Finding True Abundance... From Within
I recently produced a blog post called “Living in Abundance”. When I wrote that piece, I thought it was the culmination and conclusion to the “Choosing Joy” blog series. But today, it seems, I have more to share on the subject of abundance. I have a feeling that this marks the beginning of a new series of blog posts.
The core notion that I wish to share with you today is that abundance does not come from money. Abundance is actually a feeling that you can feel. And if you do not feel abundance you will actually feel the lack of it. But before we proceed, I'd like to emphasize this awareness: abundance is a feeling.
Why is this important?
Because I do believe we all seek for this feeling. When we feel the lack of it, it becomes quite a powerful driver in our lives. And, alas, the consumerist society we live in provides us, via the media that it owns, with a constant stream of disinformation and propaganda that the fulfilment of our desire for this feeling will be found in stuff.
This is not a controversial position. We all know this. It is totally obvious to all of us that every single bit of programming we consume in all the media is, in one way or another geared to the idea of selling us on the “stuff = happiness” lie. Advertising tells us how happy we will be when we own whatever possession it is that they are flogging off onto us. We are even told that shampoo will “change the way we feel”! Everything is offered to us with a ridiculously unfulfillable promise of how it will change the fundamentals of our life. If you drink this beer those hot 'n sexy girls that won't now talk to you will come and hang around you vapidly awaiting your attention. If you use that washing powder your husband will love you more when he puts his shirt on. If you smoke these cigarettes, you will suddenly become a member of the super wealthy jet-set cavorting on the playgrounds of the rich and famous. And so on and so on.
So advertisers are superb propagandists and they are convincing us that stuff will make us happy and give us that fulfilled feeling of abundance. And they are lying because it won't and it doesn't.
But it's not just advertisers!
Every part of the media is singing from the same song-book. Even movies and sit-coms perpetuate this idea that those that have the most toys are winning at the game of life.
And it's not just the media. Because we, as a society, have bought into these same consumerist ideas, we have begun to repeat them and reinforce them to each other. We teach our children that they must achieve at school so that they get good grades so that they can get into a good college so that they can get a good job so that they can climb that corporate ladder so that they can earn lots of money so that they can be happy.
Every parent says all they want for their kids is that they should be happy. And then we go about pressuring them to do the very things that will make them unhappy. And when they come home saying they want to be an artist or a musician because that “makes them happy” the parents have a fit and tell them it will never make them any money!
Now I am not “against money”. Not in the least bit. I deeply appreciate that there is a system that provides a carrier of worth that allows me to offer the services and products that I have and gain the means for life in exchange. If there were no form of currency I could only be a farmer who, at best, barters his excess for neighbours crops.
But while I am not against money, what I am “against” is the confusion that we mostly have about money. It is a carrier of energy. Not love, not joy, not abundance. Just energy. You can give stuff including your time and effort and get money in exchange. And then you can give the money you received and get stuff including someone else's time and effort in return. That is money's prime purpose.
Money has a secondary purpose: To enrich those that create and supply it. Every time money changes hands you lose a percentage of it to various taxes that go to support the system you live in. And every year when the banking system loans money to your nation they charge an interest rate upon it. This drives inflation. Which is a kind of a hidden tax that the nation pays to use money. So, really, money is a wonderful way to exchange energy but let's not kid ourselves: it is expensive. You always lose when you exchange it. Because at the top of the pyramid is that all-seeing eye that is taking a percentage of everything that happens with that money. And when you add all the percentages together you end up actually retaining just cents on the dollar for your own use.
So that's what money is: a carrier for energy that also enriches the economic and political system that it resides within and especially the individuals and families that, eventually, the banks all belong to. And if that is what money is, clearly it cannot also be joy. And it is not love either. And that feeling of abundance that we all seek will not be found in having more money. And neither will it be found in the stuff that money can buy.
And the media programming lies. The most financially affluent people are not the happiest. Quite the contrary. Those at the top of the money pile are some of the most miserable. And I can prove this to you. You know that attachment leads to suffering, don't you? This is an ancient truth: when we attach our sense of self and identity to things outside of ourselves we get psycho-spiritually hurt. We get emotionally ill. We suffer. And just as surely as this is a fact, so too is it a fact that they wealthiest individuals are all the most attached. You have to be attached in this way to become wealthy in the first place. Imagine trying to rise to the top of a corporate ladder while also finding serenity and peace within yourself. It can't be done! Imagine running a huge multinational corporation while also knowing that all is one and “what you do to the other you do to yourself also”. It can't be done! The very notions of competition, of beating the opposition out, of gaining from the loss of the other, are all built upon the concept of maximum individual attachment and are directly antithetical to spiritual ideals of seeking peace and joy within the self. Of self-fulfilment. Of all that will truly bring you joy, love and, yes, abundance.
But that does not mean you must be dirt poor to be spiritual!
There is, as the Buddha advised, a middle way. A way in which we can each do as our heart bids us to do. A way in which we all seek after our own most authentic self. A way in which we all seek to give the gift that lies within. A way in which we all give that gift with great joy in our hearts. A way in which we all allow life to bless us abundantly in return. A way in which we receive those blessing with great gratitude in our hearts.
And this is the way I am advocating. This is the basis of the Abundant Life Triangle that I offered you in my last blog post. For your convenience, I share it again here:
Really, as I find myself living more and more inside the triangle I find myself to be living in that feeling of abundance. And since we create our reality from within, since what we observe outside of ourselves is really just a reflection of what is within ourselves, since what we put out is what we get back... since all of these things are different ways of saying the same thing... and since all of these things are true... Why does it surprise me that the more I find this feeling the more I have everything I want and need. And, most definitely, yes, that does include money.
And so I want to bring this post full circle. You see, friends, our society is materialist because materialism is a belief that “things” are what is real and what is important. Materialism is a religion that worships stuff. And since money is the means by which you get more stuff, money is the most sacred artefact of materialism. But materialism is a failed religion because it never delivers what it promises. There is no salvation in stuff. Not liberation. No joy. No freedom. No safety. Nothing at all. It is empty. Materialism worships the illusion.
So if we abandon materialism and embrace spirituality instead then we begin to find all that we seek from the eternal spirit that we find within. And find it we do! Because in contrast to materialism, spirituality delivers on its promise. In the in-dwelling spirit we do indeed find all that we seek and so, so much more. And when you find the god-light within and shine that light upon the world, then all else follows. Then every type of joy, pleasure and abundance that you would authentically desire becomes both possible and available. And why should that not include having more than enough money to do all that you heart calls you to do?
In conclusion, my Spirit Guide once said to me: “Whatever you do, don't make it about the money. But you also don't need to make it all about no money either!” Follow your heart, find the divine within and all else will follow.