Forget the Body and Mind

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If I could share 500 words to inspire, this is the important wisdom I'd want to pass along to others...

  • You can only achieve so much in life. There will always be someone who can run faster, write better, or make more money. You may realize your ambitions but this only ever raises the barriers. Science continually discovers more and more, but the horizon recedes, the expanding knowledge bringing the realization that we know even less now than we thought we did before.

    Whatever we do in the world can only bring temporary satisfaction.

    Our bodies may be all that we could wish for – whether it is physical prowess that we desire or attractiveness to the opposite sex (even if only at the expense of steroids or plastic surgery). But it is unavoidable that such physical attributes will decline – weakness, wrinkles, disease and death are inescapable facts of life.

    Mind too may retain its acuity, and memory its accessibility and reliability, for only a while before the aging process exposes their fallibility.

    This being the case, how can we motivate ourselves to ‘live to our full potential’ or ‘fully live our dreams’? It seems inevitable that any attempt to do so is doomed to ultimate failure.

    And so it would be, if it were not the case that the way in which we are looking at the situation in which we seem to find ourselves is entirely mistaken. We are looking in the wrong direction – out into the world that we believe to be the reality instead of inwards to discover who we really are.

    How would it be, if we are not the physical body or the mind at all, that we do not actually ‘do’ anything? We may complain if we are obliged to wear old clothes but we never make the mistake of thinking that we actually are the clothes.

    If you think back to a memorable moment in the past, can you remember how it felt to be ‘you’? Is it not the case that your body now is quite different from what it was then? It doesn’t just feel different; most of the cells literally are different. How, therefore, can you be the body?

    And it is the same with the mind. How many times have you changed your opinions? You now know many things that you didn’t as a child (and have quite possibly forgotten much more). ‘You’ can see your body and thoughts – how can you be them? And is it not the case that ‘you’ feel exactly the same as you did then?

    Bodies in themselves are inanimate – just visit a mortuary if you have any doubts. Every ‘thing’ in the universe consists of inert molecules, which are made up of atoms and, in turn, sub-atomic particles. By giving a name to a particular form of matter, we as though imbue it with a separate existence. But this is a delusion.

    The only reality is the consciousness that effectively ‘creates’ this universe. In fact, there is ONLY this consciousness. This is our true nature. And what could be more inspirational than that?

    Dennis Waite

    Educated to degree-level in Chemistry, he has worked for most of his life in computing. Since 2000, he has devoted his life to writing. His first book on Advaita, 'The Book of One', was published in 2003. This was extensively revised and republished in 2010. An introductory book on Sanskrit 'The Spiritual Seeker's Essential Guide to Sanskrit' was published in India in 2005. ‘How to Meet Yourself' was published in 2007, aimed at the non-specialist reader and addresses the fundamental topics of meaning and purpose. His major book on Advaita, also published in 2007, is entitled 'Back to the Truth'. This is a systematic treatment of Advaita which, by using examples from many sources, helps the reader to differentiate between approaches and teachers. 'Enlightenment: the Path through the Jungle' was published in 2008. It contrasts the proven methods of traditional teaching with Western approaches. His most recent book is 'Advaita Made Easy' was published in 2012. Dennis maintains the most popular website on Advaita at www.advaita.org.uk. This was renovated and extended in 2012 with a new blogging facility at www.advaita-vision.org.  

    For more information, please visit advaita.org.uk.

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    1. Semaj
      Semaj says:

      Interesting up until the last two paragraphs: i.e.,
      — Bodies in themselves are inanimate – just visit a mortuary if you have any doubts. Every ‘thing’ in the universe consists of inert molecules, which are made up of atoms, etc.
      >>>—> But molecules ain’t inert and without them there is no life. Even in the morgue they are decomposing or being decomposed.

      — The only reality is the consciousness that effectively ‘creates’ this universe. In fact, there is ONLY this consciousness, etc..
      >>>—> Hey, consciousness creates’ this universe OR this universe creates consciousness. You’ve got a ‘Which came first, the chicken or the egg? conundrum here.

      You are hoist on your own petard, for as you say: the more we discover the more knowledge recedes. You’re claiming to give an answer where none exists. The child learns in school there’s always a right answer – but hey, Life ain’t school, habibi…

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