The 4th Way teaches that man in his normal state is not a single being. Instead, man is a collection of mechanical effects which all call themselves 'I.' Man is compared to a nation where every citizen gets to be king for 5 minutes, with absolute power to enter into whatever commitments and to generally do what he pleases. The concept is related to the concept of 'program,' 'personality' and 'buffer.'
The QFS associates the concept of little I to a neurological imprint or conditioned response or to a mental state that is characterized by typical conditional responses. Social roles which one assumes automatically without conscious decision are for example due to different little I's coming in control in different combinations at different times. .
Little I's are typical of the default state of man and are not a pathological condition like multiple personality disorder (MPD). Psychiatric conditions like MPD can arise if little I's are unusually split, which is not the case in normal 'sleeping' man. What contemporary psychology calls normal personality is however from the viewpoint of the
4th Way a mechanical chaos of competing little I's, far removed from having a 'fixed self' or 'real I.'