Characteristics of the Self

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Jagad Guru: Matter is not aware. An atom is not aware, whereas each life particle, each person has awareness. Their awareness may be covered to a certain degree, different degrees might be covered. One person may be less aware in different states, but the life particle itself, the awareness is an intrinsic part of that. Just like brilliantness is an intrinsic part of a diamond. The diamond might be covered with all kinds of mud and junk, right? But still that, uh, shininess or that beauty is there, intrinsic part of that, inseparable part of that diamond. So, similarly, a person's awareness can be covered. But that doesn't mean that a person is not aware, or that awareness is a creation of matter, or this or that. So anyway, awareness is a characteristic, an intrinsic characteristic of the self. And also, therefore, perception. Okay? So uh whereas matter is not aware and it does not perceive. And what else? What's another difference between a material particle and a life particle? Anyone?

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Man in audience: Reaction to stimulus.

Jagad Guru: No...Well, obviously, yeah. But there’s another similarity or a difference, and that is that a life particle has purpose and a material particle does not have purpose or will, okay? In other words, each person has some purpose—it may be very rudimentary. It may be just to survive. It may be very, you know, low, not a high purpose. But has purpose and, therefore, has some will to carry out that purpose. So a brick wall has no purpose. We use the brick wall for our purpose to protect ourselves, or we use a computer robot to do something we want to do with it, okay? One criminal uses it for one reason and another criminal steals it and uses it for his reason. Matter is neutral—it has no purpose. We use matter. There is no inherent purpose. There is not like, you know, one atom wants to go left and the other one wants to go right and they have a war, you know what I mean?
Or a brick wall starts taking over another brick wall’s territory or you know what I'm trying to say? There is no purpose. Therefore, we can use matter, no problem. I can, I can, I can, you know, mold and bang and everything matter into what I want it to be—it does not protest. Like, "Stop hitting me with the hammer. I want to do something else."

Although sometimes you know, some people use that as an excuse for, you know, not doing their job right, you know? Like, you know, "The hammer did something.” You see, or "The computer did it."
You see. But, in fact, matter has no purpose. It has no, uh, aim, you see. So, uh, whereas the life particle, a person does. We use matter. So, we're in this body, we're using this body. I'm using this material body now for my purposes and I'm using it. And when I'm finished using this body, when my, when I can no longer use it because it's breaking down and it's falling apart and whatever, when I'm finished using it, then I leave it behind. Okay?

This is called death. So, and when a pers.. .the life particle leaves this material body behind, this is called death, right? So, this is basically, in this worldview, uh, a person is using his body for his own purposes. The body has no purpose itself. It's the person in the body who has the purpose and, therefore, there's responsibility, right? We experience, well, he's got some free will, he's got a purpose. Therefore, he's responsible for his actions, and so on. And, of course, this view of reality—that there's someone in the body using it—this is really the foundation for our law and for everything else. Okay? And the materialist worldview, that there's no one in there and so on, this is really the foundation for the newer things that are coming, for example, in law, that the insanity plea—no one was in there, or no one did it, or it was just some, some know, some brain stimulation. No one is responsible, in other words. Okay? But that's another whole story.

Siddhaswarupananda - founder of Science of Identity Foundation