Do We Reside In The Body?Realizing myself as Consciousness is blocked by my belief that I am this body.
Thank you for this opportunity. Could you address two questions that arose for me while watching your Transparency of Things DVD? You go through the actual experiences that we usually use to tell us we are located in a body and show how they actually suggest no such thing. Our body consists solely of sensations just as the chair across the room consists solely of perceptions.
My questions are these - What about the experience I have of being able to move a part of my body while seated but I cannot move that chair in the same way? And, if a person comes into the room and grabs the arm of the chair I would not experience the same sensation as if that person grabbed my arm.
I bring these up because they feel like two blocks to my fully experiencing the truth of my not being located in this body here. Thank you again for your time.
Steve: You go through the actual experiences that we usually use to tell us we are located in a body and show how they actually suggest no such thing.
Our body consists solely of sensations just as the chair across the room consists solely of perceptions. What about the experience I have of being able to move a part of my body while seated but I cannot move that chair in the same way?
Rupert: The implication in your question is that we are located in the body because we can move it at will but are not located in the chair because we cannot move it at will.
If we look at our body we will find that we can in fact move only a tiny fraction of it at will (even if we admit that is the case). We have no control over the vast majority of the body. Does that mean that we are only those parts of the body over which we seem to have control?
And even those parts of the body over which we seem to have control, operate most of the time without any conscious interference on our part.
So let us look at that tiny fraction of body parts and movements over which we seem to have control. The desire to move the body, say the idea to get up and make a cup of tea, comes in the form of a thought. Do we control the appearance of that thought? Does it not come to us spontaneously just like the weather? In other words, do we choose our thoughts and therefore our decisions?
Imagine someone asks us, “Would you like tea or coffee?” We answer, “Tea please.” The thought “Tea” just comes to us. If the thought “Coffee” had come to us, we would have answered “Coffee!” And if we think, “Now, let me decide, I’m not quite sure which to have…” that thought in turn just comes to us. In other words we have no control over the thought that seems to decide or choose.
Another way to see very clearly that we do not choose our thoughts is to see that if we were in control of them we would always choose to have happy thoughts. We would always choose to be happy about whatever situation we found ourselves in and, as a result, suffering would never appear again.
Are we able to do that? No! Therefore, if we do not choose our thoughts, including the thought that seems to control or move the body, what kind of control do we really have? And if we think that we choose some of our
thoughts and not others we have to ask ourselves how we choose which thoughts to choose and which to allow spontaneously.
If we look closely at our thoughts and feelings and therefore the actions that derive from them, we will find no evidence of a personal controller.
Steve: And, if a person comes into the room and grabs the arm of the chair I would not experience the same sensation as if that person grabbed my arm. I bring these up because they feel like two blocks to my fully experiencing the truth of my not being located in this body here.
Rupert: When someone grabs our arm, a new sensation appears. When someone grabs the chair a new perception appears. Both the sensation and the perception appear at the same distance from us, which is no distance at all.
And both the sensation and the perception are made only out of the Consciousness that knows them.
It is very easy to check that for our self: If we were to remove ‘experiencing’ from the sensation or the perception what would become of the arm and the chair? They would both disappear.
If there was something present in the experience of the arm or the chair that was made out of something other than ‘experiencing,’ then that ‘something’ would remain over after ‘experiencing’ had been withdrawn. But no such substance remains over after ‘experiencing’ has been withdrawn in either case. Nothing remains!
Now we can ask our self what ‘experiencing’ is made of. Whatever it is made of must always be present when it is present. The mind, the body and the world are not always present but ‘experiencing’ remains ever-present. It is impossible to experience the absence of experience. Therefore ‘experiencing’ cannot be made of a mind, a body or a world.
Whenever ‘experiencing’ is present, Being, Consciousness and ‘I’ are present. In each case it is not possible to have one without the other.
Therefore they are synonymous.
See clearly in this way that the arm and the chair are equally intimate, equally close, equally made out of ‘I,’ Consciousness.
Now if we look for ‘experiencing,’ Consciousness, Being or our Self, do we find it located anywhere? Are not all things and places made out of it, but it itself cannot be found anywhere as an object. It is undeniably present and ‘knowing’ or ‘experiencing,’ and yet it cannot be found in time or space.
That is the experiential evidence that Consciousness is not located in or as a body.
The mind, the body and the world are made out of Consciousness but Consciousness is not made out of them. It is made out of itself. Therefore everything is made only out of Consciousness.
Therefore there is no ‘everything.’ There is just Consciousness.