Harry Terhanian.com

Wisdom from the son of Armenia.

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  • When discussing the subject of the body and the soul, there is often confusion. To dispel any confusion, we can discuss a practical example that will help us to clear away any misunderstanding.

    Flight 1549, a US Airways plane with 155 passengers abroad, took off from New York and was headed to Charlotte, North Carolina. The plane was airborne less than three minutes when the pilot, C.B. Sullenberger, radioed to air traffic controllers that he had experienced a bird strike and declared an emergency. The pilot was forced to ditch the plane into the Hudson River. Sullenberger, an expert pilot was able to navigate the plane so as to clear the George Washington Bridge by less than 900 feet and successfully made a gradual river landing on the Hudson River without any passenger deaths. It was a modern miracle. The masterful skill of the pilot in such a dire emergency was historic.

    There is a profound lesson demonstrated by this extraordinary event. An airplane is a complicated machine with amazing capabilities. But, it is not as important as the pilot. The pilot controls this amazing machine called the airplane. We can draw a parallel between the pilot/airplane and the individual soul/material body. The soul is the source of consciousness that animates the material body in the same way as the pilot flies the plane and makes it function according to his will and direction. Without the pilot, the airplane cannot move. Similarly, without the presence of the soul the body cannot move. We understand this point more clearly when we see a person die. The soul leaves the body and the body becomes inanimate and without consciousness.

    The pilot is more important than the airplane and the soul is more important than the body.

    The airplane was fatally damaged because of a flock of birds that were sucked into the jet engine at low altitude. Still, Mr. Sullenberger was able to successfully land the airplane and save the lives of all the passengers. It is obvious that the pilot is more important than the airplane. Similarly, as human beings, we should not be baffled by the temporary covering of the material body and confuse it with the eternal soul that is trapped in this body. We must learn to become expert pilots of this body by using it exclusively for self-realization. Before we are obliged to ditch the body when it ultimately fails us, we can detach ourselves from the mundane pursuit of sense pleasures and use the body as a vehicle to reach our spiritual destiny knowing well that the soul is much more important than the body. If we become expert pilots like Mr. Sullenberger, we will be able to leave the body at the end of our life without any attachment or regret and live on eternally as a liberated soul. Without such expertise in spiritual life, we will be forced to take another body after death and continue our miserable existence in this material world pursuing illusory goals of sense gratification.

    This material body that we have is a lump of matter. But the consciousness or the living pulse in the body is different. Can anyone prove that the body and the consciousness are the same and not different? The answer is no. When the consciousness leaves the body, the body is dead and just a lump of matter that decays. There is no possibility of creating human consciousness from any combination of matter either chemically, mechanically, genetically or whatever.

    There are many other things we cannot produce artificially because they require the living pulse or the consciousness to function. One example is human blood. It is impossible to manufacture human blood independent of the human body although the components of it are known. The closest scientists have come to making human blood is a substance called HBOC or hemoglobin-based oxygen carrier. This is made from human or animal red blood cells from which the hemoglobin is filtered, impurities removed, chemically modified and purified, mixed with a solution and packaged.
    It is, however, made from already existing red blood cells and not manufactured from inert material ingredients. There is something in the human or animal blood that scientists do not understand. It is the living pulse or consciousness that is non-material and, therefore, the scientists cannot reproduce it with material ingredients.

    If we cannot distinguish the living pulse from the material body, then we are in the same position as a dog or animal thinking “I am this body. I am a big dog. I can bark very loudly.” Let’s say a man is giving a speech in a big assembly, but he has the same conception of life, i.e.: “I am this body,”
    then what is the difference between the man and the dog. We, as human beings, have to understand this crucial point. If we want to become more than the dog, we must find out in which sense we as humans are different than the dog by reason of our ability to discern the difference between the body and the soul. This sense of understanding is the following: “I am not this body. Rather, my real self or identity is an eternal and conscious soul that is different than the material body.” This understanding “I am not this body but pure spirit soul” is the beginning of real knowledge.

    An example of the above is a modern passenger airplane like the one Mr. Sullenberger piloted. If someone says the plane can pilot itself. The human pilot is not required. Is this true? Can the airplane pilot or drive itself without a pilot that is either in the plane or remotely controlling it? The answer is no. It is impossible. One becomes knowledgeable when they understand that the big machine, the airplane, cannot pilot itself; or, the material body cannot “pilot” or function itself without an intelligent “pilot” or living, conscious, intelligent pulse-soul. This understanding requires intelligence.

    Any intelligent man can understand that the machine itself is not as important as the “intelligent pilot” of the machine as in the case of the passenger jet and Mr. Sullenberger. The same applies to the material body and the conscious soul.

    If we accept the material body as the all in all, then we can analyze it part by part. For example, let us look at the breathing process. We may say that if the breathing is stopped, a person will die. But oxygen can be replaced or supplied just as we fill an empty tire with air. So let the doctors give a person who is dying more air or oxygen. But, people die anyway, even if oxygen is supplied. (Of course, oxygen is administered to people to keep them alive, but up to a certain limit. They die anyway even with unlimited oxygen being supplied.)

    The animal like the dog cannot understand that it is not the body. He has no understanding of his real position. Therefore, he cannot solve the problems of life (birth, old age, disease and death). But human intelligence is much more advanced than the dog’s intelligence. A human being can use his or her intelligence to understand he is different than the continually changing body and attempt to make a solution to the real problems of life. If a human being does not understand this difference or his real position then he is not different than the dog.

    Today, there is no educational institution that is teaching the understanding of the living pulse or force, Due to this lack of understanding, human intelligence is being used simply to prolong as much as possible the failing material body as if the essential identity of a person is this body and not the
    living pulse temporarily in the body. Without the living pulse, the body is just a lump of matter. Yet, the big scientists of this world want to somehow perpetuate the lump of matter and ignore the living pulse. They consider the living pulse as a product of material combination or a product of the lump of matter. This is the sad state of modern science and research. They do not understand the real position of the living pulse and therefore, all their research and discoveries remain inadequate in solving the real problems of life.

    The living pulse or spirit soul is the source of the consciousness in the body. Just as the pilot may be a small man compared to the size of the passenger jet, and, it is possible to increase the size of the jet although the pilot remains the same. In the same way, a living entity may have a body of a big elephant or an tiny ant, but “the pilot” or the living pulse remains the same. This is the real understanding of an intelligent person.

    The purpose of real education is to dispel the misunderstanding that almost all persons have that
    they mistake the body to be the real self. Knowledge means to know who is within the body. That is real education. This knowledge is not understood correctly in the western countries. In the East, the Vedas have preserved this knowledge intact such as in the Bhagavad-gita.

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