In INSIGHTS by Raman Radha17 Comments

Are we really separate from each other? Let us examine this issue. In order to prove that two things are separate two steps will have to be followed.

1. To know and recognize the things in question.
2. To compare the outer and inner qualities of the gross body, its origin and dissolution, quantity, shape, functioning of various outer and inner parts etc.

Step 1. Knowing and recognizing:
Do we really know who we are? Perhaps not.
a) Are we the body?
Perhaps not, because it is made up of food and the body stays even after death.
b) Are we the thinking mind?
Perhaps not, because it is nothing but a bundle of impressions of all the experiences we have. We can even exist without it in states like deep sleep, non-REM sleep, unconscious and comatose states. So how can we be the thinking mind?

This implies that we don’t know who we are as we have no other experiential information about us other than the body and thinking mind. If we are neither body nor mind, then making comparison among us for the purpose of proving our separateness, is not possible at all or is a useless exercise. Hence from this first step itself it can be easily inferred that there is no way to prove that we are separate, because we have no information about who we really are.

Step 2. Still for the sake of further discussion, for the time being let us assume that we are body and mind because we behave as if we are body and mind. Hence, let us try to compare the body-mind structure so that separateness can be proved. So let us start from origin of this psychosomatic instrument.

1. Do we get conceived in a way other than by the combination of sperm and ova? No.
2. Do we grow in the womb in different ways? No.
3. Did we come out from anything other than the womb, natural or cesarean is a different issue? No.
4. Are we growing and aging in different ways? No.
5. Are we going to die in different ways other than the so-called consciousness leaving the body or whatever? No. Even if it is different at least we don’t know.
6. Are we breathing differently, the process as such, oxygen needed to survive? No.
7. Does sleep, as it happens, come to us differently? No.
8. Are all the internal bodily processes, as such, like digestion, beating of heart, functioning of kidney, etc. happening differently? No.
9. Are all of our motor organs like hands, legs, jaws, neck, etc. being used as such differently? No.
10. Are our all negative and positive actions, feelings, emotions etc. as such happening differently, results are a different issue? No.
11. Is our process of thinking as such happening differently? No.
12. Is the process of origination of actions and reactions different for different persons? No.
13. Are we something other than a bundle of energy, atoms, molecules, chemicals? No. At the level of atoms and energy there is no difference even between animate and inanimate. All are same.
14.  Lastly, the thinking mind where difference appears to be existing, is nothing but accumulated impressions of experiences. Hence, the variations are bound to be there. Hence differences lies here if at all we consider ourselves mind. But we are not, as proved in first stage.

From the above inquiry can it not be inferred that knowledge and feeling of separation is false, but appears to be existing only because of the differences in the impressions of experiences, i.e. mind, which we are not. Basically the idea and feeling of separateness that we have is cultivated, imposed on our psyche, by the social environment. This is not our consciously known, inquired and proved idea. On the contrary, in fact there are similarities only among all of us, including other life forms as well as inanimate, on all accounts.

About the Author
Raman Radha

Raman Radha


I am an ordinary householder not following any faith or religion, but have respect for all the faiths and I take whatever is good from everywhere. I try to make spirituality as simple as possible so that a layman too can understand. I have keen interest in the latest scientific developments and correlating them with spiritual ideas and concepts. And I love to be questioned on whatever I express. I have these two blogs: Raman's Truth & Nisargaramana.

Photo by Alexandra, Germany.

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  1. Kadah

    So with all of this inherent similarity between us we might as well cultivate harmony and loving kindness.

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    Maybe Erik could respond to your comment?

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    Penor you are forgetting that all understanding happens within the realm of mind whose operating system is LOGIC. So long as you try to understand anything whatsoever….mind is only instrument you have for that purpose. So there is no way to understand anything without the aid of logic. For revelation of truth one has to somehow come to the point where there is no desire to understand anything whatsoever. This is the crux of every path including DOZEN. Anyway thanks for raising questions. And all the best on the path of discovery of truth/reality.

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    I have entered into discussion with you and asked some questions to see your thoughts on the matter and if you are familiar with certain explanations from the Buddhist tradition, nothing more. I dont have any real wish or need to understand these things intellectually or logiclly because I have studied with and received teachings from my two living dzogchen masters, both of whom I continue to consult and follow to this day.

    Thanks for the discussion. It is my wish that raising such questions will be of benefit to anyone interested in these topics.

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    Penor if you are interested in understanding logically/scientifically please go through my blogs where short articles are there…which may help you. All the best. and

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    More you read…more you have knowledge/information…more the confusion…because they are all borrowed…please come on your own…investigate “Who are you and where are you”…then see what happens….let the reality/truth reveal itself rather than relying what are written/said by other.

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        I lost interest in reading so called spiritual books in 2001 after reading U. G. Krishnamurti who is perhaps the ultimate/peak in this matter according to my view. Yes I have read few pages of different books on Dozen, Zen, etc…almost all Buddhists ideas…..but after 2001 whenever I start reading any book I find that I know them already…or better to say I am living them already….nothing new is there for me… I don’t read. Up to 2001 I read almost all major books of all major religions. But reading just go on overloading already overloaded nervous system. Better to come on our own…question every idea of yourself….never believe in any idea. This is perhaps the key which can open the gate to eternity or better to say come to that understanding after which nothing remains to understand. All the best Penor . Love and regards !

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    Perceptions are after all perceptions……based upon a limited experiences/data….not seen/experienced from all possible angles. They are narrow views….narrow views are bound to be appearing as different. Better to investigate who/where you are ? Then let’s see what comes out.

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    … conciousness I mean mind or that which is aware, a knower etc. The most subtle level of conciousness is defined in buddhism as the innate mind of clear light or rigpa etc.
    A similar definition of the most subtle level of conciousness can be found in Kasmiri shaivism and Advaita Vedanta

    my question centers around the non dual aspect of this subtle conciousness. Are there distinct individual conciousnesses seperate from one snother even though they have a non dual aspect? If so how?’If not why?

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      If that is non dual where is the question of distinction because all distinctions are within the purview of duality. By the way nondual or dual are simply concepts. And the so called mind (non rigpa) is in a sense accumulation of impressions of sensory experiences… chemical form. And definitely no two individuals can have same experiences…so have to have different mind or consciousness if you take mind as consciousness. Rigpa (existential mind) is beyond the reach of regular mind which we consider in day to day life. Nothing can be said about THAT…rigpa is simply a pointer to unknowable THAT…

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        So what do you think about this?…… non duality: no distinction, no separate experience, no separate consciousness
        How then do we explain the differing perceptions of beings eg: hell beings perceive there environment as a hell and buddhas perceive there environment as a pure land?

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    Consciousness is simply a concept/pointer for perhaps unknowable That one popularly referred as life and the “life as such” (because of which heart beats, lungs function, etc all involuntary funtions go on happening) is perhaps same in every life forms whether an insect or plant or animal……but if the consciousness is considered to be outwardly behaviour then that definitely differ because of genes and conditioning.

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      …….by the way, we are using concepts to communicate and it is necessary to use them to discuss these topics. Whilst they are merely relative, they are still needed and are very powerful if used wisely. Lets try and find common ground and discuss these profound subjects.

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    Is the most subtle level of conciousness of an individual the exact same consciousness posessed by another distinct individual?

  11. Erik Pema Kunsang

    This article invites a further discussion about and investigation into our true identity.

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