The body is a machine, like a motor car is a machine. I am within this body as the driver is within the motor car.
Now the motor car has many needs. It needs gas, it needs oil, it needs to have it’s tires pumped up and so on. But if one forgets the driver in the car and simply concentrates on the machine and the needs of the machine the driver will not be satisfied.
He will be sitting in the car starving. Because the food of the driver is different from the food of the car. You can not feed the driver gas. His food is different.
So we are the driver of this body. This body has so many needs, but these bodily needs are different from our needs, we are the driver of the body, the soul within the body, “the ghost in the machine…”
So our idea is to satisfy the bodily needs only as much as necessary to maintain the body in a healthy condition and spend the rest of our time and energy in spiritual activities which help us to reawaken our original spiritual consciousness, these are our real needs, the needs of the soul.
It is not that we do not eat, or sleep, or have sex or defend, but these things are done in a regulated way to maintain the body in a healthy condition. But as the motor car is simply a vehicle which is meant to transport the driver to his destination, we see this material body as a vehicle which can be used to transport the driver–the soul–to his ultimate destination: back home, back to Godhead.
If we spend all our time trying to satisfy the senses of our body we will waste all our time and energy in this way and become completely distracted from the real purpose of life which is to get out of this material world and get back home to the spiritual world where we will get an eternally youthful spiritual body full of knowledge and full of pleasure… Then we will really be happy…
Thank you Madhudvisa dasa for this beautiful analogy!