Every living being especially humans have two natures (1) spiritual nature (2) material nature. Spiritual nature and material nature are completely independent of each other yet co-exist. Material nature is time sensitive and is created from material elements. The human body for example is a combination of these time sensitive elements. A person’s character, way of speaking, dressing, walking, and general beliefs is primarily influenced by the society he or she lives. This society in turn is formed over time by human beings. There is a symbiotic relationship between man and his surroundings and both influence each other constantly. Therefore, we have to intellectually appreciate the difference between the true self and the externally influenced self. Typically, we merge the two.
The externally influenced self is constantly changing and we should learn to see ourselves separate from it. Whereas the internal true self which does not change is our real self or identity. This non-changing self is spiritual and the changing self is material. When we slow down our life and step back from our externally influenced changing self, we will realize the existence of a non-changing self. In order to step back from the changing self, we need to practice the art of careful dissociation from the changing external agents such as our physical body/mind, family, children, wealth, career and in that moment of dissociation meditate on the non-changing identity of our self.
This is our first step in our thousand-mile spiritual journey!