Woman in audience:

Recent studies on the turnover of the molecular population within a given nerve cell have indicated that, although the cells themselves retain their individuality, their macromolecular contingent is renewed about ten thousand times in a lifetime. (In other words, the matter making up each cell is completely renewed every three days).

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Who are you? What is a person? Like most people, you’ve probably filled out all kinds of forms, answering questions about who you are. Institutions like hospitals or schools and oh, just about everybody is always asking who you are, okay? And they always give you these forms and you have this form that says, “What is your age? How old are you? What color are you?” And, you know, “What is…”, whatever other identities you’ve got, they want to know about them, okay. They want to know who you are. So you write down, “I’m 30 years old. I’m black. I’m a librarian. I’m female,” okay? All these different labels based upon your body, okay? Your body is 28 years old, so you say, “I’m 28 years old.” Your body’s black so you say, “I am black.” Or your body’s white, so you say, “I’m white,” okay. You have all these different labels on your body, okay. So when people ask you who you are, you answer according to these labels, right?

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Now what we would like to put forward here is the point of view that in fact, life is a distinct element from matter. That life is itself an energy that’s completely different from matter. It is not an offspring of matter. Life is life. Matter is matter. And these two distinct energies in the material world as we see it, sometimes interact and sometimes they do not. From this point of view, a life particle, a particle of life, sometimes called a spirit soul or the atma or a soul, this spark of life, this life particle we are proposing is, in fact, a distinct energy. And that there are innumerable such life particles. There are countless numbers of such life particles. And that the characteristic of this life particle is life, existence, eternality, and awareness. These are the natural characteristics of the life particle or spirit soul. Just like you can’t speak of water without also referring to wetness. You can’t have water without wetness. Similarly, when we speak of the life particle or the spirit soul we cannot separate it from awareness. We cannot separate it from existence and consciousness.

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Scientists say that life was created billions and billions of years ago from some combination of chemicals. So naturally when they say “life” was created in this way, we take it for granted they know what “life” means.

Yet if someone makes a statement but doesn’t understand the meaning of the words in their statement, then what value is there in what they are saying? It’s meaningless.

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A materialist believes that matter is the only energy that exists. So when he considers questions such as, “What is consciousness? What is life?”, he concludes that the answer must lie in some chemical construct. So in today’s materialistic society, people essentially believe that life is nothing more than a complex chemical arrangement.

We are taught from our very first science classes that originally there were simply material elements that went completely against the law of thermodynamics and became increasingly more complicated in structure. Gradually as the chemical arrangements became more complex they started to “wiggle”. Then these “wiggling” elements accidentally morphed into a one cell organism. The idea is that life originated from this primal cosmic soup and gradually evolved into more and more complex organisms.

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The body is not your true self; it is simply a vehicle that you are temporarily using. Often people panic when they lose a part of their body, such as their legs, their finger, their tongue, etc. It’s very shocking when it happens!

Or during a war if people lose their limbs, they feel very sad because people treat them differently. Although other people look at the person differently, inside that person knows, “I am the same person. I’m still me.” The person experiences that they’ve lost a possession, not their self.

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