Fragile Bodies, Durable Souls
Although we take much pride in our physical bodies, it is a fragile thing. A small injury, even an attack by a tiny virus can cause huge damage to it or even bring its life to an end. However, while this body is fragile within it dwells a durable soul. It does not die when this body dies. Weapons cannot cut it, fire cannot burn it. When this physical body is destroyed or worn out with age, it goes on to acquire a new body, just as it had acquired the present one. A soul changes bodies just as bodies change clothes. The soul is our essential self from which our feelings, desires and aversions emerge. Our conscious mind may not remember past lives but the soul does. Impressions of our past lives are imprinted upon it.
Attached to the soul is consciousness, which is in fact a part of the infinite consciousness that pervades the universe. However, focused on the activities of the mind and inputs of the senses of the body to which it is attached, the individual consciousness remains primarily focused on an individual. It also unites to varying extents with consciousness of those around us; those the mind thinks of and those we love. If someone we love dearly suffers, we share that suffering just as we share his or her joys.
At a deeper level, the consciousness of all humans on the planet is united. If there is widespread suffering in some part of the world, we are affected at this deep level even though it may be far away. It is for this reason that humans anywhere on the planet were more peaceful, joyous and exuberant when much of the world was at peace. It is for this reason that even though the world has much material prosperity and technology now, humans were happier in an earlier era, say the fifties when there were fewer wars taking place and fewer refugees that had fled from their homes because of wars and violence.
It is not just humans that possess a soul and consciousness, all life does, even the green side of it, plants and trees. Just as our physical bodies are fragile, so is that of plants. Little flowering plants of the fields have a body that is far more fragile than ours but trees have bodies that are far more durable. They live longer too. Silently are attuned to universal consciousness. Their own consciousness is far purer than that of humans for they exist to serve the world much more than humans do.
If you sit with your mind still under an old tree it shall share its wisdom with you, the wisdom inherent in the universal consciousness. Long-lived shady trees do this best, trees like Oak and Banyan that grow in different climatic regions of the planet.