If I Am Consciousness, Why Do I Need A Body?

by Ian
(United Kingdom)

Question:

Hi Adam,

I came across your blog a couple of days ago, and find it very peaceful and interesting how the I is the observer of thought and emotion, and not the thought itself.

I am struggling to get my head around why on earth I would stick with my body, if it is ever eternal and does not need a body? Perhaps I have not read enough of your articles, but this question keeps arising in me again and again. I understand it may be my ego's attempt in highlighting its importance, but it seems to me a valid question.

Ian.

Response:

Hi Ian,

Thanks for your question. You are right in noticing that the mind may be distracting you with this question – it always wants to know why, and to form a mental answer. Yet of course it is a fair question.

To ask why does the body appear and continue to appear for you is a question that no one can answer for sure. There are some possible reasons that I could say, some may seem to contradict others.

We could say that the body and the world are creations of the mind. In the same way when we dream at night our minds create a body and dream-world, the same could be said of the waking state – that the ego’s sense of smallness and vulnerability, is expressed as an individual body, to justify its natural state of limitation and fear.

We could also say that the body is the vehicle for experiencing to take place, and therefore necessary to become aware of consciousness itself. Without the bodily experience and apparent experience of separation from the source, perhaps consciousness would not be able to become aware of its source. In the same way that when you are in deep sleep, you merge in the source but not in a conscious way, the waking state and bodily existence allows you to consciously experience the inner realm (or just “realm) of no form, no thought, no person. If we did not experience being a separate person, we would not realise what it is to be transcendent of the person. If we did not experience apparent imprisonment in or as a body, we would not appreciate freedom from it. These are some ideas.

One may say that it is all a divine scheme for the imperishable source of the universe to become aware of itself. Another may say that we have fallen from grace and have believed that we are separate from God, or Life. Another may say both are true.

The reason for staying with the body, who knows? Some may call it destiny, some may call it divine will, or some may not even care to conceptualise. It is as it is. To one who knows themselves as they are, they will not be interested in the why’s or how’s, they just accept things and deal with things as they appear, but don’t take appearances for reality.

We can say that the body is not forever. In the scheme of time as we know it, the bodily life takes up a tiny fragment. From a personal level it may feel as if the bodily life and its duration are very significant. From a universal standpoint, it can be seen as almost nothing.

You can be aware that the body seems to still exist. At what point are you actually connected with the body? Where is the linkage point? If you look into this without haste or expectation, the bondage to the body may not feel so strong, yet the body can still act out in the world.

What feels most true to say here is that the bodily life gives a chance for consciousness to mature, refine and become self-aware. When the body serves no more use for this or for helping others to wake up, perhaps this is the point it drops away. Who knows.  

The bodily experience allows you to become aware of the deeper feeling of “I AM”/Presence/Being/Consciousness that is felt most easily in the body. Disregarding all else and only being with this feeling of existence in the body, can be very beneficial, as long as you do not expect benefit from it! 

You can be aware of the voice that has asked the question. Something says “why would the true I stay with my body” – as if both body and true self are separate from me. This very voice is the ego – not a bad thing, but not what you are.

When it comes to this area of introspection and understanding we are speaking about, the mind is no longer of use. It attempts to understand the life and intelligence that is beyond and before mental concepts. It usually wants an answer to present the same way we are trained to give answers in school. You seem to already know that you need not understand anything mentally. Remain without expectation or resistance, aware of yourself, aware that you are aware.

Thanks for your question, I hope the response has been useful

Adam