Our true nature, as capacity for the world, is in our immediate experience – always. Although we may not notice it or take it seriously.
This means that we always have an underlying – and accurate – sense of ourselves as timeless, stainless, completely free, immensely rich, unconditional compassion & wisdom, etc. (Whatever words we use to describe what we awaken to ourselves as when we find ourselves as capacity for the world, as Big Mind).
And in our confusion, we try to apply these characteristics to the small self.
We try to achieve “immortality” either literally (cryogenics etc) or metaphorically (fame) for the small self. We try to make this small self stainless and pure through purifications, repentance, denial, etc. We try to achieve freedom for this small self by breaking social norms. We try to make this small self rich through accumulation of knowledge, skills, experiences, relationships, material wealth, etc. We try to find unconditional love and wisdom for this small self through various practices, denial, or association with someone who appears to exhibit these qualities. And in all cases, we fail. At best, the success is only temporary and it is always limited – there is always more to gain, always further to go.
When we awaken to ourselves as capacity for the world, as Big Mind, we find that we already are these qualities. We have always been and always will be these qualities, whether we notice or not. And this can take a great deal of pressure away from trying to apply these qualities to the small self. I find that I am all these qualities, inherently and effortlessly, and independent of the specific circumstances of the small self.