Are we the body?

Omkaradatta's picture

Average: 3.7 (3 votes)

The next time you run into someone who has waited too long to take a shower, try one of these statements:

(A) You stink!

(B) Your body stinks.

If they react differently between these two, it's a good indication that we are not the body ;-).

(On second thought, it's obvious, isn't it? Have we ever been the body?

david's picture

want so badly

Even if we wanted badly (note the double meaning :-) to be the body, we couldn't. I think 3 reasons why you believe you are the body, 3 reasons why shouldn't summarizes it all.

Regarding the reaction of the person, I think it will be more influenced by the automatic conditioning the mere words trigger in his/her unique array of cognitive processing than by the essence or the context of the words, unfortunately.

david | Wed, 12/03/2008 - 21:37
Tania's picture

spiritual stinking

The Ramana folks will reply: who is it that smells the stinking?

The Zen folks will reply: what is the smell of a bodiless body?

The yoga folks will reply: who said the self cannot also stink?

The new-age folks will reply: haven't you ever smelt a stinking chakra? When the chakra is not open for a long time all kinds of mental dirt, expired chi, and rotten prana are getting stuck there and the stench is horrible.

And I say: a realized one is so indifferent of this reality dream that most probably he will not bother to clean that "attached body within the dream" so maybe the very stinking itself may be a good sign for recognizing a true guru.

Tania | Wed, 12/03/2008 - 22:48
Omkaradatta's picture

You're silly...

"I say: a realized one is so indifferent of this reality dream that most probably he will not bother to clean that "attached body within the dream"

You're silly ;-). If the realized one is hanging around others, they'll clean their body. Realization doesn't make you stupid.

Now, some street people riding the bus.... pfew (plugging nose) ;-).

Omkaradatta | Wed, 12/03/2008 - 22:59
Tania's picture

there are no others...

But from his point of view there are no others.

It is like when you are tired and you know that you are going to bed alone and so although you haven't showered for 24h, you skip the shower and go to bed, there is no one else there to smell...


Tania | Wed, 12/03/2008 - 23:01
Omkaradatta's picture

I know

"But from his point of view there are no others."

I know, but this is a misunderstood point of view. Do you think he doesn't see any other body/minds? Is he blind? "No otherness" can't be communicated in words, nor is it what you're imagining. I don't know any 'realized' who walked around failing to wipe their rear ends due to unattachment from the body. Please...

Omkaradatta | Wed, 12/03/2008 - 23:05
Tania's picture

meaning of no otherness

You mix between two similar things, let's call them: operational otherness and mental otherness.

The sage knows that there is no separate independant monolithic isolated inherent other, something like the feeling you have about your leg and your body - the leg is there as a form object but mentally you do not conceive it as separate from the whole of your body... In this sense he is not attributing a "mental otherness" to forms.

It is his body that is attributing otherness to objects but this is an operational otherness - recognition and discrimination within sets of forms in order for the body to be able to operate in the dream according to the form laws of the dream but this has nothing to do with attributing mental otherness of inherent identity to these objects, it is similar to an ordinary person identifying the shapes of the letters that make a word for the functional sake of reading the word but in the same time is aware that the word is not the object pointed by the word.

Tania | Wed, 12/03/2008 - 23:33
Phroggy's picture


"recognition and discrimination within sets of forms in order for the body to be able to operate in the dream according to the form laws of the dream"

But the point was that caring for the body is part of this 'operating in the dream', so it's highly unlikely 'he' would go without showering because he doesn't care.

Phroggy | Wed, 12/03/2008 - 23:45
abra's picture

reality objects pointed by the same word

Yes, we all tend to mix unnoticeably between different objects pointed by the same concept and it becomes critical when spiritual issues are discussed.

The common factor of all these spiritual mixups - that if remembered constantly will make a tremendous mental shift - is that the factor is in our attitude: whether we use this something for an operation practical purpose versus believing that this something truly exists as a separate inherent entity. That's all.

Form does not exist as an independant inherent entity but can be used for practical operational purposes (e.g. to navigate in the dream space).

Time does not exist as an independant inherent entity but can be used for practical operational purposes (e.g. to set an appointment in the dream).

Otherness does not exist as an independant inherent entity but can be used for practical operational purposes (e.g. to envy, hate, steal from and kill the other in the dream :-).

I think it is summarized in a truly enlightened way in
A Deception Called Form - see there a paragraph in the beginning titled 'What does it means "to exist"?'.

abra | Sat, 12/06/2008 - 17:44
Phroggy's picture


"Otherness does not exist as an independant inherent entity but can be used for practical operational purposes (e.g. to envy, hate, steal from and kill the other in the dream :-)."

I know that was said tongue-in-cheek. I just wanted to point out the most valuable 'practical use' of all, that other can be used to explore the truth about the illusion of self. As you say, other is not independent from self, and so you have a ready made mirror for your own focus. Every conversation is a relationship with your own focus, consciously or unconsciously.

