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The experience of being human can at times be joyful or it can be truly dreadful as well as everything in between.  It is true to say that every human story contains some significant amount of dissatisfaction, sorrow and or suffering.  Almost all of us are in search of a happiness that does not come and go.  We long for a stable, unbroken sense of wellbeing that is characterized by a gentle peacefulness, ever-present compassion and infinite love and patience for ourselves and all other beings.  Without realizing it what we are searching for is spiritual enlightenment, or our sacred, infinite “Buddha Nature”.


Why does this search for enlightenment, this desire for unbroken happiness feel like an unachievable dream?  It is because for the separate, individual person that we believe ourselves to be, such an idealized human experience, touched by divine grace, does not seem possible.  Dissatisfaction is inevitable because we are living our lives from the perspective of a limited sense of self-identity that, by its very nature is self-concerned, unstable, vulnerable and insecure.  


It is quite rare that our belief in what or who we are is ever questioned.  Our self-identity, the “me” or “I” that we believe ourselves to be, is so convincing that it never occurs to us to question its authenticity.  If we were to spend even a few minutes considering the question, “What am I?”  this self inquiry would reveal that we are not who or what we think we are.  We would discover that our eternal, divine spirit has assumed an alter ego.


Alter ego - is a self-created sense of identity that is other than who, or what we truly and essentially are.


This ability to create a sense of self that feels like an individual egoic entity, has its roots in our ancient, evolutionary history.  Complete identification with the persona we create, is a primitive, evolutionary, survival strategy.  Every human being does this.  Virtually everybody lives their life through this self-created persona.  Our personhood is a very personal mosaic of thoughts and ideas about who we feel we are.  We then believe this tapestry into existence.  This belief is what creates our sense of being a separate, individual entity, the person that we call “I” or “me”.


It is this capacity to create our own individual identity, based on our unique environmental and experiential conditioning, combined with the ability to live our lives from this perspective, that has enabled humans to be the most adaptable and therefore the most successful species on the planet.  


Unfortunately, this egoic identity, created by the psychological mind, is always highly unstable, insecure and continually troubled, creating drama about so many things.  


From this spiritual perspective, our once successful, ancient survival strategy is now our greatest liability.


The problem is, that after hundreds of thousands of years of doing this, alter ego creation has become hardwired into the primitive survival architecture of our modern-day brains.  This process of creating our individual self-identity operates beneath the threshold of our awareness.  We do it without knowing that we are doing it.  Therefore, even though our sense of self is a complete psychological fabrication, we never question it.  We never question the authenticity of the person that we believe ourselves to be.  


Thus, we navigate our human existence from this very limited position of ignorance, unaware of our infinite, divine, spiritual essence.


This pervasive, self-created, false identity is what is solely responsible for all human suffering.


Fortunately, the core of who we truly are, the sacred divinity of our being, is always pure and untouched by our egoic delusions.  Becoming enlightened to this sacred truth of our infinite “Buddha Nature”, awakening to the simple, divine truth of our eternal, spiritual essence is the greatest most liberating discovery in the human kingdom.

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