The False Self

Rev. Chris Korda of the Church of Euthanasia writes:

You’ve all been conditioned, every one of you. You’ve all been conditioned. Okay. What was the first and most important thing that you’ve all been conditioned for? You’ve been conditioned for many things, but without this thing, you couldn’t be conditioned for anything else. It’s the thing that makes it possible for you to receive further conditioning. Somebody tell me what this thing is, it’s a word. I’ll give you a hint: it’s the first thing we all condition our pets for, for the same reason. What is this thing we condition our pets for? It is… Obedience. Yes. Obedience. We’re conditioned for obedience.

Who did this? Who did this to you? Who conditioned you for this? First? Your parents. Yes. Yes, your parents and then your teachers, principals if you had any spunk at all, and then… Your bosses, yes, your bosses. Or ROTC drill instructors. Detention supervisors. Priests, nuns. Jails, reform school, whatever it took. You learned obedience.

And how was it done? How was it done? At the very beginning, how was it done? What were the chief methods, two methods, the main methods that they used to do this to you? Unless you grew up in some hippie household, breaking all the rules. God bless you if that’s so. But for all the rest of you. Physical violence, of course. Physical violence. Basic. Maybe not even hitting you. Maybe just holding you back. Physically preventing you from doing something. From pissing on the floor. From touching yourself in an inappropriate way. Getting up on the kitchen counter. Whatever it was that your instinct, your primal nature, told you to do, because remember, at this point you’re a wild creature. You are wild, you are an animal. You’re not just like an animal, you are an animal. And your instinct speaks to you, and you listen. Your instinct tells you to do something, and then they grab you, and they say “Don’t do that!”. They physically hold you back.

And then they use the other weapon, what’s the other weapon? The other weapon is… Fear. Fear of what? Fear of physical violence? Yes, but more than that, more important than that. Fear of losing something, something that you desperately need, because you’re so small. You’re so fragile, so vulnerable. Without it, even for a second, you panic, you have to have it, what is that thing they’re withholding? Love. Unconditional love. They make love conditional. They say… Okay, if they’re real shits they say “You do that again and we won’t love you. Piss on the floor one more time and we won’t love you.” If they’re intellectuals, if they read Dr. Spock, they’re trickier than that, they say “We’ll love you more if don’t do that. Don’t piss on the floor and we’ll really love you then.” But it’s the same thing.

And what is happening as you’re learning to cooperate? What is happening inside you? What are you learning to do? In the same way that they’re holding you back, you also learn to hold yourself back. You learn to… Suppress your basic primal drives. You learn to create the false self. The false self. The mask. Yes. Yes. Yes sir. Yes, thank you, sir. May I have another, please. You cower behind the false self that gets you the approval and the love, the conditional love that you so desperately need. You cower, in fear, fear of the most terrible threat, fear of expulsion from the love of the tribe, the only tribe you know, the nuclear family. This is your tribe, and you can be punished, excommunicated, banished to the darkness of non-love. And so you create the false self. First for them, first for your parents. And then, as you get better… When they can take you out in public without embarrassment, and parade you around, and say “Look at our little Lord Fauntleroy! Look at our little junior! Look how well behaved he is. How he follows our every command.” Of course they would never say this to you, or even in front of you, but they say it to each other, to the other parents. They say “Oh, we’re having such success, she’s so obedient, so well trained. She never cries anymore. She says ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’” Look at the false self! Look at how perfect it is. Look how perfectly it imitates us, who are also conditioned.

And then you’re ready for what? For school. Yes. Then you’re ready for school. You’re ready for real obedience. Obedience to the dictates of what? What will you learn in school? Who will you become useful to, whose skills will you learn? The skills of your future… Bosses, yes, your future bosses, your future masters, who will give you much more difficult commands. Just like our pets, who first have to learn the most basic obedience. To piss where they’re told, to eat where they’re told, using the basic methods, physical violence, fear of withdrawal of love, and rewards. Good dog, bad dog. Good dog, bad dog. Here’s a cookie. You can have a cookie because you’ve been a good dog. You piss in the toilet, now you’re ready. You walk when we tell you to walk, you sit when we tell you to sit, you don’t fidget, you don’t talk back, you don’t interrupt. You’re ready for school. You’re ready to be indoctrinated, to learn the skills of the technological state. You’re ready to become a citizen now. Yes, a citizen.

