The Soul, as it enters the material world, gets clouded by selfishness and the mind; both creates the illusion that It is separated from God. The bigger the ego and the more restless the mind is, the more a person will consider himself to be separated from the Whole.
While we are in this material world, our mind generates different desires. All desires in the Universe have to be fulfilled sooner or later, and we come into this world, actually, for our dreams to come true. They, to put it simply, are divided into material ones and, so-called, spiritual ones.
Material desires: house, car, money, prestige, financial stability, family, procreation, beauty, physical health, etc.
Spiritual desires: preaching of our spiritual ideals, morality, ethics, adherence to religious rituals, principles, visiting the holy places, knowledge of prayer, austerity and penance, various spiritualizing practices (elements of yoga, qigong, meditation), etc.
The level of soul depends on the level of selfishness, which covers the soul. The greater is the Ego, the lower is a soul level and the stronger a pendulum of aspiration swings. So, if a person dedicates all of his goals to material side, he may then at some point experience great disappointment, losing everything and realize that anything material is temporary. This is when a person would throw himself into the so-called spirituality. Sometimes this can happen several times in a lifetime, and for someone it can continue throughout for a few of their lives.
The qualities that indicate whether a person’s gotten too much into spirituality: pride, inflexibility in the assessment of what is happening, dispraise, despondency, etc.
Strong rooting into materiality is characterized by: the appearance of greed, avarice, envy, lust, anger, (last 3 qualities always amplified with the inflation of egoism).
By the way, within these two directions — material and spiritual – there are own pendulums, but this is a big separate topic.
When a person lives with more material desires, he gets intensified (activated, but not necessarily started to work more harmoniously) first (lower) three chakras (energy centres). If one moves into living with spiritual desires — the upper chakras get activated. If a woman goes too much into the spirituality, her personal life and children are getting blocked for her (due to the disharmonious functioning of first energy centres). The woman gets «rough» energy. On a more serious note, as a rule, these women lose weight, become rigid, irritable, do not look after their appearance, etc. If a woman focuses on the materiality too much, she becomes greedy, avaricious and she has energy of «bitchiness» (I apologize for my spiritually-scientific-popular slang). Due to the correlation between character and appearance, these qualities have a negative impact on the appearance of a woman. Even the face with the most accurate features may be distorted and look unpleasantly repulsive (because of envy, greed, irritation). But these women have a lot of energy in their lower chakras (even if it’s not very harmonious), and for a while it can give them success in their personal lives and material prosperity.
When spirituality dominates in a man (60-80%) it is good, a man should be purposeful in the best sense, ascetic, brave, tough (but not violent), he should devote considerable time to prayer and meditation, have a spiritual mentor and to be noble, generous etc. at least towards his children and his wife. Within a harmonious man, at least 60% of prana (life force, in this context — intentions) should be spent on spirituality (upper energy centres), material desires are secondary. When the spiritual energy of the man dominates, it opens for him up an intuition and creativity, his intellect strengthens and becomes more spiritualized.
For women the material aspirations should dominate (family, home, creating comfort and cosiness, etc.), because a woman reaches the Divine Love through her children, family, care, creation of the space of love in her house and around herself. For women it is important to have an external stability (without it, it is difficult to raise children and have a calm mind). Women’s minds and bodies are not made for austerities and penance. Hardly will you find a woman in our history who would go to meditate in a cave for many years, and especially one being successful in it. For that case, that in an impulse of temporary «emotional and spiritual ecstasy» they would not rushed into the cave or desert to make a spiritual penance, the Nature provided them with a fear of mice, lizards and an obsessive desire to talk. A minimum of 60% of female energy needs to fall within the material side (in the scheme below), only then a woman can give birth to healthy children.
In all ancient cultures men were getting their charge of spirituality for the whole life in childhood and adolescence: in monasteries, religious schools, where a high level of spirituality, nobleness, discipline and morality was instilled to boys. Therefore, in all advanced spiritual civilizations it was put, that the spiritual level was raised from childhood, especially for boys. Girls had a separate training, they were taught to draw and dance, developed their creativity, taught languages, psychology, pedagogy and just about life wisdom.
We need both the spirituality and the materiality, like the two wings, as long as we are in this world. It is very important always to remember and seek for the main goal — Divine Love (to be in the centre in this diagram). And then we can wave our wings in any situation wisely, consciously: at one stage of life you need to go into the spirituality (to increase the number of prayers, meditations, to become more principled, etc.) — as a rule, this is a beginning of life, childhood and youth and after that, when the children grew up. On another stage of life — more into the materiality (building of the house, material support of the family, etc.) — it is a middle part of life.
But at every stage it has to be that the main conscious and subconscious desire and aspiration were: Divine Love, life in the presence (here and now) and getting rid of egoism.
