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You are not just One but Three

You can get some understanding of all this by contemplating the statement that Swami has often made, 'You are not one person but three... the one you think you are, the one that others think you are and the one you really are.' The one you think you are, the body, is ephemeral and untrue. Whatever life you are living today, whatever experiences you are having today, they are all transient. Both the body and its activities, are temporary and associated with the physical world. Now, when others think of you, they do so not only in terms of your physical makeup but also in terms of your personality and character traits. Theirs is a more mentalized image of you. Therefore, the one that others think you are, relates to the mind and the mental world, which is also changing and untrue. But, the one you really are, is the atma, the unchanging truth, shining in the causal state.

A piece of ice in your hand will start melting until it becomes water again. Why is this so? Because melting is the very nature of ice. Similarly, changeability or transitoriness is the very nature of everything that appears in the physical world. Even while you are trying to understand the gross physical universe, you have to think of the finer, subtler inner worlds. The physical world is at the gross level. You experience it during the waking-state. The same thing in a subtle form is associated with the mental world, which you experience in the dream-state. In the waking state, you are able to see objects because of the light emanating from the sun and the moon. But the sun and the moon of your waking state are not present in the dream-state. It is only the light which emanates from the mental world which helps you to see the objects of that world.

The moment you push aside the gross, the subtle light becomes evident inside. During the day you are not able to see the stars. But just because you cannot see them does not mean that they are not there. Stars continue to shine even in the daytime, and yet because the sun's effulgence is so great, you cannot see them. As the light of the sun becomes dim at dusk, you begin to see the shining stars.