Our bodies are quite literally a wave of substances moving through time; material pulled from the earth, incorporated – that is, made corporeal – only to be later released back into the ground. The elements of which the body consists are borrowed not owned. We are a form and not a fixed object, effectively an idea or blueprint that incoming molecules learn and inherit as they in turn leave it to others. The body teaches its form to each new generation of matter.
Psychologically too the self is a process rather than an object: we are at the ocean’s edge, repetitively and compulsively inscribing in the sand a circle of self around us as the tide of being, the here and now, floods in to erase it time and time again. Reality erases our flimsy mental constructs.
We think of ourselves as some kind of bucket, material and concrete, that contains our thoughts and memories but this idea though intuitive has no objective reality. This container or outer wrapper of self is purely imaginary. Essentially we are nothing less or more than our thinking processes here and now. What we think about at any one moment we are. Thinking about the past or future is a present moment activity and reality is that present, not our imaginations.
Our thoughts are indeed our existence; a shifting chaos made up of identity, gratification, imagination and habit. What we assume is fixed and solid changes every second we’re alive, usually in ways we’re completely unaware of. The fixity and solidity we yearn for is in reality completely absent.
If the self is really nothing tangible but just a construction of thought then to stop or even just change our habitual thinking is a kind of death, at least for one form of the self. No wonder awareness is resisted as it destroys the self like sunlight destroys bacteria. Simple observation is spiritual disinfectant. To seek to evade present moment awareness is nothing but the desire to continue uninterrupted. It’s also the essence of all resistance to change – the self holds on to stasis literally for dear life. To change is to die and be reborn.