One of the first understandings to learn from Vedanta is, what is the " Real Self "
The body that we have is temporary and therefore an illusion, and for anything to be real it must be permanent.
The whole world is under the illusion that the body is the self, and a persons entire life is spent catering for the needs and wants of the body
A women in her life will spend between one hundred thousand and up to a million dollars to pamper her body with cosmetics, but it will do nothing to stop the onslaught of old age, disease and death.
A man will work out in the gym and jog thousands of kilometers in his life, to be attractive to the opposite sex, but it will not stop the onslaught of disease, old age and death.
When the body ages and gets sick, it becomes more and more disgusting and repulsive, and when it finally dies, we cant wait to dispose of it, by throwing it in a hole or burning it.
The body is made of energy (material energy) and the energy is never destroyed, but is recycled over and over, so one day your a young man, and before you know it, your a bag of worm eaten debris in the ground.
So this is the reality of this material condition, we call life, which is a struggle for existence and is full of suffering.
The teachings of Vedanta are perfect, and will never glamorize the factual conditions of existence in this material world.
The real self is permanent and eternal, without beginning or end, and there was never a time when the self didn't exist, the real self is spiritual energy and is dynamic, the spiritual self is actually a small piece of God, and is of the exact same quality of God, there is no difference except it is small and called marginal energy, because it may be overcome by the illusionary material energy.
When the soul is overcome by the illusionary material energy, it is said to be called conditioned life, and nearly everyone is suffering this conditioned life of false identity, thinking they are this material body, and are neglecting the purpose of life which is to live with the full awareness that the spiritual self is the real and actual person......
and what a different life people would live, if they where fully aware of this truth, because people would not pursue material enjoyment as if it was the all in all, but would live a simple life of peace and harmony, while making endeavor to raise their consciousness to the platform of love of God.
When love of god is achieved, then the soul does not have to take birth in this world ever again
The spiritual energy may be called the soul or spirit or living entity or atma or jivatma or spiriton, and it is characterized by consciousness, awareness,cognition, free will, intelligence and desire.
The soul must be present for the body to be conceived, grow, reproduce and function in any way, and the senses will not function without the soul.
When we observe life, we are observing the presence of the soul, and it is so small, that Vedanta describes it as being 1/10000 of the tip of the finest hair.
Bhagavad Gita describes the soul as insoluble, unbreakable, unweatherable,unburnable,indestructible, infallible, full of knowledge and eternality and bliss.
The soul therefore can live and exist in any circumstances and conditions, as long as the material nature can offer the suitable ingredients and conditions for birth, then the soul will manifest life through any particular body.
This is why we can find life at the bottom of the sea, or in the hottest of places, or even in the polar caps.
The soul is you, and your consciousness and thinking and awareness, are symptoms of the presence of the spiritual soul.
Modern science is using all their resources to increase the conditioned life of the people, and misdirecting them away from the real purpose of life, by inventing so many silly things in the name of advancement, but real advancement is spiritual advancement, or advancing the cause of spiritual enlightenment and truth, for this will give the greatest benefit to all people, permanently