Friday, January 18, 2013
Yesterday we talked about how we are spiritual beings having a material experience. If you were wondering what the material experience is all about, it can be summed up by the phrase "It's all about me." That's the motivating force that drives one when they are entrapped in material consciousness.
The word material has now been tossed around a few times and you might be scratching your head wondering what exactly it means. Let's make one thing clear; I'm not talking about yards of cloth or the stuff you need to read and study! Material in the context of the Gita relates to that which is temporary and seeing the world as separate from its real owner and controller - God.
This material consciousness blinds us to what is actually real and permanent: the spiritual spark, the soul, which is our true self and our eternal, loving relationship with God. By forgetting these two things, we set ourselves up for disappointment again and again in everything that we do.
The problem is that we associate the me that's referred to in our "it's all about me" behaviour to the temporary material body. Since the body is temporary, all our efforts and plans to gratify and satisfy it are also temporary.
I'm sure you've had experiences of this....c'mon, be honest. We have and hear about experiences of this everyday such as the millionaire that's never satisfied. Everyone else wants to be him and he's thinking of how to get another hundred million more. Does he at least get to take it with him when he passes away? No. It's just temporary.
Trying to be happy with the temporary is like trying to convince a fish that it is natural for it to be happy living on land. The natural environment for the fish is in the water. Somehow though, we don't realize that this analogy perfectly applies to us. Our true self, the soul, is eternal, meaning that its natural for us to be searching for permanence in every aspect of our existence. However, the problem is that due to mud-stained glasses and some good old fashioned brainwashing, we are being convinced to think we can be happy with the temporary.
Arjuna right now is exactly where we are - identifying himself only with his body. He'll soon be informed that the first step to getting out of material consciousness starts by realizing that the actual "me" is the eternal spiritual spark that is within all of us, not the exterior covering called the body.