A fake self and a true self

 The other day, there was a talk about Jitomyo as Buddha’s the last words on the TV program. 

“Rely on yourself and rely on the Dharma.” 

This is said to be the last teaching of Buddha, and this is called the teaching of Jitomyo (Be a light unto yourself) and Hotomyo (Make the Dharma your light). 

This teaching is based on the assumption that there is a self to trust; one should rely on oneself, which is called Jitomyo. 

Generally, in Buddhism, you may think of the teaching of no ego, which means ego, seems to be a combination of various elements, but it is actually Muga (selflessness). 

Buddha taught to rely on oneself, but the other hand he taught Muga. 

I think wrong teaching of Buddhism came out later, because of incomplete understanding of this part. 

In Buddhism, there is also a trend to describe a theory of Mureikon that “No self, No soul.” 

This idea is misleading because a part of the Buddha’s teaching was distorted. 

Buddha preached Shitai (The Four Noble Truths) - Hashodo (Practiced for attaining enlightenment) as a basic teaching. 

Hashodo means “Eight Noble Path,” which are Right View, Right Thought, Right Speech, Right Conduct, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Meditation. 

In simple terms, Buddha preached to reflect oneself by correcting our own behavior based on the eight guidelines. 

Therefore, correct our own behavior is premised on having a self. If there is no self, there is no need to correct our behavior, and there is no point in improving oneself. 

Muga preached by Buddha, means the ego that is born in a body, which refers to the false ego. 

When a soul lives in a body, five senses that depend on the body are created. Then greed is born, followed by obsession. Finally worldly desires develop as a result. 

As mentioned above, there is an ego that can be called a low-level self, which is corresponding to the material world. 

Ego develops strongly by recognizing that the body is the self. 

Therefore, Buddha preached that there is no ego from the beginning. All the elements are without a Self, which we are all connected. Consciousness of the five senses develops a combination of various elements. 

Soul lies deep in the subconscious, and true nature like a sparkling diamond resides in deeper place.  

It is also called Buddhahood. 

True self like a diamond is asleep deep in fake self. 

However, it will not shine unless it is polished, because it is like a diamond in the rough. 

Meaning of practicing Hashodo and various kinds of trainings is to make the diamond in the rough shine beautifully by polishing it. 

Teaching of Muga is to bring out the hidden true self covered with fake ego by uncovering it; an action to polish the emerged diamond by various trainings. 

Therefore, human beings have a fake ego and a true self. We have to abandon fake self, and we have to improve a truth self. 

I think lack of understanding of these differences misleads us from the original teaching of Buddhism. 

 Translated by Miya.s