That is the Vedic Psychology 101. When you get this, much changes. Almost too much.
Here’s Swami Bhaktipada on this point and then a word or two from yours truly:
“I am this body.” This is the greatest mistake of all, the mistake underlying all other mistakes. We are not these bodies. This perception is the first in self-realization and is the basis of all yoga. […] It is this false identification that brings about the miseries of birth, old age, disease, and death. “You are not that body,” yogis have taught their students since time immemorial.
In Lotus Effect, a book of Vedic self-discovery through informational detox of false selves, I argued the same: this idea – the idea that “I am not this body” – is a door at the end of what you thought was a dead-end, a beginning of fearlessness.
This body that you take for mani-pedi – you are not it.
This body you take to the gym to work out – you are not it.
Even the eyes you are reading this with – you can live without them too; so you are not these eyes either.
That’s Vedic Psychology 101.
Vedic Psychology 201 begins with the question: “If not this body, then who am I?”
To graduate, skip to 301: leave the “Who am I?” question unanswered.
Related: Lotus Effect: Shedding Suffering & Rediscovering Your Essential Self (Somov, 2010)