The body is 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 that build the cells are borrowed not owned. The body is 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.
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.
We think of ourselves as some kind of bucket containing our thoughts and memories but this model though intuitive has no objective reality. This container or outer wrapper of self is purely imaginary. Essentially we are our thinking processes here and now and nothing else. What we think about at any one moment we are. Thinking about the past or future is a present moment activity.
Our thoughts are our existence; a shifting chaos 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.
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. No wonder awareness is resisted as it destroys the self like sunlight destroys bacteria. Simple observation is spiritual disinfectant. Evasion from 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.