1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

The magic of Materialism November 6, 2009

Materialism is our glittering Reality. Especially now, then the Christmas time is coming, the amount of that glitter increases, as if accumulating material riches was the message of Christ. The magic of Matter is powerful. The human/physical part of our being is longing for comfort and beauty, sensual satisfaction and delight…We dive into the fascination of matter and its hypnotizing charm.

But the Matter is not all we consist of. Another powerful part of us is the Spirit (I don’t mean the soul here though)

For a spiritual person is not easy to find the balance between the two.  While in a mediation I dwell in the Realm of a Spirit and realize the tremendous power and beauty of it, it is the magic of materialism that wants to take over in my daily life, for instance in a form of the pretty Vienna City with its imperial style and flavour of coffee…

Is it possible to have both, to enjoy the Materialism and Spirituality?

Since several years I am trying to play a game and make these two happily coexist. When you meet me first, you might say I am quite successful in that (I keep up a glamour look  and spend much time in restaurants and cafes). An yet it feels like a game, because all the time I am aware of the silent completion between the two. The famous dualism is always there…

Honestly, I am in owe of the black magical power of Materialism. Since last 2 decades I have been watching  Materialism taking over in two greatest spiritual nations like Indian and Russian. Within no time (historically seen) the value system crashed down and many people had to undergo a wired transformation of their attitudes to life and themselves. Take Russians, that naturally idealistic and spiritual nation, which missed the steady capitalistic development  – today it hurts to see the millions of beautiful and educated women absolutely possessed with the idea of getting rich husbands. And nothing would be wrong with that, it is a natural instinct of a woman to desire a financially secure base for a healthy family; but a mere glance at them will tell you  it’s a desperate obsession. Alas. And that is only one example.

I wonder how do you see and go about this dualism?

LOVE, axinia

 

30 Responses to “The magic of Materialism”

  1. Peter Says:

    Please don’t forget that Matter was created from Prakriti-Divine Mother. :-)

  2. axinia Says:

    Peter, this is the misunderstanding I was expecting. :)

    I am just saying that to me it looks like the Matter and the Spirit should be manifested both to the same extend, and not that one should dominate the other. Just the balance…

    • Peter Says:

      According Sankhya, Enlightenment is complete discrimination between Purusha/Spirit/ and Prakriti/Matter/.

      • axinia Says:

        Hi Peter,I did not know you know German :)

        Thanks for the video, I am familiar with this Vedic concept. My intrest of raising this topic here was to see that practical side of the theory. How is this represented in YOUR life, for example?

        • Peter Says:

          Material things provide temporary satisfaction and they need future attention. That’s why I am buying things for myself if I need them extremely.

          I like to make presents. Christmas is coming. See you in Rome.

  3. The magic of materialism? :shock: Axinia, I thought you really hated the so-called materialism with a unbelievable vengeance ;-) :-P

    Since last 2 decades I have been watching Materialism taking over in two greatest spiritual nations like India and Russia.

    I don’t know about Russia, but I can assure you that India was never quite the “spiritual” place you think it was. To be honest, all this talk of India being “spiritual” is a blatant fraud by Indians to cover up their own primitive, uncouth “culture” and barbaric behaviour, even in the 21st century.

    Is it possible to have both, to enjoy the Materialism and Spirituality?

    I wonder how do you see and go about this dualism?

    I don’t think a distinction exists, Axinia :neutral: “Materialistic” and “spiritual” cannot be ways to distinguish societies. If at all a distinction exists, it’s between the civilised societies and the semi-civilised ones :neutral:

  4. swaps Says:

    A truly materialistic person will appreciate the beauty in an insect as much as that of a diamond. He will respect the life of others as he does his own. Material beauty inspires me to seek for more, for the fundamental (if there is one :)

    What we see around us is just ignorance and ugliness. People are becoming way too practical. I feel the stage is getting set for someting…something always happens.

  5. sakhi Says:

    As for me… i feel that if a person is hungry, person can’t really be spiritual. And in today’s world satiety comes from money. Basic needs are to be taken care of, only then a person can look beyond. Whether you agree or not, materialism is a necessity not always a luxury. IT will go on a person’s basic nature whether to be obsessed with it or not. I know a lot of practical persons, according to you materialistic people, who are GOOD… more good than the so-called spiritual people who are obsessed with themselves and THEIR inner beings! GOD!!! i am blabbering away…

    What i meant here is simple… according to me, materialism is a necessity! There’s an idiom in Gujarati “Bhukhya pete bhajan na thay…” I know you don’t know the language but i had to write just to put my point forward.
    :)

    • axinia Says:

      Sakhi, I know what you mean :) I know some “spiritual” people who see nothing but themselves…
      Being materisliastic and good is nice, but there shoudl be a balance here. Too much involvement into matter without balancing its with Spirit hurts – when i meet such people, I have physical pain in my heart.

  6. This article is written so well that people can go on commenting on it and contribute their opinions.

    A truly spiritual person would see beauty in everything. He need not be materialistic to be spiritual. I feel if materialism comes from the basic instinct of” want”, “to be better than others”, to invite peoples attention etc, then it is basically from ego. then its not spiritual.

    Like said earlier a spiritual person would rather spend time on serving others, serving the nature and be aware of himself all the time than anything else.