Phroggy | Sat, 12/06/2008 - 20:54
kamil's picture

very well said! Important

very well said! vital distinction! words are so deceiving!

kamil | Mon, 12/08/2008 - 13:46
Phroggy's picture


IMO, FWIW, from my perspective of having heard various accounts, sometimes the Realization is so deeply 'encountered' that the body is of no significance and isn't cared for. It's seldom talked about but I believe it's not uncommon for the body to not survive in these cases. Eventually, there's a slow reintegration into the body and the role of playing the person is taken up but not taken seriously.

I think there's a misunderstanding sometimes in that 'no others' does not mean Self cannot interact socially with Self, and even enjoy it imensely and still respect the game being played out. Nonattachment is not 'not caring' or apathy or lack of consideration for 'others'. It is all the Self and all sacred, and perhaps wonderfully myserious. Life in it's expression of Self goes on.

Phroggy | Wed, 12/03/2008 - 23:35
Omkaradatta's picture

How common is this view?

I don't know, how common is this view that 'after awakening' people's bodies are neglected, and other extraordinary things happen?

Probably very common, as I used to look at enlightenment the same way: Thinking it's something really unusual. But I realized that this was my own 'unenlightenment': Wanting something extraordinary. I refer you to a common saying:

"Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water."

When we awaken, the ordinary becomes extraordinary.

Omkaradatta | Wed, 12/03/2008 - 23:31
Phroggy's picture


I don't know how common the view is, but I do believe it happens sometimes. David Hawkins is one example I can think of. After his realization, he lived under a bridge with the homeless people for a while and wasn't even feeding himself. His now wife came by and took him in and actually saved his life. It was many years before he started teaching.

Phroggy | Wed, 12/03/2008 - 23:41
Omkaradatta's picture

Oh, sure...

The initial 'experience' can be extremely disorienting, like a rug being pulled out from under. I dunno what you think happened 'here' at this point in January, but perhaps you remember I wasn't even communicating like a human being (you were the one who made me aware of it). Even 'humanness' departed here for awhile and had to be "re-learned" (perhaps luckily, there was already five years of background and so figuring out what may have happened wasn't hard). At some point, the body wasn't being taken care of as well, but I was isolated and alone.

Omkaradatta | Thu, 12/04/2008 - 00:17
Tania's picture

I think you are mixing

I think you are mixing between two different things.

Tania | Thu, 12/04/2008 - 00:26
Omkaradatta's picture


Well, don't think so much (chuckling). It doesn't matter enough here to straighten it out so you believe xxx, I believe xxx, blah blah. What I say on the Net is just offerings, bread upon the water if you will. It would be nice if people took it in that spirit, instead of always wanting to argue (making someone right and someone else wrong). That's a really boring game here.

Omkaradatta | Thu, 12/04/2008 - 01:30
kalgo's picture

Also many others

Also Ramana Maharshi - lived in meditation for many years after his enlightenment in the caves on Arunachala not eating unless the people there insisted he eat, bitten by the rats and fleas and not caring.

Also U.G Krishnamurti who slept in the streets of London with homeless people .

And speaking of London: Eckhart Tolle who stayed in the gardens of London.

And the "god intoxicated" located by Meher Baba in the forests, one of them called Muhammad who died a few years ago.

And Ramdas and Ram Surat Kumar...

And these are only the true ones we accidentally know about, the rest 99.99% are incognito... they will never speak about it voluntarily, they have no ego anymore so they have no reason...

According to their testimony: they simply did not care.

kalgo | Thu, 12/04/2008 - 00:57
john's picture

Aum Amma

And also Aum Amma from Tiruvanamalai.

john | Thu, 12/04/2008 - 01:34
Omkaradatta's picture


Well OK... if you 'wake up' you can stay out of the shower. As long as you stay on the back of the bus, it's all good ;-).


"And these are only the true ones we accidentally know about, the rest 99.99% are incognito... they will never speak about it voluntarily, they have no ego anymore so they have no reason..."

Nisargadatta: "Rare is the realised man who discloses his realisation and fortunate are those who have met him, for he does it for their abiding welfare."

So there is a reason to speak.

Omkaradatta | Thu, 12/04/2008 - 02:11
Phroggy's picture


Thanks. I didn't know about some of those. Seems reasonable to assume many never do 'come back into the body'. Kinda makes me wonder how many 'enlightened' homeless, crazy folks are wandering around, and we look at them and think, hey, get a job. :).

Phroggy | Thu, 12/04/2008 - 02:33
Omkaradatta's picture


Crazy, I dunno, but homeless quite possibly. When home is 'here', there's no place BUT home ;-).

P.S. we live in a world of ~7 billion people, or so I've heard... makes sense that some significant portion could have stumbled onto the truth. It's a good thing not all of 'em have... if most 'enlightened people' aren't showering, the body odor alone could cause global warming ;-D.

Omkaradatta | Thu, 12/04/2008 - 03:04
Phroggy's picture


But think of all the hot water we'd save!

Phroggy | Thu, 12/04/2008 - 03:20
Omkaradatta's picture

Maybe not...

I'd be using all of it to dunk my head in ;-). "Awakening" or not, dirty bodies don't smell so great. I think folks will find 'awakening' offers a much more sensitive nose as well, as we aren't smelling our thoughts but what's actually present.

