An appreciation for the subtle is usually a sign of refinement.
Consider art, or music, or literature, or sculpture, or any such refined pursuit. Human beings can survive without any of the above, if we’re talking purely physical or gross survival. However it’s the refined pursuits that distinguish the hunter-gatherer of bygone millennia from the aesthete of today — the latter has the appreciation for the subtle that the former hadn’t developed fully.
Subtler still are questions of the spirit… What is consciousness? Why are we here?
I remember a moment from last November when Michael Fischman (senior faculty member of the Art of Living, and one of my TTC trainers) was with us in Austin. A few of us had just enjoyed a nice vegetarian dinner at Mother’s Cafe and were waiting to get dessert at Dolce Vita. That’s when Michael shared, that pursuing a spiritual practice or a spiritual path was not for everybody. It takes a very deep appreciation for the subtle, and much culturing of the mind. Specifically, it takes an appreciation of things like the impact of sound (mantra) on our consciousness, and the ability to be aware of what’s going on in our own mind.
This is all the more important when we’re surrounded by consumerism and the pursuit of stuff.