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Karen M. Black
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A daughter's tale of truth, love and letting go

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An addictive spin on awakening, soulmates and past lives

Spiritual and material enlightenment: can you have both?

It’s a common question. Can we have both spiritual and material enlightenment? I say Yes. As long as we don’t let our egos get in the way.

“A wise man should have money in his head, but not in his heart.“
– Jonathan Swift

How enlightenment expresses in the real world

On the surface, spiritual and material enlightenment don’t appear to go together. Many believe that the spiritual is separate from the material. Some even believe that the material world casts a shadow on enlightenment, or that the purpose of enlightenment is to leave physical reality altogether. However, I don't think that spiritual and material enlightenment is meant to be split into pieces.

My understanding is that the lessons we learn by being human are only complete when we raise our physical vibration to be as close as possible to Love. This is the essence of enlightenment.

However, I don’t believe the goal of enlightenment is to leave the physical world or get outside of our bodies. My research on enlightenment supports this.

There also isn’t one best way to raise our vibrations. We’re all unique and our journeys will be different. In fact, part of becoming more enlightened is respecting each other’s free will.

Enlightenment is more than bliss

In her book Enlightenment through the Path of Kundalini, author Tara Springett writes that spiritual enlightenment is more than a blissful feeling: it is “the pinnacle of human development” grounded in balancing spiritual and material enlightenment.

In short, Tara says enlightenment is:

  • a vibrational state of being that’s constantly balancing, and
  • pure love and wisdom expressed together.

While we may get glimpses of enlightenment through practices such as meditation, the trick is stabilizing the energy in the real world. Or as Tara says, achieving the perfect union between your physical life force and the sea of love.

Spiritual and material enlightenment and balancing the physical life force

After quite a bit of research on this, here’s my summary on where physical reality on earth fits in with enlightenment beyond.

Material reality includes our bodies. It also includes our unique expressions in the world, who and what we touch. Spiritual and material enlightenment also includes:

  • the edges of our energy bodies (i.e. chakras) that connect us to the divine, and
  • the reflective matrix of reality around us.

Our physical reality encompasses our connection to the earth. Our environment. Our relationships. Animals and nature. Our homes, the towns or cities in which we live in, etc. It also includes the not so nice structures like government and finance, too.

We may or may not agree with all the horrors we see in our physical reality, but at the moment its very presence means that enough of us are consenting to its existence. In my humble opinion, this is why our collective spiritual awakening combined to awakening to the truth of what's happenign on earth, is important to change things. We can't change what we don't know.

Okay then, what about money? How is money spiritual?

What I’m about to say may make some of you angry. But I believe that spiritual and material enlightenment go together. Money is part of the puzzle… part of life on earth at the moment. And energetically, it’s a powerful catalyst.

Think about it. Money is something that collectively we’ve assigned great meaning to. We’ve created our own needs and fears around it. But it’s not the money, it’s our relationship with money that we grapple with.

I’ve witnessed a lot of judgment in the spiritual community around money and the union of spiritual and material enlightenment. Supposedly “enlightened” people slamming others for charging money for their work. Information perhaps, that took hundreds of hours of energy to assemble.

This is not abundant thinking: it’s the severest judgment.

Money... is an expression of our appreciation for something we value

Money is neutral. It's a piece of paper, a precious metal, a data entry, something humanity made up. It doesn’t jump off the table and grab you by the throat. Like many other things in life, it’s a powerful catalyst whose presence or absence helps you express who you really are on the scale of spiritual and material enlightenment.

And it's something we can give another to express our appreciation for what they offer us.

Yet some use money to control people. Many punish people by withholding it. Use it as a reward. Or give it out as a way to reduce shame. For others, money facilitates addiction.

Some people are repulsed by money. Or judge it. Or create stories about people who have it, earn it, inherit or want it. But remember… some people build schools with it. Help their friends or neighbours. Grow food.

It’s not about the money. Separating spiritual and material enlightenment will not make this very human tendency go away. Money is just an energetic conduit for the addiction, anger, judgment or repulsion (or love!) that’s already there.

Money is light

Money isn’t evil. Money, like everything is energy. Light. Some people have a neutral relationship with money, see it as a tool. Some love, respect and appreciate the money they have and generously use it for good. I wish more humble, good people were wealthy so they’d have more ways to give!

As Frederic Lehrman says in Prosperity Consciousness (highly recommended)... money is one form of our Aliveness. Having money makes us brighter, more Alive. Are you willing to be that bright?

Personally, I like money

I like money. I enjoy learning about it and managing it. Yup, I’d like to have more of it. And yet, though it is a bit stressful, I don’t freak out when I see less for a while. For money does not define me.

Money is not one of my motivators – and it doesn’t control me.

I could go on quite a while about this topic. Allow me to leave you with this before I return to my last few points on spiritual and material enlightenment. If what I've written resonates for you, I'd check out Frederic Lehrman’s Prosperity Consciousness.

