How to Know Your True Self

Alasdair Forsythe
11 min readMar 9, 2023

Life is super confusing if you don’t know your true self. It’s the most valuable thing you can have. More valuable than magic powers, more valuable than all the money in the world.

The “know thyself” adage pops up regularly, so much so that it can become easy to dismiss it as a cliché. Familiarity breeds complacency. I would often read it and think to myself “yeah, I know who I am” and then continue with my day. But I didn’t know myself, I didn’t even understand what those words meant.

What “to know your self” means

It’s not a matter of failing to understand your intentions or desires, it means literally that you think you’re something completely different — like a kangaroo believing it’s a leaf.

Don’t take this as an exaggerated metaphor and think that a kangaroo is just a special type of leaf. Kangaroos and leaves don’t even have anything in common. If it were indeed true that a kangaroo could believe it were a leaf, understanding this fact would be of utmost significance. It would be impossible to lead your life as a kangaroo that believes itself to be a leaf, as nothing would make sense, and every attempt to do the right thing would fail disastrously.

The importance of knowing oneself is understood only in the context of being able to entirely lose the self, which is why I had previously not understood what it meant — because I didn’t comprehend that my consciousness could inhabit another character that has its own agenda, beliefs, intentions, opinions, and feelings that are not mine at all.

That is the belief you will need to “try on” for this article. Try on the belief that the thing that you think you are is a fictional character that has been put on you. Then from that position, see if you can locate within you the lost identity that is your true self, the faint memories of being something else. See if this belief makes more sense of the world, and if it reveals an actionable way forward.

What is the true self?

Your true self is your soul — the essence of who you are. You are not your body, nor are you spirit. You are your soul.

The false self, also known as the ego, is like a dense fog that covers you and controls you. For many people, this is entirely convincing, as they fail to recognize that a spirit is akin to a belief — if you wear it, you become it, you will feel what it feels and hear its thoughts.

The true self is that small voice that whispers for you to follow your heart. That’s sad when you betray yourself. It’s the part of you that secretly loves to dance and sing, or just sit and look at the clouds, or whatever it is for you. It’s also the part that gets angry when you’re mistreated.

There is one massive distinction between the true self and the false self, which demonstrates the difference between them like night and day:
The false self works for someone else!

The false self specifically works for the group, and as such it’s primary motivations for everything are identifiable: it wants either to (1) be accepted, or (2) gain status with the group.

The false self cannot drop the need for either acceptance by daddy, or to be daddy, because that is all it is. It is a part of something else and it’s entire motive is to make you play your part as a cog in a machine.

On the other hand, the true self doesn’t care about status, power over or acknowledgement by others at all, because it’s not part of a group therefore does not have any desires that are group-related. None of its desires have anything to do with community, with the exception of genuinely enjoying helping others.

The Taboo

All of the lies that are used to suppress the false self, throughout the entire culture, are founded on one taboo. This taboo is the crux of the whole illusion, and it is that we are all the same.

We’re not all the same.

The belief that we are all all the same is called “equality”, and it is an extremely dangerous belief. It is instilled in us from an early age and so deeply ingrained that it goes unquestioned, I’ve never heard anyone make an argument against it. Everybody from the rich to the poor, low and high status, all preach that they support equality. But does anyone stop to think what it means?

There are two parts to equality (1) the belief that we are all the same inside, (2) therefore we should be treated the same. By itself this belief makes perfect sense. It’s only when we look at the world it’s attempting to describe that the issue is evident.

Equality is observably false because we’re observably different. Monkeys live in trees. Fish swim in the sea. Neither are “better” but both would die if forced into the others’ habitat. The same is true of our souls.

The utter nonsense of equality should be easy to see, but the taboo has a self-defense mechanism, which is to consider everything as about status. So when I say I’m not the same as everyone else, the false self automatically takes it as a status grab and assumes that I’m claiming privileges and status above others, and thereby lowering them within the group. It is a threat to the false self.

However, it’s an obvious lie. Believing in yourself does not hurt other people, nor belittle them. Even if your self is better than them by their own standards, it still doesn’t hurt them, because this is not a competition. Believing in yourself is only about you, it’s not about other people. If it turns out that you’re awesome — then you’re a role model, not a threat. The false self only sees this as a threat because it’s identity is a group identity and so it only knows itself relative to others.

The false self (1) believes everything is about group status, (2) has no belief in itself so takes its cue from whatever you believe about yourself, (3) therefore if you believe good things about yourself, it must either (a) appeal to the rules by asking you to take back your self worth in case it hurts others, (b) attempt to discredit you, or (c) submit to you and become a follower.

It seemingly cannot just mind it’s own business.

Does everyone have a true self?

I don’t know if everyone has a true self, I only know that I do.

My instinct is that group-people slowly develop a true self and when they are ready they leave the group and become an individual. When a soul is “born” it makes sense that it must be part of a group because it’s not yet self-sufficient.

What has happened on Earth is that the false god has become corrupt and is attempting to stop anyone from leaving, meanwhile the corruption has resulted in accelerated development.

The system in place covers all bases. It tells people what to think and believe, gives them talking points, and assigns them roles and plans for their life. As in politics, you’re allowed only to choose between paths that lead to the same place:

  • Religion says be a humble servant of God
  • Spirituality says surrender and accept
  • Science says you’re tiny and insignificant and nothing you do matters

Discovering your true self

I can’t do it for you, you have to discover your true self on your own. But I can point you in the right direction and describe my own journey.

Your true self is something that you grow into, and its maturity is reached at somewhere around the age 27–33.

