Thursday, December 13, 2007

Materialism and spirituality...

There is so much debate about materialism and spiritualism going on these days. Which is better? Can the two go hand in hand? Off course they do. For various people the two can coexist in various permutations and combinations. I don't believe one can be either pure materialistic or spiritual. The world isn't black or white. It is made up of shades of grey. Pure black or pure white is very rare. If I take my own example, I meditate and feel Gods love and stuff but then don't I feel the need of an air conditioner when it hits 48 degree centigrade in Delhi. I use a laptop to post this blog. I like to eat out in good restaurants, go to a discotheque and drink good wine. I like to dress well. I need money to do all this.The only thing is I don't let these desires rule me. I like to do all of above but I have never longed for them so much that I would be ready to do anything to get them. I feel connected to the cosmos when I hear good music, but then a better CD player will mean more enjoyment of every nuance of music. More enjoyment would mean I will feel the connection more. It does not mean how ever that when I did not have a good player all I could think was, " oh how I wish I had a better player". I feel life is as much about the journey as the goal. We must enjoy the journey as well work towards the goal. Both can coexist in our lives as long as we can maintain a balance between the two.

I would love to hear what you have to say . Please leave your comments. Thanks...


Louis said...

We are here in this existance to learn at good old schoolhouse Earth. To shun the experiences available is a waste of this incarnation...and you know what that means.

It is necessary to balance the outer and inner life. That's always been one of the most difficult things for me to do.

We are all works in progress. I know I'm still in the oven cooking because I'm not done yet.


Anuradha malik Jagdhari said...

Thanks louis,lol, now when ever I am baking potatoesI'll be thinking of you.

Thoughtscape said...

I guess people are poor because most of them think that it is a sin to have lots of money. The Catholics priests are not allowed to marry because they have to devote themselves 100% to God, I mean isn’t this cruel? Other people try to be “very nice” because they believe that God would punish them otherwise, or maybe they think that God would positively reattribute them in a way or another. There are others who do not believe in God, a former boss of mine is an Indian born in India who does not believe in God still he is a very good man… Wow what an extraordinary thing. It is good to meditate, to elevate your mind, it is also good to have an air conditioner, to go to Disco and have the things you desire that make you happy. It is hard for me to understand the mind of a monk or a priest; it is easer for me to understand you because you enjoy both Worlds...the Material and Spiritual one. If there is no God then we will never know, if there is a God then he/she will take care of all of us without exception, so I guess we all are fine either way… In my mind God is everything, Worlds, Spiritual and Material so for those who can’t meditate and still want to “see” God ...please look around you..God is Here, There and Everywhere…because God is All.

Louis said...

I certainly agree with "Thoughtscape." I see God everywhere. Nothing exists without God.

Anuradha malik Jagdhari said...

dear Octavian,

you are so good with words when it comes to expressingyour thoughts. It is indeed sad to think that the very person who is supposed to teach others to love god is denied love in real life. If you cannot love another person how can you love God!

Starfire said...

Hi Anuradha

I've just found your blog, and I really enjoyed this post.

I'm another one who strives to live a life of something approaching balance - aiming for 'the middle path' where I can.

To me it seems that materialism gone mad is obviously not healthy (to either the individual or society as a whole). At the same time, neither ascetic spirituality gone mad. The right balance between the two will be different for different people, but the key, I think is that it is some kind of balance.

I think that not only is the world not black or white, but that it isn't grey either. Instead, it's filled with thousands upon thousands (millions upon millions?) of beautiful, beautiful colours - jewel colours and pastels and earth tones and silvers and golds... As you say - why limit ourselves to a binary choice?

Blessings and thank you for making me think about this balance.


Anuradha malik Jagdhari said...

Thank YOU starfire for such a lovely feedback. Thanks for appreciating my blog.

Irving said...

Greeting of Peace:

Balance is certainly the key, or else your material possessions will possess you. In balance, we not only see God in all things, we see that God IS all things.

Much Love and Many Blessings!

Anuradha malik Jagdhari said...

Right Irving, Balance is the essence. Infact you have given me the key word to sum up this debate. Thank you.

Thoughtscape said...

