Must We Choose Between a Spiritual Path and a Material Path of Success?
Posted Nov 04 2009 10:04pm
Last year I inherited a business partnership with a small company which was helping with an element of my business. Over a few phone calls and through personal observations I could see that that owner of the company while very positive and goal oriented walked and sometimes crossed the line of ethical behavior. I made a mental note that I would have to keep a close eye on this company to ensure that they were representing me in an ethical way at all times. One day I had the opportunity to take a small trip with the owner of this company and for the first time we were able to talk beyond the routine small talk and business conversation. We opened up to each other about our personal lives. I don’t recall how it came up however at some point in the conversation this person told me that he was very spiritual and that not too long ago he had a very spiritual experience where he felt that he had a profound awakening, a born again type of experience where he was touched by the spirit of God. This person went on to explain to me about his spirituality and how although he was spiritual that he did not allow that to get in the way of his success and that he did things that were not necessarily aligned with his spiritual beliefs to succeed. He made this statement in a very matter of fact manner, that is he did not see an issue with this conflict in his life.
This person’s separation of his view of spirituality and his drive to succeed in a material way is not uncommon. I believe there are many people who approach their life this way.
When I was a child one of the board games that we played was “Life”. If you played this game you will remember that in the very first moves of your little car you had two paths to choose from, one path took you to college and the other path took you directly to the work a day world. I believe that many people look at real life and believe that they must make a choice between living a spiritual life and living a life of material success, while others believe that they can do both yet keep them separate and live a somewhat duplicitous life.
The reality is that there are not two paths you must choose from, the fact is we are all spiritual beings. The only difference between each of us is a degree of awareness of our spirituality and the degree to which we listen to our spirit or our ego.
One can live a spiritually aware life, a life of consciousness and still be materially successful. There are people who do this every day. We don’t usually hear about them because one, they don’t make what we call “interesting news” and two because in most cases, unless they are of celebrity status they don’t advertise that they are living life this way. See, they are not living a spiritually driven and materially successful life to impress you or I, they are simply listening to their spiritual voice, the core self. If and when they do make the news because they are sharing their success it is usually because the news discovered them not because they intentionally drew the media to them.
When people believe they have to choose a material path of success that conflicts with their spiritual self they may indeed achieve a degree of material success, however in the dark of the night, these are the same people who cannot sleep because they know that the actions that they have taken to achieve their material success are not aligned with their authentic self, their spirit. Often times we hear of a suicide or someone who snaps and kills and maims others before taking their own life and you will see people being interviewed afterwards who will say that they can’t believe this person did this; they had everything anyone could ever want. Why would someone who appeared to have everything in the world going for them become so distraught that they would take their own life or suddenly do things that were self destructive? These most often are people who are not aligned with their spiritual self and who because they are not aware of this they are disenchanted with all they have achieved and can’t understand why. These very well may be people who believed they were very spiritual yet they lived a life and made decisions which were not aligned with their spirit.
One of the key lessons which we must all learn is that we don’t have to choose between living a spiritually aware life or living a life of material success. There is no real choice, we are spiritual beings and we must live a spiritually guided life and allow our spiritual voice to guide us. We must trust that weather we achieve material success as defined by our culture or weather we do not is not our ultimate concern. We must trust that if it is in our purpose to be materially successful that will happen, however we must also trust that material success may not be part of our purpose. Our ultimate purpose is to be love and to radiate our love in every way we can and that when we do this we will achieve a level of success that no one could put a price tag on.