Eight Steps to Happiness: What is Self-Cherishing
Self-cherishing is thinking that we are more important than others and develops from the belief that the self that we identify with is inherently real. The mind of self-cherishing is the most harmful mind because it makes us commit negative actions out of selfishness. It is also a wrong awareness because it is based on the belief in the inherently existent self, which does not really exist. While the self does exist conventionally, it does not exist independently from our body and mind, even though when self-cherishing is manifesting strongly within our mind, it feels like something that exists from its own side. We grasp at this self that we identify with, and then cherish this self that we have completely fabricated within our own mind. Actions that are motivated by the minds of self-grasping and self-cherishing are contaminated actions that cause us to take rebirth in samsara, so these minds are considered to be the root of samsara.