Do you struggle between living a spiritual life and a material life?
Before meeting my Guru, a living avatar – Paramahamsa Nithyananda (fondly known as Swamiji), I was living a material life enjoying the sense pleasures but suffering from a complete emptiness in spiritual life. Naturally my life was hell because my body was aching so much and my inner space was shrinking into restlessness and constant irritation. It was only after I started seeking the higher purpose in life that I was able to heal my body-mind and drop all the wrong cognitions which I was carrying about life which were inserted into my consciousness by the unconscious society.
I was reminded of a perfect analogy given by Swamiji which shifted my cognition completely and I never have to struggle anymore!
He says: Think of two intersecting lines, the axes. The vertical axis is spiritual life. The horizontal axis is material life. The point of intersection is your being. This is the goal you have. You have some goals in your material life and also some goals in your spiritual life. To achieve your goals in your material life, you are continuously struggling and working to accumulate whether it is possessions, name and fame, relationships.
To achieve your spiritual goals, you are again working intensely doing yoga, pranayama, kriya and meditation, samadhi etc. When you struggle with material goals, you are on the horizontal axis whereas when you struggle with spiritual goals, you are on the vertical axis. As long as you struggle in material life, you avoid spiritual life. As long as you struggle in spiritual life, you avoid material life. Both are a struggle.
He said: ‘Relax from both.’ You may think, ‘What is this funny instruction?’ You think that if you relax in both goals, you will lose both. However, the truth is that, when you relax in both you fall into your inner consciousness, your being or your inner space. When you experience this inner consciousness, you will suddenly realize that you can explode in all directions. You do not need to choose between horizontal and vertical lines, you can travel on both lines at the same time! That’s a tremendous freedom!
In the material word, the world of ‘mine,’ your properties are your goal. In the spiritual world, you also have certain goals such as liberation or enlightenment. Actually, do you know that spiritual goals create more ego than material goals? At least with material goals, at some point you realize that you cannot achieve real happiness by running after them. But with spiritual goals, you do not even understand what you are doing. Both goals take you away from your Being. When you surrender and relax into your Being, you suddenly realize you are neither the body nor the mind.
As long as you believe you are the mind, you will be forced to choose between the vertical and horizontal lines. You will be in a dilemma and confusion because, by its very nature, the mind wants to choose. The mind and dilemma are the same thing. The mind ceases to exist once dilemmas vanish. With the mind, you continuously worry about whether to choose this or that.
Whenever you choose something, someday you will definitely wonder about the choice you made. The people, who choose material goals, will feel that they are missing their spiritual life. And those who pick the spiritual goals, they will feel they are missing the material life.
Just relax and surrender, and you will experience the intensity of your inner consciousness. You will understand that you do not need to choose between the horizontal and vertical lines. You can explode in all 360 degrees, you experience choicelessness. Choicelessness does not mean that you do not choose anything. It means when you stop choosing, you will choose everything.
Similarly, surrender does not mean passive surrender or pretending to give up. Before making any statement, know the situation clearly. Otherwise you will suffer! With real surrender, you do not exclude anything, you include everything. You do not need to choose between horizontal and vertical lines. You can experience both and something more. You can explode in different dimensions of your being!
Again, when I say surrender, you do not need to surrender to God, Existence or Guru. Just surrender to your own Being, your own consciousness, your inner space. The problem is you do not respect your inner space. That is why in the initial level, you need an entity called God or Guru until you start to trust your inner space.
Somebody once asked Swamiji: ’I have surrendered to you. What should I do?’ Swamiji candidly replied to this man, ‘If you’ve really surrendered, you will not have that questions! You will be guided from within. As long as you have doubts, you have not surrendered.’
In essence, the choice between the spiritual life and the material life creates another bondage in life. Fundamentally, the key is to relax and surrender to the multiple dimensions and possibilities in each one of us and allow the Guru or Existence to flow through us. Namaste 😀