What is the “TrueSelf”?

The TrueSelf is one’s sense of identity based on the truth of one’s life. 

The truth of life is the objective Law of MyohoRengeKyo.  Taking as a reference for one’s identity the universal Law of Life, implies uniting one’s subjective self with the objective universe.

One’s personal dedication to be in harmony with this truth of own life - results in the highest, happiest and most valuable sense of self. 

In other words, one’s TrueSelf is one’s Buddhanature, which is revealed in one’s behaviour.

Behaviour driven by the sense of TrueSelf leads to constant improvement and striving for expanding our wisdom, compassion and lifeforce. 

The goal of TrueSelf is to create value for self-and-others and transform hardships into meaningful experiences.

On the other hand, a shallow sense of self (or self-doubt) leads to instability, problems and sufferings.  When we doubt our capacity to manifest the TrueSelf, we fall into feeling inferior - or becoming arrogant, ignorant of others feelings, ego-centered, negative in judgements and confused about our direction. 

This is how one inwardly senses oneself when ignorant of own value, lacking maturity and understanding of one’s true nature.  This level of self-awareness is called the “small self”.

Buddhism teaches that - even when experiencing the negativities and limitations of the “small ego-self” - we still have the potential and hope for transforming our hardships. 

A transformation of our quality of life is possible through expanding the small self into 

a “greater self” – aimed at creating value for self-and-others, and living in harmony with the Law.  The “greater self” is the same as the “TrueSelf” – the power of inner identity capable of revealing one’s “Buddhanature”.

Because the TrueSelf is based on the most reliable reference – which is the natural Law of Life (and not on opinions of others of who we are)  –  then it generates in us the feeling of freedom and confidence that our life is based on a solid ground of the truth (of Buddhanature). 

Of course, we have only one self-identity, but depending on our belief and making efforts we experience different levels of feelings and behaviour.  It is like the situation with a vehicle which has two ranges of speed: low and high.  It is the same vehicle in both ranges, but has greater power and capacity if its potentials get activated.  The TrueSelf possesses the highest life-energy and wisdom, because is derived from harmony and dedication (Namu) of individual - with the Law (MyohoRengeKyo) - being the state of NamMyohoRengeKyo.

TrueSelf and the Ten Worlds

In terms of the Ten Worlds, the TrueSelf is the identity of the state of Bodhisattva-Buddha.  Nichiren Daishonin revealed his spiritual identity as Bodhisattva Superior Practices, Jogyo, which literally means: “The True self of Buddha”.  In the Orally Transmitted Teachings,  Nichiren states:  “Superior Practices represents the virtue of true self”. (*)

On this subject P. Ikeda explains:

        ”Bodhisattva Superior Practices is actually a Buddha who is exerting himself at the level of Buddhist practice that enables any individual to attain enlightenment. 

In other words he is the Buddha embodying the simultaneity of Cause and Effect”.

The Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra, vol.5 p 164

This means that identifying oneself as Nichiren’s follower - a Bodhisattva of the Earth - automatically lifts one’s sense of self to that of the “TrueSelf of Buddha”, which is equivalent to working for kosenrufu and revealing one’s Buddhanature. 

(*) Orally Transmitted Teachings, Chapter Fifteen, Emerging from the Earth:https://www.nichirenlibrary.org/en/ott/PART-1/15


Author: Safwan Darshams

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