How to reconcile material life with spiritual life?
Contributed by Paulo Peixoto, April, 2016—Pathwork Canada
This is an issue that concerns many people. Amid so much to do, there seems to be no room for moments of prayer, meditation, introspection, sharing.
Some people feel in their hearts a deep yearning for a meaningful spiritual journey, but fear they may miss that time to invest in their career or in their business, to study, to enjoy life, to rest, or for their various daily tasks. When they take some time for spiritual practices, they may feel that this time will be missed for something else, and, paradoxically, that it is not enough; they do not feel like living in a truly spiritual way. Should more time be allocated? How?
The basic misconception is that material life and spiritual life are separate—that is not the truth. There is only life. We are here on this earth to grow, to develop spiritually, but that does not mean living a cloistered life, apart from everyday life. On the contrary, spiritual growth involves applying spiritual principles to our daily life. In the seemingly mundane aspects of everyday life one may find the key to understanding the profound questions of our soul. When we live life fully, facing without escapes or restrictions all that it brings to us, then we fulfill our destiny. Organizing our time well is a must. Moments of prayer and meditation, for example, are important, but it is not only in these moments that our life takes on its spiritual character.
The Pathwork Guide once said that highly developed spiritual beings do not need to have moments of prayer, because they live in prayer—not the kind of prayer with which we are usually accustomed, of course; It is more like a state of mind, a constant connection with God. This does not apply to any of us, human beings, but we can take our steps towards the integration of material life and spiritual life, towards a richer and more fulfilling life. For this, we must learn to know ourselves, to accept ourselves as we are now, so we can gradually understand why we have certain negativities, and why we cling to them, when they are so unnecessary, so harmful. Step by step, we will purify ourselves again and reconnect to our divine center, home to all the love, all the wisdom, all life.
For most of our days, we are separated, disconnected—from ourselves, from our brothers, from God. The very duality between material life and spiritual life is a manifestation of this separation. It’s worth taking a little time, maybe twenty or thirty minutes a day, to work in our spiritual development, always exploring the messages that our material life brings to us. A part of us will always say it’s not worth it; that we are wasting time, that we would be better off doing something else. But we must face this lazy and proud part of ourselves. We must constantly remember the real reason we are here.
Translated into English by