How To Find Our True Self - True Kindness



How To Find Our True Self

Do you ever feel that, in this complicated society, you are gradually losing yourself? In the long-term process of socialization, in order to gain acceptance by others, we have gradually learned to erase our true voice and cover up our true feelings. When we have lied to ourselves for too long, we are no longer able to get in touch with our true feelings and we lose the ability to recognize the truth of things. We are willing to keep up our external appearance only and lose our true spiritual self? When someone asks if you know who you are? None of us will admit that we do not know who we are. We would definitely say, "I know who I am." We would not believe that we do not know who we are. Nobody believes that. Because from the time we were a child, everyone has been calling us by our names. So, we used to it, we feel that is who we are, "I am this name". In fact, we have no idea what our true self is because we are controlled by the external environment from birth.  For instance, when we were born, there was no knowledge in our heads, no learning, nor memories. Then, gradually, we began to recognize the names of things, images, good and bad situations. Many of these things are learned after birth. We also learned the value judgment. That is, whether something benefited us, "Is this good for me? This person loves me, but that person doesn't. I like this, not that." All of these things are gradually cultivated after birth. These are not the things we have known at birth. Let's now take a look, at what we consider to be "I" or "self", what is it really? I am sure you would say, "I am this body, I am what I think, I am my ability, and I am my property." If you have a family, you would say, "My wife is at home, or my husband and my children are all mine." Actually, as I pointed out last, all these are "mine", just mine. Without me, what is this body? Whose body is it? My body. Whose thoughts? My thoughts. Whose concept? My concept. Whose judgment? My judgment. Whose money? My money. They are all mine. All my things. Everything has the word "my" or "mine" in it. There is no "I". There is no such thing. Thus the material environment is leading us by the nose. We become the victim of the external environment without knowing ourselves. When we cried or laughed, happy or annoyed, this is really "me" or because of "mine", "my" things? They are all on account of "mine". None of them is on account of "me". I know it sounds silly. But we have to understand this, the real self, where is it really? The real self exists (in a sense). It directs us to go east rather than west. It directs our minds to chant the Buddha's name rather than to scold people. It directs our hands to worship the Buddha rather than to hurt others, and to save people rather than to beat them up. It allows us to be our own master and to govern our mind, asking it to feel remorse and not to be proud; asking it to be humble and not to be conceited and arrogant. If it is able to be its own master, it is the self. This means, from an uncontrollable and powerless situation, we become our own master. Being able to control our own physical and mental activities. Being able to command, coordinate and manipulate such activities. So, what is this? This is the self. How do we explain this? We often change in response to environmental influence. But that is the environment and not the self. Thus, we have to build the self by relying on resolution or determination. Most people go along with the currents and are swayed by the environment, that is, to turn along with the karmic force. Our Karmic force comes from innumerable previous lives, life after life of good and evil karma, and produces the present results. Trying our best to do what we can learn what we should learn, and do what we should do. Giving our best and continually correcting ourselves, this is the best method to find the self again. If you do not follow this method, then you will just be drifting with the currents and become a lonely soul. This means you are turning with the wind. What is wind? No matter how the environmental wind moves, you will move along with it. You no longer have the self, but become an appendage of the environment rather than the person that changes the environment. Nobody wishes to become an appendage of the environment. Remember, not to let the external environment direct our behavior and thoughts is the best way to find the self. May each and every one of you success in finding the self again.

Credit: Master Sheng Yen