What is the “TrueSelf”?


The TrueSelf is the perception of one’s existence based on the Truth.   It is one’s sense of identity based on the truth of one’s existence, manifesting dynamism and interconnectedness. 


In contrast to the TrueSelf is one’s mistaken perception of EgoSelf - for one’s sense of identity. The EgoSelf is based on stagnation (rather than dynamism and development) and self-centeredness (rather than on interconnectedness).


Both truths of interconnectedness and continual change derive from the Law of Life, (encoded in the Lotus Sutra by MyohoRengeKyo). Taking as a reference for one’s identity the universal Law of Life, implies uniting one’s subjective perception of existence with the objective universe.  In effect, the TrueSelf offers expansiveness, broadmindedness, and reflects on feeling of inner harmony, clarity of mind, inner security and happiness.


The TrueSelf and the spectrum of the human nature

Our human nature is a spectrum of various states. Some of the states we experience are filled with limitations and negativity, others display confidence and positive attitude. The highest state of our human nature is the enlightened or Buddhanature. The TrueSelf corresponds to one’s Buddhanature, and is revealed in one’s behaviour.  Behaviour driven by the sense of TrueSelf leads to constant improvement and striving for expanding our wisdom and depth of compassion.

While the EgoSelf is focused on its narrow views, the goal of TrueSelf is to create value for self-and-others and transform hardships into meaningful experiences.


The “small” and “greater” self

The shallow sense of Egoself leads to instability, problems and sufferings.  When we doubt our capacity to manifest the TrueSelf, we fall into feeling inferior - or react with arrogance,  This level of immature 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”.


The greater (or 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.  For this reason it generates 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 identity, but the quality of our existence depends on the reference we believe in: is it the ego-small perception of our self, or the true-greater self.

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 higher 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 Buddhanature also referred to as 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

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Author: Safwan Darshams



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