Read more here.

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  • Jmacpherson1987

    Spot on

  • Torlizardsss

    I agree for the most part, but then if everyone, including me, was their real self, then I for one would have killed a few people already, for example.

    Would have done more drugs and would probably be dead.

    • Jean

      Probably being totally unconditioned (your real self) you would be a hollow body just sitting and looking into a wall.  Your only movement would be when you were told to move and they gave you a direction.  Yes your parents and other environments conditioned you but they were conditioned to condition you. So it begins even before our parents.  Whoever is in control and engineered us is brilliant.  They get us to blame it on our parents, environment, etc. etc.  They figured out how to clean their hands of the whole mess and they get us to do it for them ….. genius they are  !!!!!!  We procreate, feed ourselves, we die and bury ourselves.  They don’t have to do a dam thing ….. very clean operation ….. eh ????   Torlizardsss …. totally unconditioned you would not even be able to move until you were told what to do !!! 

      • Torlizardsss

        Obviously we would develop some coordination skills ourselves, The article is getting at social conditioning more than the physical side, if fed and watered only, I’m sure a child would figure out how to walk on it’s own.  As for your “not knowing what to do”, I don’t agree at all, I think we would do as we wished.

  • Nirvanasteve

    This opinion piece is written in a terribly annoying manner. Yes, it was terribly annoying. How annoying is it? How? …So annoying. Yes. So annoying that I really no longer care about the original meaning, if ‘original’ is even something that could be applied to this kind of trite beer & spliff induced rambling.

    • Fnord

      You haven’t read any of Christopher Hyatt’s books, I take it.

      • Jesus Borg

        So question, why was he such a fat fuck, if he had the ability to program himself into anything he wanted to be? He wanted to be a fat bald dude that died young?

        I mean sure I am being disrepectful of a dead guy who wrote entertaining books but the bar for me is a little higher for people claiming to have occult power. I mean who doesn’t want to look awesome and live long? Seems like thats what everyone wants, so he must not have had much power.

        • Martin Hayes

          How high is that bar, exactly? It’s always amusing to read how Jack Parsons’s invocations to stop L Ron Hubbard from making off with his money and his girl so singularly failed, and Parsons was a high O.T.O. adept. I suppose the fact that Parsons died prematurely by accidentally dropping a box of fulminate of mercury shows he couldn’t “have had much power.” I suppose the fact that Crowley ended his days a junkie in a dive on the English south coast means he couldn’t “have had much power.”

          But never mind the appeals to authority by invoking these great gentlemen. I dare say they deserved everything they got. Funny that. This article is written in a similar haranguing style to Wilhelm Reich’s “Listen, Little Man,” and covers similar ground, but Reich was just a nut, of course. The idea of the false self was largely the subject of RD Laing’s “The Politics of Experience,” but according to Peter Hitchens, Laing was a charlatan. Alan W Watts wrote in a similar vein in, for example, “This Is IT,” but it turns out that Watts wasn’t the Zen master he thought he was. He liked to smoke cheroots and drank like a fish, so, according to William Irwin Thompson, Watts was just “an old drunk.”

          The really interesting question, then, is how do YOU expect to escape being called a pretentious wanker?

          • Jesus Borg

             Actually, I don’t care if you think I am a pretentious wanker. But in terms of who knows what the fuck they are talking about and who doesn’t, I like to go with people that are kind of understated rather than bombastic.

            I would say the most promising leads, in my opinion, are Taoism, Qi Gong, the Alexander Technique, Eckart Tolle.

