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Matter

meher-babaProper adjustment between the material and the spiritual aspects of life is not secured by giving equal importance to them.Matter to be used as pliable instrument for expression of spiritIt is not secured by taking something from the material and something from the spiritual and then striking a balance between the two. The spirit must and ever will have an inviolable primacy over matter, but the primacy is not expressed by avoiding or rejecting matter, rather by using it as an adequate vehicle for the expressions of the spirit. In intelligent adjustment matter has to play the role of a pliable instrument for the self-manifestation of the spirit, and must not in any way become obtrusive in its own rights. Just as the musical instrument is valuable only if it gives vent to the song of the musician, and becomes a hindrance if it does not yield complete subservience, matter is valuable if it gives free and adequate expression to the creative flow of life and becomes an obstacle if it interferes with it.Owing to the multifarious cravings of the mind, matter has a tendency to assume importance for itself. For the drunkard wine is everything; for the greedy man the hoarding of money is all-important; and for the flirt the chase of sensations is the supreme end of life.Spirituality requires subordination of matter, not rejectionThese are examples of how, through diverse cravings of the mind, matter becomes unduly obtrusive and perverts the expressions of the spirit. The way to restore the dignity of the spirit is not to reject matter but to use it for the claims of the spirit. This is possible only when the spirit is free from all cravings and is fully conscious of its own true status. When this is achieved, man may have material goods but is not caught up in them. When necessary he may use them as means for the life of the spirit but he is not allured by them nor does he become restless for them. He realises that in themselves they do not constitute the real significance of life. He dwells in the material and social environment without any hankering for them and, being unattached, is able to convert them into the field for spiritual life.Freedom of soul is expressed through dominion over matterWhen once true adjustment between spirit and matter is secured there is no phase of life which cannot be utilised for the expression of divinity. No longer is there any need to run away from everyday life and its tangles. The freedom of the spirit, which is sought by avoiding contact with the world and by going to the caves or mountains, is a negative freedom. When such retirement is temporary and is meant to digest worldly experiences and develop detachment it has its own advantages. It gives breathing time in the race of life. But when such retirement is grounded in fear of the world or lack of confidence in the spirit, it is far from helpful towards the attainment of real freedom. Real freedom is essentially positive and must express itself through unhampered dominion of the spirit over matter. This is the true life of the spirit.Spirituality covers the whole of lifeThe life of the spirit is the expression of Infinity and, as such, knows no artificial limits. True spirituality is not to be mistaken for an exclusive enthusiasm for some fad. It is not concerned with any “ism.” When people seek spirituality apart from life, as if it had nothing to do with the material world, their search is futile. All creeds and cults have a tendency to emphasise some fragmentary aspect of life, but true spirituality is totalitarian in its outlook. The essence of spirituality does not consist in a specialised or narrow interest in some imagined part of life, but in a certain enlightened attitude to all the various situations which obtain in life. It covers and includes the whole of life. All the material things of this world can be made subservient to the divine game, and when they are thus subordained they become auxiliary to the self-affirmation of the spirit.~Meher Baba

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