How to know that one is not the body?

I feel I am deeply identified with the body most of the time. How do I start detaching myself from this body-identification? Being a woman, I find it more difficult because of the social and physical conditioning.

how to bknow one is not the body

You can have a small vessel that contains small pieces of many metals: iron, aluminum, nickel, copper. And they happily go together. They are all kept in the same vessel. They have been coexisting for long and being in the company of each other they have all started appearing as oneβ€”very, very similar. But what happens when you just bring a strong magnet near that vessel? It is then that the iron pieces just lose their old company and rise towards the magnet. And now the difference between iron and the others is very clear. There is no similarity at all.

One has a love for magnets, the others do not have. But this difference becomes clear only when a magnet is around. Otherwise, iron and copper and zinc will all hang around as if they belong to the same fraternity. You require a strong magnetic pull to disrupt their bonhomie. Unless that magnetic pull is there, iron will keep feeling, β€œAluminum is my best friend.” The moment the magnetic field engulfs the iron piece and others, the iron piece comes to know that aluminum, copper, zinc, they are all nothing. The destiny of iron is to be with the magnet. Be with the magnet and turn magnetic in due course.

So you see, as long as your intentions and the body’s intentions are one, you will have no way to clearly see that you and body are not one. Understand this. As long as your intentions and the body’s intentions are one, how will you see that you are not the body? What the body is asking for, you too are asking for. The direction that the body is going towards, you too are moving in that direction. There is no way to figure out thatβ€”no, these two entitiesβ€”the body and the selfβ€”are not one.

It is only in the presence of something, somebody who appeals to the body but not to the self or the presence of something or somebody who appeals greatly to the self but not at all to the body that you will come to see the distinction. Otherwise, there is no way. If you’re not close to a magnet, you will keep feeling that copper is your brother. The magnet is the test. The magnet is a disruptive presence. The magnet clears all doubts in the copper’s mind. The magnet pulls, and the copper feels no pull at all.

And iron says, β€œThis bugger. He has been with me as my friend, as my family for so long.” He’s referring to aluminum and copper and all these others. β€œAnd he feels no attraction towards the one I feel inexorably pulled towards. How can he be my friend or family? The magnetic fields beckons, I find myself helpless in front of it but all these similar-looking ones surrounding me behave as if nothing has happened. They know no love.” It is then that the distinction is established beyond doubt. You have to enter situations that test the two of you, the β€œbody”, and the β€œI” sense, the self.

You see you can have again an iron piece and a nickel piece somehow joined together through welding or some other technique. A little iron cuboid and a copper or aluminum or nickel cuboid of the same shape, same dimensions, and you can put them together and the two will stay together. It will appear that they are now happily joined. But raise the temperature. The coefficient of expansion of iron is very different from that of aluminum. The moment you raise the temperature, this joined block starts getting distorted because one expands more than the other. The two have been put together but the moment you raise the heat, you find that one of them is behaving differently compared to the other, so this joined piece starts getting distorted. It starts getting bent. Now you know that the two are a mismatch. The two cannot go together.

You have to bring in extraordinary situations, you have to bring in uncomfortable situations. Unless you bring in uncomfortable situations, the Truth is not exposed. It is only when you bring in situations that are a little out of the ordinary that you come to know of the essence of an entity.

So, as long as the body wants food and you say, β€œI too want food,” there would be good peace, nice camaraderie. The body says, β€œI want sleep,” and you say, β€œI too want sleep.” All would be Gung-ho; no strains, no tensions because the two of you are acquiescing with each other. There is no divergence in objectives. But let the body say, β€œI want food,” and you utter in the same moment, β€œI want Freedom,” and then you see what happens. That is the moment when you will realize that you and the body are not one. The body will suddenly become your enemy. And that is the way to assess the quality of the company you are keeping.

You start asking for something that is a little extraordinary. And then you will realize how your partner, your friend immediately refuses to keep pace with you. The body says, β€œfood,” you say, β€œI too want food.” Happy friendship. Your partner says, β€œsex,” you say, β€œI too want sex.” Happy friendship. But the body says, β€œI want food,” you say, β€œI want Freedom,” and then you see how there is a breakup. And then you will realize you are not the body. For that to happen, I said you have to, first of all, put yourself in a strong magnetic field.

You know, it is a great misconception that the spiritual man, the god-loving man will have a long life with good health. It is not so at all. In fact, the one who is very very body-centric will have a long life with good health.

Look at all the men and women who live absolutely body-identified lives. See how their skin glows. They are the ones who are going to live till 110. All the time they are doing nothing but caring for the body. They are taking care of every single vitamin, nutrient, mineral. Every two months, they are going and getting a full body checkup. All the time, they are just busy thinking about what to eat, what not to eat, and at what hour to eat, when to sleep, when to wake up, what kind of soap to use. They are the ones who will live till 110. The god-loving man will actually not live for too long. Well, some exceptions are there. That’s okay.

But because of this misconception, the superstition is there that the gyani or yogi will have a strong and able body. Therefore, people start feeling impressed by godmen who move around with black hair even at the age of 60 or 70. They say, β€œThis one must be very real. Look at the glow on his face. And his hair is all black even at 65.” If you take good care of hair, the hair will remain black. If you do nothing all day but take care of oils and lotions and conditioners and all the toiletries and cosmetic stuff that is in the market, obviously your skin will heavily glow like radium.

That’s what the body wants. You stay identified with it and you keep doing what it wants you to do. And the body strongly reacts when you start doing what the body is not conditioned to do. No β€˜body’ is conditioned to go for Love. No β€˜body’ has any intention to attain Freedom. Body is not born to attain Freedom. Body is not born to revel in Love. The body is not born to understand. You know what the body is for? You know what the body likes? Have you ever gone to a doctor, and the doctor’s diagnosis has said, β€œYou know, your body is sick because you do not have bodh or understanding?” Please. Does the body ever fall sick because you do not have spiritual freedom? This means that the body does not feel bad at all if there is no understanding or illumination or freedom. If there is no freedom, the body does not feel bad at all. Had the body felt bad over lack of understanding, then all the 99% of the world who do not understand anything at all would have remained chronically sick. Do you find them sick? No. In fact, they are bodily the most healthy and happy.

The moment you start moving towards the Truth, there develops a strain between your relationship with the body. And then you know that you are not the body. That strain has to come. Unless that strain comes, you and body will be bedfellows. It is only the presence of Truth that separates the real from the unreal.

Therefore, you will see, that if somehow you are determined to stay with the body as a body-identified one, then you will distance yourself from the Truth. There is you, there is the body or the one who gives you bodily company, a bodily friend, and then there is the Truth. If you want to maintain this relationship with the bodily one, then you will have no option but to snap your relationship with the Truth. You cannot have both. Because if you have both, then there will be an incredible strain in your relationship both ways.

You really want to test your company. And the body is your first company. You know that, right? If you want to really test your company, then I say β€œput yourself in an environment where the interests of the two of you diverge”. That’s when you receive surprises, rather shocks. And it’s often what you call a heartbreaking surprise. Because you used to think, β€œThe two of us are so alike. The two of us are made of the same clay. The two of us were to live and die together. Now, what is this that happened?” Suddenly there is a parting of ways. And I say, therefore, when you do not want the ways to part, often you try to not enter the field at all. Because you enter the field and the truth would be separated from the false. If you do not want to be separated, then the best way is to avoid the field itself.

β€œSpirituality is not about leading a happy life; it’s about leading a real life.”

These articles goes to credit -Acharya Prashant

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