The Law Of Abundance
The more you learn what to do with yourself, and the more you do for others, the more you will enjoy the abundant life. —William J. H. Boetcker
Abundance has been defined in a variety of ways, by different people at different times and in different cultures. Today, we typically measure abundance in terms of the money and objects we possess. We think that those who possess the most are the most free and powerful individuals and that they therefore enjoy the most abundant lifestyle. Yet for Plato, Aristotle, and the Roman Stoic philosophers, the most free and powerful individuals were those who could be happy with the fewest things. While our culture values those who earn and hoard the most, among certain tribes in New Guinea, the most valued members of society were those who gave away the most.
In the end, we could say that abundance is the feeling of enough and to spare. Well all right, but how much is enough? Does a man with a “net worth” in the millions, whose mood fluctuates with the stock market, and who feels himself to be lacking relative to his country club companions, experience abundance? What about a “primitive” in the rainforests of the Amazon who, with the simplest of technologies and a leaky temporary hut for a shelter, feels himself blessed by the bounty of the forest? Clearly, having no quantifiable frame of reference, abundance is a state of mind, or more precisely, of being.
In attempting to define abundance, a look at the origin of the word itself as well as those of other terms we associate with wealth and prosperity will help. The word abundance is derived from the Latin abunda-re, meaning “to overflow.” Wealth is derived from the Old English wel or wela, meaning “well” or “well-being.” Well is to wealth, as heal is to health. The word prosperity is derived from the Latin prospera-re, meaning “to render fortunate.” Rich comes from the Old English rice, meaning “strong,” “powerful.” While today we associate all these terms almost exclusively with money and material gain, in their origins all had meanings that address quality of life in broader terms.
To live by the law of abundance is to be fully alive, free of any sense of lack or desperation. The following little story gives the essence of abundance. A man leaves the remote peasant village of his birth and travels the wide world. After many years, he returns home. His friends, relatives, and neighbors gather round him and ask, “How is life in the world?” He replies, “Same as here. It is good for those who know how to live.”
The law of abundance is not the art of making money, but the art of knowing how to live. This knowing how to live is the essence of what I call the “Tao of Abundance.” The Tao of Abundance is a not a “get rich quick” or “think your way to riches” approach to prosperity. It does not encourage you “think like a millionaire,” “dress for success,” or “climb the corporate ladder.” It speaks to deeper experience of abundance than can be realized by the mere accumulation of goods or by amassing an impressive balance sheet.
Applying the eight principles of the law of Abundance may, in time, bring greater material abundance into your life. Certainly, applying these principles will assist you in opening to receive the creative ideas from which all wealth ultimately springs. Yet this increased material abundance will come not from struggling to attain it as a goal in itself, but rather as a natural by-product of experiencing a deeper state of psychological abundance. The new feeling of abundance that you enjoy within will come to be reflected in all aspects of your outer life, including your finances. Yet even if you make not one dime more, or even a few less, but come to earn your money in a way that truly reflects your nature and expresses who you are, your experience of abundance will be enhanced. Indeed, some may find that a truer experience of abundance requires that they relinquish their attachment to social status or excessive material consumption.
Real abundance is about so much more than money. A “healthy bottom line” does not equate with a healthy and abundant state of mind. Evidence of the psychological and spiritual poverty of the rich and famous fills our newspapers, magazines, tabloids, and television programs and hardly needs repeating here. Suffice to say that many who own great stockpiles of material possessions, and who are, to all outer appearances, extremely wealthy individuals, do not enjoy real abundance. They are never content with what they have and live in fear of losing it. Clearly, real abundance must be something more than having a lot of money and things. But then how do we approach it?
The fundamental premise of the law of Abundance is that the universe is you and is for you. If you put yourself in accord with the way of the universe, it will take care of you abundantly. To experience this abundance, there is nothing you need do first. It is not necessary for you to earn one more dollar, get a better job, buy a new home or car, or go back to school. All that is required is that you become aware of the inner process through which you create an experience of lack and struggle in your life, and refrain from doing it. Feelings of abundance and gratitude are natural to the human being; they do not need to be added or put on. We have only to become aware of how we are resisting and inhibiting this natural state.
The law of Abundance asks you to accept responsibility for creating your own experience of abundance or lack. Of course, no individual operates in a vacuum. It would be absurd to deny the impact that the values and organization of the broader society have on us as individuals. In an effort to secure the ever-expanding productivity and consumption upon which its “health” depends, modern commercial culture vigorously promotes a “lack consciousness.” We buy things we don’t need (or even want), because we have become convinced that we will be somehow lacking or inferior without them. We do work we don’t want to do, because we have become convinced that there is a scarcity of good jobs and that we can’t create our own work. Thus, even while we amass more and more stuff, the feeling of abundance keeps eluding us. In addition to the role that the values of the broader society have in promoting a psychology of lack within the individual, the current organization of society poses institutional barriers to his or her creative development and financial independence.
(Continued In Law Of Abundance Pt 2…)
Authors Details: Laurence G. Boldt, author of Tao of Abundance Web Site