Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Spiritual materialism

I can understand what you mean when you talk about dreams or thoughts, because I experience them also. However, when you talk about God or spirituality I have no idea of what you mean. Actually, I don’t even I know what I mean when I use those words. They can mean different things different days. Is spirit something different from matter? Is God an old man with a beard on a cloud? Discussing spirituality is indeed very difficult.

The word materialism, (the belief that reality is essentially matter) is also pretty useless nowadays. Not even the cutting edge scientists know what matter is. What is matter really? Is matter a form of energy? What is energy? What does matter look like if no one is there and look at it? Is it just waves in empty space? If no one knows what matter is how can one be a materialist?

So, the words spirituality and materialism have had their day. Nevertheless, I think of myself as a spiritual materialist. Matter is something mysterious, something spiritual. Are you able to understand what I mean with spiritual materialism? If you are, how could that be? Isn’t language wonderful?

(Chögiam Trungpa meant something else with spiritual materialism. To him a spiritual materialist was someone who is strengthening his or her ego with spiritual ideas and experiences, someone who thinks of himself or herself as spiritual and more evolved than others because he or she has met so many great gurus and has such impressive credentials.)

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