"I" - the mind or the Self???

Nanda Kumar nkumar at OPPENHEIMERFUNDS.COM
Wed Oct 8 14:14:17 CDT 1997

Since the time i joined this list I've noticed quite a few statements like
'There's no 'I'' or 'there's no you nor me' etc. I would like to take a dig at
this concept and see how far it's true.

As is the concept of Advaitam, we're all either convinced or atleast
believe or suspect that there exists a Self. We also recognize the fact
that the very concept of 'I' is in question. When I say 'I', I generally refer
to my body in conjunction with my mind. I recognize the maya concept of
life but that still doesn't negate the existance of the body and the mind.
The shruti expounds that a Self exists and that it's not the mind. We say
that the 'I' is the Self. But is this concept truly applicable to a person who
has not realized his/her Self?

When we try to observe the origin of thoughts, who is it that's
observing? Is it the Self? Or is it the mind? Or is it that the Self and the
mind are actually working in unision and that inorder to identify the Self
we've to first learn to distinguish the working of the Self from the
working of the mind? And that I suppose is the objective of meditation -
to still the mind, so that the Self can function independantly. In the English
version of the Yoga Sutras that I possess, the author says when we try
to still the mind during meditation, there's atleast the thought that the mind
is still, which doesn't reflect true stillness and that perfect stillness can
only be achieved upon realization.

 So at this point in time, in my unrealized state, I fear that I can corelate
the 'I' only to my mind.

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