Understanding human beings is very difficult and very interesting too. Most of us believe and comprehend our external environment through our five senses. In a sense we are limiting our perceptions to our limited senses.
There are so many aspects to the human beings that make up the total individual. Man is endowed with an intellect, mind, feelings, reason, discrimination as well as the sixth sense which is intuition. All of these mental and abstract faculties manage the individual’s thinking and guide his actions. However, not many people give any attention to understanding themselves and believe that they are existing solely at the physical level and body.
Spiritual science goes on to distinguish the faculties of man further. According to them the soul takes on the form of an individual where in the consciousness descends progressively from the causal to the astral and then to the physical plane, through the energy centers in the brain and the spinal column. The soul is according to them, the individualized consciousness which is a part of the universal consciousness. When it descends into the body and is circumscribed by the limited consciousness and identification of the body, it is known as the ego. Therefore ego is nothing but the identification of the soul consciousness with the body and the sense of ‘I’ that dominates the mind.
Ones we understand that we are not just the body but it is the mind and the other faculties that rule our being, we begin to understand that we as consciousness are able to evolve and go beyond the mind and the matter.
In this case you may wonder and ask as to who is the sufferer when one is faced with ill health. Of course the ill health is but a manifestation at a physical level and the body is the sufferer. The mind recognizes and suffers from pain as it identifies itself with the body. Those who have the mind control and are able to disconnect from the senses do not find or recognize any pain at all.
However the normal physiological processes that occur in the body with the normal process of aging etc do have a direct impact on the mind and affects the thinking process as well. During andropause the male hormone production begins to reduce and consequently the individual begins to feel depressed and is plagued by anxiety, fear and loss of confidence too. The body begins to show sag and lose muscle mass due to the reduction of male hormone in the body. This causes a loss of energy and strength in the body. Consequently the mind too begins to recognizes and shows behavioral traits accordingly.
Though theoretically it is known that the mind and ego do not depend upon the body, nevertheless the bodily changes definitely have an impact on the mind as well. Normal man is not evolved enough to know that he is not a physical being and that his body is but his vehicle. Only those evolved saints who have meditated and realized the separateness of their consciousness with the physical body are able to isolate the physical experiences and not recognize them.