Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Common Sense and a Fondness for Matter

       We live, depend, and thrive upon the truth of ordinary, everyday common-sense knowledge concerning material being. If we can’t trust common sense, then everything else is up for grabs. Our mistakes and their correction sustain the value of ordinary knowledge. Without the reliance on our material senses and reason
to familiarize ourselves about the changing material realm, we would become terribly frightened and anxious about daily existence and our future, let alone feel useless and dangerous to ourselves and society.
         If ordinary knowledge about matter along with refined, scientific knowledge is unreliable, then society and culture with its employable enterprises, its displays of art, its architectural real estate and social activities, the varied occupations of modern citizens, could not exist. That this inventive colossus does exist and that we are gradually acquiring an ecological harmony with Nature is self evident. Could  beneficial accomplishments have occurred without an enormous pursuit of knowledge of matter and discovering its potentials?
         To ignore assimilating a profound understanding of Nature and energy leaves one at fate’s mercy. Thus the lie to dismiss the value of ordinary knowledge and its serious association with material being. The changeableness of life is hardly a threat, contrary to some spiritual writers. Life and matter walk together with their matrix for inspiring possibilities. Show me how one can bring about the value and beauty of inventions, fine art, human growth and the healing of wounds, individually and in community, without the resource of matter? That matter can be abused, like everything else, goes without saying.
          Students on a spiritual path uncritically assume that they must strive to distance themselves from the throes of matter in order to obtain a certain air of piety. I find this a curious form of cutting off your nose to spite your face. On closer inspection, we only increase our freedom by understanding matter’s potentials. If we pay attention, Nature demonstrates sufficient consistency in the rhyme and rhythm of its passing seasons that, along with an acquired savvy about society, we can learn to integrate both and harvest their bountifulness. Without this marvelous karma and its recurring fruits, there is, to state the least, no living an intelligent life, not to speak of no fulfillment, no enlightenment, no happiness.

                                                                                 —The Wanderer