One Foot In, One Foot Out – How to Tow the Line Between The Physical and The Spiritual

There are two extreme modes of living.

  1. Overly rational and materialistic
  2. Immersed in the spiritual

Living entirely in one neglects the other.

This is why being balanced in both is important for a life well lived.

Think of it as a cold swimming pool as you dip one foot in the spiritual periodically while remaining grounded in the material (and dry) land.

Daily living may seem too monotonous if you are overly rational and materialistic. It quickly becomes deluded at the expense of basic necessities if you are overly spiritual. Optimizing daily living for the average person is achieved by having one foot in and one foot out.

This isn’t easy. The modern world, by default, makes us materialistic. Then, once we get a taste of the spiritual, it is easy to lose ourselves.

This post will illustrate why staying in both realms is the middle way. And why doing so achieves a life of balanced, graceful living.

A Material Upbringing

As a kid growing up in Canada in the early 2000s, I was indoctrinated into the material. My two favourite days of the year were Christmas and my birthday for the presents. And it just so happens that Halloween was the day after my birthday so I enjoyed the sugar too.

Our mainstream Western holidays push consumerism. This is neither good nor bad, it is just a by-product of the economic drive that moves the world. Without it, the hustle and bustle of the modern world ceases.

Therefore, we North American kids are trained materialists. We think only about what we can physically sense. Like an oscillating spring, we are pulled to the material mode of living and ultimately pushed into the spiritual direction as we grow older. What pushes into the spiritual is either voluntary or involuntary, but this varies from one individual to another.

Maybe it’s an other-worldly musical melody, your first love, or a book that opens your mind to the unknown.

No matter what it is, getting a taste of the spiritual makes the material seem like an afterthought.

But we still need to survive.

Being Grounded in the Spiritual

We may be indoctrinated into the material as kids to survive, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t spiritual. Because we inherently are spiritual. Kids have an imagination that spans not only the material but the whole universe. We used to move with a sense of unrestrained wonder until the party poopers known as our parents kept us in check. They did it so we wouldn’t get hurt.

Our parents frequently pulled us out of the spiritual pool to keep us grounded.

When I grew older I sensed something on my train ride to university. When looking at the city skyline, I felt an extreme sense of awe as I marvelled at what we humans are capable of building. It lasted a couple of minutes and I guess I was brought back from the breathtaking experience so I could pay attention in class.

I could’ve easily skipped class, taken a bunch of psychedelics and continued on the train to oblivion, but I needed to be grounded in the material for now…

The world refines its consciousness to create the forms we can physically sense with the 5 senses. Without this, I’d imagine we’d be quite overwhelmed 24/7. This restriction is the natural way the world grounds us.

Like I said, we inherently are spiritual beings. But we are kept in check by our parents, our senses, and as we mature, ourselves.

When the spiritual world opens itself to us, it is important to check ourselves and avoid becoming unhinged from taking care of the basic necessities.

The Middle Way – An Epiphanic Experience

Being overly material isn’t good.

Neither is being deluded in the spiritual.

The middle is where the magic of daily living happens.

God is always at work. The world never changes as the underlying order that keeps its form is constant. It will remain that way as long as the Earth and the universe exist. Therefore, God is always present. An overly rational, materialistic mind is blind to his presence. The world never changes but the spiritual changes your perception of the world and redeems daily living as an epiphanic experience.

The etymology of the word “enthusiasm” is rooted in living inspired by God.

Being spiritual and open to the everyday epiphanic experience allows us to inject genuine enthusiasm into our lives. But as long as we’re alive, we should never drown in this spiritual pool. Dipping one foot in periodically while staying out of the pool keeps us grounded.

The restriction of consciousness into the material grounds us from the sheer, spiritual power that underlies every moment.

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