Well, Charles and Leigh, I would think that Thomas Merton describing the ‘ego’ or the’I’ as an illusion or the ‘false self’ is exactly that. The Hindu and Buddhist also have a great deal to say about the concept of ego as illusion. James does not tend to express himself on these topics in the language of psychology or neurophysiology, but what he has to say very much mirrors contemporary thought on this topic. If your interest lies in this area the French Girardian Jean-Michel Oughourlain, who is the Professor of clinical psychopathology at the American Hospital in Paris will no doubt address your queries in just such language. ‘The Genesis of Desire’ and ‘The Puppet of Desire’ are both extraordinary books. In the Christian contemplative tradition is ‘true self’ is to be found in union with God, while the ‘false self’ is the ‘ego’ or the ‘I’ desiring the world, the ‘social other’ of James or the ‘Great Beast’ of Simone Weil. Does that make sense?