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 Yoga, Science and Philosophy
 Feeling lost in materialism
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108 Posts

Posted - Nov 28 2018 :  10:05:44 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
It's strange to say, based on my past spiritual enthusiasm and experiences, but I'm feeling a bit lost in materialism these days. I have been doing AYP but only some days. I grew up Christian and still attend church but haven't been feeling very connected to the beliefs lately.

I'm having trouble accepting that the spiritual teachings are real. I mean, I know that meditation and spiritual techniques have a real effect on myself. But I'm having trouble with the ideas behind the practices of AYP and/or the teaching of Christianity. The unprovable ideas are the problem. The ideas that are to be accepted "on faith".

I guess, with AYP, the theory behind it is something that you can directly experience by doing the practices.

But I'm more focused on just a general feeling of the spiritual aspect of life not being very real to me, lately. I know we are people in the world, and have feelings within ourselves, and brains with which we can experience life, and meditation helps us have a better life experience. But what about the teaching about the spiritual realm, of spirits and God? I know in my heart that God exists, but do other spirits exist? what happens after death? It is these unanswerable and unverifiable questions that are bothering me. They weigh on me heavily.

Any ideas about how to approach this? Maybe just more AYP practices?


491 Posts

Posted - Nov 29 2018 :  08:59:54 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Continue to hold onto religious beliefs if you may. That helps you be part of the community around you. AYP is your personal practice. Continue to read and reread AYP lessons. When your mind is ready, lessons about self realization (lessons 325 onwards) will begin to resonate with you. AYP forum also has wonderful posts that you can refer to for further study. Eventually, God will transform from form to the formless.
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108 Posts

Posted - Nov 29 2018 :  09:23:01 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Part of my problem is that my traditional Protestant Christian upbringing just doesn't seem to explain things enough for them to make coherent sense for me, in relation to my other experiences. So that is hard. I'm still part of that tradition, but I have trouble accepting things the way they are conveyed.

I've also been worried about someone I am close to, so I feel shaken by that. In times like this, I want to turn to God and the spiritual side, but I've been confused about that for a while and find it hard to get clarity.

Lesson 325 looks like it might help - thanks.

Last night I also started reading pieces o "The Gnostic Handbook" which talks more about the mystical teachings which may have been prior to and behind the original Christianity. I found it really interesting and my heart responded, so hopefully that will help me.

I think I need to put priority on meditating daily as well, to have more inner silence.

I find that part of the problem for me is that I'm living in a western country and working a STEM job, and much of my life is materialistic in many ways. That said, my family is very faith-oriented, treating material wealth as (mostly) secondary to religious things.

Thanks for the reply, jusmail
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2013 Posts

Posted - Nov 29 2018 :  1:06:06 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Welcome back, Godslave, good to hear from you again.

I was raised Catholic, and always had trouble (even as a youth) fully accepting many of the teachings, and resented in many ways how the Church positioned itself as the middleman between me and God (confession, in particular). When the church abuse scandals came to the fore, it made the task of breaking away effortless. What always mesmerized me were the teachings of Jesus Christ as human, washing the feet of the poor, spreading the word of love and devotion, and ultimately dying for his beliefs. Whether he actually performed miracles, rose from the dead or was the true Son of God never really mattered to me. The inspiration that He was the temple, as are we, and all we seek and strive for can be found inside our hearts. This is why I am a meditator today; in each and every sitting I find connection to the Source. I am the home of the Holy Spirit.

It sounds as if you have a good home life and upbringing, and have a handle on what inspires and what falls short. Faith is driven by light in your being; you cannot be railroaded into having faith, it is either there or it isn't, and either path is fine.
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108 Posts

Posted - Nov 29 2018 :  3:05:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the reply, dogboy. I resonate/identify with a lot of what you wrote. I feel like I have let my light dim somewhat, and have not been paying enough attention to reading spiritual texts and meditating. So I need to do those things more often. They make me feel more whole and alive and connected.
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177 Posts

Posted - Jan 30 2019 :  10:19:08 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Dear Godslave,

I am also a STEM professional, an electrical and safety specialist engineer in the automotive industry for 24 years. The Western technological is on the one hand a worship of materialism in the sense of commerce and consumption, and I find that problematical. It is on the other hand providing motion of people and goods (food, clothing, building materials, materials for education and health, and other necessities of life and of building societies. Like it or not, all 7B of us need those things and to band together for them. This is deployed throughout the Western world (mainly Europe, most of Asia, the Americas and Australia, and this has enabled the housing, protection and feeding of several billion people. It is spreading to Africa and other less-advantaged areas as well. These are just the facts (mostly) of what technology has accomplished on the positive side. I choose not to dwell on the negative side.

