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..:: Abundance ::..

By

Alan Schneider

                                                                                                                      

              As this is being written, America, and the world, is passing through a period of economic realignment, a difficult process that is a source of constriction and curtailment for many of us. Such periods naturally tend to focus our attention on the themes of prosperity and abundance.  This SYNERGY essay will examine the levels of meaning of abundance – material, mental, and spiritual – and will suggest some of the conclusions that may be drawn about this often elusive condition.

            Many of us primarily identify abundance in terms of its material manifestation – having significantly more than the median compliment of financial resources, property, insurances, income, and possessions.  To this is frequently added optimal physical health and relational satisfaction – we are satisfied with our physical aspect and our interactions with the others in our social sphere.  As this matter passes into the relational realm, it becomes more interpretive – for example, we may have less clearly defined standards for what we deem acceptable in relationships than what we deem acceptable for personal physical health. Our standards may be severe or relaxed in a variety of specific situations and cases, as determined by our beliefs and expectations about what is appropriate in knowing and interacting with others. 

            In point of fact, as we pass into the area of relational interaction, we have begun to enter the mental sphere of influence – the mental understanding of abundance. Here, the evidence of this condition is less obvious, and does not depend so much upon what, for example, we drive, as about how we feel about what we drive, or where we live, or how much we are compensated (or not) for our labor on the job, or in our relationships. This is a very important consideration – one person can feel blessed with what another calls a curse! Indeed, our attitudes have a marked effect on the perception of abundance in all three of the aforementioned areas – material, mental, and spiritual. One of the thrusts of this essay will be to suggest the adoption of a more balanced understanding of what abundance implies when viewed from the most universal perspective – one that takes all three “worlds” of the abundance process into consideration to produce a genuinely holistic consensus about integrated well being. 

            And attitudes also impact out perception of the relative importance of one kind of abundance compared to another among the three, and even of the importance of any abundance at all. There are wise ones and pundits around the world who have forsaken material prosperity for lives of harsh austerity and renunciation in the belief that such lives and lifestyles produce great spiritual abundance and delight, and, indeed, there does seem to be a diametrically opposed consideration at work here – that which produces enhanced material manifestation frequently does so at the expense of spiritual growth and development. At the admitted extreme of consciousness, the absolute Buddhist renunciant embraces the total condition of non-existence as the only valid one, labeling all others as illusory, and seeking to make personal existence a testimony to not-being-in-being.  Ultimately, one only has limited time to spend on attainment of any kind in this life, and we must prioritize what we feel to be important regarding this complex issue that strikes to the heart of the question of what is the good life, the life that is worth living, worth the price of the suffering so often experienced in our physical existences. Again, for the Buddhist, all life is suffering – a condition that is best modified through the abnegation of desire and desire-action in favor of meditation and inner peace. Although this may be the final destination of consciousness after all others are exhausted, for most of us, involved as we frequently are with life’s “illusions”, some interim formula must be employed to manage the equation of time and abundance! 

            And, since our estimates of what is valuable and worthwhile vary so much from person to person, place to place, and across the spectrum of age and mental sophistication, the task of formularizing abundance is by no means a small matter.  I am going to suggest a relatively simple and direct method of estimating our goals and expectations for the attainment of prosperity here, in the full knowledge of the turbulence and fluidity that mark, and frequently obscure, all attainment and all perception on the Physical Plane. Let us proceed.

            My method is best suited to application in the here and now – the powerful moment of experience that is all that is absolutely real and manifest at any given point in the continuum of time, and involves the use of both meditation and introspection to determine what the order of personal priorities for abundance are now, today. Obviously, the better in touch with one’s emotional and spiritual existence one is, the better off they will be in employing this technique, but one of the benefits of its use in even a limited context is that it will help to clarify and expand self-knowledge and self-experience from whatever point serves as the initial attempt.  

