Most of us are afraid of our own true nature; we put the limits on ourselves. Original enlightenment is real. Everybody has Buddha Nature. Everybody has full, complete Buddha Nature —not as a seed, not as a potential, not as a promise— complete and full Buddha Nature.
This fundamental reality is veiled by our wrong views and afflicted emotions. We know the fundamental wrong view is separation or self-grasping, yet when we say “separation” we mostly think of being distinct and independent from other beings. There is a deeper meaning that we don’t usually consider: separation from our true nature.
If there were no original enlightenment, there could be no eventual enlightenment. We cannot achieve that which is not there. We cannot become what we are not. A little bird will not become a bird; she already is a bird. She was born from the egg of a bird; she is a bird. If she were something different, like a dog or a cat, she could never become a bird. We can only become what we already are. —TN