            In terms of things that may lead to a person actually getting their shit together, being happy, healthy and at peace, maybe even “enlightened.”

          • Martin Hayes

            It so happens I do not think you are a pretentious wanker. My point was that people who have dedicated their lives to offering people a way out of the maze are dismissed scornfully with a wave or their hand, like you did about the late fat Christopher Hyatt. 

            I’m happy, healthy and at peace and, believe me, it’s not hard. It’s just fleeting.

          • Ted Heistman

             Well, OK. I read the “Psychopaths Bible”  and his way out of the maze seems to be to become a “toxic magician” which maybe is meant as satire, I dunno. Like I said it was entertaining. But the guy didn’t pull any punches, so I feel like he’s fair game to have his teachings scrutinized to see if there is anything of value there.

            I’ve also read a lot of stuff By Reich and Lowen, Bioenergetic type stuff, so I think I understand the principles behind “undoing yourself with energized meditation” though I admit I haven’t read it.

            But anyway, I’ve had problems with being fat and not breathing properly, having various blocks, trauma stored in my body. And I have to say that I’ve made some progress. Steadily losing over 50 lbs and becoming physically fit and healthy. Possibly someday I could help others.

            I find that some of these people only go far enough to hook others into listening to what they have to say buying their books etc. and that there is only so far they can take you because they haven’t been there yet themselves.

            I admit if I were more mature myself I wouldn’t be as much of an asshole about it. So I am not yet in the category of “those who know don’t talk and those who talk don’t know” but I can say there there are people who are very humble and mature and know a lot of stuff and I believe the schools of thought I mentioned above are more alongh those lines. For example Taoists know a lot of stuff, Qi Gong, I believe is legit and Eckhart Tolle, Oprah Book club aside, is the real deal as far as popularizing a lot of ancient teachings.

            Also if you want to see some really graceful old people check out some teachers of the Alexander Technique.

      • الأسوأ البطن

        If you’ve read one douchebag spawn of Robert Anton Wilson and Timothy Leary, you’ve read them all…

    • qigeek

      it is under the sub-directory “e-sermons” – if you read it as if it were a transcript from a preacher, it works better.

      • Calypso_1

        No that’s even worse.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    Conditional love is eeevil! how dare you have conditions for being considered valuable! How DARE you expect people to to treat you like shit if you treat them like shit. HOW DARE YOU desire to be part of something greater than your little wild animal self!!!

    • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

      There’s an interesting book that I read recently. _The Guru Papers: Masks of Authoritarian Power_ by Joel Kramer and Diana Alstad. (I do have a few criticisms of the book, which I won’t share for fear of dissuading anyone from reading it.)

      It does a very good job of describing how even “Unconditional Love” is used as a manipulative device in relationships.

      But yeah, at least “Conditional” love or approval has the benefit of being straightforward and honest.

      I’m certainly no martinet, but a certain amount of conditioning is necessary in order to pack 6 billion people on the planet with any semblance of order and co-operation.

      I suppose, looking at the source of the article, that might be part of his complaint… 

  • kowalityjesus

    To quote Vonnegut in Timequake:

    ‘I asked the late great German novelist Heinrich Böll what the basic flaw was in the German character. He said, “Obedience.”‘

    Just something to ruminate…

  • Bender

    Oh please… everyone throughout history has been conditioned to some extent.  Without ‘conditioning’  we’d all still be shi**ing our pants and drinking syrup.  Try raising a child without some degree of discipline… we’d all turn out like those punks in ‘A Clockwork Orange’.

    • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

      the average ‘Merkin is subjected to about 600 commercials a day
      no parent disciplines a child 600 times a day
      and FYI: America became the punks of ‘A Clockwork Orange’
      causing more mayhem then Alex and his friends ever imagined

      • emperorreagan

        If that was the argument this blog was making, it would make a lot more sense.  American culture is premised on a constant appeal to immediacy and pleasure – it never strays too far away from the primal. 

