended and upset because False Personality is our feeling of ourselves and it is an imaginary thing, an acquired artificial mask, a pretended person that we like to imagine ourselves to be and are not. This False Personality takes itself as a unity and this is how Imaginary 'I' arises; it borrows, so to speak, the idea that it is a real person and so says 'I'. The keeping up of the False Personality takes a great deal of force. It makes us internally consider: it exhausts us. Mr. Ouspensky said that the False Personality always justifies itself in order to maintain its existence. This wastes force. In regard to the False Personality, which in my case is called Nicoll, he said that one has to be able to see that it is not really 'V. He said it was composed of a certain grouping of rolls in centres and groups of 'I's which may shift from time to time in regard to their composition according to the environment in which one happens to be, and yet at the same time it always has the same quality of falseness, of something kept up—some invention. A man, for example, may amongst lower class people assume a certain pretence of himself and amongst higher class people assume another pretence of himself, and yet at the same time it is all the same thing—that is, it is False Personality. He said that we have to come to the point of being able to say to ourselves internally "this is not really I". He said that this inner separation—in my case from Nicoll—was the most important point in the Work, and was connected with making the Personality as a whole passive. He said that the study of False Personality was almost a life task and eventually could only be understood through the development of inner taste which led into Real Conscience. He said that Real Conscience apart from Acquired Conscience was one of our greatest internal senses, and that unless it had been given us, no one could awaken. Acquired Conscience is, of course, merely a matter of how we have been brought up and what we have been taught is right or wrong. He said that Acquired Conscience

and so on. in so many words: "You know already that all sayings and parables in the Gospels contain immense density of meaning which reveals itself as we change in level of Being. O. and love of God". The point is that any man with any kind of discrimination and understanding who reads the Gospels . you must realize that this is said in a very big sense. It was a matter of imitation. It is recorded that Christ. He began by saying: "False Personality loves itself only and all that flatters it or agrees with it. XXII 37. In regard to what is said in the Gospels about love. These meanings destroy False Personality because when they begin to be understood by a man or a woman then the sense of the smallness of themselves in comparison with the great mystery of Creation begins to affect them emotionally.) It is only possible to attempt to give a summary of what Mr." he said. Nowadays. in a thousand different ways. and has meaning within meaning in it. (Matt. He said. on a very big scale. "love of oneself. not understanding that they are studying a Universe already given them which existed long before they were born. In more ancient times when a man had sense of the miraculous and worshipped God as the Creator. They even call stars by their own names. It is absurd. and carried out his role deliberately. Unless a man can find something to love greater than himself he can never modify this inner state. It could be anything. Some people are taught by imitation and education that it is right to have many wives and others are taught that it is right to have one wife. he was emotionally in a far better state than exists nowadays in the average human outlook. People did not externally consider. I asked him to speak about the stages of emotional development— that is. He said further that no one of course could ever act without some admixture of self—that is. But False Personality ascribes everything to itself. To argue about whether Christ existed or not as an historical fact has little sense. but Real Conscience is the same in all people. love of one's neighbour. but that half of it should be self and half love of neighbour. He could stand under himself.is different in every nation. He said that we are told to love our neighbours as ourselves and that one meaning is that we could not do things completely without self-interest or self-liking. His understanding was better. All greater emotions destroy the small self-emotions which arise from the narrow contracted sphere of the False Personality and its own minute self-liking and self-importance". How can a thing create itself? Scientists ascribe every discovery to themselves.'s answer was. "people have got a very strange view of the Universe and take it all for granted as if it created itself and see nothing marvellous in it. both of himself and of the Universe. but it is buried beneath the surface of the False Personality. when he was asked by one of the Pharisees which was the great commandment replied: "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself". the development of the Emotional Centre to its highest receptive powers—as it was formulated in the Gospels—namely. In fact He did. in the sense of self-interest— but that usually it was all self-interest.

