Balancing the Spiritual and Material in One's Life
Bahram R. Shahmardaan, PhD
Examples of this can be seen in nature.
Spiritual laws and Spiritual planes of consciousness, transcend material laws and material planes of consciousness. This can also been seen in the state of the human condition. Thoughts flow through and arise in the mind which controls words and deeds. Without thoughts there can be no words and/or deeds.
To reflect the Spiritual in the material and balance the spiritual with material aspects of life, we need to understand the difference between Principles, Laws, Rules and Systems.
All Physical manifestations are based upon Principles and Laws, rules and systems that emanate from these Principles.
Principles are universal whereas laws are not. Laws are limited to very specific situations. For instance, it is important to remain within the envelope of the Principle of Safety whether one is flying a plane, driving a car, sailing a boat, crossing the road,
It is very important to bear in mind this fundamental difference between Principles and Laws. Principles are Universal but Laws are not. As circumstances change, the Laws that emanate from the underlying Principle may change but the Principle never changes.
So from the above we can see that:
So whenever the situation changes and there is a clash between Principles, Laws, rules and systems, we should change the laws, rules and systems so that they reflect the Principle in the new circumstances.
So when one is trying to balance the Spiritual and the material in one's life, one has to understand Spiritual Principles and know how to reflect them in material life.
So the first requirement for balancing the Spiritual and Material in one's life is to embrace the Principle: "Whenever there is a clash between Spiritual and the material values, always choose the Spiritual over the material". This is reflected in the teachings of Christ when He said words to the effect, "Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, all thy mind and all thy soul…" and also, "Render unto Caesar that which belongs to Caesar and render unto God that which belongs to God."
The second requirement to balance the Spiritual and the material is to be recognize the importance of the Universal Principle of Surrender.
Without surrender life would not exist. The reason we can breathe is because of the mutual surrender of the air between ourselves and the atmosphere. When we inhale, the atmosphere yields the air we need and when we exhale we return the air to the atmosphere. Without this mutual surrender between ourselves and the atmosphere, life would not begin, nor can it be sustained. Unless the seed surrenders to its source the soil, it cannot begin to live life as a tree.
We are led and controlled by that which we surrender to and we surrender to whatever we are attracted to. If we surrender to alcohol we will be controlled by alcohol. If we surrender to drugs, we will be controlled by drugs. Unfortunately most of us are attracted to our desires and so surrender to them. So we are controlled by our desires and lead a life of suffering because as Buddha discovered and taught, all desires end in suffering. If we surrender to hate we will be controlled and led by hate and we will follow it to its bitter end. If we surrender to Truth we will be controlled and led by Truth which will illuminate our lives and make them peaceful. So you have to be very conscious what it is that you are surrendering your life to. Because that which you surrender to is what will control you and what you will follow, experience and eventually become.
This brings us to the third important requirement for balancing the Spiritual and material in our daily life. The third requirement is to focus on who we are Being. You have to Be first before you can become. Becoming is the coming of the Being. You cannot become who you are not. You can only become who you are. But most of us are not taking the time to focus on who we are being. We are so busy doing things that we do not take the time to focus on our Being. It is recorded that Christ said words to the effect, "Be ye Perfect as our Father in Heaven".
If you will notice your daily routine, you will observe that from the moment you wake up in the morning you are focused on doing various chores i.e. getting ready to go to work, cooking breakfast, commuting to work, school etc. During the day you are busy doing what it takes to survive and when you return home you are busy doing other things. How many of us are taking the time to focus on who or what it is that we are being. We are called Human Beings not Human doings. Yet because we are so focused on doing various chores, we are living as human doings and not human beings.
So in brief, in order to balance the Spiritual and the material in our daily lives, we have to understand Spiritual Principles and know how to reflect them in our daily activities. To do that we have to:
There are Seven Principles of Right Surrender that will enable us to surrender our will to the Divine Will. These have been explained in fair detail in my book, The Journey of Life Eternal. Once these Seven Principles of Right Surrender are understood and practiced, then one is ready to learn the 7 Principles of Karma Yoga and "How to receive God Guidance through Force of Circumstances."
Bahram R. Shahmardaan, PhD