I have stated this before here and here, but I think it bears repeating – we need to stop treating the physical world like it’s less important than the spiritual world! These two worlds are connected to each other and are of equal importance. As above, so below; as within, so without; as the Universe, so the Soul. The material world is not something to be use and be discarded. It’s also not a bad thing to have material things and seek comfort. The problem isn’t having them or wanting them, but rather when we get out of balance and start hoarding all of the things!
But the spiritually-inclined often get into the mindset that this physical existence means less than what is spiritually on the other side of this life. I think this is where things get lopsided and twisted for us on both a conscious and unconscious level. If we incarnate here to learn lessons, have experiences, reach gnosis, awaken to our spiritual reality – whatever term you want to use – then this physical world is of extreme importance. If we could do it without incarnating, I think we probably would. Physical incarnation is part of the process. Recognizing this is part of our spiritual growth. We can’t do it without all of the flesh and bones and sinew and gaseous star stuff and leafy greens and bumble bees.
When we devalue the physical world over the spiritual one, it leads to all sorts of abuses. The environment, women, minority groups, how we produce out food, how we treat animals, how we produce and use non-renewable resources – all are treated as commodities for consumption rather than as precious people and resources that help balance our world. Everything on this planet is intrinsically good and part of a great ecosystem worthy of reverence and respect.
While I know most reading this post would agree with this sentiment and are environmentalists themselves, unconsciously we absorb a lot from our language and the dominant cultures and religions in our communities. Countless times (today in fact) I’ve heard the suit of pentacles or disks in the tarot referred to as the lowest level or least important of the suits. Why? Because it’s the suit that correlates to Earth and material things. The Moon, a symbol of women in the West, is still often associated with concealing, misleading, delusion and lunacy, when it just as often is an illuminating force in the darkness, a force of creativity, and where dreams are forged.
How we use and perceive our language and symbols matter. Becoming aware of how we speak and interact with symbols can help us bring our unconscious biases to the light.