Who or what is the ‘I’ in my being
( an humble attempt to knowing ‘I’)
All our crucial internal physical process in our body like -- blood circulation, digestion, heart beat, cell functions and divisions, our physical growth from birth, hunger, thirst, etc. etc., -- functions without any consent from ‘ME’. Do these functions take instructions from ‘ME’? A BIG NO! when the body is hungry, or it feels that to pee, the body sends signals to Brain and ‘I’ act according to its direction. Most of the times ‘I’ act or react to the body and its senses. From the time “I” got conceived in my mother’s womb, it (All internal body functions) works completely like an automatic mechanism. Then , what is the function of “I” in this body ? Who is this ‘I” at all, in this whole scenario? Whether the “I” is in the body or outside of it? I don’t know. ‘I’ know , ‘I’ exist only through the senses. When my senses don’t function, I do not exist, like when I sleep or unconscious. Sense’s by itself does not mean anything , they need the ‘Mind’ to receive the data it sees or receives, to comprehend. So, if one has functional senses and don’t have a mind, then also it seems one does not exist. Its funny, isn’t it. So , in all ‘Mind’ is the key . And, Mind is related to brain. Most people do not find any difference between the two words ‘mind’ and ‘brain’. Most scientists and thinkers believe that the brain and the mind are one and cannot be separated. Most of the time these two words are used interchangeably. While brain is considered to be a physical thing, mind is not. It is believed that the minds place is brain, but no one has proved that yet.
So, coming back to the query of “I”. ‘I’ am not the physical body, then! Physical body is there , only , to manifest the “I” or whatever it is.
So, is the ‘Mind’ is what we call ‘I’? Let me think. THINK? Who is thinking? Big question ? Normally, people say, ‘thinking’ happens in ‘Mind’. It is generally agreed that mind is that which enables a being to have subjective awareness and intentionality towards their environment, to perceive and respond to stimuli it receives from sense organs and to have consciousness, including thinking and feeling etc., So, whatever, my ‘thinking’ , ‘expreiences’ etc., is the result of all the stimuli , my sense organs receives and processed by the Mind, since , may be from my birth or even earlier from inside my mother’s womb! *The mind is an instrument of thinking and sensing on various levels. Mind is called the ‘inner instrument’ or in Sanskrit, related to the body which is our outer instrument. The mind is looked upon as the sixth sense after the five bodily senses and is regarded as an organ, not our true being or the basis of our sense of self. The mind is a product of time and outer experiences, which leave their characteristic marks upon it. So, Mind cannot be the ‘I’, since it appears only in relation to senses.
But, sometimes , it is ‘observed’ that there is some ‘entity’(inside or outside, no idea) which seems to ‘see’ or ‘observing’ what I am thinking or doing without any involvement, as if some cc camera is recording all the activity without any action or reaction to what it is recording. Is it the ‘I’ that I am searching? I Think, some people call it ‘Consciousness’!
*Yoga regards consciousness, called Chit as something other than the mind or Chitta . Chit is pure consciousness unmodified by any mental activity. Chit is awareness of what is called the Purusha, the inner Being, for which the mind is but a tool of perception and expression.
Then, the question is --- Is there no such thing as ‘I’ in my being? Only pure consciousness and the physical body is simply acting as a vehicle?
(Conclusion: think, Still long way to go, before the mystery is revealed)
*italics -- taken from Yoga sutras.