Holiness is a luxury few can afford. If we are not devious then we cannot earn our daily bread. Holiness is for those who renounce the world. So say the worldly from every race, region and culture. Evil knows no cultural boundaries. All of us throughout the world are united in corruption. There is no creativity in wrongdoing and the justifications which maintain the status quo. ( That evil is the same everywhere and infinitely boring has been much commented upon in academic circles.) So what are the alternatives?
You do not need to be a world-shaker to be perfect as your God in heaven in perfect. You need to have reasonably good health, have a good financial acumen and need to be sane. If you have these three, you will have the freedom to seek God. Otherwise, you will have difficulty in following the precepts of your religion. So I give the links of five blogs which I follow to strive for ok health, some serious financial counsel and to occasionally see whether I am mentally strong. Do not neglect your health; mental, physical and financial if you truly seek the divine. Leave the heroics to other folks. I do know Catholics who are celibates, Hindus who live in utter poverty and Jains who starve themselves willingly in their search for the truth. But these are the exceptions. We need sexual fulfilment, monetary comforts and good cuisines to function. Denying the senses as temptations is to be neurotic and energy wasting. The ordinary way of day to day living amidst the ups and downs of our lives, wherever we are living is the easiest way to perfection. And the toughest. Our innate urge is to seek new things and wait to do something great and spectacular. The way of the spirit is the opposite. It is to blossom where we have been planted. The way of God is not contrary to the way of man. Evil is against God and not trying to be good is against God. But to be good means to be ethical in our dealings with our fellow men. To serve others requires personal health, freedom from monetary anxieties and a good strong mind which can suffer the blows of fortune.
I have been tautological above since I am afraid that most people who seek God confuse their search with strange otherworldliness bordering on an unhealthy reliance on the supernatural and the occult. There is nothing holy about you if you neglect the education of your kids and spend hours praying or preaching to others about God when you are failing professionally. Hinduism stresses on doing your duties without thinking about anything else at all. Catholicism stresses on bringing the Kingdom of God to earth constructively by works of charity and not by mere theorising in an armchair. Christ does not say that one who thinks of Him is worthy of Him but rather one who clothes the naked, feeds the hungry is worthy of Him. How will you clothe the naked and feed the hungry if you yourself have nothing? Religion is not blogging, praying, theorizing, having visions, seeing God, or having fantastic experiences. It is not yearning for some self-desired utopia or something to be realized after death . It is an existential reworking of our lives. Being truly religious means to concretely bear the Cross of others whom we come across daily. It demands of us to work with God, to bring about a realistic change in our own lives first and then in the lives of others. We must first learn to crucify ourselves if we are to bear the burdens of others. The Bodhisattvas cannot rest till each of us are free from suffering. We are not saints nor the great Buddhas, we do not know what lies after death. We have only this life to serve ourselves and others. The future is not for us to see. This is the way of God as I see it.
http://www.subramoney.com/ This is an Indian blog but the general principles of investing can be appropriated by anyone in the world. His take on investing is the best in the blogosphere. & he is honest. He should be added to your blog reader.
http://frugaldad.com/ This is a US blog and yet in its advice transcends geography. The larger financial concerns are applicable globally.
http://zentofitness.com/ I am an avid fan of this site.
http://evolutionarypsychiatry.blogspot.in/ This blog is written for psychiatrists by a psychiatrist. By training I am a humanities scholar and have zero knowledge about biology. Yet the content of this blog is lucid and with a little googling, a lay person can learn to take care of the mind from a neuro-chemical view. I have added this blog to my Google Reader.
http://www.madinamerica.com/ is excellent from a contrarian view to psychiatry. Patients, doctors and others mental health workers come together to guide us within the complex field of psychology and psychiatry.
I need to add that some of the holiest women and men I know personally are very hard-working, very level headed, successful both professionally and in their families. They have never had any visions, they cannot prophesy, nor are they negligent about their own health, their finances and yet they are concerned about people around them.
Of my friends who are nuns and monks, I know a Ramakrishna Mission monk who has not even a minute to spare in idleness throughout the day. He also keeps a meticulous account of his monastic house’s daily expenditure. A Catholic nun who belongs to the Apostolic Carmel Congregation, never forgets to take a walk daily to keep her cholesterol levels low. She is a person with a huge workload in her Province. Neither of these two has ever seen God or angels. I think if you are seeing God or seeing the future, most probably you need to see a mental care expert.
I for my part follow the advice of the bloggers whose links I have given above.