In various religions, religious schools, this scheme is treated in different words, for example in the classical Vedanta, this scheme is explained by enlightened masters in a following way:
1. The center shall be Bhakti Yoga: the reunion, the aspiration to God through Divine Love, Love to God, to that image of God or His incarnation, which is closer to us (Jesus, Allah, Krishna, Buddha, Rama, the Divine Mother, and so on).
2. The Left wing — this is Karma Yoga: selfless work for the benefit of all living beings, work for the sake of satisfying the Supreme mind and (or) a spiritual mentor, work without the attachment to the fruits of labor, for the benefit of the community, service to the world.
3. From the Right — is Jnana Yoga: renunciation of the world, absence of attachments and dependencies in this world, vision of God in all living things, awareness of themselves as part of God, an eternal spiritual soul. Note that «jnana» is translated as knowledge, wisdom — and it is not just collected information but a deep spiritual realization and practical application of these supreme truths in life.
An important explanation for whether these deviations — left and right — are the wings, or the weights, pulling us into a deep abyss.
Just an aspiration to Love and God worship is not enough if we don’t serve with our doings to all living beings, if we don’t work for the benefit of all living beings, if we are attached to the fruits of our actions and expect praise or material reward, if we can’t sacrifice our time, money, etc. to the ones in need, then the left side converts into a weight and pulls us down. But if we perform with enthusiasm our duty to family, community, spiritual mentor, we serve to all beings, beginning with the family, unselfishly, if we are not attached to the fruits of our work and use all what we have in service to others, even if we have a huge property and funds, the left side transforms into the wing, moving us powerfully to the Source, to the genuine Love and Harmony.
Question: — But I know for myself and for a friend, that a person, completely being giving herself to others and not knowing how to build borders between her life and the lives of others, begins to live the lives of others, becomes ill often. She also hears only claims and complaints from a side of those «saved and happy», and gets just an irritation and anger in the end. This is how we, selfless ones, live — is this an ideal? (A questions was from a woman of 50 y.o. with a strong accent, she looked pretty sick and unhappy).
Answer: — It is very good and deep question, which requires a fairly detailed and long answer, and even better — a consultation. In short, the role of «rescuer» comes from ego, because: - there is a pity but not a compassion, a wish to get something in return, even if it’s just an approval or praise, or to prove something to yourself or to others (usually about how good I am — that often raise a tendency to judge others) or a habit just to get up and unconsciously run to save someone, only hearing a hint of a request, and other motives from the ego. But again if these motives and activities come from the ego, accordingly, they bring destructive energy as for the executor and so for «saved lucky ones» — and a pride increases again.
But if you do it from the heart: a complete devotion to God and service to Him and, at first, to your Spiritual Mentor as His representative, if your spiritual level is high, this is what’s recommended to do in all religious schools. If you haven’t yet fully decided on in which Way to go, and even if you’ve already decided — you should just serve all living beings, seeing God in them and in yourself as well. That is, you treat yourself the same as you treat the other one. Both of you are parts of God and you should serve and take care of the other as you do for yourself.
Secondly: you should take care of yourself in order to serve others (Mentor, God), because if you are sick and exhausted, you are not able to serve. Therefore, taking care of yourself, you’re doing it as a service to God, and you become a happy, harmonious, healthy person to better serve to others. The unhappy person can do little good. Like, for example, if you want to serve to the poor and the sick ones with your car, carry them food and medical attention, then you have to take a good care of your car, its technical functions, as well as for yourself — go to buy food, do some trips to the nature, etc. When someone passionately rushes to save others, initially he often completely forgets about himself, and then the pendulum swings the other way — and he, exhausted and angry, stops doing it and rushes to the other extreme: taking an extra care of yourself, if he is not aware of his mistake.
So it’s in short.
Then, let’s go back to continue parsing the most important topic.
The Right side (spiritual) turns into a weight, if through spiritual practice — the study of the sacred Scriptures, the heritage of sages and sometime philosophers — grew our pride, attachments to things in the world, including the attachment to our own religion (my religion is the best and the only one, and all other spiritual Paths are from demons or «not ours», the mind becomes more restless, etc.).
But if through spiritual practices (meditation, prayer, spiritual performance of rites and rituals, studying the Sacred books and enlightened Sages, communicating with spiritually advanced Personalities and so on), a man becomes: humble (the main indicator of advanced spiritual person), peaceful, living here and now, seeing the Divine Will in all things, seeing God in all beings and circumstances, he gets decreased (and eventually it goes flat-out) attachments and depending on something else or anyone else in the world (and fears and all kinds of tension and stress also leave), then the Right side turns into the other powerful wing and the person quickly becomes Holy, Enlightened. The more and more increasing bliss becomes His natural state, the State of full Presence in the moment of now. He (She) reaches the ultimate goal — Restores the unity with God, becomes the embodiment of Divine Love and Harmony.
