Evidence of the Un-Changing Self

Since the physical body is constantly changing—with a complete change of molecular makeup every eight years—the fact we have memory, that we remember events and people from ten years ago or longer, underscores the reality that the living entity or “self” is constant and un-changing. That’s the intriguing crux of a lecture by Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda.

A world-renowned yoga spiritual master, Jagad Guru asked a captivated audience in Honolulu, Hawaii, “What is memory? It’s like a thought that you had before, or a picture of something you had before. So you’re looking at it, right? If a person, for example, let’s say a man is 45 years old and he had a, you know, a raging love affair when he was 20. And then he didn’t see that woman again for 10 years or whatever, 20 years. And all of a sudden one day he saw something that brought back to his memory that woman – whether it was a picture of her, or whatever, okay. It brought it back to his mind. What does he experience? He experiences, “Ohhh, I remember… I remember her, I remember all the things about that relationship we had.” In other words when he sees her he experiences, ’I’ve seen her before’ When he sees her in his mind, when he remembers her in his memory, then he feels, ‘This is not a stranger to me.’

“The self is a constant principle. You were there through all these changes of your body and your mind. See, the mind and the body are constantly changing. The body’s… the atomic particles making up the body are changing, your philosophy’s changing, your ideas are always changing, but you are in the center. You are the I, the self, and you are aware of all these changes. Just like you can sometimes watch the mind move. You can watch it go by. Similarly you can watch your body go by. Your body gets older. Look in the mirror, you know. It starts changing, sagging. That’s why I say look at a photo album, so-called, you know, family album of your so-called self and you’ll notice this. The changes are constant, but there is a constant principle, a non-changing principle and that’s you, the self.”

“So since the body’s always changing… like Carl Sagan is saying, for example, that he is the water molecules, and these kind of molecules. But you see, all these molecules have gone. If he is the water, and the water has gone everywhere, then how come he’s not gone? I don’t know what his answer would be. But anyone would have a very difficult time proving it or any kind of evidence to back up this concept that the self is the body or the body is the self, that you are your body, that you are just chemicals in essence. There’s no foundation for this. There’s no support or evidence whatsoever. It’s just a feeling, but when you put it up against reality, the facts, it doesn’t fit. So you have to discard that feeling, that false identification with your body. You have to give that up and start looking somewhere else. What am I if I’m not chemicals. What am I? What is my essence if I’m not just a chemical machine?”

Jagad Guru concluded, “This is a long subject and we can go into all these things more in-depth. But our whole series on the science of identity, on the question of identity, is not just a philosophical one. We should remember that it’s a personal one and it’s a very real question that has to do with our real life, our attitude towards death, our attitude towards our existence, our purpose in life, our meaning of life. It also has to do with very real social questions. There’s very real social ramifications connected with how we identify ourselves.”

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Leaders who Raised their Voices against War

We see so many people in today’s time talking about war and peace but actually, a few of them move in the direction which is beneficial for the survival of human race. We see most of the leaders talking about eradicating war and terrorism from this world but no matter what they do, the peace of the world always ends up being disturbed. Starting from Middle Eastern and South Asian countries, terrorism is now gradually forming its roots in the west as well. Most of the leaders tend to adopt more violent and strict measures to cope with it which always backfires and results in larger terrorist activities around the globe.

The good thing is that most of the countries have thought of the better way round and instead of destroying each other through the means of war, they are keen on striving better economically and winning in the race for money. In older times, when the world saw conflicts turning into greatest wars, there were a few leaders who still promoted peace and harmony amongst the masses. They never resorted to violent means to cover up religious, ethnic, communal, and other such issues. We want to find such leaders in the modern world as well but the problem is that they fail to become so impactful.

Here are three famous leaders who dedicated their lives to bring peace in the world and saving their community or country from oppression. Their works are the greatest examples that have been set for all times and if they are followed then most of the problems that we face today will be eliminated from our lives: Continue reading Leaders who Raised their Voices against War

Homelessness Problem in Hawaii – Highest Rate in the USA per Capita

For many people, the thought of Hawaii brings on images of sand and tropical drinks in coconuts. However, for others, it is a land of struggle and hard times on a daily basis. It has been defined homelessness is an epidemic that has reared its ugly head in Hawaii. Of Hawaii’s population, about 7,620 people are homeless. To many, this may not seem like a large number but it is relative to the totally population, so compared to other states, that is a very high level. The Aloha State has the highest rate of homelessness per capita with at approximately 465 people per 100,000. This is the biggest rate of all 50 states. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Hawaii has a population of around 1.44 million people. Continue reading Homelessness Problem in Hawaii – Highest Rate in the USA per Capita

Broken Glass

The other day I was walking towards the local creek, down an asphalted path leading between two rows of houses, and I noticed a broken bottle smashed into shards. I happened to have a plastic bag in my backpack, and I crouched by the glass, picking it up carefully and placing it in the bag. A middle aged man passed me, eyeing me with a quizzical look, and I responded to his unvoiced question, “If you want to live in a nice place you have to keep it nice.” He agreed and kept walking.

It’s true. We have a responsibility, not in the sense of something onerous put onto us, but in the sense that we are the ones who produce the lives we live, within given constraints. We are not Gods creating our own universes, and i found a lot more details Continue reading Broken Glass

The Breath of Life

People can live for many days – even weeks – without food; only a few days without water; and but only minutes without breathing. But inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide are just the beginning. How fast or slow, how deep or shallow, and how we direct the breath can all improve or diminish the health and well-being of the body and mind. It is said in the ancient yoga texts that the life span of a human being is not measured in years, but in the number of breaths each of us is destined to breathe. Slowing the breath can therefore increase vitality and aid in longevity. Continue reading The Breath of Life

The Sit up Bench of Life

I live near a waterfront. It’s not a beach. It’s either water to the wall, or a mudflat, depending on the season of the moon. There is a small section of shore with some sand that segues into muddy slime. All very natural of course so calling it slime may be somewhat libellous. In any case, this few metres of land go by the glorified name of Pandanus Beach, Pandanus being accurate, as these trees are indigenous, but Beach? Hmmm…. Nonetheless, the locals come out when the moon is right, because when the moon is in the 7th house, or wherever it needs to be to pull the sea as close the shore as possible, the little bay area is a pleasant bath, if you make sure not to put your feet down once you pass from sand to slime. Not so pleasant as to invite more than a half dozen oldies who have bathed here since their glory days, and the odd ring in who might have been in the area perhaps 20 years, though not a local yet. It is a nice place for meditation.

pandanus beach

But while the beach is not a busy spot, the walkway along the waterfront often bustles.   Exercise stations dot the path at intervals, Continue reading The Sit up Bench of Life