The dark side of spiritual and material enlightenment: pitfalls to avoid

No sadly, it’s not all Love and Light, even when people easily toss around the words. Yes – there are material traps to avoid when on the journey to enlightenment.

Here are some of the specific dangers and pitfalls to avoid. For the following, I used some information from Tara Springett’s book Enlightenment through the Path of Kundalini (a great book), and my own observations and experiences on the topic of spiritual and material enlightenment.

Want a bottom-line on the dangers?

If you’re on a journey to enlightenment, ego-driven desires will backfire. But even if we experience a painful event due to our ego, this isn’t punishment. It’s just energy helping us rebalance...

Check your motivation: why do you want to awaken?

On the path to spiritual and material enlightenment, motivation matters. If you’re seeking enlightenment for entertainment, or you’re becoming enlightened to accumulate stuff to make you happy, this will eventually backfire.

You have a pure motivation if you can answer yes to the following:

  • You have a sincere desire to grow
  • You have a desire to go inside for answers
  • You have discovered that you also want to help others on their journey
  • You seek enlightenment for the benefit of all beings.

There is no short cut (or buying!) your way into enlightenment

In short, there are no short cuts to enlightenment.

While seeking spiritual and material enlightenment, you may discover accelerants such as kundalini spiritual awakening or chakra clearing. For example, using Tara Springett's book, I discovered that my own kundalini has been active for over a decade now. And for my chakras, I used complex homeopathy called Psychosomatic Energetics among other things. But it's still taken time and effort.

No matter who you are, becoming enlightened is simply going to take time, patience and devotion. To be honest, it hasn’t been easy. But it’s also the most enriching, rewarding thing I’ve ever done.

Beware of charlatans who say this...

If someone says they can touch you and poof! You’re enlightened, I’d wonder. If they say they’ll do all this for a mere $10,000.00 and that you’ll get sucked into a void if you don’t – I’d run. I may sound flip, but I'm serious. There are people out there that pretend to be enlightened. But who are not embodying true spiritual and material enlightenment.

By the way, I do believe in selectively paying for valuable services which may include spiritual guidance during difficult times. But there are some guidelines I use to decide who to work with. Keep reading...

Check your ego at the door

Enlightenment is where we’re all going, even if it takes a million years to get there. It’s the real meaning of life. And as we become more enlightened, we become more powerful. Each time you become more powerful, it’s a test.

For example, you may have increased psychic ability or what appears to be supernatural power. What do you do with the power? Support others, empower them or control them? Remember: manipulation and ego desires will backfire. We’re here to integrate spiritual and material enlightenment.

Careful of self-proclaimed gurus or ascended masters

When someone labels themselves a guru, enlightened being, or a reincarnated master, I am immediately wary. In my opinion, I don’t think that those who are indeed the most masterful probably care much about labels like this. Or fame, though fame might occur and can be useful to a truly enlightened soul.

Careful of people who just talk the talk

A friend told me recently that she talked to a librarian who said that more books that go missing in the spiritual and self-growth area than any other area of the library. I find this astonishing! How’s that for spiritual and material enlightenment?

Personally, I’ve met a number of people in life and in the spiritual community who appear enlightened but really are not. They talk the talk, but they’re manipulative, or they...

  • Encourage your dependence on them
  • Project their fears onto you, blaming you
  • Seek to control the masses for their own desires (mind-control)
  • Present themselves as superior
  • Judge money, or paying for anything “spiritual”
  • Prop themselves up by giving advice not asked for
  • Insist their way is the only way.

If you encounter these traits, it doesn’t mean the person is evil. However, trust your gut and ask yourself: does this feel like a good example of spiritual and material enlightenment?

The bottom line is this

I resonate most with people who (rich or poor) are powerful, yet humble and who:

  • inspire and encourage my freedom
  • do not judge
  • help me find my own way
  • do not give me unsolicited advice – ever
  • do not claim to have the absolute Truth
  • respect that my journey to spiritual and material enlightenment will look different than theirs
  • don’t depend on my money
  • don’t judge money (they may be rich or poor)
  • don’t need me to need them
  • keep learning themselves
  • live what they know yet easily admit they don’t know everything.

I have paid people for their spiritual services. Sometimes, I’ve paid quite a lot if I think it’s worth it. But I don’t, unless I feel all of the above from them.

Whatever adventures you have along your journey to spiritual and material enlightenment, remember: there are no mistakes. Respond with each experience you encounter with as much love as you can muster.

Trust what your heart says. For your heart is a gateway to all.

How’s your heart doing?

If you need a little support along the way, you may enjoy my free soul letter Moondancing: Whispers from your heart I’m curious.

Did you enjoy this article on spiritual and material enlightenment?

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Enlightenment definition – if you haven’t already, you might want to read the definition of enlightenment based on my research, written so it’s easy to understand.

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