The engineers I work with are quite decent people, and we tend to keep to ourselves. At my last full-time employer I was surprised to find one manager has been a TM meditator for 45 years, that a close colleague is a meditator and spiritual seeker who is trying to read all of Osho, and a member here has organized meditation classes at his workplace, one of the giant US auto companies. I found similar surprises when I worked in the US military industrial complex during the Cold War days, designing what could make a devastating war just a little more devastating. I hope that my work in those days is somehow balanced by my current work in safety of electronic systems.

One negative however is that such machines have brought traffic and traffic deaths, about 1.25 M in 2013 globally I have worked for 20 years in reducing automotive crash fatality and industry.

So first of all, you can find a humanitarian side of STEM located in the belly of the beast. Second, your colleagues may surprise you with understanding and even show a common sympathy, with awareness of similar conflicts. I think some aspect of STEM talent is born, but the attitude of neglecting the spirit in favor of the materialistic is learned. It's possible to keep your spiritual sympathies intact. The job is not you, it's a job. What is inside belongs to you, not to your employer or to your colleagues, except as you choose to share.

I hope the Gnostic readings will show you some insight into spiritual aspects of Christianity at its base, though I guess it is not shared perhaps by the congregation leaders. I am Jewish, which is monotheistic as well. But it has strong spiritual aspects kept alive in certain sects, or new ones developed in the Middle Ages. One very old idea is that it is everyone's responsibility to improve the world; "tikkun olam" in Hebrew. Can you view your STEM job as contributing to the essential good of the world?
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108 Posts

Posted - Oct 16 2019 :  2:30:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks kensbikes100 - I read your reply some time ago, and again just now. I'm in a much better place spiritually now. I have been meditating (though somewhat inconsistently), but I've been reading through some of the AYP Main Lessons again, and am feeling a strong desire for God and meditation again. With the meditation, I was previously pushing myself too hard, and have scaled back (self-pacing), which is helping.

Anyway, I wanted to say thanks for your helpful kind words from earlier this year!
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467 Posts

Posted - Oct 16 2019 :  4:32:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Godslave, I am relatively new to AYP and saw your post today. I have struggled with very similar issues wanting proof and certainty. The thing I've liked about Yogani's teachings is they are experiential, the proof is felt in the practices. I am slowly letting go of the need to have it carefully laid out in a story. Most of the world likes to have a book that tells them what truth is, but few ever question these truths. As I venture into the realm of ecstatic bliss I can trust in the experiences as they happen, with a little guidance from folks on this site to steer safely into these uncharted waters (for me). Good luck to you on your journey
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177 Posts

Posted - Oct 22 2019 :  4:00:21 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Godslave, by coincidence today is my first return to reading AYP forums for several months. As usual I found something I shared several months ago (and that I may have forgotten about), and am now gratified to find your response. I find even in engineering there is not a lot of proof and certainty. In safety engineering you must check as many possible paths to a hazard as you can, but you can never prove that there isn't an undiscovered way for a person to be harmed. The fact that we can't save all victims does not mean we are released from having to save the lives you can.

Like returning to the mantra in DM!

Perhaps is this dharma yoga?
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177 Posts

Posted - Oct 22 2019 :  4:10:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
With the previous posting in mind, I think being "lost in materialism" and "having eschewed materialism" may be for me converging into a compromise. In this I expend energy using the tools of materialistic thinking to improve life and satisfaction for people, expanding the chance for more spiritual development and sensitivity in the world.

For me the state of being lost and of having risen above materialism seem now to be a false dichotomy.
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