Relentless investigation in answering this question will lead to accelerated enlightenment. You are not your limbs. Chop off a leg or an arm and you will find no “I" there - although you may claim that it is “I" who performs certain activity with those arms or legs. You may claim that your arms or legs are “mine" or property of “I".
You are not your vital organs. A heart, kidney or lung are all replaceable and the “I" persists even in their absence.
You are not your senses. In the traditional sense sight, sound, taste, touch and smell depend on organs that are not necessary for the “I" to exist. You could remove seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting, and smelling organs and technically “I" could still exist. Therefore “I" cannot be any of these things - even though it may use them over the course of its existence and claim ownership over them.
You are not your brain. Now this may alarm you. But the brain relies heavily on all the aforementioned senses. To grasp what it would be like to have a brain beyond the senses imagine you are now numb, lying at the bottom of a pool - you cannot see, hear, smell, taste, or feel anything. You are left with reason. Mere logic. If you had been born into this state all you could conclude about your existence is that you simply “are" - you would have no ability for further input - you would simply be in a suspended state of reasoning. “I" am - you would say. But actually you wouldn't really even say anything - you would have no basis for language. So you would get a conscious feel for being- but you couldn't even put it into words. It would be more of an intuitive sense of being. So technically your brain wouldn't even be able reason at this point - it would only have access to intuition. An intuitive sense of being.
At this point you could still claim but “I" am a brain! Yes, intuition is happening through the brain but if there was even one shred of evidence that you could exist outside the experience of the brain - it would then be proven that “I" is free from the confinements of a brain. An important discovery to say the least.
The evidence of “I" existing beyond the brain may be found in medical records and paranormal experiences. Medical records show you can be totally brain dead- yet come back with experiences both of this world and beyond during the same time period. Could this be the evidence you need to rule out “I" requiring a brain to exist?
Before we dive into this further, let's recap. We've traveled a long way tracing “I" from limbs to vital organs to senses to reason and intuition to finally beyond the brain. Skeptics may argue that even though medical records indicate no brain activity during a medical crises, there may actually be subtle activity going on in the brain undetected by today's medical equipment. It could be argued that this subtle activity spawns the other worldly experiences which are later recalled upon by the revived patient. The near-death experiences or visions are a simple figment of their imagination skeptics argue.
While it is true the brain can retain other worldly experiences, and these experiences can be stored in memory, much like dreams can be upon waking- there are other ways to identify existence of “I" beyond the brain. For this let's travel to the realm of conception.
Before a tiny zygote fertilizes an egg, in those critical moments before a zygote is formed - what experiences are there? Where is “I"? The only explanation is that “I" must exist beyond a brain. From that empty silence of non-being to an emergence of primitive zygote being came the presence of “I"; unconscious until it formed consciousness through a human brain. Therefore proof of “I" existing beyond a brain can be found in pre-conception.
Evolution and genetics may responsible for body and brain but it does not forge the all important “I" that is you. You are conclusively beyond the limits of the brain. Which now ironically enough causes your logic seeking brain to form the question- so what am “I"?
To answer in a way that your brain will understand- in short, you or “I" rather is awareness. To make it more clear - the “I" that is you - exists as a subtle energy of awareness. The brain may more easily understand this as the “Soul". This subtle energy is free up until it receives its first input or cognition. From that point on it can become intertwined in the heavier energies of cognition, beliefs, realities of the senses and most especially Ego domination. You know- the one who claims it is “I" but as we have found, is really just an impostor.
Once you identify who you or “I" really is - you can quickly begin to defeat the insane projections of the Ego. You can take control of your emotions and your brain and ultimately become aware of life on a new level. Like a shuttle taking off into outer space, you only needed your brain to break through the atmosphere of thinking, now you can discard it and the Ego, and let your awareness fly. Could this be the kingdom of heaven a famous spiritual leader once referred to?
James Rick is a spiritual writer, speaker and philosopher. James also has an offshore business where he also spreads his understanding as part of his company's unique culture. Visit http://www.jamesrick.com/blog and subscribe to the newsletter for more insights.