We are not able to see the self the Jiva. It resides within the outer covering, or sheath, known as the body. It is subtler than the subtlest. and although we cannot see it, we can have knowledge of it.
The Upanishads declare, “It is bereft of form, extremely subtle, invisible to the eye, and complete with knowledge thus do they see.” Pari pasyanti dheeraha they see that which is not visible. How can this be? Here pasyanti (see) is used m this figurative sense of knowing , not in the literal sense. The nature of the Jiva is knowledge.It knows all that can be known. The Jiva resides in all beings-animals and plants, as well as humans. The Jiva in the ant is in no way different from that in me. What differentiates one Jiva from another is the medium through which it expresses itself. The power of the Jiva is obstructed from manifesting in its totality because of the limitations of the medium. The medium of an ant does not permit the Jiva to express as much power as does the medium of a human being. Even in humans, the degree in which this power manifests varies according to how much the medium has been purified. The goal of all spiritual disciplines is to purify the body and mind to allow more of that power to manifest.
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