I am not the person you think I am. You are not the person you think you are. Essentially, we are not persons at all. This “personhood” it just a shadow of our ego, and our ego is a mistaken identity.
Our self-awareness is identified with our intellect, mind, and body, and this is a mistaken identity, because in essence, this conglomeration of intellect, mind, and body is NOT what we are, it is only what we appear to be. Appearances can be deceiving.
When we are deceived by our own images, we are in self-delusion. This is the MO (modus operandi, or mode of operation) of mankind. We have everything backwards: we think the unreal is real, the painful is pleasurable, the untruthful is truthful, and the non-self is the self. We need to completely turn around our way of seeing things. When we stop listening to our ego, then we will hear the Sound of OM.
“Hearing the Sound of OM” begins with listening to the sound of silence. The piercing sound of silence will bring our attention to a focal point. Remaining in this one-pointed mindset, we begin to hear the soft, distant rumble of the thunder of OM. We experience this vibration in every molecule of our being. The time will come when the individual mind will disappear and we will experience that the whole Creation is our Being, Cosmic Consciousness is our Mind, and the Sound of OM is our Essence. OM
But for now, we are here, in these human bodies, and we must disentangle ourselves from our attachments. Who or what is attached? Mind is attached to the body, and through the body it is attached to the things of this world. In the other direction (upward), the mind is attached to the intellect. These attachments of the mind are not natural to the mind, that is, they are not inherent but are inherited. The mind inherits these attachments from the ego. It is only due to the presence of ego that these attachments exist.
Ego is the identification of consciousness with that which is inherently unconscious. The mind and body are NOT intrinsically conscious; they are essentially inert matter. Some people will find it very difficult to realize that the mind is simply a very subtle form of matter. Of course, by “matter” we mean PRAKRITI, and we are NOT referring to atoms, or even sub-atomic particles.
Everything has been evolved from Purush and Prakriti. Things that exhibit the quality of Purush (the Conscious element), are said to be “aliveâ€™, while those things that exhibit the quality of Prakriti (the Non-conscious element) are said to be inert. But ALL things, whether exhibiting the quality of consciousness or not, are derived from Prakriti and are therefore essentially inert substances. The characteristic of an object exhibiting consciousness is due only to the all-pervading nature of Consciousness, and is NOT the result of a division or multiplication or combination of Consciousness (which is inherently Indivisible, Unchangeable, and One Without A Second). We can say that the object has been fused with consciousness, and this fusion manifests as the state of “being alive.”
In fact, consciousness is ever-present and therefore ever-manifest, and the apparent manifestation that results from the fusion is just that: an appearance only. Not realizing this, a human being becomes confused. Here is a simple principle of Life:
Everything is an illusion. All illusions are allusions. Everything alludes to something that is NOT an illusion, that is REAL, eternal, unchangeable, and indestructible. Failure to trace the illusion to the allusion, and the allusion to the alluded, makes one deluded. To remove confusion, one must see beyond the illusion.
The fusion of Consciousness (Non-matter) with Matter, as in the case of the mind appearing to be a separate conscious entity, is discerned due to PRANA. In other words, because Matter (in this case, the mind-matter) is energized, it appears to be conscious. Similarly, because the body is energized, it appears to be conscious (alive). Elaborated further: because all things in this Universe are energized, they appear to exist. This ENERGY (or PRANA), by which all things appear (and disappear) is also called the Spirit. This Spirit is none other than the SELF, in the state of manifesting its intrinsic Power or Might.
Our mind is an extremely subtle, inert, substance. The impressions recorded in the substance of the mind result in chain reactions, which are directly related to the actions (experiences) that created the impressions. One of the experiences recorded in the mind is the experience that “I am conscious.” This is the first instance of ego in its subtlest form. Next comes the experience, “I am conscious that I am consciousâ€™. This is the first instance of Intellect (Buddhi) in its subtlest form. Next, with the experience of the gross physical elements, and the eventual formation of the gross physical body, the living self (Jivatman: comprised of ego, intellect, mind, and now the body) asserts “I exist.”
As one lives (that is, interacts with this world), one’s experiences go on increasing. When a child is only an infant, the infant child is simply aware (“I exist”). As the child grows, its self-identity becomes more complex, and eventually the living soul experiences “I am this person.” But what is “this person?” This person that we have become is just a shadow of what we were (it is a shadow of the simple ego, “I am”, that’s all). The state of self-consciousness (ego) is an illusion that alludes to the Real Self. Our ego is NOT real; and the personality born from that ego is also NOT real.
The ego-self is simply a mistaken identity of Consciousness with itself (like the identification of oneself with the image in a mirror). This appearance is the result of the union of Spirit (non-Matter) with Matter; Purush with Prakriti. This union is the basis of Avidya (Ignorance), and its dissolution through YOGA is the state of MOKSHA, which means absolute Freedom from Ignorance. OM