The false self is the ego. The ego is the part of us that has come to believe that
Who I am is defined by these four things:
"Who I am is what I have"
and so we spend a big chunk of our lives attempting to get as much stuff as we possibly can, the dow teaches something very different to let go of everything you have let go of all of it so the ego teaches us you are what you have the dow teaches us let go of everything that you have to do less and accomplish more one of Lao's most famous observations as I do nothing and leave nothing undone the second thing that the ego teaches us is that
"Who I am is not only what I have but Who I am is what I do what I accomplish"
and so we spend a big chunk of our lives believing that the way that we become quote successful happy fulfilled self-actualized whatever it might be is on the basis of what I accomplished what my resume looks like how many promotions I get and so we send our children off to school and we ask them to learn to identify themselves on how much they get and what they accomplished your grades become more important than what it is that you are studying what you own what clothes you wear what labels you have and so on and we become obsessed with this kind of absurdity and we this is the false self at work the third thing that the ego teaches us is that
"I am what other people think of me I am my reputation"
so becoming obsessed with our reviews what people think of us other people's opinions getting the approval of others so the dow teaches us that what you think of me is none of my business what the ego teaches us is that what you think of me is the most important thing that I have and so I'll do whatever it is that I need to do in order to get you to agree with me to like me to approve of me and so on the fourth thing that the ego teaches us this false self is that
"Who I am is separate from everyone else"
and so we are raised in this world of the false self which teaches us that we have to be in competition with everyone else we have to defeat somewhat else being number one is the most important thing and you see people doing this all the time at football games and a bed and you'll see it when the Olympics come up you know that the gold medal is more important than anything else and if I don't see people weeping and sobbing over this idea that I have to be better than somebody else in order to be fulfilled in my life