It is taken for granted that the world is filled with materialism. People trust their senses and deny the Reality within. What is perhaps not so commonly noted is the sheer pervasiveness of materialistic thought in every walk of life.
Politics is materialism: a visible human being and visible laws are meant to guide people in their actions, rather than an invisible God.
Education is materialism: a visible teacher and visible books are meant to be the source of knowledge to the human mind, rather than an invisible God.
Science is materialism: a visible experiment using visible measurements are meant to increase the store of human knowledge, rather than an invisible God.
Religion is materialism: a visible church and visible sacred books are meant to guide people's religious thoughts and actions, rather than an invisible God.
New Age teachings are materialism: visible channels or mediums and their writings provide guidance for decisions in life, rather than an invisible God.
Esotericism as it is practiced today is materialism: visible books by DK or Blavatsky - or whoever - are meant to provide guidance for spiritual living, rather than an invisible God.
In all our actions and thoughts, people place their trust in that which can be sensed - that which is seen, heard, felt, tasted, and smelled. And if it cannot be sensed, it does not exist. Thus to most people, God does not really exist. God, being invisible in this fallen universe, is nonexistent.
But the purpose of the senses is to reveal the Not-Self - the world that is separate and apart from God. The human senses, by their very nature, will never reveal Reality. Everything that we read, think, see, hear, and touch is by its very nature a part of the illusion of the world. The senses reveal to us that there is the appearance of "other" when in Reality there is only Unity, "separateness" when in fact there is only Synthesis, and "division" where there is fact only Harmony.
The senses are, therefore, the Great Liars of our lives. They tell us that this illusory world is real. They tell us nothing but what is not True.
Few people have the courage to place their trust in an invisible God rather than the world that is visible around them. Thus they fail to find God, and remain trapped in the Great Illusion. It is only insofar as we deny our senses, at least a little, that we can find our way out of the maze of materialism. It is only when we put our trust in the "Voice of the Silence" and the "invisible Light" that we can find our way Home.
When we come to the point where nothing in this world can satisfy us, nothing is good enough, nothing is acceptable except contact with the Real, with Life, and with Truth, then we will find that inner sense - the divine Intuition - awakens within our heart. Then inner senses grow, to parallel the outer senses - inner senses that reveal the inner World of Light and Power. We become like little children, and learn to see again, learn to hear, and learn to speak in the divine World, and not in the material world.
And as we stumble over our words and misunderstand the Voice of Spirit - as is inevitable in any learning - the material world will call us mad, and fools, and stupid, for we cannot apparently do even the most simple thing.
We cannot walk. We cannot talk. We cannot speak. We cannot write. We stand amazed and disoriented at the nature of the World that is revealed to the Inner Eye.
We see double; we see the inner world and the outer. The outer world, being cold light and dead materialism, holds no more appeal. But the inner World, while sensed, cannot yet be seen in all its Glory. Thus we stand between two worlds, pulled both ways, and often know not where to turn or how to act. The mind is no sure guide through this labyrinth; only listening to Spirit will provide the golden thread out of this impasse - listening to a voice that cannot be heard. Seeing a vision that cannot be described. Feeling a Love that cannot be conveyed. Knowing a Truth that cannot be written.
The whole materialistic world and all its content is not capable of containing anything of what can then be experienced.
We then find that in our service, we hold out one hand towards the Light and the Truth, and the other towards suffering humanity. We, and the group, together form a bridge by which the inner, invisible God can more readily reach the outer, illusory world. We are that bridge, we are that "antakarana" itself, and we are that living link between the unseen and the seen, the invisible and the visible. Then there is no more "I" that follows the Path - we have become the Path. There is no more self that sees the Light - we have become the Light. And in that Light, no ego, no self, no personality remains; there is only inner divine Wisdom, Truth, Life, Love, Bliss, Being, and God.