Chapter 4 Excerpt
Excerpt from Chapter 4: The Material Self
The material level is the foundation of the life forces hierarchy. It encompasses a broad range of elements, all of which relate to matter, whether man-made or naturally occurring. For most of us the word “material” probably brings to mind things in our external environment such as money, houses, cars, clothing, jewelry, and other possessions. Like all matter, these things have a force, which may or may not affect us. When the material force predominates, as is often evident in western cultures, this fuels a continual need and desire to acquire more and more. We then derive our sense of value from material possessions and wealth.
While external objects are an important aspect of the material level, they are only one part of the story. We are often so preoccupied with them that we overlook another essential element: our own internal material resources, the most valuable of which come from our lineage. Apart from the heirlooms that have been passed down over generations, many of us are unaware of the inherent resources that we have been given by our ancestors: their cultural and spiritual heritages, achievements, struggles, strengths, weaknesses, joys, and sorrows all shape and color who we are. The fabric of our being is a rich tapestry woven from the threads of the life experiences of those who have gone before. Using the qualities bestowed upon us by our ancestors enables us to arise from our material nature while still maintaining our connection to it.
Our physical bodies are composed of material elements in the form of tissue, bone, muscle, and organs. These are shaped via the blueprint of our DNA, which is supplied by our parents and illustrates the essential nature of that genetic coding. Although the force of our coding is most evident in our physical features and shapes, it also influences our character, traits, and predispositions to illness or good health.
In recent years, scientific research on identical twins has verified that DNA influences our psychological, mental, and emotional aspects. Studies describe identical twins separated since birth that were reunited in adulthood after being raised in very different environments. In addition to their corresponding physical characteristics, researchers discovered many astounding similarities in their psyches, tastes, habits, and emotions. In contrast to previous theories, these studies have demonstrated that the force of our genetic coding plays a more substantial role in our development than the force of our external environment.
Every cell of your body carries your familial predispositions. Your structure may hold you in a posture that is similar to that of your father, or you may have your mother’s sluggish digestive system. You may take on an indolent approach to life, as have those of past generations on one side of your family, and yet the brilliance of your thinking may resemble another family member. You may inherit your mother’s honesty, your father’s tenacity, and perhaps your grandfather’s thriftiness, or lack thereof……