I am not my body

Who am i (not)?

Find out for yourself

To find out exactly what something is, you can also start by ruling out what something isn't.

Through insight and observation with some distance, you can transcend or outgrow certain thoughts or history. By zooming out a little, you can see that, for example, your thoughts, your history, your emotion, your body and your identity can strongly shape you, but that you can distance yourself from them at any moment. Sometimes with trial and error, but it is possible!


Through our brain we see our world/reality in a dualistic way. We think in equations: Is it this? Or is that? It can also be a bit of "everything", but that is not so easy to categorize. Reality isn't as true or false, it's shades, or might even be both of neither.

Not my body??!?

Brain in jar

Of course you are your body! But you are not just your body. The truth is infinitely more complex. You could also say that your body grew out of the earth (via your mother and your father). You are completely made up of raw materials from the earth (vegetables, fruit, water, chips, meat or whatever you eat). Are you still you when you lose an arm? When you lose a leg? Are you still you when you are a brain in a jar?

You could see your body as a measuring instrument, your body, your senses, your nerves all send signals to your head, your brain. From birth on, these signals and experiences create your personal model of the world.

Not my brain?

Our heart used to be seen as the most important part, the engine, the pump of life. Today, our brain often gets that honor. Our central processing unit (CPU) in computer terminology. But what applies to a computer also applies to your brain. What is a computer/brain without input? What is your brain without memory? What is it without capturing light reflections through the eyes and feeling a wall when we run into it? What is the brain without the database of experiences built up from baby? It's just a processing unit without anything to proces. Is it not?

Hi, my number is...

For friends & family you identify yourself with your name. To the goverment you identify yourself with a number. But are letters and numbers more than just symbols? Names and numbers are helpful, but they are far from what you and i are.

If it is hard to really know what a tree is, to capture it completely, then the same applies for humans.

You can also identify with your family, your local soccer-club, or your religion. But that is an addition, content to your life and not who you are.


You cannot (actually) separate the brain from the rest. It's like imagining yourself without earth... floating in space you can't exist. It is only possible by growing (on Earth) and eventually designing, testing and using a space suit. The best lesson of evolution is to realize that we are a result of "nature". From that idea, you can also argue that everything that humans do is simply nature. In other words, Nature Runs Wild.

A soul? Or a God?

From experience, when I look at myself, I seem to be a continuous whole. As a kind of observer I am present in my body, sometimes/regularly I lose myself in the moment and run on autopilot. However, I try to control myself, to be present, to be conscious. A simple example is your breathing, which usually runs completely automatically (luckily!). However, you can also breathe consciously (actively forcing, or alertly observing). That which "observes" some might refer to as your "mind", your "soul", or who you really are. I don't know exactly how that works. It could very well be that we are missing another ingredient (as a kind of invisible Wi-Fi connection to the universe). It could also just be a self-transcending phenomenon. Just as sound can turn into music, through a rhythmic organization of chaos (sound) is made into order (music).

Or... there is still a middle way, that we humans develop even further, from (unconscious) animal to (conscious) spiritual beings. That could explain the strong differences of opinion, why some people have special experiences and others don't. But above all, be self-inquiring and regularly reminding yourself of our human ignorance.


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