Similarly, during the time when we are alive, most of our working is controlled by our conscious and sub-conscious mind. What we are is defined by our mind, or you can say our brain. It means we are nothing but are what our brain says. If that portion of our body, named as brain is put off our body, there will be nothing but a bundle of blood, flesh and bones. So far, we have been thinking heart works for us. No, heart works for our body and is guided by our brain. It is also true that if heart stops to work, the brain can not work any longer. After the stopping of the work by the heart, we understand that death is imminent. Our body would be taken out for funeral as per the rituals. If brain stops to work, my body may become meaningless and my relatives and well wishers may pray for my early death saying that I am not able to care for myself. It means that my body is separate from “I”. To know my reality, I may have to go beyond my surroundings. Emmanuel Praise rightly says, “To know who you really are, you have to detach yourself from the world and turn to your consciousness.”
When we are alive, we see the world around us and it looks so real that we are ready to proclaim that it is only an illusion is sheer nonsense. How can it be? But, it is possible to accept this idea when we define the word “I” as above. Our body is some sort of an extraordinary machine. It is made up of a combination of materials, but it functions as a unit as soon as our soul enters into this machinery. Can you say confidently that you are the body? No. Are you the hair that is cut and thrown away when you go to the hairdresser? You know very well! Our body changes through the years, from the stage of being an infant, we become a full size person in course of time. Are you this changing form?
Can you say that you are a particular thought? Many thoughts pass through the mind each day. They are like a movie that passes in front of our eyes. Sometimes the movie is interesting, and sometimes it is boring. Sometimes it engenders happy feelings sometimes it causes the rise of sadness or anger. Do you remember a thought that you thought an hour ago? Yesterday? How can these thoughts be the real you? You think of them sometime influenced by the circumstances prevailing around us and sometime, they are created through our sub-conscious mind, but still you are not them, you have no control over them. The same thing goes for your feelings. It is not true to say, “I am angry”, “I am sad”, “I am letting now a feeling of anger, sadness or happiness to occupy my consciousness for a while”. You, the basic you, stay the same, while feelings come and go. You are not your feelings, which change constantly.
Your brain may do this – you have no control over your brain too. Who are you? Neither your body is yours and now, nor your brain is controlled by you. Where are you? You say that YOU ARE MR.SMITH, YOU ARE MRS. LINA. But after the heart lying in the body stops to work, the brain stops to work, there is no Mr.Smith and no Mrs.Lina. They are said to have become “NO MORE”.
After the soul leaves the body, the body is declared to be dead body. It means that the soul is ‘You’. The mind cannot describe what is beyond it, because it has not been there. It can understand mental descriptions, which only give it a clue of the reality beyond it. To know who you really are you have to transform your awareness beyond the mind. You are beyond the physical body, feelings and thoughts. You are the eternal, impersonal consciousness that created and infused life into this conglomeration of body, feelings and thoughts that you call yourself “I”.
This homogeneous, indivisible, complete consciousness manifests in everything. It is the life principle of the manifestation that you consider to be yourself. The manifestation, which is the combination of body, thoughts and feelings, is nothing without this life principle. We can certainly say that the consciousness is the only real thing, and every manifestation is just a creation, and therefore not permanent, eternal or real in the sense that it can exist by itself.
Can you become aware of this great consciousness? Yes, of course. You are it. You are letting thoughts and feelings cloud it. If you constantly pay attention to the outside world, then it becomes very real for you. If you find a way to detach yourself from it, and turn your attention within, to the consciousness beyond the mind, you can tear off the screen of illusion, and live consciously in this great consciousness.
Silence of the mind is the prerequisite to awakening spiritually. Only when the mind is silenced and there are not thoughts, you realise who you really are – the vast, eternal consciousness.
This is what has been called spiritual awakening or enlightenment. This is what yogis, saints and seekers on the spiritual path seek. It is here and now. All you have to do is change the way you view the world. You have to learn to neutralize your identity with your body, feelings and thoughts, and develop true detachment. Through constant meditation the mind is made quiet. Then, from deep inside will raise a great silence, peace, life, consciousness and being. This is the real you. This is enlightenment.
When you are spiritually awakened, your life will probably go on as before. You will still have to eat, sleep and take care of the physical life, though you know through your experience that everything is just an illusion. If you view a movie with detachment, you may enjoy it, yet you will not be moved by what happens in it. You know it is just a movie, the projection of light and colour on a screen. You see it, but it does not cause thoughts or feelings to arise. It is the same with the world. The world is not real. You, your real “I”, live in an undifferentiated eternity, yet the body seems to continue to live in a created world.
When you are spiritually awakened nothing can influence you anymore. You are beyond life and death. You will still have to provide food, clothes and a house for the body not much care for the fashion and taste, just for survival and up-keeping, yet, whatever you do, and you will do with inner detachment. You may go on acting intensively in the world, yet remaining uninvolved in consciousness, as if outside of the world.
When you wake up to your real consciousness, and manage to stay in it more or less permanently, you may disregard the power of the mind, or you may use it to mold your illusion stop believing in its reality. Once you do it, you will be able to nurture yourself further.
Be Happy – Nurture yourself further spiritually.