You have your real self, which is your `higher self`, which God created. Then you have your ego self, your 'false self', which you made.
Interestingly, the ego which you made, seems to turn against you and tries to take away your identity. It tries to stop you from being your real self. It wants you to become the ego self.
The ego then is like a black hole, sucking the life out of you, covering up your real self, distracting you from remembering who you are, closing down your mind and awareness, stealing from you, possessing you, getting you to align with it, getting you to trust it and side with it and want it, and above all else, getting you to believe that you ARE it. The ego is attempting to remove your real self from existence, so that all that is left is the false ego self, to whom you have handed over all your power and life.
In ACIM, Jesus speaks with very clear awareness of the fact that there is YOU - your real self - and then there is "the ego" - your false self. He speaks of how the ego is trying to get you to believe that you are it, but that you are not it and cannot be it. He also warns of how you willingly give the ego all of its power by choosing to deny and reject who you really are.
So here we have this strange battle going on, where the ego is trying to absorb you into itself. And for most people, it's done a really good job of it. To such an extent, that most people believe they are ONLY their ego. They don't even suspect that they have a hidden 'true self'. They have no idea that they are not themselves, or that their real self is covered up by layer upon layer of ego bullshit.
The challenge you have, and the entire purpose of 'awakening', is to get you to wake up to the truth of this situation and to 'pull away' from your identification with the ego, remember who you really are, and become really really clear that you are NOT the ego. Every time you buy into or listen to or side with or use the ego, you are reinforcing the belief that you ARE the ego.
You are not the ego. You are not what happens to the ego. You are not the ego that becomes affected by stupid events and attackers and bad people. You are not the self that feels hurt. You are not the self that is guilty. You are not the self that suffers and dies. You are not the self that fears death and fears life. You are not the self that is all caught up in drama and the rollercoaster of life's events. You are not the self that can be affected or feels triggered off by things happening around them. YOU ARE NOT THAT SELF. THAT IS NOT YOU.
Your ego is the repository of all things ego, and your ego is not who you are. You do not NEED an ego in order to exist. You do not need anything the ego is attached to, believes in, values or thinks is real. You are not dependent on it. It is dependent upon you. But while you think you depend on it - for your life - because you think you ARE it - because you've listened to and chosen to believe the ego's bullshit cover-story - you will keep experiencing things AS IF you are it, and AS IF all these things are happening to YOU.
Nothing can happen to YOU, ever. Because YOU are not the ego, you are not guilt, you are not fear, you are not upset, you are not drama, you are not the body, you are not vulnerable, you are not attackable, you are not hurt, you are not suffering, you are not sick or diseased, you cannot die, and you cannot change. Not one iota.
So the real lie is this... who you really are, cannot be changed, and is a permanent identity that God has put in place, and there's nothing you can do about it. BUT... your mind is capable of DENYING this fact, and pretending otherwise, and when it presents otherwise it hallucinates ego. And once ego is in the picture there are all kinds of backwards distortions of how things look and who you think you are. And you start to lose sight of yourself. And you lose track of your completely unchangeable perfection and innocence, and start to ACTUALLY BELIEVE that ITS POSSIBLE that the 'life of the ego' is your life, that you CAN be hurt and suffer and die, and that this big ego nightmare is actually happening to YOU.