Not the Body, Not the Mind
I am sure that we have heard in several discourses by Masters that we are neither the body, nor the mind, we are just the soul, the pure witness. But when we try to think of such profound statements at our level all we see is a physical body in a mirror which is identified by the mind as ‘my body’ through the visual medium of the physical eyes.
When one says, “I am not the body,” it is the mind saying so; again, when one says, “I am not the mind,” it is still the mind expressing it! The first layer in this complex creation of the human body is the physical body. One gets identified with the physical body — the body has certain looks, a religion gets attached to it and it has a name too — but all these are temporal, momentary.
The body is in a state of continuous flux, like a flowing river — continuously changing, moving. It has nothing in it that is eternal. Every moment the body is changing — in fact cells are dying every moment and new cells are being born. The moment the cell death rate is more than the cell birth rate we are moving towards the end of the physical body. We are actually moving towards physical death — death in fact is a long process, it is not an event which just happens! If you identify yourself with the physical body, then fear of death is a natural corollary — that fear will always exist. But then one cannot live life fully in fear, can one?
The second layer is the mind which is more temporal and fleeting than the body. The mind too is continuously disintegrating. The mind is the inner part of the body and the body is the outer part of the mind. These are not two things. ‘Mind and body’ is not a correct expression, the right expression would be mind-body. The body is the gross mind and the mind is the subtle body — two sides of the same coin — one outer, the other inner.
Real life is beyond both body and mind. You are both in the body and the mind, but you are neither. The body is your outer shell, the mind is your inner shell, but you are beyond both. Once you get this insight, real life begins — that is what meditation is all about.
Start witnessing — sometimes the body is healthy, sometimes it is not — just watch and one day you will suddenly get the feeling that you are not the body. The body is ill, it is pain, but you do not feel the illness or the pain. You become the watcher, bound to the body but identified with the body, not rooted in the body, but always going beyond, transcending!
Both the body and mind remain, but far away when you become a witness. Suddenly you are there — no body, no mind…. Just a pure consciousness, sheer purity, innocence, a mirror. Now, for the first time you know who you are, earlier you were fast asleep dreaming — now you are. And when you are, there is no death — because you realise that you will be witnessing your own death also.