We have seen how the reality of the Self is quite different from what we take ourselves to be. We are like the boy in the story of The Ten Boys, where the one who is searching for the 10th boy is the 10th boy himself. We are searching for happiness, immortality, knowledge and intelligence outside of ourselves, while all this is our very nature. It may sound unbelievable that the one who takes him to be mortal is, in fact, immortal. What do we love in life? We love immortality, intelligence and happiness. The general rule is that there is always love for one’s own nature. Therefore, whenever I find myself ignorant or unhappy and am faced with being mortal, I become uncomfortable with myself and want to get rid of that feeling. It is like a particle of dust in my eyes, or a little bug entering my ear, that I want to get rid of. This discomfort with unhappiness etc. also shows that it cannot be my nature. Had mortality been my nature, I would be comfortable with it. For instance, I am comfortable with the fact that I can see, and when I cannot see properly, I am uncomfortable. I am comfortable with the fact that I can hear and when I cannot hear properly, I am uncomfortable. I am comfortable being healthy, because that is my nature and if I am not, I become uncomfortable. Thus by analyzing situations that make us uncomfortable, we realize that we become uncomfortable whenever we are somehow dissociated from our own nature.
That we are comfortable with our own nature shows that immortality, happiness and intelligence is our nature. Therefore, let our lives become a process of owning up to the nature of our selves; let our lives be based on the reality of our selves. Various desires arise in my mind. These are desires for happiness, mortality and I go around fulfilling these desires. But then, every attempt to fulfill a desire is a denial of me. This is like the attempt to search for the 10th boy being a denial of the 10th boy, because his very attempt to search is based on the conclusion that he is not the 10th boy. It is only when he stops searching for the 10th boy that his mind is poised to see something, to discover something. He then discovers the fact that he himself is the 10th boy that he is searching for. So also, the orientation of our mind needs a shift from being involved in this constant searching.
When the mind shifts its focus, it is poised to see the reality of the self. I can then see that I am indeed what I am searching for. How do we slowly bring about this transformation in the disposition of the mind? So far, I have been living a life which is directed outwards and it has become a habit to search for happiness outside of myself. Every desire that arises in my mind is generally based on seeking happiness or security outside of myself and as long as I keep on fulfilling that desire I continue to deny the happiness that is me. Right now, my life seems to be a denial of myself. That is why there is so much frustration in my life because these desires cannot be fulfilled. Just as the 10th boy can never be found because he is not away from himself, so also, a lasting happiness cannot be found anywhere else in life because it is not anywhere. So let this process of searching be reversed. Because I am what I seek, let me look at myself. For this, the first step would be to create a disposition of mind which is conducive to discovering or knowing the true nature of myself. Rather than seeking to acquire, let my mind be engaged in the process of offering instead; offering happiness, love and goodness.