Yoga or the Real World?

Stop The World - I Want To Get On 

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Bubbling on the stove of the contemporary spiritual quest is the perennial hot question: What to do about the world? As a spiritual dabbler or a dedicated practitioner, do I immediately shun the world of pleasures and pains, the dream, the mirage? Or do I automatically embrace everything in the world as divine—and then maybe grab all the goodies I can?

Let’s say you have just embarked on a spiritual path. You’re chanting your mantra daily, freeing yourself from self-negating addictions, and plunging deep into venerable spiritual texts. Meanwhile, your friends and family observe your newfound zest with curiosity. Slightly amused, they poke you fondly: “Well, little Buddha, what are you going to do about the real world?” The truth is, you’re not so sure yourself. All you know is that you’re tired of slogging through life with no knowledge of who you are or why whatever is you appears in this world. An intuition of your nonmaterial identity coaxes you onward—you aspire for at least a preliminary experience of enlightenment. What’s more, your Internet research tells you that much of the crucial knowledge you need to know seems to thrive outside the cage of current science. Now, just ahead, looms the famous hurdle—how do I act spiritually within the matrix of materialism?

First, let’s take a second look at that sneaky stereotype “the real world.” By it what we truly mean is the pungent blend of economic, social, and sensual forces that mould us. The shrieks, grunts, squeals, and groans of the university and job marketplace envelope our consciousness, as we voluntarily shoulder a lifestyle of study, work, buy, consume, and die. Somehow, this volatile yet dreary manner of human affairs has been consecrated as the standard for evaluating our life. When we consider the place of humans in this world strictly from the materialistic standpoint, we have no choice but to conclude we are a total disturbance. Better we all take a long hike from this planet—never to return. This sad reality of our material relationship with the world is summed up by Harvard emeritus professor Edward O. Wilson, one of the most influential biologists of our time: “If all humanity disappeared, the rest of life would benefit enormously. The biosphere would literally breathe a sigh of relief, as forests regenerated and endangered species revived.” Even if on our ecological best behaviour, still we are materially unnecessary in this world. Let any other species disappear—for example, ants. Then nature, Wilson says, would incur “major extinctions of other species and probably partial collapse of some ecosystems.” Though the only expendable species in the ecosphere, we reign as habitat-wreckers par excellence. Humans having become weather makers, we have everything to fear. Weather patterns throughout the globe range from peculiar, at best, to extreme—in your face, crushing. Read more...

This article is from the Enough Magazine, which understands that the quest for genuine meaning, purpose and happiness is as old as humanity itself. The mission of the magazine is to help serve this quest.