Sunday, April 10, 2011

Living in denial

Scientifically and simply speaking, the body is made of a skeletal framework of bones, vital organs, blood, muscles and covered by skin. The body has deficiencies, suffers, disease afflicts it. It ages every day and at last dies. Instead of all these deficiencies why do we love the body so much?

The reason is that we identify with it. When we identify with it we attach our presence to it. The happiness we experience in life we ascribe it to the fact of existence in the body. We think, it is because of the body I am able to enjoy this existence; without the body I am no body. For a long time we do not even think about death. When in youth rarely one thinks of death. This is called illusion of living forever and denial of death approaching.

Our identity is strongly attached with the body. We see ourselves different from others not only in the mind but also the way we look. Again scientifically speaking, the way our cells and organs work is the same in every body. But we do not see those similarities. We only observe the external appearance and mostly facial difference.

When the body ages and when death nears, that is when we fear the loss of body. 'Where will I go after death', we ask ourselves. This question does not cross our mind during our youth because we think it is far  away in life, why should one think of long term problems. We also think no one is asking such weird questions why should I worry about it now. Indeed if we had a spiritual culture surrounding us, we would have at least tried to contemplate such questions but with this kind of technocratic and material world we live in such questions as our identity of the body do not trouble our consciousness.  We keep procrastinating important questions of our existence till the end. Just like we keep procrastinating to study for an exam till the last day. But one day or the other we have to think about it because the truth is that body is temporary. Some one looks beautiful because many things in nature have their own aesthetic beauty. For example my dog looks pretty too and many other birds look beautiful too. Our body is a part of nature and it also shares the beauty of nature with its contrasting colors and proportional shapes.
Some look better than others because our parents look better. Some one with fair skin and dark hair looks beautiful because of contrasting colors that our eyes find attractive.
No matter how attractive the body may look in its youth, the skin wrinkles and organs slow down as it ages. Because we think happiness can only be obtained by the only source that is the body we lust after its enjoyment.
We have greatly expanded the politics of the body. How do I stand or how do i cut my hair to impress someone? When we see a beautiful women and when she walks away we feel a potential source of happiness is going away from life.  All this because of the identity with the body.

Just imagine that if we were not the body but some one else living in the body. We are limiting ourselves to the body even though we know it dies one day because we do not want to miss the delight in live which we think mistakenly that it can be only found through the body in the external world. What if we are consciousness living in the body and the consciousness has the ability to concentrate on itself and go deeper and find delight independent of the body? This possibility is there and open and can be found in
all mystic traditions of religions.

The meaning of life completely changes when our identity changes from the body to consciousness. Our purpose in life changes.

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