Finding the permanent in the impermanent
by Vic Shayne
The Self is a Belief: The idea that causes suffering
The Truth is so simple that it is overlooked, ignored, unnoticed, and unstated — perhaps by most people, or so it seems.
Of those who say they are searching for the Ultimate Truth, their true selves, the core of who they are, and/or enlightenment, it is clear that most do not really want to find it. Even when you point the way, they instead want to settle upon things that make them feel better about themselves, put a bandaid over their suffering, or find some form of distraction. Is this a bad thing? Not at all. This world is full of suffering, and nearly everyone wants a reprieve. But knowing who you are at the core is not a reprieve; it is a bold and rare discovery of the obvious. This is a paradox.
The world is full of teachers — gurus, if you like. Western society likes to latch onto the ones deemed most successful; the ones who draw big crowds, have big followings, write about the Now, offer some sort of secret, and speak words that neither the teacher nor the listener truly understands. This is quite confusing to the rare, serious seeker of the Truth.
There is a quick and easy way to weed out all the teachings to find the sincere ones. It’s simple. Just look for the teachers who point you back inward to seek the source of the mind. If they give you all the answers then it’s time to find a new teacher. If they tell you to just find the power in the Now, then move along. If they tell you to do visualizations, then keep looking. The answer to “you” can only be you, and not some outside force in the guise of a teacher.
So what do you need to do if you want to find this core of what you are? You need to turn yourself inward to look back at the source of “you.” Look closely without judging. Just look. What are you looking for? You are looking to find what is impermanent when you consider who you take yourself to be. What changes? Have you always been the same person, with the same beliefs, tastes, attitudes, body, face, hair, ears, nose, possessions, friends, relatives, and interests? These all change, and they keep changing.
Now find what does not change. Find what is permanent. You do this by observing, not by learning from someone else, not by doing visualizations or seeking solutions. Just look long and hard. Find what is permanent. It’s not a puzzle or a mystery. It’s just something you have always overlooked because you have been so involved in distractions and phenomena. The answer has nothing to do with ideas, rituals, practices, meditations, breathing, energy, or religion. Anyone can sit in silence and look for the permanent within the impermanent.