            Both meditation and introspection are best practiced under conditions of relative calm and quiet. Thus, one must set aside a portion of calm, quiet time for use to these ends, and I recommend doing so daily. It is not necessary to use the same period of time (e.g. morning, noon, or evening) every day, nor the same length of time on every occasion, but daily is the rule. This has the important affect of fixing the practice period in the routine of living as an important priority unto itself, beyond the specific subjects of the practice. Begin by quieting the mind, allowing the superficial concerns of life in the moment to subside from consciousness. After a variable period of time, depending on one’s stress level, distractions present in the physical, mental, or spiritual environments, and random events, the consciousness will settle out on some theme or series of themes of greater personal significance, ones that frequently pertain to the general issue of abundance. At this point, we must focus on which of the three areas of human involvement are uppermost in consideration.  Are we more interested in material enhancement? Mental well-being or prowess? Spiritual attainment and inner knowledge?

            Perhaps a combination of the three in some proportion? If so, what proportion? If such is the case, be prepared for the proportion to change from day to day as priorities shift on the sea of existence. And be equally prepared for the proportion to remain consistent for extended periods of time as one area or another is focused on by the total Psyche. Frequently, it is the ego that is most concerned with material abundance, but this ego is only a small part of the extended Psyche, which includes the unconscious regions of awareness, both positive and negative, and the formative and preformative creative regions as well. Change is the only constant in life, and in this clarification process. 

            If material abundance seems to be the focus in a given session, there are two additional processes that I am confident in recommending – active conceptualization, and focusing on positive manifestation. In active conceptualization, one focuses with great determination on the attainment of a specific material goal, not just as an ideal form, but as a literal one that is simply pre-manifest, or only partially manifest, now, but is potentially fully manifest in the near term. One needs to conceive of oneself as already experiencing the desired manifestation, no matter how preposterous this may seem to be. Imagination is the parent to creation, and God-parent to manifestation – so give yourself permission to actively imagine the manifest condition sought for as clearly and completely as possible. Do not be discouraged or disappointed if the result is not immediately forthcoming in a day, a week, or a month – just keep up the process on the Mental Plane. Thoughts are themselves vibrational forces that eventually condition events on the Physical Plane. Therefore, be patient and persistent!

            The companion process to active conceptualization is is positive manifestation. If I am continually preoccupied with negative expectations, I will predispose the Mental and Physical Planes to produce negative outcomes. Therefore, one must shift all thinking away from any negativity, and toward positivity as the conceptual priority. If one has had a negative upbringing, this can be a truly monumental feat, but it must be undertaken if one has the goal of material abundance sincerely in focus.  Any time we find ourselves expressing negative consciousness on any level, we must reframe the event or attitude in question in positive terms. For the positivist, the glass is always half full, and on its way to being completely full! With sufficient practice, the habit of positivity will supplant the habit of negativity at all levels of consciousness. This creates an aura of positivity around the individual that encourages positive manifestation to occur. This is the background of Light that supports all enlightenment, whether material, mental, or spiritual. Practice positive thinking and doing at all times. For the positivist, every curse is a blessing in disguise, and evident blessings are even more potentially manifest as greater blessings on greater levels. Positive manifestation can and should be practiced as often as one can, not simply during the conceptual quiet time of meditation and introspection. Through practicing active conceptualization and positive manifestation, the groundwork of material abundance is firmly established. The rest is a matter of time and dedication to the work undertaken.  

            Much like material abundance, mental abundance is linked to the concept of attitude, and specifically what we believe is possible and attainable. If we believe that the world is a fundamentally benevolent place, then we will act in accordance with that belief, and behave with benevolence toward our selves and each other. If we believe that a given feat of mental prowess is attainable, whether educational, conceptual, or even literal, then we will act in accordance with that belief as well, becoming transformed into powerful communicators and motivators. The attitude that nothing is impossible, simply currently unmanifest, will predispose mental events, and physical events thereby, to become attainable through creative leaps of faith. Nothing is as powerful in life as an open mind – open minds open doors through granting the universe permission to manifest creatively. The process of introspection, one of our two core practices, is inherently supportive of the development of the open, flexible, adaptive attitudes that constitute a mentally healthy Psyche, and should be practiced as a regular component of quiet time. Introspection is the process of actively questioning our beliefs, motives, and perceptions of life as a part of the ongoing search for alternatives and improvements in the art of living. Introspection is empowerment through detachment from the limitation of material thought patterns. 

