What Are We?
We are human beings, we are embodied souls: that is, we are Pure Consciousness embodied in mind and matter. The one speaking (writing) right now, i.e., This One, and the one listening (reading), i.e., YOU, are not GOD, and neither are we souls only:
We are souls embodied in human form.
As such, we have limitations: that is, the mind and body are limited. Just as the nature of the mind is different from the nature of the body, similarly the nature of the soul is different from both of these. Likewise, the nature of the embodied soul (soul enshrouded in the body and mind, which includes intellect, senses, and ego) is different from the nature of pure soul. In the language of the Shastras, we are JIVATMAN and not just ATMAN.
The body is PRAKRITIK (of material nature), and so is the mind, but mind is also PURUSHIK (of spiritual nature). Both the mind and body are evolved from PRAKRITI (primordial matter) by the power of PURUSH, but the mind is much subtler than the body (gross matter), and therefore more closely aligned (in terms of subtlety) with the ATMAN (PURUSH).
Prakriti (nature) is characterized by specific qualities called GUNAS. These GUNAS are three in number, but they have innumerable shades (variations). The three Gunas are:
Some examples are:
The GUNAS are inherent in PRAKRITI, and hence, are present in everything evolved from PRAKRITI (nature). Thus, as human beings comprised of mind and body, we are influenced by these various inherent characteristics.
As embodied souls, we have been given the power of discernment (intelligence) to make intelligent choices. Based on our experiences and available information (i.e., on the testimony and experiences of others), we make choices which affect our lives. If our choices are guided by wisdom, we will make few mistakes; but if we are guided only by our instincts, feelings, moods, emotions, etc., we are apt to make mistakes over and over again, and again.
We are not automaton robots. We are essentially (in essence) SOULs. Our conscience is our witness. Some people say that this witness (i.e., one's conscience) is just the product of one's upbringing and culture. But this is not true. Certainly, the witness may be tainted or influenced by outside factors, but the fact is that even a completely so-called uncivilized man or woman will have a conscience that tells them murder is wrong, to be cruel is wrong, to steal is wrong, to cheat on one's husband or wife is wrong.
Our pure conscience is the reflection of ATMA (soul, or Self) in the mind. Any attempts to violate or adulterate our conscience results in mental imbalance and eventual insanity.
We will always have to answer to our own conscience. When we betray our conscience we suffer. But if we are true to our conscience, even if we have to bear pain, we do not suffer. Religious fanatics who inflict pain and misery upon others in the name of religion are NOT listening to their conscience--they are listening to their ego, which has been propped up with their false images.
So, what is this big drama of existance? This is the LILA, the Sport, the Play, the Game of Life. This has been going on forever and will continue forever (with intermissions of course, which occur with every Mahapralaya, or dissolution of the Cosmos). As in every sport, the participants play with gusto, they put their heart into the game, or into their art, or their work, or whatever. . . but in the end what matters most is this: how did we play/live/work?. . . fairly? skillfully? beautifully?. We are living for the sake of expressing our Real Nature, because it is the greatest experience, the highest expression of Love. Why do children play 'hide-and go seek?' There is no 'reason' for it. It is because that is 'what they do'. Why are we (God's children) playing this drama of life. There is no 'reason' for it. It is because that is 'what we do'.
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