The false self is the greatest barrier (all barriers are imagined, of course) to the realization of our true identity of universal being. The false self is essentially a psychological process occurring in the mind that organizes, translates, and makes sense (or in many cases nonsense) of all incoming data from the senses.
When this psychological process mixes together with the self- reflexive movement of consciousness, it produces a sense of self. This sense of self then pervades consciousness as a sort of perfume that causes the mind to mistake what is actually a psychological process for being an actual separate entity called one’s self. This mistaken conclusion, that you are a distinct separate self, happens very early in life in a more or less automatic and unconscious way.

— Adyashanti (via oceanandwave)