The Great Balancing Act: Living In and Between Two Worlds
By Guy Finley
I receive many questions concerning how to achieve a proper balance between physical and spiritual longings; how much time should be spent working on one's higher, interior life, versus running around and doing what life demands as a result of being in this world. For those of you who want to learn a little more from a different perspective on this question, here are some thoughts to ponder.
Life, in the broadest sense of it, both spiritually and materially, is an expression of an eternal descending and ascending set of forces: "in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth"--the principle of expansion and contraction, light and darkness, ascending and descending archetype ideas then brought into physical creation. The descending forces are what give rise to creation as it "falls" from one level into another, constantly dividing. This is the force of manifestation, and it moves from within to without. It is what essentially "does" in the man, with him just identifying with its movement and--in a matter speaking--choosing what this energy will manifest itself into through whatever his immediate environment and conditioning dictate. This force (in conjunction with unconscious imagination) promises completion through whatever is subjectively created. Of course such "completion" is impossible because the force itself is a divisive one, providing only temporary satisfaction, at best. What this means is that, as a rule, sleeping man is always identified with this exteriorized sense of himself, and has virtually no awareness of his interior life and, accordingly, the ascending force within it. (Think of the prodigal son as an expression of these two forces acting within and upon one being.).
The task of the individual who would awaken is to be present to both of these forces at once; he needs to be aware of his interior life, and its native longing to ascend, to return home; as Whitman would say, "the central urge of every atom to return to its source."
In order to be present in this way -- to this eternal presence that expresses itself through these twin forces -- one's attention must be properly divided between the world of a descending will that always wants to go--do--pursue, manifest in some way -- and the world within him that is capable of being aware of this movement, and that remains present to itself within itself rather than becoming caught up in the sensation of being identified with some new creation.
So you see it's not a question of doing or not doing, but of placing one's attention and awareness within that presence that doesn't "try" to balance one's life according to some idealized spiritual state; it (this presence) is perfect creative balance itself.
One must work. We are created to create; but when we create for the sake of producing any sense of self-formulated identity, we create in vain and suffer the inevitable consequences of seeing the truth of it.
From a Guy Finley blog on www.guyfinleynow.org, 2010.
Guy Finley is the best-selling author of The Secret of Letting Go, The Essential Laws of Fearless Living,
and 35 other works that have sold over a million copies in 18 languages
worldwide. His work has been featured on hundreds of radio and TV
networks including NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, NPR, and PBS. Guy has spent the
last 30 years showing individuals the authentic path to a higher life
filled with happiness, success, and true love. Finley lives and teaches
in Merlin, Oregon where he is Director of non-profit Life of Learning
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