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Balancing The Material And The Spiritual

A man participating in a cooking contest was asked, “What did you do to prepare for this?” He answered, “I did Buddhist chanting for 3 hours a day.”

What he did not say was, “I practiced cooking.” And, in fact, he did not win the competition.

To be fair, that may or may not have anything to do with his method of preparation and its outcome. But for the sake of argument, let’s say that it does, because it illuminates an important issue.

The issue is the confusion about the relationship of spirituality and materiality, and what it means to find balance between the two.

The idea that many people have about balancing spirituality and materiality is to take care of one by taking care of the other.

But the ultimate of spirituality is changeless being and the ultimate of materiality is dynamic action.

Ultimately, then, you are trying to mix changelessness with dynamism. In a literal sense, that is impossible.

That is why it is somewhat misguided to try to balance these two opposing qualities by aiming to blend them or to alternate them in various proportions to one another.

The best way to balance them is to send both to their opposite extremes and leave them there.

When you render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, being and action don’t mingle. They are completely separate totalities.

Enlightenment, which is identification with changeless being, accomplishes this separation.

And it does not make you into a space case who can’t function in the material world.

Instead, enlightenment improves your functioning because it takes your identity out of the action that you are performing. The action is no longer about you.

At the one extreme, action becomes more simple, clear, pure, effective, powerful, and spontaneously appropriate to the needs of the surrounding environment at the moment.

At the other extreme, as action is performed, the enlightened experience is that you never stop praying.

Answers From Silence says, “My each breath in and each breath out are chanting the thousand names of God, all day long and all night long.”

—JC

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2 Responses to “Balancing The Material And The Spiritual”

  1. Diane says:

    When are you opening the doors to The Church of Jeffrey? I’ll come sing in the choir.

  2. This balance is so important, Jeffrey. I couldn’t agree more.

    And it’s a clever person today who does live with this balance. My estimate, based on doing a fair amount of aura reading research on folks in different parts of the world…

    Some 45% of human beings now are in spiritual shutdown, consciously not aware of sacred reality.

    Another 45% of people, whether New Agers or practicing Buddhists or others who care enormously about spiritual life, are now living in spiritual addiction, barely paying attention to human life.

    A faster path, seems to me, is to position consciousness just as you describe here.

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