There are two aspects of human life: one that relates to the physical body materialism; and the other that relates to the inner self (the soul) spirituality. Materialism
means an inclination towards acquiring material possessions and comforts; in short, it is a tendency to lead a life in which pleasures of the body are given preference above anything else. Spirituality
means, centred and established on the soul, that is, activities in life are decided keeping in mind the awakening of the soul.
Normally a persons needs are fulfilled with limited materials such as food to satisfy hunger, few clothes to cover the body, a bed for rest, a house for shelter, etc.; anything over and above the basic needs either remains unused or is misused. For example, if a person who can eat four chapattis for lunch were given eight chapattis, it would be beyond his capacity to eat the extra four chapattis. A single bed is enough for a person to sleep on; any more bed space would remain unused. Considering this, a few hours work is sufficient to satisfy bodys requirements. The same is true for senses also. There are five physical senses: touch, smell, taste, hearing and vision. No matter how beautiful a view may be, the eyes will tire of seeing it after a few minutes. The ears will not be able to listen to melodious music indefinitely. A person will be able to eat only a certain quantity of food of his liking. Thus the senses have limited requirements, beyond which they become saturated. But senses are never satisfied they always crave for more.
The mind is considered to be the sixth sense. Its attributes are greed, attachment (moha) towards worldly objects and people, and egoism. The mind experiences joy when these three attributes are attended to. Man generally engages his time and effort in satisfying the requirements of the body and the mind. The mind propels him to fulfill the three attributes and also employs the body in its schemes. This is not surprising, since satisfaction of the senses is a bodily requirement, and the mind is one of the senses.
The mind is different from the rest of the senses in that it is always unsatisfied and ambitious. New hopes and ambitions arise once the old ones are fulfilled. Suppose a person desires to buy a house. He would remain preoccupied with that thought because there is an attraction in it. Once a house is bought, the attraction fades. If a person does not have children, he would yearn for them; once he has children, they appear burdensome. A similar principle applies to other things, such as household items, clothes, etc and to attachment towards people. Therefore greed and attachment are attractive only until they are fulfilled.
Egoism also follows a similar principle. A secretary in a company feels his job status is low and aims for a higher status so that he can elevate his standing in the society. It is possible that several persons within the company may be trying for the same position. Therefore he becomes an enemy for them, since now he is an extra competitor in the race. In case he does succeed in fulfilling his egoistic desire in progressing towards his dream position, mental peace would elude him because there would be several people scheming to dislodge him. His ego thus becomes his own dangerous adversary.
The worth and importance of a well-mannered, disciplined person is obviously more than that of an egoistic person. No circumstances or individuals can challenge a gentleman, whereas examples of egoistic people suffering ruin can be seen all around us. A gentleman is respected while an egoistic person is ignored....