Lack of religious and philosophical education makes questions about consciousness, identity, and the soul extremely hard. We simply never think about what is “self”, where it is and what it comprises, and when we come across such a task we can hardly say a word.
Our “self” is all what we are – views, thoughts, habits, likes and dislikes, actions and memories. But how to divide this common “self” into two – a thinking subject and a physical body? We realize ourselves by receiving information from outside and processing it. The “self” as a thinking subject is tightly bound with physical perception. Thinking something over without hearing or reading it, that is, without our senses that are purely material is impossible. Senses allow us to feel, learn and develop ourselves and it is mistakenly to believe that so-called soul will be able to live without body, it should be useless in this case.
Our physical body makes us live the way we do. It is a circumstance that affects our lifestyle and a helper at the same time. This “self” as a thinking subject lives with the help of our body. May be, it (or soul, if it is a really existing ghostlike essence) needs an interpreter which role human organism is playing. It is well-known that we are thinking with the help of our language. No language – no thinking. A child learns the world by naming objects. In our adult life we seldom realize that we reflect and imagine using words created by human tongue. Even feelings like love or compassion cannot be separated from our physical body (no matter that feelings do not need words), because our sensitivity depends on our imagination, experience, will. And will, for example, is always a result of careful thinking and hard struggle. It barely comes without special material help – books, routine events, interactions.
I can compare “self” as a thinking subject with seeds and “self” as a physical body with the soil. Seeds will not grow without soil and soil is useless if it isn’t dressed. No matter whether the one could exist without the other, the only conclusion is “self” as a thinking object and “self” as a physical body are useless if they are separated, because nothing what is meant to be (I mean development) happens.