Choosing the Right Goal: Material or Spiritual
Goal setting is a relatively easily process if you know where you are in your life right now. Most people are driven by what someone else tells them is important which is material in nature such as more money, better sex, a better body, a better house, a faster car, a more beautiful garden, going to the best university, or looking like a magazine cover. The list is endless.
Why are material pursuits like slavery? Suppose you want a really fast car. Is the fast car what you really want? Not really. What most people want who are into speed is the ability to go all out and then take calculated risks in the process. They don’t want a fast car. They want the ability to go all out for something and then have the courage to take the necessary risks. But if you just spend your time working to get enough money to buy a faster car, then at the end you have become a slave to your work with a few opportunities now and again to go fast on the highway. You probably end up with speeding fines. The spiritual goal is the ability to put in an all out effort to pursue something worthwhile and to have the courage to take the appropriate chances like being a good parent.
Likewise, if you want to be a magazine cover, you have to become a slave to how the world wants to see you and then do everything you can to look that way. What your true self really wants is for you to have an image of yourself being beneficial to others and then going all out to be that way.
How do you choose? The way you choose the right the spiritual goal for yourself is to ask yourself what the worst problem is in your life right now. What is your biggest challenge? You know what your biggest challenge is because it has a negative emotion connected to it that you carry around with you all day everyday. Most people try to solve it materially, not spiritually by having material comfort or pleasure as the end. When you try to solve things materially, you always end up forgetting who your true self is.
You could be carrying around a lot of anger, jealousy, fear, anxiety, sadness, guilt, envy, hurt, or hatred. When you don’t recognize your own state of being, then the solution is always material comfort or pleasure and slavery to get there which may mean clawing your way to the top and using a lot of other bad coping mechanisms to get there.
Most people’s issues began in their families of origin by having who they are rejected or abandoned in one form or another. If you have the fear of not performing well in your work, or being fired, or of losing a relationship such as your spouse, then you are in with most of the world. The fact that divorce rates are so high and business is so unstable in the world should let you know that the first goal for most people is closeness.
The challenge with spiritual goals is to have the ability to stay with them for a long time. The reason most people do not stay with a goal like spiritual intimacy is that they have to face rejection and abandonment along the way. You can do what most people do which is try to be successful and push your way up a ladder so that you can have pleasure in place of intimacy, but you would probably get just as much pleasure hanging out on the street and finding cheap liquor. Facing fear is no easy matter. Most men in the world have a code that does not let them talk about it openly. They try to stuff the fear down and make sure that they drink enough beer to keep it in check.
The spiritual path is so much more difficult than the material one, but life will always try to bring you back to it to the very end. It is relentless.
Here are some goals to consider based upon the negative states.
Timidity is based upon the fear of your true self being rejected so the goal is the courage to be who you really are.
Giving up easily on a pursuit is related to abandonment so the goal is staying with a pursuit that is uniquely you.
When your mind spins with anxiety and cannot shut off, you are worried that there are forces out there that you cannot control. The goal is to have confidence in your abilities and then to use them.
When you envy what someone else has like their house or body, then you do not have a clear vision of a positive self that could do amazing things.
When you are hurt by what someone else did to you such as firing you, then the goal is get closer to your own heart and then to others.
Jealousy means that you are protecting something like a relationship or a title as if it were a material possession. The goal with jealousy is the ability to have a close relationship with others. This is the issue for a huge number of people who try to climb the ladder of success in any pursuit.
Guilt happens when you are trying to live the life someone else has set for you. The goal is to have a great deal of playfulness about life. This happens in cultures that are primarily authoritarian in nature.
Hatred happens when you have lost your sweetness for life. The goal is to find kindness.
Grief happens when you have lost something dear to you. The goal is enthusiasm for your current pursuits.
Anger when you do not take responsibility for your own self and your own life. The goal is learning how to be trustworthy and responsible.
The simplest way to pursue a goal such as responsibility to your own life is to wake each morning feel your anger, then realize that can deal with your own life better and that the Creator will guide you through the day if you first ask for His help and then be guided to what shows up.
In the next post I am going to write about people’s issues with their fathers.