If you look closely at the lives of the Saints and those who quickly reached True Perfection, they all have had it:
1. A strong aspiration to God, at first a strong desire and then a strong Love for God.
2. They served selflessly a lot, for the sake of all living beings. They were very active and, even if lived a short life on earth, had time to do a great majority of really good things.
3. They saw God in all beings, in everything. Fully relied and trusted to the Divine High Will, also seen It all around. They did not have attachments, and that is why they were really fearless. They realized that they are a Soul, full of eternity, bliss and knowledge.
Question: — Could you give examples of such Personalities of our time, or of the last few hundred years?
Answer: — Yes, please, among well-known these are Saint Francis, Mother Teresa, Seraphim of Sarov, Shankar Acharya, Swami Shivananda. (Interrupted by a voice from the audience: and what did they do?)
— First of all, they had — either from the childhood or awakened after reading the Scriptures, or after communication with a pure sublime soul — a strong aspiration for God, a feeling of Love for Him, feeling of unconditional Love. And this was their main aspiration, the main purpose of life. Some of them worshiped Jesus, some worshiped Krishna, someone, whom we didn’t mention yet, — Allah, Buddha or the Divine Mother.
— Secondly, they all worked a lot and very hard in the first place for the people: the poor, the sick and the disadvantaged financially and spiritually, for many hours a day and for many years. They were never proud of it but were rather grateful for the opportunity to serve and help.
— They did not have attachments and they saw God in everything and everyone (for example, Mother Teresa saw Jesus in every person) and of course, they were aware of themselves as the eternal souls being temporarily incarnated in this mortal world, to which they had no relation. Anyone who came in contact with them felt that he was in the epicenter of love, compassion, selflessness and humility, if only his heart wasn’t flooded by aggression, envy, and he (she) didn’t insult those sublime personalities.
Question: — But in many traditions, especially the eastern, it has been and there are many examples: the sages and spiritual seekers went into the caves, monasteries or left for prayers and were not engaged in any activity. How did they get an enlightenment without their left wing?
Answer: — It is a very deep, wonderful question, thank you for it. They all had their left wing working perfectly. Look closely:
1. Those who went to the monasteries, had to work there really hard.
2. Those who for some time devoted themselves to secluded prayer or meditation, did this as part of a spiritual practice, which purpose was to get rid of egoism, attachments, calm the mind and passions, become humble. They knew that without this their service to the world wouldn’t be useful and hardly would it satisfy God and their mentors.
3. In many traditions, the complete disconnection from the world should be at the end of life, when a man is feeble and spends his last days not in a nursing home but in a secluded cave in prayer or meditation. It is important how we finish our life, at what level and by what desires we are driven over – it determines our next life.
4. Even those who did a lot of praying and meditating in seclusion did this as a sacrifice. For example, in Buddhism, especially the northern, the spiritual seeker had to perform all meditations, prayers and mantras for the benefit of all living beings, to sacrifice all the fruits of his spiritual activity to all living beings.
5. We all need to dedicate some time to prayer and meditation for many reasons, at least in order not to forget for what and for whom we do it. For someone it can occupy a part of the day, for someone it takes a few years (the alternation of deep meditation, solitude and active service), and for someone — even several lives. Those ones, whose mission is to meditate in a cave, are very a little now, but thanks to the waves of their pure energy the vibration level increases worldwide. And sometimes it stops horrible disasters and gives an unconscious boost to ordinary people in raising their level of consciousness. Many wise men after years of solitary meditation were coming out of the caves and cells and actively starting to serve the world, someone was leaving for other countries to do so.
Question: — But wasn’t there someone, who did it for own selfish reasons? Was it all done only for the sake of all living beings?
Answer: — Once again a good question, in my opinion. You’re right, of course, there were those who did it for selfish motive: to get rid of suffering and illness, to escape from the duties in the world, to prove something to the others, and there were those who did that for the sake of gaining the mystical or superb abilities, and someone did it just because their mentor said so. And, in this case, as a result of spiritual practices and austerities, they didn’t get increased in humility and unselfishness, but on the contrary, pride and heartlessness raised in them. Yes, for such people the right wing turned into a very large and heavy weight — and they really started to fall. Although many of them, led by arrogance and sense of superiority, organized the religious and charitable organizations, sects and did everything to become a well-known Guru, healers, community leaders, etc. and for some time could be successful externally.
From the audience: Osho Bhagavan might be attributed here, also the organizers of the White Brotherhood in Ukraine and Russia.
— Stop! Let’s avoid the specific names, otherwise we, ourselves, will start to judge and give a tough assessment to others and by own hands will hang a heavy weight to our Right side (laughs). You just need to remember that a tree is judged by its fruits, remember to listen to your heart, to be able to watch impartially. Are there any other questions? Then all the best to you! This topic is very important, be sure to re-read the notes and get a clear understanding of it.