Is your identity with your body, mind, or spirit?
Many people keep their identity with their body. They live in fear of the body dying or being injured. This may seem to be quite rational, especially to the ego.
Perhaps the ego is a natural evolution of having a body. Even if a particular body is not very conscious, it still needs to eat and drink and do what bodies do. According to Dr. David Hawkins, the ego came about as the brain needed to be able to calculate the difference between where “I” am and the food. Even an amoeba moves towards food and away from harm. That would be start of the ego setting itself up as a separate “I”. It knows that “it” needs food, and that the food is separate from “itself”.
That doesn’t mean that you have to continue to associate your “I” with the body. However, even amongst those who claim they are not the body, you still see a certain amount of attachment to the body. Have you ever talked with someone who you know has often said that they are “not their body”, and then been talking again with them when a potentially life threatening illness shows up? The attachment to the body is likely to show up then. That is a sign that at least part of that person’s identity is held with the body.
Where you keep your identity doesn’t seem to be a case of the body OR the mind OR the spirit. It’s more the body AND the mind AND the spirit. It seems even more likely that your identity would be a triangle, with one corner totally focused on the body; another corner totally focused on the mind (intellect) and the third corner totally focused on the spirit. The area in between would represent a mixture of identification – where perhaps you identify somewhat with the mind and body and spirit. Where you personally keep your identity is could be represented by the relative positioning within the triangle.
Being fully identified in any one of the three is probably only seen (unless you are an enlightened master) with those who truly believe they are the body and nothing else; that who they are dies when the body dies. (That’s not an uncommon belief.) Others have made an interim step towards spiritual enlightenment by believing that they are their minds, and that the mind lives on after death. You could say that kind of person is fully in the “identifying as mind” corner of the triangle.
Most people likely have some identification in each of the three areas, so could well be placing their identity into a mixture of body, mind and spirit. The relative positioning matters, spiritually speaking.
The less you identify with yourself as being body or mind, the less of an ego you are likely to have.
Would it be helpful to consciously consider your own beliefs about where you believe yourself to be positioned within the triangle?
The body is not permanent and neither are your thoughts or beliefs. Neither can last as a permanent thing. Thoughts and beliefs die with the brain as part of the body; and the body clearly dies.
If you have strong identification with either the body or mind, then your ego is running the show. You are likely to have some fear of not existing. If you are totally identified with spirit, then there would be no fear of not existing.
With no fear of not existing, why would there be any concern about how much money you have, what lifestyle you live, whether you live within a war-torn or a peaceful country, whether you might be injured or starving, or that someone would insult you, or make fun of your thoughts, etc.?
If you KNEW beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you were spirit and not at all the body or mind, how peaceful would your life be? How easy would it be to be enlightened? (You would likely already well on the way to being enlightened.)
So the belief you hold about whether you are body, mind, spirit, or a mixture of all three is not just academic. Consciously consider where you keep your identification – is it with body, mind or spirit, or somewhere in between?