When you are a grandparent, you will no longer be a baby, a
teenager, or a young adult. So when it comes time to go to heaven,
which of these people is going to show up?
The person you are today isn’t the same person you were when you
were 10 years old. Certainly your body has changed completely from that
of the 10-year-old. None of the molecules in your cells is the same,
and neither is your mind. You certainly don’t think like a child.
In essence, the 10-year-old you once were is dead. From a
10-year-old’s perspective, the 2-year-old you once were is also dead.
The reason that life seems so continuous is that you have memories and
desires that tie you to the past, but these too are ever shifting.
Just as your body comes and goes, so does the mind with its fleeting
thoughts and emotions. When you are aware of being yourself without
being attached to any particular age, you’ve found the mysterious
observer within who doesn’t come and go.
Only witnessing awareness qualifies as that observer–it remains the
same while everything else changes. It would be futile to hold on to
who you are at this moment in terms of body and mind.
You are dying at every moment so that you can keep creating yourself.
You are not in the world; the world is in you. This, the main tenet
of the one reality, also means that you are not in your body; your body
is in you. You are not in your mind; your mind is in you. There is no
place in the brain where a person can be found.
So when we say that the soul leaves a person’s body at the moment of
death, it would be more correct to say that the body leaves the soul.
The body is already coming and going; now it leaves without coming back.
Adapted from The Book of Secrets, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2004).