Omkaradatta | Thu, 12/04/2008 - 18:45
meera's picture

I am not the body,i am in

I am not the body,i am in the body.

meera | Thu, 12/04/2008 - 14:01
seeker's picture

not even within

According to my experience even this is not completely true. I would phrase it more or less as: "I am not the body, i am able to communicate with this body more easily than with other bodies".

You can have a small meditative test that will show you that you are not only within this body:

(1) Sit in a meditative posture that is convenient for you.

(2) Relax for 20-30 min by concentrating on your breath.

(3) Start observing body sensations in the parts of your body, one part after another, any sensation, part after part, from head to toe and from toe to head, just scan your body part after part in sequence and watch for sensations, no desire or expectation for a certain sensation or resistance to other sensation, no attachment to pleasant sensations or aversion to unpleasant ones, just observe and move on. Do it for at least 30 min.

(4) Then observe sensations in the top of your head. Anything. The type of sensation is not important. No sensation is also a sensation observed. Do it for at least 10 min.

(5) Then move to the close space above your head and observe for sensations THERE. This observed space above the head should be of about 10-20 cm in height. You will soon notice that your perception and relation to this space is EXACTLY as the ones you have towards the top of your head or any other body part. You will notice sensations in this space in the same clarity that you sense in body organs. After mastering the perception in this close space above your head you will be able to move to any other space surrounding your body and observe there sensations and later on move to any space in the room you are at and outside it.

seeker | Thu, 12/04/2008 - 15:02
Omkaradatta's picture

Not even in the body

Your body is just another body, like all bodies. The body is a thought in the mind, a "self-image" based on views in the mirror, and perhaps what we believe others think of us. You are actually undefined awareness, located in no particular place.

Omkaradatta | Thu, 12/04/2008 - 17:48
Lee's picture

which is

found in the body- in the inner energy field of the body. the deeper in the body, rooted in the body, less thought, less mind.

Lee | Thu, 12/11/2008 - 23:30
shira's picture

Dimensionless Point

According to my experience in deep meditations I can say that not even in the body or outside the body - located in some dimensionless point, a point that cannot be defined in terms of a location relative to the body or even in this dimension, sometimes you may feel in deep meditation that if this point is located somewhere it is in another dimension but this is a speculation and of lesser importance. The important thing is to abide in that dimensionless point. Just be there if possible.

It is discussed in more detail in Universal Point of Awareness.

shira | Fri, 12/12/2008 - 11:15
Omkaradatta's picture

I feel...

I feel as though I'm not located anywhere; that all things are located in me, actually. I am always 'here', and everything else is always 'there' in relation (including the body). It feels neither dimensionless, nor having dimensions... both of these are conceptual, based in the mind. Rather, it's just entirely undefined, yet completely actual.

This 'here-ness' is the Truth of our Being, the ground from which grows the universe. If we realize this, then wherever we are is Home.

Omkaradatta | Mon, 01/19/2009 - 04:42
madan_gautam's picture


We are not body but in the body and one has to remain in it,let one be Enlighten one, till the death.

madan_gautam | Sat, 01/24/2009 - 19:41

no bodies

We are not bodies but these bodies are our materialistic garments.

NIDHI PARKASH | Tue, 09/08/2009 - 16:00

no the body

Certainly, we feel ourselves as bodies but actually we are neither body, nor mind, nor intellect, nor ego, nor Mahatt, nor Primordial Nature, nor many etc. but we are as, one entity of consciousness , beyond all these; ref to SHIVASHTAK WHICH RUNS AS ----- SHIVOAHAM, SHIVOAHAM, SHIVOAHAM-----I am He, I am He, I am He.


NIDHI PARKASH | Mon, 11/02/2009 - 16:43
Elijah_NatureBoy's picture

An OBE Discussion

In 2004 I spent a couple of weeks including Thanksgiving with my oldest son. I met a girl who later visited me at his house where she met him. Somehow the conversation turned to OBE (Out'a Body Experiences), she claimed to have had several and my son claimed he could almost at will have them, just lay alone in a bed and quiet his mind and he would soon see his body below him. During their discussion, since I haven't had one yet, they spoke about smells and sounds they remembered therefore, there is some smell to the actual us, our lifeforces.

Maybe those two statements have more validity to them than we realize. I've worn no shirt nor shoes since 1983 and, as a wanderer, I didn't bathe except about once every 2 weeks, unless I was living with someone, but was never told I stink except by a friend who like to clown with me. Most of the people who say they smell me say it smell like burnt sugar and include "it's a pleasant odor." However, there are some people who can bathe and in a short time after will have a very unpleasant odor.

Both the sounds and smells my son and the girl spoke about were different, they didn't agree on them, and may have something to do with the nature of the lifeforces themselves. Jesus said if you have seen me you have seen the father, meaning he and his lifeforce are one, therefore, when we smell someone what we smell may have more to do with the lifeforce than with the body itself, excusing certain foods which eludes an odor most people disapprove of.

--Elijah "NatureBoy"--
Presenting SEEDS OF LIFE @

Elijah_NatureBoy | Sat, 12/15/2012 - 13:33