What does a Substitute Sense of Self do?

A Substitute Sense of Self truly involves a fictional Self, but the person is not aware of that.  Living in a SubstituteSense of Self-oriented way is living based on a fiction; in fact it is living a fiction altogether. The fiction is that, in order for the person to experience a right to exist, the Ego-References need to be fulfilled, for fear of ‘Annihilation ’. Reliance on the Substitute Sense of Self generates compulsion, because it needs to be recreated over and over again in order to keep securing the sense of a right to exist, which fades quickly after each ‘success.’

Once the Substitute-Sense–of-Self-oriented System (see below) has installed itself in the person, it becomes their identity. The driving force which compels the creation and re-creation ad infinitum of the Substitute Sense of Self is as strong as a force of nature, just like any other survival mechanism. The obsession of having to fulfill the Ego-References leads to neurosis and compulsive behavior. (Not the obvious classic ‘compulsion’ of for example incessant hand-washing. Much more subtle. Much more common and everyday-activity based.)

The person is not the Master of his life but the ‘Slave’ of fulfilling the Ego-References. His life is not about him or her but about juggling the Ego-References as there are many and the time is limited and often times they are conflicting among each other. (See Self-Sabotage) Life is not geared towards the well-being and expression of the person. The life situation could be described as that the person ‘IS NOT.’

The Substitute Sense of Self can’t be replaced directly by a Natural Sense of Self; that opportunity is gone forever because a Natural Sense of Self never developed at the appropriate time. What we can achieve through awareness training  and exercise is to gain what I would like to call a Restored Sense of Self.

To help people recognize whether they have a Substitute Sense of Self (self-diagnosis), and to find the cause of why and how this could happen (understanding and accepting,) and also to eliminate the power of this unhealthy past in our present, by replacing the Substitute Sense of Self by a Restored Sense – these are the purposes (Introduction to Recovery) of this Theory and work.

We could say, in two words, that what a Substitute Sense of Self does is carry out Nature’s way to prevent the person from experiencing the terror of ‘not existing’ for others, and yet by doing that, because it is an unhealthy response to an unhealthy childhood situation, what else it does is create no end of misery, pain, and problems.

Where the reader goes next….