Table of Contents
The Right Balance
The Three Pillars of Life
What Disturbs the Balance
Laughing on the Tightrope
Money and the Soul
Toward a Spiritual Sexuality
The Power of Prayer
Oriental Methods of Achieving Balance
Achieving Balance through Yoga
Feeding Your Soul
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The Three Pillars of Life
“We are not physical beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings undergoing a physical experience.”
Gurus and holy books have reminded us of this message since the beginning of civilization. We tend to focus on the needs of our bodies all the time. And when we feel empty and desperate, we turn towards spiritual fulfillment. You may be a fine, healthy young man or woman, but if your spirit is depressed, your body will soon begin to suffer.
In the words of the Buddha “The mind is everything. What you think you become.”
To achieve a balanced mind and in turn to live a balanced physical existence, three qualities have to be in perfect equilibrium – Wisdom, Benevolence and Courage. A balance of these 3 qualities ensures that you achieve your goals in life with zest and discipline while also being compassionate to your fellow beings, guided by wisdom.
If you only have passion without wisdom and compassion, you may become a cruel and foolish person. Benevolence alone without willpower and wisdom will make you a useless romantic idealist. And wisdom alone without action and kindness will turn you into a reclusive hermit. Theosophy teaches that when these three virtues are kept in equilibrium, Man can become fully effective and happy in the world.
Just try it out. Make a list of your friends and tick away in 3 columns against their names. You will be able to see one or two of the above qualities missing in them. And you will find that he or she who has all the three virtues in balance is the best human being among them all.
Similarly, the Kaballah teaches that Life has 3 Pillars – Judgment, Mercy and Compassion. When the opposing instincts of Judgment and Mercy are tempered by Compassion, a balance is struck in our spirituality and this in turn brings equilibrium to our physical world.
We don’t want these but we need them. These are the temptations that our physicality may crave for but our spirituality abhors.
What Disturbs the Balance?
“Drugs are a waste of time. They destroy your memory and your self-respect and everything that goes along with your self esteem”
– Kurt Cobain, singer of grunge band Nirvana
The fact that the man who said this line succumbed to a drug overdose is a sobering thought. It reflects the deadly power that narcotics, alcohol, tobacco and other addictions have over their victim’s mind.
The most important thing to remember in the quest for a physical-spiritual balance is that your body is a Temple in which your Mind is the High Priest. Allowing destructive forces like addictions and bad habits to occupy the temple is to weaken and finally kill the High Priest.
Some drugs induce an elevated state of altered consciousness. Unfortunately, the fantastic perceptions that a drug user experiences do not last very long. What lasts long is the terrible addiction to the vice. A very heavy price – that of loss of control – is paid for an illusion of power and enlightenment.
Food determines our spiritual outlook too. We say – he is like a tiger, she is like a sheep, they behave like vultures – all these archetypes emerge from food habits and their implications for our spiritual nature. Red meats, alcohol, tobacco, fermented and stale foods weaken the Temple of the Body. These foods stress the digestive, circulatory and breathing systems. Vegetarian food that has a balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fats and vitamins is easily digested, assimilated and excreted. Certain foods affect the neuro-transmitters (chemicals in the brain) and affect our daily functions like memory, muscle coordination and sleep. Bad food can also change your moods and the way you perceive the world around you.
Hence the maxim – You are what you eat. Eating a balanced meal with plenty of water and exercise and staying away from toxic habits can keep the Temple of the Body clean and shining. Search within your mind, you can achieve an altered consciousness just by meditation, where is the need for drugs and alcohol?
Fasting periodically and correctly can cleanse the body of undesirable toxins and free radicals that cause ageing. Consuming minimal or no food at all for a few days can give your body a chance to excrete the accumulated waste products and rebuild the stressed out body. Fasting combined with meditation is an excellent way to give your body a break and to allow it to reacquaint itself with its Spiritual High Priest!
Many walk the tightrope. Only a few can dare laugh when they are there.
Laughing on the Tightrope
“A well-developed sense of humor is the pole that adds balance to your steps as you walk the tightrope of life.”
– William Arthur Ward
Imagine you are walking down the street. There’s a stranger standing by the street side. A girl walks looking backwards, bumps into a fat man, and gets the wind knocked out of her. You laugh heartily and so does the stranger near you. You look at each other and smile in acknowledgement. You don’t know each other, but the joke created a brief cheery connection between the two of you.
Sometimes your spirit becomes so lost and distant from your physical self, that it takes a good bout of laughter to get back in touch. Your spirit is a funny guy too. Why do we have to look at all things spiritual as solemn quests for enlightenment? Spirits don’t wear long hooded robes and carry candles in dark dungeons. Nor do they prefer to freeze on top of the Himalayas with half naked hermits for company. Our spirits are the residents of our bodies. It’s just that we are so busy building better bodies and furnishing them with shiny things that we end up evicting the lawful resident or banishing him to a dark and damp corner of our cellar.
Get that spirit back up into the living hall of your life. Treat him to a drink and enjoy a good laugh. His hearty laughter will ring through the rooms of your body and resonate in your heart, lungs, veins and bones!
Watch some good old slapstick classics like Laurel and Hardy or Charlie Chaplin. Or roll on the floor with Mr. Bean. Laughter vibrates the body like nothing does. Don’t just titter at something funny. Laugh out loud, for Pete’s sake!
When your Body and Spirit have found each other again through a good laugh, they can walk cheerfully through life. Laughter is your mind’s way of saying that nothing is stronger than your Soul. The day you stop smiling and laughing, your spirit languishes in that cellar again and your lonely body starts feeling cold and miserable once again.
So grab that pole of laughter and walk the tightrope of life as heartily as you can!Other Details
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