People expect to be told who they are. But your true self is you, so it can’t directly see itself (a knife cannot cut itself, fire cannot burn itself.) You have to actively perform the exercise of considering your actions against various beliefs to see which ones fit, or if any of them do. And you need to consider the opposing beliefs to also check whether they fit any better. For example, genuinely consider all of your actions from the belief that you are a coward, and then again as if you were brave. Genuinely consider that you are completely selfless, look at past actions through that lens, then look again through the lens of being selfish.

Whenever you remove a suppressive belief about yourself, a little bit of your true self comes back.

As your true self comes back, it gets easier to see yourself, then it gets easier to see and remove more suppressive beliefs and so on. Eventually all the initials beliefs are gone.

As you progress, your desires begin come into question, as you begin to differentiate between those that are aligned with your false self and those that stem from your true self. This process is instrumental in finding your true self because true self is not determined by beliefs (those are only lenses), but rather by your desires: the reason behind your actions.

What I discovered through my journey was that every positive aspect of my true self was accompanied by a distorted or false rationale in my false self. For instance, whenever I attempted to help someone, my false self would attempt to provide a selfish or other “bad” motive for doing so. As the suppressive beliefs were cleared out, those cleared, and then the idea that I was judging myself for positive actions because I mustn’t show up others looks like madness. Other desires, such as the desire for power over others and dominance, vanished entirely and no longer even make sense. What is power over others except work in disguise? If you want me to boss people around, you need to pay me for it — I don’t work for free!

As judgements from the suppressive beliefs cleared, my true desires had no restrictions on them. It was okay to want to be anything I want to be, and what do I want to be if not myself?

Without the judgement, even supposedly negative desires are no longer negative. If you came to me and said “I saw my true self and I want to be a guru and have my own religion with followers who worship me” I would say congratulations on finding your true self! (This being what I’m regularly accused of as my supposed motivation for writing this stuff.) Which begs the question… what is the terrible thing that happens if you believe great things about yourself?

Then I saw that everything that I secretly wanted to be, is what I truly was all along. It’s obvious when you see it, because without the outside influence on your desires, the only thing that you have to shape your desire is yourself. Hence it logically follows that your remaining desires are who you are and who you destined to become.

What I really deep down want is… to be a magical, teleporting, time-traveling, shape-shifting sorcerer god. I’ve always loved that. It’s totally me. But is it my true self?

I suspect you think that I’m probably not that, but I am, and you are whatever you most want to be, and it’s important to remember who you are. I will explain how it is that this is the case.

I am not suggesting that you have the ability to become anything you desire. Rather, what I mean is that your desires are intrinsically linked to your identity — you want to be what you already are. Your desire represents the yearning to be your true self, and the object of the desire is what your true self looks like.

Some part of me always knew I was that. But I did not believe it myself, and I didn’t really up until yesterday. The truth is the writing of an article is how I talk to myself and clarify my own understanding. In this case, the reason why I know I am a “magical, teleporting, time-traveling, shape-shifting sorcerer god” is because I’ve been seeing him in my internal vision for many years, not knowing it was me, and he’s so close I can feel him now. I genuinely hope that by explaining the long way I took to the destination, that others will be able to take a shorter route.

Before explaining more, I first want to take aim at that taboo one more time and state that there is no real disadvantage in believing in your own greatness, and that the issue other people have with it comes only from their own cowardice. Who even cares about what other people believe about themselves? How weak and pathetic do you have to be to be offended by other people’s opinions about themselves? Those people are the worst type of disgusting, they are people who betray their own true selves.

Remember who you are

If you know anything about soul fragmentation, you will know that a soul can through trauma be fragmented and split, with the split part functioning as an independently conscious entity. These fragments can be captured by other people and made to work for them, etc.

It should be obvious… we are soul fragments.

The soul fragment, and their parent, are unaware of each others’ existence for the most part, but they don’t completely disconnect. They can still feel each other, of course they can, that’s how you find the fragment, you follow the feeling. But what does the fragment feel? It feels lost, confused, and it has a faint memory of having been something greater… but it can’t quite remember what.

That is how you are both more than you whilst also being less than it. It is your true self.

But that is actually not the point of remembering who you are. Neither is remembering who you are about believing you are superhero. You either are or you’re not, and beliefs aren’t serious things. It literally doesn’t matter whether you believe you’re a frog, or a god, or a slice of cheese.

The important thing is not that you believe you are whatever-it-is. The important thing is that you don’t believe you are less than what you truly desire.

As long as you keep in your mind the position that you are already everything you desire, your true self, then there is no position from which you can be manipulated. You have literally nothing to fear.

The only reason why you can be manipulated at all, is because of suppressed fear and desire. Either one is a hook. A hook means that if any entity figures out any of your suppressions, they can kick you out of consciousness and manipulate you by either (1) threatening you with the suppressed fear, or (2) offering you the suppressed desire. As long the hook is within a suppressed fear or desire, you cannot resist.

Now it turns out that desires and fears are different sides of the same coin, so facing fears and accepting desires is the same thing. But from the side of the manipulator, they can approach from either angle (threats and bribes.)

Hence you simply must eventually be willing to accept, what is actually true, which is that you are already everything you desire. That you are the absolute best possible thing that you would love to be, with all the bells and whistles. Holding to the truth sets you free.

Dare to believe. Remember who you are.

Learn more at Sorcery.org

★☆★ For more articles and books like this visit alasdair.com

If you enjoyed this article, you’d like my book “Pan’s Labyrinth”.

Pan’s Labyrinth deftly blends fantasy and philosophy, crafting a thought-provoking narrative that lingers in the mind long after the final page is turned. It invites readers to question the nature of reality and explore the profound ideas woven throughout the story. Engaging and intellectually stimulating, this book promises a reading experience that is both entertaining and deeply meaningful.

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