Where am I? or Where are you?
If we were to answer that question we would probably say something like “I’m right here in…”and then mention a location. But that is not the answer. I am currently reading a book entitled The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard, who talks about man’s attempt to locate the inner self. He refers to a past institute in Moscow where the brains of famous communist leaders, scientists and artists were preserved, and then dissected in the hope of discovering their personalities. Obviously they found nothing but dead brain tissue.
This is true for any one of us. If we were dissected from head to toe “we” would not be found anywhere in our bodies. Our minds determine our activity, yet our mind is not in one little square box in our head – it operates in various parts of our brain. But it is with our mind that we instruct our brains. The brain then activates the body to perform the instructions it has received. So we ask, where are we?
There is no question that we reside in our bodies. We see through our eyes and feel with our hands and speak with our tongue, which are the instruments we use to connect with each other. We have all heard the quotation “The eyes are the window of the soul.” There is much truth to that. We can show all manner of emotion with the eyes. We can speak with our eyes. We read other people’s eyes and they read ours. The real “us” comes through the eyes. This seems to be the closest we get to really “seeing” each other.
This is why when you see someone in their coffin you quickly realize that they are not there? I saw my father like that and said to my brother, “That’s not Dad. He’s gone!” It was his body but he was no longer there. The shell is left but the person has gone.
The author Dallas Willard, raises the subject to indicate that we are not just physical bodies but spiritual beings. When we die the spirit leaves – we leave the shell behind. Interesting stuff!
Just what you wanted to think about over breakfast!