“Wherever I look I see the Divine Light residing as the Union of Shiva and Shakti.”
– Guru Nanak Dev ji (Guru Granth Sahib, 21)
In this painting of Shiv-Shakti, the Spiritual Dimension is represented by Shiv ji, and the world, the Material Dimension is represented by Shakti ji.
Shiva and Shakti are the Spiritual and Material Forces of the Universe. In this painting, the Spiritual Force, Shiv ji, is represented by the open and spacious Cosmos and the Material Force, Shakti ji, is represented by the concrete and natural Earth.
These Forces have been personified and shown embracing each other because they are complementary forces. They work in unison, side by side.
Guru Nanak Dev ji ki bani –
ਜਹ ਦੇਖਾ ਤਹ ਰਵਿ ਰਹੇ ਸਿਵ ਸਕਤੀ ਕਾ ਮੇਲੁ ॥
Wherever I look I see the Divine Light residing as the Union of Shiva – Spirit – and Shakti – Matter.
(Guru Granth Sahib, 21)
The Saints viewed the world as created by the Union of Vishnu ji/Shiv ji (father spirit, paternal, patterns) and Lakshmi ji/Shakti ji (mother matter, maternal, materials).
When a Pattern is imposed on a Material, then it gives birth to beautiful shapes and forms. You take a stamp (pattern), add some ink (matter) and press it on some paper and you get beautiful shapes.
Similarly, when Spirit penetrates Matter, it gives birth to life, to Us, because we are composed of matter and spirit.
Our Body is made of Matter and our Mind is all Spirit.
Our Body consumes Material as Food and relies on Matter to survive. Our Mind consumes Spiritual as Food and relies on Spirit to survive.
(It is even more intertwined as our Body is organized according to certain Patterns of information and our Mind is projected from (brain) Matter, which in itself is ordered according to certain Patterns, which have evolved over millions of years.)
So we are children of the Great Father Spirit and Great Mother Matter.
You may call them Spirit/Pattern and Matter, you may call them Vishnu ji and Lakshmi ji, you may call them Shiv ji and Shakti ji, or you may call them Mahakal ji and Kalika ji.
ਸਰਬ ਕਾਲ ਹੈ ਪਿਤਾ ਅਪਾਰਾ ॥ ਦੇਬਿ ਕਾਲਿਕਾ ਮਾਤ ਹਮਾਰਾ ॥
Mahakal ji is my Limitless Father, Devi Kalika ji is my Mother.
– Dasam Granth
Regardless of what names you give the spiritual and material dimensions of life, these are not phenomenon that you can just read about and know. They must be tasted within the body.