Question: I find it very hard to talk about spiritualism and materialism as distinct. There are many things that you might call material, that I will call spiritual. For example, eating is very often a spiritual experience. You can call it material, but I'll call it spiritual; and I think we may be both right.Sri Chinmoy: Absolutely right. It is a question of how we approach the truth. If we know that we are eating just because inside us there is the soul or some divinity and we have to stay on earth to manifest this divinity and do something divine, that is one thing. But if we eat just out of greed, if we become voracious eaters just to satisfy our greed, then we are acting like an animal. The attitude that we have is of utmost importance. While we are doing something, if we feel that we are doing it so that we can become better, so that we can be of help to society, then it is a spiritual act. But again, if we are doing something just to show our own supremacy, just to show that we can do it and others cannot do it, then it is all wrong. So it depends on how we approach an object or subject or situation. It is the approach that is of paramount importance, not actually what we do.
Sri Chinmoy, The doubt-world, Agni Press, 1977