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We are not who we think we are

Update: 2022-07-03 00:35 IST

We are not who we think we are 

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Most of us think that we are the body. But is this true? We must do an anatomy of the body to understand who we are and what we are made of. We are aware of what we look like - our face, our hands, our feet, and our body. We have 5 sense organs, eyes to see, ears to hear, a nose to smell, a tongue to taste and skin to feel. But that's not all that we are.

If we try to understand our body further, we have the epidermis which is the outer layer of skin. If we peel the skin, it reveals the dermis that has tissue, blood vessels, hair follicles, and sweat glands. Unless we are students of science, we will not bother to go deeper. But what lies below the skin? If we cut our skin, we see blood. We also see flesh and muscle. And then there is the bone. Didn't we learn in school that we have a brain that has millions of neurons all across the body? We also have a heart that pumps blood to every corner and every cell. The lungs purify the blood through the process of respiration. The oxygen from the air replaces carbon dioxide in the blood. We also have kidneys that are responsible to remove the waste products and excess fluid from our bodies. This process is so important that we are blessed with two kidneys. The junk food that we take into our body is quite likely to make one kidney fail. If one looks at the human body, it is such a marvel! Along with the intestines and the stomach, and all that we have listed above, it makes the human body the most sophisticated machine invented on earth.

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If one goes deeper to understand the functions of the body, one can write an entire book on it. But the purpose of doing an anatomy is to realise who we are. We are the ones who walk and who talk. We are also the ones who eat and who then digest the food, excreting the waste. To keep our race alive, we are blessed with genitals and reproductive organs that create life most naturally. These organs of action are part of the functions of the human body.

Not many of us contemplate and thus, we just live and die. We don't get amazed by the wonders that the body possesses and instead we are flabbergasted with the wonders of the world. We don't look within and thus, we don't discover who we truly are. How did the journey of this body start? It started with just two cells, one from our mother and one from our father that fertilised as if by magic and conceived what became this most magnificent human body. That one fertilised cell that is referred to as a zygote, grew into an embryo. In a matter of a few weeks, the shape of a little baby was visible. But it took 9 months for us to be created.

It is fascinating to study this cycle, but that is not the objective. It is just to make us realise that we were already alive as a foetus inside our mother's womb, much before we were delivered on earth. Then, one day, we are born, and it starts our life journey on earth. We grow from an infant into a toddler. Then we go to a preschool and become aware of our existence. In school, our ego develops, but it only becomes full-blown when as teenagers we go to university. It actually seems that our life starts then. As a young adult, we fall in love, we even get married, produce children and life keeps going on.

Ultimately, we grow old and we die. Death of the physical body is certain. Nobody can escape death. But while we see our picture and scream, 'That is me!' we don't even know who we are. Our body along with our name is cremated or buried and the game is over. But people say that we passed away, we departed, or we moved on. Although the physical body is right here, waiting for the final rites to be performed, it is blatantly declared that these are only the 'mortal remains' and we, the ones who were alive, have moved on. If we depart at death, then who are we in reality? This physical body is just the habitat of who we truly are. What happened to the one who was alive? What happened to the power that kept the heart beating and the lungs breathing, as the body was walking, talking, eating, digesting, and even reproducing? We human beings live, but we don't contemplate who we truly are. In fact, we don't live, we just exist! We just consume this gift called 'Life'. And instead of using our body to discover who we are and why we are here, we abuse it in every possible way, not just by what we eat and what we drink, but also by what we think and how we live.

Some people realise that the gross physical body is made up of five elements - Earth, Water, Air, Fire, and Space. Every living creature is made up of these. At death when the life power leaves the body, the body returns to dust. The air escapes into the atmosphere just as the water evaporates when the fire inside us leaves us. We become cold and degenerate into ashes as the space we occupy shrinks and our existence as the body comes to an end.

It's time to stop, to think, to introspect, and to realise that the functions of the physical body are just what appears on the outside. There is something on the inside that we are blissfully ignorant about. If we break the bones of our skeleton, we will find bone marrow, but we will still not find the energy that gives us life. Isn't it time to discover the truth beyond the body that we seem to be? 

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