Everyone is searching for their “true being”—but almost always, this search is not recognized for what it really is and is rather only vaguely understood as a longing or desire for some sort of completion or fulfillment. This longing and desire usually gets directed outwardly, into the content of the world. It becomes the search for status, approval, love, family, accomplishment, possessions, fame, power, and so on.
Sooner or later, almost everything we value and cherish that is outside of us—our relationships, attainments, possessions, etc.—will be removed from our life in some fashion or another, given enough time. That which is not directly removed from our life will eventually change form, at the very least.
When things are removed from our life or change form, we suffer in proportion to our resistance to these things leaving our life or changing form.
In our subsequent suffering, we commit hostile actions, either toward others, or toward our selves. These actions can range from the extremely gross (serious crimes) to the extremely subtle (mild depression or loss of passion for life, or general dissatisfaction with things).
Given all this, it's clear that anything outside of us—within the content of the world—is unreliable in terms of its apparent ability to truly provide us with happiness or fulfillment.
What is being further proposed here is that this conditioned tendency to search for fulfillment outside of ourselves is directly based on the existence of the false self or ego. The enlightenment process is one of learning to see directly into the artificial nature of this ego. But in order to do that, we need to become very honest with ourselves. We cannot see into the illusory nature of this ego—and its desires and attachments to the things of the world—without first profoundly knowing this ego. So the first step is always one of honestly looking into the mirror, and learning to recognize our limiting patterns. Doing so enables us to begin to see into the purely artificial nature of the ego. This in turn leads to the possibility of developing a passion for truth, a hunger for our real nature, for the one thing in existence that is truly reliable.
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