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.

And what else? What's another difference between a material particle and a life particle? Anyone?

Person in audience: Reaction to stimulus.

Jagad Guru: No—well, obviously, yes. But there's another difference, and that is that a life particle has purpose and that a material particle does not have purpose or will. In other words, each person has some purpose. It may be very rudimentary. It may be just to survive. It may be a very low, not high, purpose. But it has purpose and, therefore, has some will to carry out that purpose. So a brick wall has no purpose. We use the brick wall for our purpose to protect ourselves, or we use a computer robot to do something we want to do with it. One criminal uses it for one reason and another criminal steals it and uses it for his reason. Matter is neutral. It has no purpose. We use matter. There is no inherent purpose. It is not like one atom wants to go left and the other one wants to go right and they have a war, or a brick wall starts taking over another brick wall's territory. There is no purpose. Therefore we can use matter, no problem. I can mold and bang matter into what I want it to be and it does not protest, like "Stop hitting me with the hammer! I want to do something else."

Although some people use that as an excuse for not doing their job right: "The hammer did something," or "The computer did it." But, in fact, matter has no purpose, it has no aim, whereas the life particle, a person, does. We use matter. So we're in this body, and we're using this body. I'm using this material body now for my purposes. And when I'm finished using this body, when I can no longer use it because it's breaking down and it's falling apart, then I leave it behind. This is called death. When the life particle leaves this material body behind, this is called death.

So in this world view, a person is using his body for his own purposes. The body has no purpose itself. It's the person in the body who has the purpose. And therefore there's responsibility. We experience, well, he's got some free will, he's got a purpose, therefore he's responsible for his actions. Of course, this view of reality—that there's someone in the body using it—is really the foundation for our law and for everything else. The materialist world view that there's no one is there and so on is really the foundation for the newer things that are coming into—for example, in law, the insanity plea; no one was in there, or no one did it, or it was just some brain stimulation. No one is responsible, in other words. But that's another whole story.

Jagad Guru Chris Butler, founder of Science of Identity Foundation

For the soul there is never birth nor death. Nor, having once been, does he ever cease to be. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing, undying and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain.
BHAGAVAD GITA 2.20