Bhakti Wisdom Bit: The Difference Between Material and Spiritual Life

DK Dasa
Nov 6, 2020

The following is a super powerful statement I once heard from a senior monk that has stuck with me ever since…

“The difference is that progress in material life depends on manipulating our external circumstances; whereas, progress in spiritual life depends on modulating and facilitating our internal state of consciousness.”
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In other words, it is not what happens to us that affects us. Rather, it is how we perceive what happens to us that affects us. In psychology, there is a concept of ‘circle of influence’ and ‘circle of concern’. Our circle of influence consists of those things which we actually have some amount of control over, and our circle of concern consists of those things which we stress about. If our circle of concern extends outside of our circle of influence we very easily become frustrated. When we develop the mentality of keeping our circle of concern within our circle of influence, we empower ourselves to facilitate stronger, more grounded, and more fulfilling states of consciousness despite whatever may be happening externally. As the great wisdom text the Bhagavad Gita states, “One must deliver himself with the help of his mind, and not degrade himself. The mind is the friend of the conditioned soul, and his enemy as well.” (6.5)

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DK Dasa

Former Monk | Bhakti Yoga Practitioner | Counseling Grad Student | passionate about sharing universal wisdom for personal, relational & spiritual wellness🙏