I have often talked to you about the difference between the conventional knowledge that is distributed in our colleges and universities, and Initiatic knowledge. The main emphasis in conventional studies is on disciplines designed to help human beings to attain material success but which prevent them from becoming spirits and children of God. The result is that people are becoming more and more alienated from the spirit, and this is the cause of many forms of imbalance, ailment or disorder.

Excessive concern for the physical body weakens the soul and spirit
People always look for the origin of their problems elsewhere; for example overwork, stress or poor diet, for instance. No, the main cause of people’s problems is the imbalance between spirit and matter; it is this that leads to all other forms of imbalance. If human beings are exclusively concerned with giving their physical body the comfort and pleasure it demands, their soul and spirit grow weak from lack of nourishment and everything in their lives is upside down.

Human wellbeing depends on a balance between spirit and matter
Spirit and matter are two poles, two principles with which human beings must learn to work intelligently, reasonably and prudently; above all, they must never emphasize one to the detriment of the other. It is not recommended to follow the example of the West and attach importance almost exclusively to material possessions, but nor is the example of India one to imitate either, for, on the pretext of a high regard for mysticism and spirituality, many in India are still trapped in poverty and disease.

Matter must not be rejected, but be made obedient to the spirit
If you want to restore the balance, you must give to both spirit and matter the place that is theirs by right. Matter must not be rejected: it must be made subject and obedient to the spirit. This is the only way human beings can regain their health, beauty, strength and happiness: by restoring this balance. Use your reason!

To be continued…

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov,
Sèvres, February 19, 1970

Complete Works Volume 17. Jnana Yoga Volume 1 – Know Thyself
Chapter 3, Spirit and Matter