Question: Sir, can we say that only materialistic man is spiritual?
Acharya Prashant: The emphasis, then, will not be on materialistic totally. The totality is important.
Totally, if you are anything, then you are spiritual. The totality itself is spirituality.
L3: Sir, what do you mean by ‘totally into something’? Like I am building a sand castle and when I am building it I am one with it. Is this being total?
AP: Yes. And which also means that totality is not really a function of the activity that you are doing. The totality, had it been a function of making a sand castle, would disappear with the sand castle.
L4: So, then why there is no possibility of being total with the activity?
AP: Being total you can be in the activity.
What do you mean by being total with the activity?
Is the activity something outside of you? Are you and the activity any different?
Being total means you are total—not divided, not limited, not small and then you are in the activity.
L4: But that is not in our hands
AP: That is surely in your hands.
Being total is not in your hands but being divided is always in your hands. Who else is the responsible for the division that you experience? You go to the sand castle and you say, “This is a sand castle that should give me pleasure and that I should be able to sell it after 2 hours for 100 rupees.”
Did you see what is happening now?
You are not going as a total unit to the activity. You are doing it as the divided one. Which is divided one? Divided one means limited one. You are saying that I am entering it and I want it to yield something to me so that I can take it and my division can end.
L4: Sir, but we enter into something with some limited expectations.
AP: You can have limited expectations or you can have unlimited expectations but to enter into something as a little one, as a small one, as an expectant one, as a desirous one is what makes you feel that you are not total. And when you are not total then your activity is intended to make you total—that’s probably the only way to check your claim of totality.
AP: Not even enjoyment because whatever you enjoy becomes such an expectation.
Are you into it with an expectation for the future? Are you into it thinking that if a favorable result comes then you will be total. You may still have an agenda but what does that agenda mean to you?
Playfully, you can have an agenda, why not? Playfully you can build a sand castle. The sand castle, let say, itself is an agenda. I am building a sand castle. And you do not build a sand castle half-heartedly, you are building with all your mind. But still, what does it mean to you?
Is your self-worth linked to the sand castle? When the castle collapses, do you also come crashing down along with it? That is what is meant by totality. So, well pointed— you are not total with the activity; total you are, in the activity.
See it is simple—whatsoever is precious will be non-dualistic and if it is non-dualistic it cannot have an object. So you cannot say, I love someone, I am total with an activity because all these are dualistic statements. Whatsoever is really really valuable is bound to be non-dualistic. In duality, there is suppression and suppression is suffering.
L3: I have felt this for so many years that being total into something makes me very very happy. It is a very happy world.
AP: You know, happiness and sadness go together.
L3: Oh damn!
~ Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: Can the materialistic man be spiritual?
Read more articles on this topic:
Article 3: Worldly man – Slave of Destiny
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