We are spiritual beings having a human experience. Because we are spiritual, we are eternal, and existing in a constantly changing, impermanent world feels unnatural. This incongruity between our spiritual natures and the material nature can lead to subtle frustrations and dissatisfaction.

Why are we attracted to the material world?

The desire to become attracted to the material world is perfectly reasonable because the material world is a perfect reflection of the spiritual world. All the variety that we see, and our attraction to nature’s variety, is reasonable too. 

However, this variety is composed of the three modes (i.e. lower energy) and so this material world is an illusory variety, like a mirage in the desert, and like chasing a mirage in a desert when you’re thirsty, one might chase the illusions of the material world until death. 

And that’s what basically happens life after life. 

These desires are imprints on the mind, a catalog of everything we experience and feel. Over many lifetimes, we acquire natural attachments to things based on our previous experiences.

How does the material world lead to frustration and dissatisfaction?

When we pursue objects of desire in the material world we are never satisfied because we are spiritual beings, and are incompatible with the material world and its lower modes and lower energies.

In Sanskrit, this material world is called ‘Bhava’, which means something that is always manifesting in a different form. ​​When we find some situation in the material world, we chase it, but it always exceeds our grasp. When we finally come to a point where we think, “Oh, I have it now,” somehow, it disassembles and becomes something else.

Frustration and dissatisfaction arises because we are spiritual, we are eternal, and we are not used to seeing something constantly changing. We are frustrated running after the reflection.

There are five types of suffering in yoga, and the first kind of suffering is called “avidya,” which means a lack of knowledge. The main knowledge one lacks which leads to suffering is that we think we are our body.  However, we are not our bodies, but rather the spiritual being animating the body.

Is the material world false?

Although the water in a mirage is false, this does not mean that there is no water in reality; water exists, but not in the desert. Similarly, nothing is real in this material world because it is a reflection but in reality, it exists in the spiritual world. In reality, the fact is we are looking for the right thing at the wrong place!

How to Overcome the Frustration Caused by Material Nature

We can overcome the frustration caused by living in the material world by understanding our constitutional position as spiritual beings and no longer identifying as our body. This higher perspective, “I am not my body,” allows us a powerful vision to overcome material attachments and let go of the causes of our frustration and dissatisfaction.

Similarly, changing the object of one’s desire to higher, more spiritual goals, and away from impermanent material objects, which have us clinging to life can open us up to greater happiness.

Our attraction to the material world is natural because it is a reflection of what is eternally real in the spiritual world. The frustration we experience arises from the disconnect between who we really are (a spiritual being), and who we identify as (our material body and false ego).

Please drop me a note with your realizations or if you have any questions/comments using Ask Vaish form. I would really like to hear from you.

Source: https://vaisesikadasa.com/en/how-to-handle-the-frustration-of-the-material-world/?

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