            This brings us to the third component of abundance, and perhaps the most important one – spiritual attainment. Why is this so important? Because everything in life that manifests on any plane anywhere begins as a Divine Idea of Light in the Mind of the Logos. The more spiritual abundance we acquire, the higher  the level our consciousness will vibrate on, and this brings us closer and closer to the Ultimate Level of Love and Light that is the Logos. The focus of spiritual abundance is the Soul, our personal expression of the Divine Light. The Soul is nourished through the practices of humility, compassion, and selfless service to others performed from the perspective of selfless love. So it is that spiritual abundance frequently conflicts with material abundance, since material abundance as a dedicated goal is often motivated by quite unenlightened self interest – in other words, avarice and greed. “What profiteth one to win the whole world and lose one’s Soul thereby?” is very effective spiritual advise to all those who would utilize the material abundance manifestation techniques given here. Be aware that true abundance represents a dynamic balance of the material, mental, and spiritual realms, not just manifestation in any one realm alone. Manifest carefully on the Material Plane, and do not be seduced by greed and gluttony. The ego is an addictive structure in human consciousness that is never satisfied for long – learn to control your desires, else they will control you

            Spiritual abundance is unlimited abundance, not constrained by any material, physical, or mental limitation – a condition of complete freedom and empowerment paradoxically achieved by turning away form the Physical Plane through meditation, the primary tool of spiritual exploration. Meditation, the second of our two quiet practices, is one of the most effective ways to release the Psyche from the grip of the ego, thus empowering the spiritual archetypes and imagination to express the creative impulse. In turn, this creative empowerment can then cascade through the Higher Planes of Ideation down onto the Physical Plane, manifesting new trends, thoughts, and even products. Remember that all ideas begin as Divine Ideas, and ideas are the seeds of manifestation. Meditation is the spiritual root of abundance, just as introspection is the mental root. I have had so much to say about this process in these essays that any more commentary here would probably be hopelessly redundant! Suffice it to say that one need only acquire any one of a great number of books on the subject, written by a great number of qualified authors, to begin using one or more of the many techniques available. One need only use the quiet essence of the quiet time interval to pass from introspection into defocused meditation trance by allowing the naturally relaxed condition present to deepen to the fullest extent. From there on, it is a matter of practice in letting go of the senses to experience the Higher Planes of Light.  

            The combined practices of meditation and introspection will, when utilized regularly, clarify the proportional balance and types of abundance most appropriate for the individual at a given time, and in a given set of circumstances. As we age, our perception of what is desirable, and what constitutes abundance, tends to shift away from the hypnotic material trance of youth, seduced as it so frequently is by superficial beauty and affluence, toward more abstract spiritual goals.  But youth, and the priorities of youth, are inevitable constituents of life’s rich pageant, and it is the task of seasoned age and wisdom to guide the young in the way of caution noted in the preceding passages.  The lessons of age are frequently learned through harsh experience, and who would wish such things upon the young any sooner than they must occur? The wisdom of enlightened self interest councils temperance in the face of self indulgence – the rest must be attained through the passage of time and the experience of Karma on the Physical Plane. Apart from, and beyond, all considerations of abundance of any other kind, the spiritual abundance of the Soul takes final precedence, and that condition is governed by Karma, released through Dharma, and experienced in Ascension.  

                                          - With Love, Alan -

                                  (CR2008, Alan Schneider)

 

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