Dear Anuradha,
You are my hero because your experiences validate some of my paranormal experiences I had, although my experiences are mediocre or average if I compare them with yours. I might be good with words when it comes to express my thoughts, but it was a time when I came to States and after five days I wanted to return back to Europe because I thought I will never be able to learn English, I accepted to stay because my wife cried her eyes out and asked me to stay…I visualized myself in an office, or in the street talking in English with people and it looks like it worked for me, I’ve never been good with foreign languages in High School… I have a greater respect for a person who does not believe in God and still he/she is altruistic, great personality and hardworking, than for extremists who kill, behead, and torture people in the name of Almighty God. As a matter of fact my mantra is “God is Love”. I am an engineer with an analytical mind, like you have as a lawyer, we have reasoning and we always ask questions and strive for an answer. In my mind God is infinite, thinking that besides God there are other negative energies, makes me think that God is less than Everything…it is a lesser God. But God is All, he created All, God is infinite and if you subtract something from Infinite (for instance bad Karma, Hell etc) the result is also infinite, if you add or multiply something to infinite…is also infinite. I told you that I gave hope to a 40 years old lady who had cancer, I thought her Self Hypnosis… and three months later she died. I also meditated daily together with a lady (I from States, she from Europe) to bring her mother from a long coma, and yes she emailed me that her mother came back from the coma, and they talked, we were very happy and we stopped meditating. One month later (31 December 2006) her mother died. Anuradha, God is All, so depends on us to choose the constructive part of it. Tragedies and Misfortunes can be Infinite, also the Happiness and Blessings can be Infinite….I know that you have chosen the Happiness and Blessings, like me and many others including those who read your blog. Love Octavian

Anuradha malik Jagdhari said...

Dear Octavian,
Your love humbles me so.I am really no hero. I fail and falter every day. I just pick my self and try to go on. I have so much to learn about love. How to love without expecting. How to give love when you don't get it.Thank god I have a very loving and trusting partner and family who by example lead me on the path of love.

Thoughtscape said...

Dear Anuradha,
It is hard to love without expecting, and continue loving seeing that you are ignored, most of us change that feeling in to anger...You are my hero because you achieve the Transcendental Meditation very easy, at will, anytime you want, unlike many others including me. You are beautiful and you look more like a movie star than a person who is involved in Transcendental Meditation...and that brings more value to your topics. It is said that our inside beauty is reflected on our face; I can tell that you are a good person because you have a sweet face.

Anuradha malik Jagdhari said...

Thank you Octavian. I have no other words....Thank you. In friends like you, louis, irving I find understanding which people in my group lack. Tis one topic which I feel very hesitant to broach with my gang.This blog has librated me....really.

Thoughtscape said...

Hi Anuradha, there are 13 comments to this topic, and the Western Culture believes that 13 is an unlucky number. So let me add one more comment. I wanted to add it to your Wailing Wall topic. Visualization is the key factor for achieving your goals, I was in the General School and many times in the class breaks I would close my eyes and visualized myself watching the Beatles performing live, or going to Liverpool, England the birth place of the Beatles. I was born in Romania and at that time Romania was a communistic country and we all were deprived of the freedom of speech, or the right to visit other countries… I was just one hour away by plane from Liverpool England, still it was like an eternity because I could not see them, we were not allowed to get out of the country. Later in the High School I daydreamed many times and visualized the tallest skyscraper in the US, Sears Tower in Chicago, I could visualize myself being by the tower and touching it, I could feel my palm pressing against its structure, I could see looking upward its top hiding in the clouds. It was just a simple visualization, like I would see a picture not the way I could see myself in a dream, in a perfect 3D environment. After I graduated the college, to make the story short, the action I took brought me, my wife and our son in Chicago. Not only that I touched for real the Sears Tower but I went on top of it. I could not see the Beatles performing live on stage like I always daydreamed because John Lennon was killed by a deranged person, and George Harrison died late in 2001 of lung and brain cancer, still I saw Paul McCartney (also a Beatles, with the best voice between them) two times performing live on stage in Chicago most of the songs were Beatles songs. And of course I went with my wife to Liverpool to visit all the places you would think of, including Paul McCartney’s home, their schools, Strawberry Fields, Penny Lane etc. So it looks like, sometimes, the shorter path to get to a destination is not a straight line; I had to come to US to be able to go back to Europe to visit Liverpool in England. Love Octavian

Anuradha malik Jagdhari said...

