9. The Body

As described in the previous chapter, life consists of one or more cells. The human body consists of about one hundred trillion cells. These cells form tissues that make up the organs. The organs form organ systems that work together to perform a certain task. The human body consists of eleven organ systems; the skin, the skeleton, the musculature, the hormone system, the reproductive system, the respiratory system, the blood vessel system, the nervous system, the lymph system, the digestive system and the secretion system. The human organism is the collaboration between all cells, organs and organ systems from which it exists.

The senses from which we perceive are organs and these organs are part of the human organism. Signals from the environment are converted to sight, smell, taste, hearing, thoughts and feeling through our eyes, nose, tongue, ears, and nerves in the brain. Through the nerves in our skin we can feel, by touching a stimulus from the environment with one or more nerves. In addition, through the nerves that run through many organs in our body we can feel these organs from the nervous system (sense of touch). For example, if we have eaten something bad, the nerves around the bowel release certain neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters are converted into an unpleasant feeling in our brains, which makes you feel your bowel. However, we are not our senses, but only the conscious experience of the contact of the senses with a stimulus from reality. The combination of senses allows you to interpret that, which you experience, differently, than it actually is.

Another example is when you inhale strongly through your nose. You might experience a smell, and feel your nose through the surrounding nerves in the skin of your nose. Because you experience both the smell and the skin around the nose at the same time, you think you are the nose that smells something. However, you are only aware of the smell and the awareness of the shape of the nose. You are not the bowel you feel, but only the consciousness of feeling (sense of touch) your bowel. Nor are you the body that you perceive.

For example; when you look in the mirror, you see a human body. You start to identify yourself with that body, because you perceive from that body, as if it exists on its own. You, therefore, perceive the body separately from its environment through your six senses. While the reality is that you only feel this body from your sense of touch, and see the light that reflects in your eye lenses. However, what you perceive is only the perception of your six senses and not something that is separate from that. Your body is part of the universe and nature. Through the mirror you are only the sight; because through the eyes, the light is received from a human body in the reflection of the mirror. From the combination of the light stimuli that your eyes perceive, your sense of touch, and your intellectual sensation (thoughts), you create a desire for meaning in what you perceive, whereby you identify yourself with this; in this case your body. As if you own it. As if it exists on its own. As if it were you.

If you make a fist with your hand, you feel and see that the fingers are moving, and you are aware of the intention to move the fingers. But this doesn’t mean that you are the fingers that move. Nor are you the body that moves. You think that you are your fingers or that they belong to you because you see them, feel them, and you can make them move. But you can also see, feel and move water. Then you think you are the fingers or that they belong to you because they are attached to your body. However, if you have to describe exactly what your body is, you will come to the conclusion that your body is the total of cells it consists of. If you are then asked how you know that your body is the total of cells from which it consists, you will come to the conclusion that you perceive that through your senses.

Because of your senses, you are aware of the fingers and the body, but you are or do not possess these fingers or that body. You perceive an object from the senses, through which your consciousness is formed, that you name as your body. However, without senses there would be no ‘body’, you would not perceive a body, and without a body you would have no senses. Your body is thus mutually dependent on your senses and does not exist to be or to own.

The intention to move the fingers or the body arises from the desire for a pleasant feeling, the aversion of an unpleasant feeling, or to give meaning to life. The intention to do something, and the movement that may arise from it, is part of consciousness; it is something that you perceive. In the next chapter the cause and effects of this intention will be explained.

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