The yogi's interest is inner peace and self-realization and social harmony.
When we are attracted to a person, what we are really attracted to is the particle of life, i.e., atma. Without the presence of this atma, without life, you see a body for what it really is: just a hunk of blood, guts, flesh, bones, teeth, stool, mucus, hair, urine, bile, and so on—a bag of chemicals. The monetary value of this bag of chemicals called the material body is about $9.
Mystic yogis, by the practice of mystic or psychic powers, can do things that ordinary people consider very wonderful and miraculous. Such yogis then exploit the people, claiming that they are God Himself. And millions of foolish people believe such charlatans and blindly follow them. This is very unfortunate.
If the passing away of the body meant the end of your existence, then you, the self who existed along with the “childhood” body, should have ceased existing when that “childhood” body ceased to exist; and you, the self who existed along with the “adolescent” body, should have ceased existing when your “adolescent” body ceased to exist. The fact that you continued to exist, even though your body (bodies) did not, proves that your existence does not depend upon the continuing existence of a body.
Many Chinese and Japanese acupuncturists (possibly out of a desire to “prove” the existence of chi to skeptical Westerners) have invented all sorts of electrical technological gadgetry to monitor the flow of chi through the meridians and to precisely locate the acupuncture points. So although chi cannot be perceived directly, its presence can be detected by a meter that monitors electrical activity.
Unfortunately, most of humanity spends the majority of its time in the culture of ignorance. We cultivate ignorance by serving our tongue, belly, genitals, and other senses like obedient slaves. The vast majority of our energy goes into this mad pursuit of sense pleasure. Left with frazzled nerves, frustration, anger, jealousy, envy, greed, hate, loneliness, and confusion; we seek an escape in alcohol, cocaine, heroin, and a myriad of other legal and illegal consciousness dimmers. This is the cultivation of ignorance.
Everyone is engaged in action. The law of karma means that there are reactions to every action and that a person must endure the reactions to his actions.
So knowing who you are is a very practical necessity. The question “Who am I?” is not a philosophical football meant to be kicked around coffeehouses by pseudo-intellectuals. It’s a real-life question. Nothing is more important and more relevant than to know who you are.
If you know that you aren't your senses, you won't automatically conclude that what your senses want is what you want. You'll know that what your senses may want may not be good for you.
In Calcutta, India, for example, we can see the ridiculous sight of a starving, sore-infested man meditating on the side of the road: “I am God. I am God.” In America and Europe, you'll find many so-called yogis and gurus who are di