If thinking has been so deeply helpful, then it becomes easy to understand why man has become identified with the mind. You are not so much identified with the body. Of course, religions go on saying, “Do not be identified with the body,” but no one is really identified with the body – no one! You are identified with the mind, not with the body, and this identification with the body is not so fatal as the identification with the mind – because the body is more real. The body exists, it is related to existence very deeply. Mind is just a shadow.
Identification with the mind is more subtle than identification with the body, but we are identified with the mind because mind has been such a great help to survive – not only against animals, against nature, but against other human beings also. If you have a keen, intelligent mind, you will win against other human beings as well. You will succeed, you will become more rich, because you will be more calculating and more cunning. Against other human beings also, mind is the weapon. That is why we are so much identified – remember this.
Against death, against disease, against nature, against animals, against other human beings, mind has been your protection, your security. And mind has done much, so obviously we think of ourselves as mind. If someone says that your body is ill you do not feel offended, but if someone says that your mind seems ill you do feel offended. If your body is ill, you do not feel offended. Why? You are not identified with the body. But if your mind is ill and someone says you are psychologically ill, mentally ill, insane, you feel offended. Now this is something about you, not about your body.
You behave with the body as if it is a vehicle, something you possess, but not so with the mind. With the mind, you are the mind; with the body, you are the master. The body is a slave – you possess it.
This mind has created a division in your being also, and that is the second basic cause of why we are identified with it. You think not only about external things, you think about internal things also. For example, the body has many instincts. You think about your instincts also. Not only do you think, you fight against your instincts, so there is a constant internal fight. There is sex: the mind fights it, or tries to mold it in its own way. It suppresses it, perverts it, tries to control it.
The mind is fighting inside also. That fight creates a division between you and your body. And really, you start thinking that the body is something inimical, not a friend, because the body goes on doing things which the mind is against. The body is not going to listen to the mind, so the mind feels offended, defeated. It attacks the body, and then a division is created. And you are always identified with the mind, never with the body.
The mind is your ego. That is your “I.” If the body feels sexuality, you can divide. You can say, “This is the body, not me. I am against it. I have taken a vow of celibacy, I am against it. This is the body; this is not me.” Then who are you? The mind which has taken a vow? This mind is your ego, and you go against the body because the body is very much ego-destroying. Whatsoever you decide, it never listens.