Philosophical views and certain knowledge

nanda chandran vpcnk at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon May 3 18:17:56 CDT 1999

>I could decide now as an act of will not to identify myself with my >body
>or mind, and in time I might fully convince myself.

Here you identify with the body and mind.

>In fact I do this during meditation everyday, in the sense that I'm >not
>doing anything except passively observing the churning of my mind >and
>physical sensations. At present I think the most I can attain is >to
>observe 'the problem' (if it is a problem) without being totally >sucked
>into it.

And here you don't. And why is it so?

So who was the YOU in the second instance?

So how do you know that you're not the body and the mind?

OK, let's take somebody who's never heard of VedAnta. How does he refer to
the body? It's always MY body, MY head, MY chest, MY stomach, MY hands or
legs. Who's the MY in this? The body is never referred to directly as
indicating the person. Even when conversing, when he refers to himself
physically, he instinctively points to his
chest, fully meaning it's not the chest itself, but something inside it. If
he had been the body, he could have pointed to any part - the head or the
stomach or the legs.

And it's the same way with the mind - my mind, I thought etc The individual
is ever
apart from the mental states.

And you're all familiar with the VedAntic explanation using the three states
waking, dream and deep sleep. What is the continum, which persists even
during deep
sleep, that when you awaken you're able to retain your identity, as the same
who went to sleep? Which would not have been the case had you been the mind
or the

>    But what would that    change? I would still have the sense of touch
>and experience pain    through 'my' body alone, see only in the direction
>that 'my' eyes >    are directed, and so on.

See even here, you instinctively distinguish yourself from the body and the
It is always "I feel" or "my body". Who is the "I" or "my"?

Don't think this is mere playing with words or experience. This is common
for everybody. It's the instinct, which clearly knows it is neither the body
nor the
mind. The basic intuition itself is the Self.

>    Surely there must be more to realization than this?    It appears to be
>merely a shift of perspective that makes no    detectable difference of any

It would if you fully realize what the "I" is or what you are. Think about
it -
you're at this point identifying with the body and the mind. If you don't
and if
you're fully able to realize that you're the life within - neither the body
nor the
waves of thought - thus without birth or death, without pain and pleasure -
changeless and eternal - wouldn't it make a difference?

When you close your eyes, what's it you see? We generally see the light
through the lids. But who's it who sees?

It's only you - the witness - the one who sits back and watches. But without
practice, the witness and that which is seen, are almost as one - avidhya.

When you try to fall back into yourself - try to see that which sees - who's
nothing but yourself - the physical reaction is that the eyes generally
converge on
the point in the forehead. Isn't this the significance for the similar
exercise in
Yoga? To know the Self - yourself.

Don't waste time trying to observe the thoughts - try to know and be, that
observes the thoughts - which is only you in the primal sense.

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