Spiritual Awakening, Growth, and Enlightenment/Spiritual Conflict
My question sir is, how is one supposed to live a happy comfortable life - whilst still trying best to be good to everyone and everything. Despite the fact that living in a world where spiritual happiness is not regarded as socially and economically successful. How is it that one can enjoy life living with such a lingering shadow of social acceptance over our heads? Everyone wants to be successful through materialistic means, when society at large is confronted with someone who has achieved happiness without the materials, then it's not viewed as success. But arent we all just trying to all reach happiness in the end? Very confusing subject I've been thinking about and request your assistance on the matter. Thank you in advance - Jordan
Spiritual pursuit should not last for a lifetime. One or two years is more than enough for a serious seeker to reach the goal. After reaching this goal one can join back the material pursuit and live like anyone else.
There is no end to material pursuit. Whenever we realize this truth, we will turn towards spiritual pursuit. If a spiritual pursuit lasts forever, then it is no different from material pursuit. Therefore it is expected that one quits spiritual pursuit within few years of starting it seriously.
Happiness and Comforts are two distinct destinations involving distinct travel.
Lasting happiness can NEVER be found through material pursuit. ONLY spiritual pursuit can lead to it.
Comforts in life can NEVER be found through spiritual pursuit. (Unless ofcourse if the spiritual pursuit is converted as material pursuit!). ONLY material pursuit can lead to higher level of comforts.
We want BOTH happiness and comforts. So the solution is to find the everlasting happiness through spiritual pursuit and increase the comforts in life through material pursuit.
It is quite possible to pursue both simultaneously. In order to get enlightened you need not quit your business/profession. You can work for five days to earn comforts and study for two days to gain happiness.
There is no such thing as spiritual happiness separate from normal happiness. Happiness is ONLY ONE. The happiness one gets through material pursuit is mixed with suffering. For example, success gives happiness but it is always coupled with the chance of failure which is suffering. Even after success there is anxiety and fear to maintain the success. This is also suffering.
The process of eliminating the suffering part is spiritual pursuit. After enlightenment one is better equipped in dealing with the world. Because success will bring happiness and failure will NOT bring suffering! Therefore, one can take more risks in life and may be more successful.
You have correctly identified that all are working towards happiness at the end. Your confusion is due to the fact that you are thinking spiritual happiness is of a different kind. It is not. Also spiritual pursuit will have to end soon. After that one can and should work for material success for increasing the comforts in life.
Even without spiritual pursuit, it is foolishness to buy things that we do not need to impress people who do not care. It does not matter what others are thinking about us. We should not live life for the sake of others. It is important that one should be good to everyone and everything around BUT not at the cost of personal happiness. One should be selfish and ensure one gains BOTH comforts and happiness in life.
So my suggestion to you is as follows:
1. Do continue your material pursuit. Whatever you do, do it to the best of your ability. Do not make any compromise on this with the excuse you need to spend time and efforts for spiritual pursuit.
2. Start your spiritual pursuit dedicating 3 or 4 hours a week for scriptural study. Get enlightened within a span of 1 to 2 years. Then STOP your spiritual pursuit.
3. Continue with material pursuit aiming higher than ever before. May be you will become more successful than others around you!
Thanks for asking this important question to me. I will be glad to provide any further assistance to you in resolving the conflict and confusions in your mind. You are free to ask more questions. But please ask them as a new question and not a follow up to this one. Thanks.