Energy simply flows through us, just as water and the other elements do. And an individual organism is just an eddy in this larger flow of energy. A living being, seen in this way, is a self-organizing vortex of energy and matter, not separate in any real way from the surrounding flow of the elements. Each of us, in terms of the Fire Element, is merely a tiny current in a vast torrent that begins in the heart of the sun and that ends as the random jostling of non-living matter. We do not own any of this energy. Neither do we create any of it. We merely borrow it for a while and then pass it on.
The body is not ours in any real sense, nor is the body “us” in any real sense. The self cannot be found within it. This, as we’ll see, isn’t to diminish ourselves. Rather, it’s to free ourselves from a limited way of seeing the self so that we can appreciate that we’re much, much more than we habitually assume.
What we call a self is not a thing. It is a process. It is an activity. It is the sum total of what we do. It is not static. The self does not exist as a separate entity that interacts with the world, but is the sum total of the interactions of a living being and its environment. Living with the notion that the self is separate and static leads to suffering, because such a notion flies in the face of reality.