Balancing the spiritual and the material
‘When you nourish the sublime regions of your soul and spirit, you are satisfied for days and days, because in the divine realm there are elements of such richness that even if you manage to taste them just once, the sensation of plenitude remains with you forever. Even as you continue with all your obligations -- familial, professional, social -- nothing can ever take from you this sensation of immensity and eternity.
Correctly understood, a spiritual practice is not a flight from the realities of existence. On the contrary, it must render us more capable of conducting our life on earth. This is its purpose, and we must strive for this balance.’
Working for humanity
Some will say: ‘But this impossible, there are so many human beings, and I am just one small person!’ If you reason in this way, you diminish the value of what you are doing. Obviously you are not going to bring about the kingdom of God and his justice on earth in a day, but the moment you begin to wish for it, you orient your strengths and your energy in this direction. First, this work brings about changes within you yourself: you rise higher in yourself, you become nobler, and then, since everything we do has consequences, in one way or another you will have a positive influence on others.
You are engaged in a spiritual teaching, and you must take it seriously. Make a note of those truths that seem most important to you, and choose several among them that relate to your particular needs at this time. Later, in different circumstances, other truths will be especially important to you, and you will concentrate on those. No matter what, strive each day to put into practice the truths you find most important for your spiritual evolution, for your equilibrium and inner peace. In doing so, you awaken the divine force within you, this force that has created the world and is able to organize your entire being. It is your work alone that has the power to awaken this force within you, and by uniting with it, you are supported and sustained by it.’
‘It is clear that human beings are better prepared for work on the material plane than for spiritual work. Their five senses, which are the tools they use in their work in the realm of matter, are far more highly developed than those which give them access to the world of the spirit. And this is why so many people who set out enthusiastically on the spiritual path often have the impression they are making no headway and eventually become discouraged. I have heard so many say, ‘What kind of work is this if it never shows any results? At least when we work in the physical world, we can see the results of what we do: things change, something is constructed or taken down. Even intellectual work produces some visible results: we become more knowledgeable, better able to reason or to form an opinion about things.’
‘Yes, that is all perfectly true. If you want to build a house, in only a few weeks it is there before your eyes, you can touch it. Whereas if you want to create something in the spiritual realm, neither you nor anyone else will be able to see the results. In the face of such uncertainty, you may begin to have such doubts that you are tempted to abandon all spiritual work and concentrate like everyone else on activities that will produce tangible results. Do this if you really want to, but one day, even in the midst of the greatest success, you will feel that something is missing inwardly. Yes, this is inevitable, because your activity will be out of touch with the only thing that matters; you will have failed to plant the seeds of light, love, wisdom, power or eternity.’
‘Many people turn away from the spiritual world, refusing even to hear about it; they are afraid of it, because it seems so vague and uncertain. But this is simply because their tools for accessing it are not as sophisticated as their hands, eyes and ears which enable them to work in the physical world. And yet if you study this question properly, you will see that the spiritual world is the clearest, safest and most real of worlds, and that it remains forever stable and beautiful.
The reality that is physical, palpable and accessible to our five senses is not true reality. True reality is that of the soul and spirit. To gain access to it, human beings must develop their subtle centers and bodies, and above all they must be well guided. Otherwise they can make many mistakes and cause themselves harm by unleashing hostile forces. Those who have learned to find their way in the spiritual world gradually discover what is truly real.’