that something infinitely greater than themselves exists and that they are nothing. They read about the Pharisees and Christ's continual condemnation of them. and with all one's mind. or who are going along the same road. and even quite religious people profess that they love God and do not observe that they insist on their own opinions and are a mass of False Personality so that really in the long run they love themselves". conscious . Psychologically it has to do with those nearest you in Being. it is always pretending to be what it is not. suspicion. 7 man knows what "love of God" means—that is. But people read the Gospels mechanically. It is conscious love. The Pharisee in you is your False Personality. Now what does "love of neighbour" mean? Who is one's neighbour? Some people perhaps think it means the person who happens to live next door. but they do not see that it applies to themselves—to their own False Personality. What we call love can turn to dislike. That is. with all one's soul. That is the first thing. in what they seek. they are liable to judge and condemn everyone who behaves in a way they do not like. The term love is used in the Gospels in a special way. a man belonging to the highest development possible to Man—certainly ordinary mechanical Man cannot know what it means. and imagine they do. And then what does love of self mean? Which self? We have many selves. realize practically. are completely different from anything that has ever been written since that time. how can we understand what "love of God" means? It is something tremendous. They do not understand that this means first making Personality passive—a long task. Love means positive emotion and we do not know positive emotions. he will be angry and even persecute him and wish to kill him. the fourth state of consciousness) would have to be reached before the meaning of Christ's words became fully understandable. these words. they do not understand what they read. but that is subjective. People even think sometimes that it is easy to understand that one must love God with all one's heart. jealousy or hate in a moment. That is why we must make a conscious relation to those in the Work—the second line of work. Yes. people say they love God and then go and kill one another or hate each other. or talk evilly. He added: "For example.e. by blow after blow. All we can say of ourselves is that we do not know how to love others or God. those near you in understanding. He may love his own opinion of God. We must see that it is so. and do so often in a flash. something we may imagine we know about. We only know emotions that turn readily into their opposites. We call it love but it is not love. The trouble is that they think they understand what Christ said. They must give up completely the idea that they are their own creators. and if someone disagrees with him. It is the Pharisee living in you. but cannot know yet. How can that be love of God? Perhaps No. the God he supposes he worships. Their characteristic is that they never turn into opposites because they include all opposites. It is self-love.for the first time knows at once that these brief records. A state of objective consciousness (i.. And finally. they hate in secret.

not mechanical love. At another time Mr. disagreed with these words and were sure they knew what love was even though they were unhappy or sad in appearance. He can include all things in himself. so small-souled. This happens when a man becomes conscious in the highest or most real part of him—that is. Most of his life takes place in his imagination. Love is work. He is no longer a fool." Some people. What people call love is usually satisfied self-love. But a man who reaches the highest state of consciousness is in a quite different state. He has at least got rid of some imagination. and utterly rejects a man of a different religion or nation?" . How could such a man. so prejudiced. that is meant. While in that state he sees what everything really is. got rid of some make-up. Everything in him is mixed with dreams. and so is nearer the possibility of conscious love. not passion. of course.relation. so selfish. He is no longer in personal subjective meanings. Love must become conscious. and with negative emotions. When a man begins to realize he cannot love as he is. I noticed. O. so negative. Man is asleep. with imagination. then at least he is nearer truth. What passes as love in mechanical life is chiefly imagination. in "Real I" in him. understand what love of God is—a man who even looks down on others if they do not belong to the same club. Such a man would understand what love of God is. to which he clings most of all. That is clear enough. He is subjective and especially governed by False Personality—this false person he has to obey which is not himself. He is objective and so universal. as Man is he is not yet properly conscious. some part of False Personality. But a man living in False Personality in which only small one-sided self-emotions occur. He cannot see anything as it is. To love is to work. said that we could not form any conception of a "development of love" without a development of consciousness. cannot do so. He said: "This Work speaks mainly of a possible development of consciousness in Man.