We learn from the Vedic teaching that we are not our material bodies. This is very basic, this is the first thing we can learn. Just like when you begin to learn mathematics, the first thing you learn is 1 + 1 = 2, you just do not jump in and start learning calculus, there is a foundation that must be set. First it is addition and subtraction, with the help of your fingers, 2 + 2 (1, 2, 3, 4 ) = 4, you learn very simple things, but necessary. And subtraction, 2 plus 2 is 4, you take away 2, oh, you have 2. Ok, so you learn there. And then gradually build on this, multiplication, then division, and so on. You build on a solid foundation of knowledge.
So as far as ‘absolute knowledge’, we build on the foundation of identity, who we are. We learn we are spirit souls, we are not our material bodies. We have two material bodies, made of material energies, the gross body and the subtle body, which is the mind. We learn there are many types of bodies, trees, bugs and all kinds, but it is the same, material body and material mind, covering a spirit life, a life particle, a spirit soul. This is the beginning of understanding spiritual life.
If we do not know that, then how can we talk about spiritual life. If we do not know that we are the life, in the world there is no life that is not spirit, all the individual people are the life of the world; if we do not know that, then how can we talk about life, and what we should do with our life. But basically nobody on this planet knows it.
Even if they say it, they do not really understand it. At best it comes out ‘I have a soul’. ‘I have a soul’. But really, that is obvious a misunderstanding. I do not have a soul. It is like ‘I have a body, I have a mind and I have a soul’. Ok, then who are you? If you have a soul like you have a body, ok you are not the body, alright, you have a mind, but you are not the mind, and you have a soul, but you are also not the soul, then who are you? And there is no answer, because there is nothing else left. There is a body, there is a mind, and there is a soul, there is nothing else left, so therefore it is again showing lack of clear understanding.
We do not have a soul, we are the soul, inside the body. That is the beginning of our education. Parents can start teaching their children this at one year old, two years old. I know many kids, you ask them, ‘Who are you?’, they are three years old, and they say ‘I am spirit soul’. Go ask Mr. Professor with every degree on the planet ‘Who are you?’ – ‘I am professor X, and my name is, and I am from this country, and here are my degrees’, he will give you a list this long of who he is, none of which is ‘I am spirit soul’.
So the so-called most intelligent professor on the planet does not know who he is. And a 3 year old kid, who is supposed to not know anything, just a dumb kid, knows the truth ‘I am spirit soul’.