Originally posted by Dark Ghost
What I am asking is this: what feature can be used to distinguish us from others (as individuals) that incorporates both physical and non-physical
In terms of the need for distinguishing ourselves from one another, we can define oneself as the whole body-mind - that is, the
whole complex of physical, emotional, mental, and even spiritual processes. That is how we typically identify one another - when I refer to a friend
by name, I am referring to their body-mind, as a single whole, not some sense of separate identity within their body-mind that they may be assuming
themselves to be.
However, although we can readily refer to others based on their appearance as body-minds, we do not tend to actually recognize, feel, and act as the
whole body-mind ourselves. We are typically feeling separated or abstracted from objects, others, and even from our singular whole body-mind. This
sense of separation is what we call the ego-I, but it is just a separative contraction, or point of focus, within the body-mind based in this moment
to moment withdrawal from the vast field of relatedness that our body-minds actually appear in.
The first step to understanding who we are is to see that this activity of separative abstraction from the body-mind, others, and objects is our own
egoic separative activity that we identify with. This sense of inner identity is not an actual entity. In any moment we become sensitive to the
self-inflicted pain this gesture of separative abstraction/withdrawal causes us, we will simply drop it in that moment, and thereby recognize, feel,
and act as a single whole body-mind, even feeling unity with others.
However, this sensitivity to our self-inflicted sense of separation/contraction is required moment to moment, and it also allows us to discover who we
actually are. Are we really simply these body-minds that we conventionally call "I" and "you"? Can anyone actually prove they are the body-mind. No
one has so far, and yet we just seem to automatically assume this is true. But is it? What about consciousness or most fundamental awareness or our
deepest sense of being?
Does consciousness actually age? Not in my experience, but the body-mind certainly does! Once we allow the body-mind to fully recognize, feel, and act
as a single whole rather than getting stuck in inward identification with some subjective separative process of thinking, abstraction, contraction
upon self, seeking to fulfill desires, etc., - then who we are, prior to the body-mind (though paradoxically not separated or abstracted from it and
all arising), becomes obvious as consciousness itself.
edit on 29-4-2013 by bb23108 because: (no reason given)