My favorite author these days is Eknath Easwaran, a spiritual teacher who wrote many books on meditation and how to lead a fulfilling life, and a translator and interpreter of Indian literature. He died in 1999 but his words live on and are even more meaningful in today's morally bankrupt society. But still, were Eknath around I'd have a few questions for him.
For example, last night, freaking out over the fact that I was having a tooth pulled first thing this morning, I scanned one of his books hoping to calm my jittery nerves and get some sleep. I greedily found a passage claiming "We are not our individual body and we are not our individual mind. We are all part of everything we call the Universe." He explained that the body is just a casing for the spirit, and the mind is simply the engine room housing the controls running our machinery. But through meditation you can take charge and be your larger self, transcending both the body and the mind. Never again will your body drag you down. At the same time, you can control your thoughts and stop having your thoughts run the show. Sounded good to me.
Except this morning at the dentist's office, I was directed to place my body (which I supposedly am not) into the dental chair. And meanwhile my mind (which I also am not) was freaking out as the dentist shot tons of needles into the gums that I am not, and then yanked out the tooth that I am not. Then all day the mouth of the body I am not was in pain and swallowed many different kinds of pills to calm the anxiety of the mind that I am not. During all of this, the spirit, which I supposedly am, stayed home in bed and was no help at all.