    I dont know if I have conveyed what I want to say here :)

    In the end, good point to ponder about . All the best

    • axinia Says:

      thanks my friend, I also hope it is topic for a long discussion – I am leaving for Moscow now and will not be posting for some days, so please keep up the discussion! :))

  7. Edword Says:

    It’s believed that a big, material bang created the universe. I wonder if life as we (in our modern society, have come to) know it will go out with a big bang …

  8. Dima Says:

    I’m very glad you touched that theme Axinia, and we can discuss it for ages. but i prefer “straight to the point practical philosophy”. I read a book some years ago. and i immediatly fell in love with it. it was “Introduction into Zen Buddhism” by Dr. Suzuki. and one phase i keep repeating in my head : “Bedo soku syabetsu, syabetsu soku bedo” which means Void is equal to form and form is equal to void. They are equal, but first was Void. Which means we just should keep our attantion inside and enjoy everything we like, but should not attach it to any object, should not be absorbed and mesmerized :))

  9. Julien Says:

    Hi,

    it is really a wonderful matter which every spiritual person has to face. From my perspective (westerner, male, 30 years old, just married) I feel its necessary to have a certain comfort means to have for example nice clothes but you can also find nice offers. At least I always observe a kind of race to find the best and nicest products which are needed for the lowest price.
    On the one hand its necessary to have a financial safety, especially if you are married and have the desire to found a family. And as a man you want and have to face the different responsibilities as a maybe future father and so called family leader.
    On the other hand when I see the materialsm getting stronger in our society than I feel its just right to keep on going the way of meditation and evolve the inner beauty. In Germany we say you see only good with the heart. BUT of course its necessary also to look healthy, strong and nice. And its a lot easier with nice clothes. In Germany we also say: “The eye eats also” means what you see is always the first impression. What does it help you if you need a job, with a good income but have a second hand appearance? No I feel its necessary to play the game with the materialistic society and also to see it with a kind of joy if you can afford some nice present why not buy it if it makes joy, its also our task to bring joy. Sometimes you can also open hearts if you buy something not only useful but a nice present. If its really necessary for surviving probably not. But this is also why we are on earth to face the questions what is good, what is bad what is useful and necessary.

    I wish you all a wonderful journey through this an I ll be happy to exchange with you next time.

    Lots of love,

    Julien

  10. radha Says:

    matter can be used to celebrate spiritual sort of achievements in life at individual or collective level…

  11. Raman Says:

    Nice Post Axinia.

    This is a conflict in the mind that all of us, especially the ones that are exposed to the high principles of Indian culture, fight on a daily basis. This is the conflict that makes us thank god before eating our food because there are so many who cannot afford food.

    A true Brahmin was defined as a person who lives for today – no one knows what will happen tomorrow and therefore, it is (said to be) futile to save for tomorrow – the verses in Bhagavad Gita that talk about taking everything we have from this earth & finally returning everything we have to this very earth also hint the same. Saving for tomorrow and building possessions only increase our attachments with this world – and as it can be very easily experienced, attachments bring in emotions which keep us tied down to the ground and prevent us from moving beyond maya.

    Materialism can be equated to maya – we all feel so many things to be necessary to us, we think we cannot anymore live without the mobile phone or electricity or our loved one. This is the maya that tells us that we are identifiable only by the tangible objects of this physical world. Hence a person in a big car is rich and a lady (from your photographs) are beautiful. However, if we strive beyond our physical identity, we see the futility of materialism – it takes us nowhere and keeps us in the cycle of life and death – I buy a dress, I wear it, it grows old, I throw it away and look for a new one. The soul, if not guided in the path of salvation, buys a new body, wears it, throws away the body once it grows old and looks for a new one. Perennially dying & reborn.

    That said, there is clearly a difference between theory and practice – we no more can live a life of complete non-materialism. We need to have something for tomorrow. And here is where our sould look for divine guidence on how to balance ourselves. There are enough great souls in the world who can guide us. My guru tells me that everything need to be sacrificed to become spiritual – he just says what is not necessary, if sacrificed, can take us on the path of spirituality, even while keeping us in this world. Basically, we think having $1 Billion is cool – but if we can get along comfortable in $100,000, aspiring for $1 Billion, even through right means, will only bring misery.

    Anyways, sorry for making this look like a mini-blog; as always, your posts continue to be thought provoking.

    Regards.

    P.S.: I so many times thank god for being born in India – the knowledge that gives me peace is so easily and abundantly available in India whereas (in my limited travel experiences) it takes effort to find abroad.

  12. seeker2008 Says:

    here is a quote from Llewellyn Vaughan Lee:

    Only by being lived out does an inner state become fully realized. Spiritual life must be lived in the world, in the marketplace. And for the Sufi the friction between the inner states and the pressures of outer life energizes the process of transformation. All energy is born from the tension of opposites, and even mundane experiences like financial worries force one to make an effort to try to reconcile the inner and outer realities.

    Rumi also says:

    You must have
    shadow and light source
    both.

    Listen,
    and lay your head
    under the tree of awe.

    When from that tree
    feathers and wings
    sprout on you,
    be quieter than a dove.

    Don’t even open your mouth
    for even a coo.

  13. [...] one of my earlier posts The Magic of Materialism I tried to explain my feelings and observations on  the Dualism of Matter and Spirit, which is [...]


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