We are all endowed with five physical senses. That’s obvious! I would like to maintain that we have sixth physical sense, namely the mind. We tend to separate the physical senses from the mind which we term as a mental faculty. But in reality we use the mind and the other five physical senses to see, feel, hear, touch, taste and perceive the external world.
Some may argue that the mind, in reality, does not require an external world. It can still be ticking and conscious in the absence of an external reality. But regardless, we perceive the world outside through these 6 sense organs. The mind with the brain is the 6th sense organ. I would like to consider the brain as the hardware and the mind as the software since the mind is essentially is made up of thought processes which operate on the brain.
I perceive the world through these 6 senses. The mind is made up of facts, ideas, experience, reasons. Based on our experiences we draw conclusions, form opinions and create ideas. We compartmentalize the world we experience into nice little partitions based on our past experiences.
Every waking moment I see the world through this apparatus of mine which is made of the mind and the other 5 physical senses. I create new experiences, I form new opinions. I form new biases. I react to this external world of events through this mind of mine which is repository of my past experiences.
So I look, hear, touch, taste, smell, conclude, reason and react to the external world of events. But then “who am I”. Am I my mind and the physical senses or is there more to me? Clearly I am not this apparatus of mine. Behind this apparatus is the life force which energizes my body and my mind and the other 5 senses enable me to perceive the world as it is.
Given the fact that I am beyond my senses and my mind with this experience do I need to be affected by things that are only perceived through my mind. Clearly not! While this understanding is important to our handling of pleasure and pain we need this physical body to actively participate in this world of ours.
So while we should not be affected by pleasure or pain which we only perceive through this physical body of ours, this very same physical body is what we have to actively live in the world and do service to others.