January 18, 2011

Is all spirituality automatically beneficial?

impressions of the spiritual pathImage by AlicePopkorn via FlickrImpressions of the spiritual path

Many people who try to embed spiritual values into their lives think that all spirituality automatically will benefit them. They see spirituality as contradicting to materialism and because they see all materialism as bad, they see all spirituality as good.

First, i don't think that all forms of all materialism are necessarily wrong. It also depends on what definition you use for 'materialism.' For example, some believe that money itself is bad. I know that the desire for money may easily destroy spiritual values in your life, but that doesn't mean that money itself should carry the blame for that. People who live for money will of course easily forget higher values in life, but should 'money' itself be held responsible for that or is it really the desire for money that causes the problem?

Money is an old invention. Long ago and even today, people used barter instead of money. Barter has some advantages, but when you for example want to pay something with a cow, that cow actually acting as money, it is easy to see that this is not always very handy. If your trade is with someone from another country, you may have to transport that cow over a long distance. People began to use certain small and valuable things as money, for example shells or beads. Later, such valuables were replaced with actual money, first coins of some kind of precious metal. Still later, paper money was invented. Today, money is often only transferred through bank payments. No actual visible money is used at all anymore. The money has become solely an entry in a bank computer.

Money may tempt people to become materialistic, but the problem is not in the money itself but rather in the greedy desires of people. While materialism may make you less open for the spiritual aspects of life, we do all have a physical body that also has physical needs.

Second, it also is not true that all spirituality is really beneficial for you. When spirituality means that you aware of spiritual aspects of life, it doesn't yet mean that you automatically use your spiritual abilities well. Originally, the spiritual world is a creative world, but also in the spiritual world there now exist self-centered beings who are not centered on love but rather on getting benefit for themselves. Some people who are very spiritual use their spiritual powers to get control over others. In your strife for spiritual life you may become a slave of such people, actually losing your freedom as a valuable and independent individual.

The question arises then how we can assure that the spirituality we aspire for will benefit us in an original way. The answer can easily be given. It is love. When our desire is to give love to others, we can be sure that our spiritual development will be beneficial. Here arises a new problem of course. Are all forms of love really so good? Don't we know of forms of love that make us feel to become imprisoned?

It is very difficult to give a definition of which love is good and which love is not so good. Personally i am convinced that love is not always used to help others but that it can also be misused by some to tempt others to come under their powers. Original love and original spirituality always are connected to God, the Creator of love.

June 6, 2006

1 comment:

  1. Since Spirit is the only thing that exists, I believe that everything is spiritual. Every thing we see or do is an aspect of the Divine expressing in the material world.

    Some people deem things good or bad - practicing spirituality is good and wanting money is bad. Things in themselves are not good or bad -- they are neutral. What is important is what people do with things.

    Someone who uses money to fund a hospital or to pay for his education is using it for a valuable purpose. Someone else who uses money to try to manipulate others is using it for a negative purpose. So the intention is more important than the actual material form.