Living in the Material World

What are we doing here, on this planet? Why is everybody running around so frantically? What is success, real success?

It seems that we are all very busy, but not with the right things. It seems that we all are like that guy that Bob Dylan once sang about, of whom he said, “he is not busy being born, he is busy dying.”

Realize that creation is perfect. Nature is perfect. Our essence is perfect. We are perfect. Explore. Explore and you will discover. Knock and the door will open. Meditate. The peace we so desperately seek is within us. Look for the essence beyond all intellectual concepts. Find the Divine Essence — the vital sap — beyond the barrage of illusions and misleading mental formations.

Let go of dualistic concepts such as Good and Bad, Gain and Loss, Success and Failure, Happiness and Sadness, Coming and Going, Birth and Death, Being and Non-Being. Liberate yourself from all desires. Free yourself from this intellectual trap, and understand that there is no beginning, and there is no end. Nothing is permanent. Transformation is all that there is. Realize that all is impermanent, and stop craving what is pleasant and averting what is unpleasant. Welcome all guests, as Rumi said. Treat all with equanimity.

George Harrison living in the material world

“Living In the Material World”

I’m living in the material world
Living in the material world

can’t say what I’m doing here
But I hope to see much clearer,
after living in the material world

I got born into the material world
Getting worn out in the material world
Use my body like a car,
Taking me both near and far
Met my friends all in the material world

Met them all there in the material world
John and Paul here in the material world
Though we started out quite poor
We got ‘Richie’ on a tour
Got caught up in the material world

From the Spiritual Sky,
Such sweet memories have I
To the Spiritual Sky
How I pray
Yes I pray
that I won’t get lost
or go astray

As I’m fated for the material world
Get frustrated in the material world
Senses never gratified
Only swelling like a tide
That could drown me in the
material world

From the Spiritual Sky,
Such sweet memories have I
To the Spiritual Sky
How I pray
Yes I pray
that I won’t get lost
or go astray

While I’m living in the material world
Not much ‘giving’ in the material world
Got a lot of work to do
Try to get a message through
And get back out of this material world

I’m living in the material world
Living in the material world
I hope to get out of this place
by the Lord Sri Krsna’s grace
My salvation from the material world

George Harrison, lyrics of his song Living in the Material World

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The title track to George Harrison’s second post-Beatles long-player, 1973’s Living in the Material World, is one of the more profound observations to be made about the somewhat schizophrenic struggle between universal existence and monetary-driven survival. Harrison’s metaphysical approach is immediately evident as he sings “Can’t say what I’m doing here/But I hope to see much clearer/After living in the material world.” He continues a decidedly Eastern-informed philosophy, stating “Use my body like a car/Taking me both near and far,” and later “I hope to get out of this place/By the Lord Sri Krsna’s grace/My salvation from the material world.” There are several references to the Beatles, both lyrically and musically. The lines “Met them all here in the material world/John and Paul here in the material world/Though we started out quite poor/We got ‘Richie’ on a tour/Got caught up in the material world” are fairly self-explanatory, with drummer Ringo Starr ably recalling his best work with the Fab Four during a brief solo. Harrison directly contrasts the physical and spiritual, incorporating the instrumentation of tabla player Zakir Hussein and adding his own sitar runs over the invocation “From the Spiritual Sky/Such sweet memories have I/To the Spiritual Sky/How I pray/Yes I pray/That I won’t get lost/Or go astray.” While certainly delivering a message, “Living in the Material World” is also a testament to the artist’s ability to deliver the goods, with searing albeit brief interaction with saxophonist Jim Horn. Starr’s drumming is superb throughout, providing a solid yet limber backbeat, and pianist Nicky Hopkins likewise shows off his criminally underrated talents. ~ Lindsay Planer

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