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Article XCVI: Body, Mind, and Soul

"He whose pure mind turns inward and searches whence does this 'I' arise, knows the Self and merges in You, the Lord, as a river into the sea." Ramana Maharishi

In order to become enlightened, one must transcend the body and mind. Both the body and the mind are transient since they are limited by space and time. The Self, however, is beyond those constraints of space and time. The Self is no different than the Divine. As proclaimed in the Upanishads, "This Self is Brahman." Enlightenment is the realization of this Self as Brahman. The Divine is within, and the potential for enlightenment is universal. The paths may vary, but enlightenment is possible for anyone.

The body is a vessel for the Self. The body is transient in nature, and it is dependent upon the Self, which is permanent in nature. The Self is independent of time and space with no beginning or end, and the death of the body has no effect on the Self. Attachment to the material objects of the world results in identification with the body as one's true nature. Whereas detachment from the material world allows one to realize the true nature of the Self within. Enlightenment allows realization of the Self as eternal and infinite. Freedom from dependence and attachment gives one pure bliss and peace.

The mind is impermanent just as the body. The mind also sheaths the Self, and the identification with the finite ego prevents realization of the infinite Self. Only by transcending the mind as well as the body can one reach enlightenment. Transcending the body and mind is a gradual process, and can be approached by devotion, knowledge, and action, among other paths. The ego can be dissolved by devotion to God or devotion to the Divine in others. The ego can be dissolved by selfless action or knowledge of the ego as impermanent. As one gradually dissolves the ego and transcends the mind and body, peacefulness and blissfulness deepen as the true nature of the Self is discovered.

East-West Counseling & Meditation -- Modern Psychiatry Integration -- Himalayan Philosophy -- Penn & Stanford Medicine
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