Sheath - 鞘 - Qiào
Form defines appearance.
The walls within , by thought-
and deeper, still, the soul.
~inspired by Deng Ming-Dao
Sages have said that human beings are protected by three sheaths. One is the physical form, responsible for primitive urges and instincts. The inner one relies on the mind, exercising discrimination, reason, and individuality. The innermost core is the soul - the pure self.
Both body and mind are enslaved to the outer world, where knowledge springs from sensory input. Nothing is known which is intangible; without form, we give it no name. We have slowly moved away from believing our senses completely, but each day is still a struggle.
Find your core. That part of you which swells independent of stimuli, possesses no ego, and has no concern with maintaining a presence in this world. The body has shape, and the mind boundaries, but the soul is without form or feature. No brand may be placed upon it. It is form without form, depth and emptiness existing simultaneously.
Any person with training can touch their soul. Only those who do so will be completely convinced of its presence. When you reach for it, your mind and body become irrelevant. For now, you are beyond senses and beyond thought. The sages refer to the soul as absolute, beyond all relativity.