In fact it is basically a linguistic mistake to say man is both. For thousands of years man thought that the body and the soul of a person were separate entities. This thinking gave birth to two very dangerous outcomes. One was that some people considered that only the soul was the man and they neglected the body. Such people brought about developments in meditation but not in medicine: medicine could not become a science; the body was totally disregarded. In contrast, some people considered man as only the body and negated the soul. They did a lot of research and made great development in medicine but took no steps towards meditation.
But man is both at the same time. And it is also a linguistic mistake to say “both at the same time”; it gives the impression that there are two things which are connected together, whereas, in fact the body and the soul of man are two ends of the same pole. Seen in the right perspective, we will not be able to say that man is body and soul. It is not so. Man is psychosomatic or somato-psychic – mind-body or body-mind.
According to me, that part of the soul which is within the grasp of our senses is the body, and that part of the body which is beyond the grasp of the senses is the soul. The invisible body is the soul, the visible soul is the body. They are not two different things, they are not two separate entities, they are two different states of vibration of the same entity.
Actually, the very notion of duality has harmed mankind badly. We always think in terms of two, and land up with problems. Initially, we used to think in terms of matter and energy; now we do not. Now we cannot say that matter and energy are separate. Now we say that matter is energy. The reality is that use of the old language is creating difficulties. Even to say that matter is energy is not right. There is something – let us call it X – which seen from one end is matter, while seen from the other end is energy. They are not two; they are two forms of the same entity.
Similarly the body and the soul are two ends of the same entity. Illness can begin from any of the two ends. It can start from the body and reach to the soul – in fact, the vibrations of whatsoever transpires in the body are felt in the soul. That is why it sometimes happens that a man is physically cured of a disease but he still goes on feeling ill. The disease has left the body, the doctor says there is no disease, but the patient still feels ill and refuses to believe that he is not sick. All the various investigations and tests indicate that clinically everything is alright, but the patient keeps on saying that he does not feel well.
These types of patients have really bothered doctors a lot, because all the modes of investigation indicate that there is no disease. But having no disease does not mean that you are healthy. Health has its own positivity. Absence of diseases is only a negative state. We might be able to say that there is no thorn, but that does not mean the presence of a flower. There is no thorn only indicates the absence of thorns. The presence of a flower is an altogether different matter.