‘I am my Body!’: Eight Extensions


The ‘I am my Body!’ claim is the oldest and lowest grade of understanding, and far away the most popular today

The early Upanishads expanded this module by adding various ‘Sheaths [Khosas], references to which are common in the commentaries.

The best known of them are the five identified by Shankaracharya, loosely translatable as the sheaths of the Physical [‘I am my body’ idea], the Prana, a vital principle manifested as breath, the Mental, the Analytical [differing from the former by a lessened sense of affective person-hood, what we would call ‘Objective‘], and finally the terminus of Ananda [‘Bliss’, is how it us usually translated].

The Scholar-Monks of the Prajñāpāramithā did not choose to apply the ‘Sheath’ analogy, saw less merit in its use. But there is much benefit to organizing this expansive self-appropriation when done properly in alignment with the Age. [Shankaracharya’s model goes back to the 8th Century].

I choose a set of eight extensions [not sheaths, connoting overlays], which would be most helpful in today’s Post-Copernican ‘Conventional Understanding‘.

In addition to the ‘I am my Body!’ idea, I throw in the following:

‘I am my Thoughts! [See ‘Cogito Ergo Sum‘]
‘I am my Mind!’
‘I am my Consciousness!’
‘I am my ‘Knowing’!’
‘I am [my] ‘Being’!’
‘I am the resident of my Logic’!’
‘I am the resident of my Language!’

We cover all of them, and at various levels, in the upcoming Posts. And shall frequently return to this core group.


Pretty much any imaginative creation you have identified [I am a Blue Light; I am a Paranoid-Schizophrenic; I am a Serbo-Croatian; I am Jewish; I am God, et al] can be dealt with in this framework. I’ll come up with a ‘Miscellaneous’ category if you can find something outside this Net.