When we are open and engaged, we experience the greater self. When we are closed off, we are exhibiting our lesser self. The lesser self is a deluded condition, whilst our greater self is synonymous with our Buddha nature.
To live for the greater self means to recognise the universal principle behind all things and, being awaked in this way, rise above the suffering caused by the awareness of impermanence. A belief in something eternal is needed to enhance our quality of life.
By believing that this world is the be-all and end-all of existence, we will miss out, we will not live a truly profound life. When our viewpoint expands beyond the boundaries of our present existence to include the entire, eternal universe, we can finally live deeply fulfilling lives.