Dear Octavian,
You are so sweet and charming. I would have never thought about the comments being 13. Thanks for being so considerate.Now that the topic of 13 has come up let me tell you this is the luckiest number for me. The person I love the most, my father, was born on 13. After his demise I was desolate with pain untill lord send me an angel, my daughter, to help me. She came into my arms on 13 as well.
You are so right about visualization as a very important tool in reaching our goal. In fact I read an article stating that If we need our dreams to come true we should make a dream diary. I am talking about day dreaming. We should write in it every day what we want and how we see our lives and post pictures of how it should be. This exercise will help us focus and keep us on our goal.Some how this visualization will help us reach our golas faster.

Anonymous said...

Materialism is the foundation of my life. On the other hand I like reading about spirituality and hence my presence on your blog. If I like material possessions that doesn't make me a lesser person. I believe there is an age to do certain things. Right now I am enjoying my life to the hilt. God can wait.

Thoughtscape said...

According to my wife 13 is her lucky number too.

Poetryman said...

What a lovely flower!


In search of the divine

musings on the moon

meditations on the nth root of unity

Peace and blessings for the New Year.

PSS...Look it this way. Each word is a pebble.

In fact, each image, thought, idea is a pebble.

Oddly enough, only one pebble, the right one

will make the ever widening ripples that not only

make the water dance

but, moreover,

plumb hereto fore untold depths

from the heart to the soul and beyond.

Anuradha malik Jagdhari said...

Beautiful poetryman, you live up to your nick. Thanks.

Tomas Karkalas said...

Thank you. You have raised a good question. And the question awakens out of itself. It demands an answer to what do we believe in a concrete.
Yes, there are the material and Spiritual worlds, but what does that mean? Our physical needs and pleasures don’t deny the spirituality, and our need to eat has nothing to do with the materialism. The last denies God's existence and don’t accept any spiritual values. Meanwhile the spirituality means the recognition of God and having the fellowship with the Spirit, who comforts and guides us through the life's turmoil.
We all were born and started to grow (the infants become adults) and likewise there is a concept of spiritual growth - we grow in ability to hear the Spirit and to discern the spirits which put lots of traps on our road (deceive the humans by distorting the essence of the common words)
Sorry for my long reasoning. I rejoiced at the peacefulness of the discussion and don’t want to sound like dry lector indeed. There were mentioned lots of points I would like to answer. Yet my Lithuanian -English hardens the task tremendously.
However, we have started the discussion - that's a process which will not end with this reply, but otherwise- we just have started a walk, isn't it?
Thank you for the questioning what is what and where are we moving

Vikram Madan said...

Hi Anuradha,

Nice post. I agree with you totally.

Materialism and spirituality can co-exist.

Maslow's heirarchy of needs/wants clearly explains how human's needs/desires/wants manifest.

Here's a hyperlink to a graphic of Maslow's Pyramid:-- Maslow's Pyramid of Human Needs/Wants.

When 'base desires' like food/shelter etc. are met, the human's needs automatically gravitate towards the abstract, the spiritual.

Lots of people talk against material things...I would say such people are misled. (Or perhaps its a case of sour grapes :P)

An unhealthy obsession with material things is where the problem would be.

Same way, an unhealthy obsession with SPIRITUAL concepts is unhealthy too.

Like you say in your post, 'we need to maintain a balance between the two [materialism and spirituality].

The point of view from which I see 'spirituality and materialism' is holistic. I do not separate the two...but that is just a point of view, and seperating the two is also an equally valid point of view.

My point of view says:

All is holy. All is mystical. (Except the pollution and traffic on New Delhi streets!). Life is a wonderful journey, shrouded in mysteries. Rough times come and go, beautiful times come and go. The mystery remains.

All I have to do is watch my hostile emotions, for it is my own hostile emotions that form the mental lens which sometimes clouds my mind and sometimes prevents me from experiencing the beauty of life.


Anuradha malik Jagdhari said...

Hi Tomas,

first of thanks for posting a comment, you don't have to be appologise at all. This discussion is such that one needs to explain ones point of view properly. Don't worry next time you can write an even longer one...I enjoyed reading what you had to say. I am sure so will other readers.

Anuradha malik Jagdhari said...

Hi Vikram,

Thats a wonderful point of view.Life is actually very mysterious and wonderful journey...btw pollution in Delhi has gone down quiet a bit now, I guess traffic never will. I am from Chandigarh so to me Delhi roads are too many people going too many places. Looks like no one sits at home anymore.