The Heart and True Self
The true self is the essence of human life as well as the root of the cosmos. The true self is infinitely bright. It is not born, it does not die and has no shape or form. The human body, which has both form and shape, is a temporary dwelling for the true self.
Therefore the body has birth and death.
The heart is the manifestation of the true self. When oneís heart is pure, it reflects his true self. The heart also disperses into three natures i.e. True Nature, Human Nature and Animal Nature. Because of this there are two extremes, the distinction between good and the bad.
He who overcomes emotions and desires and restores his true self becomes a Saint or a Sage. He who cannot overcome emotions and desires will never be free and becomes ordinary. For example, a mirror itself is clear when it is first made. As the mirror sits, dust is collected and cannot be clear. A manís true self is the mirror and the dust is the emotions and desires.
Taoism says, "Cultivate the heart to refine the true self". Buddhism says, "Brighten the heart to see the true self". Confucianism says, "Hold the heart to cultivate the true self". Christianity says, "Purify the heart to align to the true self". Islam says, "Strengthen the heart to stabilize the true self". Although the sayings are different, they all refer to the restoration of the True Self.