The importance of the non-material
We have been told that the material world is what is real and what matters. Some people do not even want to consider that anything else exists beyond the material; they believe that when they die, it is over. We do not remember previous lives, nor do we usually hold memories of our birth. We do not deny the later, not because we have memories, but because we have evidence in the testimonies of family members that we were born. What if we did not have these? Would we still agree that we were born on a specific day?
The Tao warns against this tendency to identify with only the material world. It points out that it is dangerous to consider what we see in the material world as real. The Tao states that reality is both, the material and the non-material, and that neither of the two parts are more important than the other. This is not to imply that you do not need material things. After all, if you are hungry, you look for food. However, if we place too much emphasis on the non-physical, it is taking things to the other extreme. We must always remember to avoid extremes, and to be sure to consider the whole. The body, mind, and soul are all equally important for us to be complete.
Because we do not remember anything prior to our birth, we take it for granted that the only thing that counts is this reality. That is, what we can see in the material world. Have you ever wondered where you were before you were born, and what will happen to you when you pass from this world? Of course, like myself, you have questioned your immortality. Why would we want to be here forever anyway? Perhaps for a little holiday, then make a fresh start with a new form/body. Neglecting the spiritual (non-material) dimension of life does not benefit us. Consciousness and life´s intelligence comprehend the world only as we know it; spirituality, the awareness of our non-existence, should also be part of our daily lives. It does not matter now if you even believe in reincarnation. It’s important to enjoy life while improving your experience.
Still find that difficult? Well just imagine this; have you ever seen a thought? How can I see my thoughts? They materialize on paper and in my actions. I infer that I have thoughts for what I see that they do to my life.
Now try the same with the non-physical level of your being. I strongly urge you to commit yourself to the following exercise for a three-week period of time:
In the morning, perhaps before your meditation, take your journal and write down a question to the Universe, something that is related to your day ahead. Leave a blank space for the response. Take your journal with you so that you can make notes as you allow the response to come to you. Do not hold any expectation, just ask and then journal the response when you get it. You can ask anything; how can I be more understanding with my partner? How can I get the work done faster today? How am I going to deal with this problem? It is likely that you will get responses to your questions throughout the day, but do not be too disappointed if you don’t. Do not attempt to get global responses to the questions; remember life is an organic process, and as such, things develop at the speed they should, no faster or slower. Normally you will get a response or at least a partial response in the same day. However, it may not come in the form you expected. Be open to any type of response; an unexpected call, an understanding, a solution to a problem, unexpected help, whatever form it takes.
This is because the spiritual/non-physical existence is the storage facility for all that you know to be the truth. If you connect to it on a daily basis, you will be plugging into the largest network of information and truth available to you. Your connection to your inner source will ultimately be the knowledge and wisdom from which you will extract your unique ideas, visions, responses, and understanding. This will provide nourishment to your soul and assist you in connecting to your receptiveness, your inner voice and intuition. Your insights will start to co-create with your mind and body. This is how we create the space for it to come through as we learn to connect to our soul.
Another way to connect with our soul is by practicing the auto correction of difficult patterns of thoughts that keep us stuck. This is why the regular practice of using the Interview process is important. It is also why I recommend that you do it for three weeks, non-stop initially; in fact, the longer the better. Even though you may feel fine and may think you no longer need to practice it, the process will help you to get clear on issues that keep you stuck and clinging to ideas, solutions, and concepts you still hold onto that no longer serve you.
A suggested method of study might be to reread and reflect on the following sections in this book:
Monday: Chapter 1, on Adversity
Tuesday: Chapter 1 on Change
Wednesday: Chapter 2, on Ego
Thursday: Chapter 2, on How I Can Help
Friday: Chapter 4, on Creation
Saturday: Chapter 5, on Essence
Sunday: Chapter 5, on Being vs. Doing
Also important is the daily practice of meditation; sitting in silence with your spine straight for a minimum of 20 minutes per day, is a good start. There are many methods to choose from; find one you like that works for you and stick to it to for at least three weeks and see how you feel. More information on meditation is in Chapter 7.
The only conditions required for you to receive clear and honest responses are to have an open mind -- free of trivial personal concerns and preconceived ideas. If you are not getting clear on the responses you are receiving, then you must become clear by bringing to your consciousness any beliefs, self-centered wishes, fears, or doubts that are operating at an unconscious level. Do this with the Interview with Your Self questions, and with the help of an honest, modest, and open mind. (See Appendix III for a list of programmed beliefs.)
Gradually you will cultivate a relationship with your inner-source that you will not want to give up. It may happen that if you stop the process, you find that you slip back into your old ways. Remember we do this when we are not fully conscious. Therefore, if this method does not work well for you, try to find one that does or create your own. It is equally important to set aside the time required to do this. It can be done anywhere and anytime you have a few minutes, such as waiting in lines, sitting in airports, etc. As a result of weeks, months, and years of sticking to the practice, you will not only enjoy it, but will become more detached and trusting of the flow of life. There will be less stress and fear, and life will finally be all you wanted it to be.
Do not worry about becoming disconnected from yourself. It may seem so at times, but this is because we live in a world that tries to draw us into its materiality, our analytic minds, and addictive desires. This is a common occurrence. For example, have you ever been at home, happily watching a good movie, when on a commercial break you get pulled into buying something or are upset about some news? That is the power of the world we live in. Our space is full of information that becomes attached to us so fast that we do not even notice. They tell you to protect yourself from robbers by getting an alarm, get the best health insurance, or have whiter teeth! Even a casual conversation with a neighbor can result in your being pulled into wanting to go to a party from which you get home late, thus affecting your ability to handle something important, or finish a project for the next day.