“To all that is finite, the universe must be treated as real, and life, and action, and thought, must be based thereupon accordingly, although with an ever understanding of the Higher Truth. … Were THE ALL to imagine that the universe were indeed reality, then woe to the universe, for there would be then no escape from lower to higher, divineward—then would the universe become a fixity and progress would become impossible. And if man … thinks of the universe as merely a dream then indeed does it so become for him, and like a sleepwalker, he stumbles around in a circle, making no progress. … Keep your mind ever on the Star, but let your eyes watch over your footsteps, lest you fall into the mire by reason of your upward gaze.” ~The Three Initiates
We are caught between two worlds, two dimensions. One is the material universe, which the Three Initiates simply refer to as “the universe” in the quote. The other world, the higher world, is the spiritual realm. Trying to straddle between the two is certainly challenging so it is understandable that some give up trying and choose one or the other worlds to function in.
On one side of the equation, we have the complete materialist who denies that anything spiritual exists. This makes live fairly easy for him. He needs not worry about paying for his misdeeds in an afterlife if he doesn’t believe such a thing is real. He doesn’t have to consider the damage he does to his immortal soul when he commits foul deeds such as murder if he doesn’t believe he has a soul. Not quite as bad as the materialist, we have those who think there may be an afterlife, an immortal soul and spirit, a God, but that while they are trapped in the land of matter, they should concentrate all of their efforts on dealing with the material world and being successful in it. That attitude seems reasonable to many, but it is like a person who has fallen off a boat and is struggling to stay afloat: he thinks he must constantly swim to keep from sinking, but exhausts himself by never resting which results in his drowning sooner.
While the story of Noah’s Ark may have been based on actual events, it has a more important allegorical meeting which is: don’t wait until the rain comes and you are up to your neck in water before trying to build a boat, build the boat in advance. What that means is that you can’t wait until you are physically dead to awaken and develop our spirit and soul, they simply won’t work any better than trying to build that ark when your already up to your neck in water.
The other side can be just as foolish. There have been people in the past, and, believe it or not, there are still a few in this age of extreme materialism, who will have nothing to do with the world of matter and concentrate only on the spiritual. Some of them say matter is illusion and can therefore be ignored. Others call it a dream world. But while it is illusory, and very dream-like, it has a very real core to it. Like a kid dressed as a robot for Halloween, the robot may be an illusion, but the kid within is real. One reason why this is not acceptable is that in order to really develop spiritually, we are obligated to help others do the same. Also, we are obligated to help achieve God’s Plan of turning the Earth and all of the universe of matter back into spirit. Just as a person with a drinking problem has to acknowledge he has such a problem before he can do anything to correct it, the spiritual student has to recognize that there really is a material level also if he is to help in the process of converting that fallen level back to it’s former glory.
So as the Initiates warn, keep your mind ever on the Star (the spiritual worlds), but don’t forget to also look down at your feet (material worlds) so you don’t trip or stumble into a swamp. In other words, don’t give up functioning in the material world, but don’t give up on spiritual growth either. To be truly successful, we must straddle both words and walk the razors edge, at least for now.