        I also think the notion of a “false self” and “true self” is nonsense.  I think the only distinction is how much effort one puts into the construct of “self.”  

        • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

          the post sucked as logical presentation
          but it was a nice Rorschach jumping off point

          as far as i can tell the “self” is a construct of consciousness
          which can easily be manipulated and influenced
          including by what i think of as… i
          but without an active willingness to do so
          or an awareness that i have been programed
          autopilot is the default mode
          which is programmed from a myriad of sources

          • emperorreagan

            I took the post as an infantile response from someone who just read some Christopher Hyatt.  This is agitation without follow-through, like many of the other mid-90s contemporaries to the church of euthanasia.  

            Meditation is the starting point, whether it’s Hyatt (I found Hyatt annoying because of his incessant need to try to tie himself to Wilson, Regardie, etc. in his writing, in addition to being a RAW knock-off to begin with) or Zen or occult or a variety of other studies wherein “self” is a primary topic.    

            I agree with the latter part of your comment.    

             

          • Ceausescu

            Meditation ? When there’s shrooms and LSD ?

            I’m trolling… in a way.

            All altered states of consciousness can be enriching for oneself.

            Personally, I like the easy way :D

          • qigeek

            it might be argued by some that consciousness is a construct of the self

          • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

            truth be told we have no way of knowing
            how the trick is done
            but we can watch it
            and you can be it
            even if there’s no you r it to be found

          • qigeek

            nice
            is there nisargatta maharaj reference in there?also reminds me of the man contemplating angels in eternity, wondering “what do they Do all day?”the same angels contemplating man -
            “what do they Be all day?”

          • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

            a little play on Huang Po’s
            you can’t know it, but you can be it

        • Ceausescu

           Yes, yes ! Construct the self ! Condition the self ! Put time and effort and model the self in order to get more conditioned love. And success. And material things that make you happy !

          On a more serious note, the writing style of the article’s author makes me thing of Smeagol. lol

          On a DEAD SERIOUS note, I must admit that it frustrates me. It frustrates me to see uneducated comments.

          And it makes me sad. The most human, unconditioned part of me is sad. Sad because I know I was conditioned to react with anger and frustration to ignorance.

          But I’m working on it !

          • qigeek

            Constructing the self, and putting effort into the construct, are two different things.

            I agree with empororreagan that the notions of a false and true self are nonsense. More appropriate terms are available, such as Wilber’s pre-personal, personal, and let’s not forget trans-personal as the Rev. Korda has.

            Others have also used the terms sub-conscous, conscious and super-conscious, but those fall apart when, as the Rev. Korda points out, we examine the extent the sub-conscious plays in our conscious life.

            I prefer the terms to describe our construct (not “to construct,” but “to describe”…) the Primal Self (our animal), the Waking Self (our programmed conscious mind), and the Awakened Self (that part that transcends the program). 

            Unfortunately, many that see the dominant program consider themselves awakened and don’t realize that they are just swapping programs.

            Few have achieved more than fleeting glimpses of the Awakened self.

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    one of the best ways to notice your conditioned self
    is to live among the locals in a foreign country
    or do things that are way out of your comfort zone
    and then the conditioning can quickly become apparent
    what to do about it is a life long task

  • http://twitter.com/alizardx A.Lizard

    If you don’t like how you have been and are being programmed, find out what’s in your code and hack it yourself.

  • Vlk

    i agree with the problem of conditioning to obedience. people are sheep, and that causeing a big problem on our planet.

    But i’m glad my parents didnt let me shit and piss on the floor. And normal parents never say i wont love you if you do this or that. Normal parents say: “you make me angry/sad if you do this”, “if you do that again, there will be consequences.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/miekko Markus Miekk-oja

    Repetition. Repeating things. Indoctrination through repetition. That’s a good method as well!

