Many Bodies Within a Lifetime
We've got some pictures here of a grandfather of one of the people here. So basically this is when he was a baby, then this is when he was a young man, then this is when he was a middle-aged man. And then what do you call this? Old man already, right? See, there are very great differences, especially if, for example, you go from the baby to this one. Then here's a picture of just before his departure [death] there. It's such a radical difference there.
The Self Exists While the Body Is Changing
So the question is, how can you be the body? If you were the body eight years ago, then you would not exists today, because the body you had eight years ago does not exist today. Do you understand this? It's a very simple thing, and yet it's very hard to grasp because it's such a gradual change of our body. It's hard to hold on to. If you were your body eight years ago, you would not exist today because the body you had eight years ago doesn't exist today. So the only conclusion we can come to from this is that a person is not the body.
Awareness, Perception, and Purpose Are Characteristics of the Self
Matter is not aware, an atom is not aware, whereas each life particle, each person has awareness. Their awareness may be covered to a certain degree. Different degrees may be covered. One person may be less aware in different states. But the life particle itself, awareness is an intrinsic part of that, just like brilliantness is an intrinsic part of a diamond. The diamond might be covered with all kinds of mud and junk, but still that shininess of that beauty is there, an intrinsic, inseparable part of that diamond. So similarly, a person's awareness can be covered, but that doesn't mean that a person is not aware or that awareness is a creation of matter. So anyway, awareness is an intrinsic characteristic of the self, and also, therefore, perception, whereas matter is not aware and does not perceive.