5344Re: The material world.
- Jul 18, 2004Greetings to All,
It is only recently (Nov. 2003) that I have become involved with
computer technology at any level and in fact have shunned, decried
and generally loathed anything to do with computers and the internet
for many years. This was based on my own personal view of the damage
that I feel is being done by our reliance and increasing dependence
upon technology's many and often pernicious facets.
On the whole, this feeling still stands; but I have learnt (mostly
by trial and error and with the help of one or two friends) to cope
with the basics and to get by doing the simple tasks that I need to
accomplish. The trap seems to be that the whole thing is quite
alluring and I guess one has to be very cautious and disciplined;
staying within the realms of "needs" as opposed to the demands of
"wants or desires" or worse. My foray into the virtual world (the
other day I heard someone call it the virtue-less world), whilst
tiny and tentative, has been cause for more than a little inner
angst on my part and I think that my soul's jury is still out on
While awaiting the verdict, I can take shelter in the really neat
aspect that I have found to be the one most redeeming feature of the
computer reality, and that is this forum. The words we post and read
on these pages are the real-life spiritual experiences of real
people: God-seekers, God-lovers, and particularly in Sri Chinmoy's
case, God-knowers. Fun, warmth and heart-to-heart conversation. What
could be better? (Apart from jelly beans that is! - I'm sorry Mark
and Kamalakanta, but "My name is Shardul - and I'm a jelly-bean-
Coming back to the point; I have settled into a somewhat uneasy
relationship with my computer and so we tend to look at each other
sideways. The saving grace for me is posting and reading everyone's
contributions - it is really an INSPIRATION and I thank you all.
Last night I randomly picked one of Sri Chinmoy's books from my
little library in order to read before retiring for the night. I
opened it at any page and found these two questions and answers
looking out at me; beckoning my attention. As often happens (and I
know from the conversations that I have had with my friends over the
years that this is true for many among us), Sri Chinmoy's words
spontaneously offered me succour at a time when I have been a little
uneasy with my new role. I hope you find something there too.
This book contains a rare and somewhat breath-taking view of the
highest realities of spiritual awareness as experienced first-hand
by Sri Chinmoy whilst in the deepest states of meditation. Like a
view from the top of Mount Everest - a view that very few on earth
have seen with their own eyes, yet in some way aspire to call their
own - Sri Chinmoy lovingly offers a very clear rendition of the
"inexpressible." In so doing, he gives us all the dream of things to
come - the proverbial "carrot before the donkey," as it were. It is
one of those books that offers new gems each time it is opened, and
also contains practical guidance such as the words below. Enjoy...
From: The Summits of God-Life: Samadhi and Siddhi - by Sri Chinmoy
Question: Do we have to remove all materialistic goals in order to
Sri Chinmoy: How we utilise the material life is what is of
paramount importance. Matter, as such, has not done anything wrong
to God; it is not anti-divine. It is we who use material things in a
wrong way. We must enter into the material life with our soul's
light. We can use a knife to stab someone or we can use it to cut a
fruit to share with others. With fire we can cook and with fire we
can also burn ourselves or set fire to someone's house.
We have to feel that matter and spirit go together. Matter has to be
the conscious expression of spirit. If you say that matter is
everything, that there is no spirit, no higher life, no inner
reality, then I have to tell you that you are mistaken. There is an
inner reality, there is an infinite Truth that wants to express
itself in and through matter. Matter is asleep, and it has to be
aroused. The material life has to be guided and moulded by the
But first we have to understand what the material life is for. If by
material life we mean lower vital enjoyment and the fulfilment of
gross desires, then it is useless to try to accept the spiritual
life simultaneously. But if the material life means the life of
expansion - the expansion of the heart, the expansion of love - then
matter and spirit can easily go together. In this material life we
have to see Peace, Light and Bliss. What we see right now in the
mind is jealousy, fear, doubt and all undivine things. But in this
very mind we can and we must feel harmony, peace, love and other
divine qualities. If we want these divine qualities from the
material life, then the material life can go perfectly well with the
The true material life is not just eating, sleeping and drinking.
The material life is a significant life. And it eventually has to
become a life of dedication. Right now in the physical we are trying
to possess people and things. But the material life will have
meaning only when we stop trying to possess and start trying to
dedicate. When we dedicate ourselves to the Supreme, to the
unparalleled goal of realising God, only then will life reveal
itself to us as the message of Truth, the message of Infinity,
Eternity and Immortality."
Question: Is technology acting as a hindrance to God-realisation?
Sri Chinmoy: The answer is in the affirmative as well as in the
negative. When modern technology is serving as an expression of the
inner soul, when it feels that it has a connecting link with the
inner life, the inner existence, at that time technology is a help
to God-realisation. But very often we see that technology and the
inner life do not go together. The outer world with its success is
running towards a different goal. We have to be very careful about
this, for no matter how much success we derive from technology, the
infinite fulfilment cannot take place if the soul is not there.
Again, the soul is lame if the outer life does not keep pace with it
through technological and scientific progress.
Science and spirituality have to go together, either today or in the
distant future. Now they are at daggers drawn. But for the absolute
fulfilment of God's Vision and Reality here on earth, science and
spirituality must go together. From spirituality we can expect
liberation and realisation. From technology and science we can
expect material perfection - the material embodiment of the highest
Truth. When realisation is inside material success, only then will
the material world achieve permanence in eternal values. Again, if
perfection is lacking in the inner world, then the material success
has to inspire the inner realisation to come and take the lead.
Best Wishes to all and thanks for keeping those Inspiration-Fires
stoked high and well fed ... Shardul.