    • qigeek
    • http://www.facebook.com/miekko Markus Miekk-oja

      If anyone didn’t get my point, well, the article there is no better than what it accuses of being indoctrination. It’s partially right, of course, as pretty much anything is. It’s also likely somewhat wrong, as pretty much any pundit’s preaching will be. A lot of it is fallacies as well. But it’s written in a style that might convince some people.

  • Devan

    Having major problems giving a shit about this. Look, I get that you apparently REALLY wanted to piss all over the floor, and you’re still angry at your parents about that, but let’s be real. Animals are not that great. Yes, they’re beautiful and majestic and they fit their niche perfectly and the exist in harmony and whatever but they don’t fucking DO anything. Sure, they’ve never started a world war or eroded the ozone layer, but conversely, they have never been to the moon, they have never written a poem that has made someone cry, and they have never told even the lamest of knock-knock jokes. I think we can get past the ugly parts of humanity eventually, and really kick the tasty parts into high gear.

    As is true with hair, over-conditioning is detrimental to a person. But some conditioning is good. Obedience should be a muscle that you condition properly. Some amount of living in society means you buy into basic concepts like “If I shit on my friend’s pillow, he is justified in no longer being my friend” and “If I burn this man alive so that I can rape his wife, people around me will get understandably upset with me and probably expose me to negative consequences.” It’s the price you pay to not spend every day of your life trying to find berries that won’t kill you when you eat them and always looking over your shoulder for bears. Obedience should not be a base assumption; it should be something you choose to give to someone else, because you trust them, you trust the decisions they make, and you believe that what they ask of you is for your mutual benefit or the benefit of something you care about.

    Condition your kids to understand that other people have expectations of them, but that they get to choose the level at which they meet them, if at all. Teach them that there are consequences for actions, but that as long as they are okay with the consequences, nothing stops them from engaging in said actions. Kids are too stupid to not touch fire, so parental obedience is the stopgap until they graduate from bone-gnawing mongrel to sentient creature.

    • Ceausescu

      Could you have taken it more literally ?

      You’re a kind of sapient creature that sees that world in black or white. And you see the world in very subjective, personal way. I could even go further and state that you are probably so egocentric that you don’t even feel part of this planet, or feel as a “new-entry” species trying to survive and perpetuate, or an evolved extension of all the other animals around us that don’t fucking do nothing.

      The fact that you seeing the animals as “doing nothing” seems very infantile and ignorant. Please accept my apologies. I’m not trying to make you feel bad or inferior. We’re all potentially equal to some extent. I’m just expressing my own perspective of what I see you as.

      I’m not saying you should see the world from somebody else’s perspective. But at least cope with the fact that there’s a huge number of other specimens in your species that have different perspectives than yours.

      I’ll try to do my best and express my understanding of the author’s perspective in a more objective way. Maybe it could help you.

      In short, he thinks that many people condition their kids with regards to matters that they can’t even understand outside of their cultural view. Such as denying a kid to pleasure himself/herself.

      But that’s not the only important thing about his rant.

      There’s also the fact that these people do these kinds of conditioning it in a detrimental manner. Indeed, they inflict fear and obedience. When they could use unconditioned love and connectedness. And all this conditioning from an early age makes it very easy for the school system and all other institutional authorities, corporate entities or persons to apply their desired conditioning afterwards.

      Back to you. You can’t imagine yourself a world without the existing conditioning of fear and obedience. And I can’t either. Or I’m not trying hard enough.

      In a way, this is how we explain and sustain the existence of such conditioning.

      Bottom line is that even if we cannot grasp a world without the current conditioning, it doesn’t make the current one necessary or irreplaceable.

      Food for thought.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lance.ziacha Lance Ziacha

    the “false self” and the “true self” are one and the same. different angles of the same object. a deflated beach ball laid out on the ground can look perfectly round when looked at from directly above, can it not? that is the “false self”. one specific angle, used as an aid in manipulation. we are not conditioned to be obedient, we are taught how to manipulate authority figures. it’s all in the perspective, babies!