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Prosperity Backwards

Posted November 29, 2012

I've become convinced we are going about this prosperity thing backwards.

For years we've been saying we can create our experience (we can) with our thoughts and feelings (we do). So we have visioned and visualized, believed to receive, focused on what we wanted and tried very hard not to notice whether anything was missing.

We've got the principle right but the practice - not wrong - just backwards.

My first introduction to this spiritual path was through Unity's prosperity teachings. I was a teenager when my mother brought home a set of prosperity tapes to hear, and we started making treasure maps. Actually they were fat scrapbooks, filled with pictures cut from magazines - jewelry, houses, exotic travel, and hers included a hot tub. We also found pictures to represent happy relationships and skinny bodies.

After she died, I found her 30-year-old scrapbook. She had written "Thank you, God!" under every item that came to fruition, which was nearly all of them. Including the hot tub, a gift from a second husband she probably had not envisioned all those years ago. (She asked for happy relationships. Sometimes that requires a change in personnel.)

My early prosperity experience was a fun introduction to spiritual law. I learned quickly that the principles could be applied to anything, not just money and shiny toys but to love, health and peace of mind. For decades, I focused on what I wanted to attract.

A few years ago, I started saying it would be easier just to know that all is well instead of spending my energy visualizing and affirming. If I could live in divine consciousness as Jesus did, everything else would fall into place.

We truly do have amazing powers of creation - or call it attraction, if you prefer - but they come from the Higher Self, the divine within, and only incidentally from the human brain that makes lists of what we want or tries to imagine a better future. We attract at a soul level to fulfill our deepest desires, and we are often unaware how things are working out.

I had gotten that far. But this fall, two new books blew open my mind and so greatly expanded my understanding that I'm going to have to rethink everything I have said or taught and probably design a new prosperity class. I don't know whether to be inspired or embarrassed!

Neither book is about prosperity per se. Each is about life.

The first is The Lotus and the Lily by Janet Conner, who had the same revelation: We've been using the law backwards. She noticed that Jesus and the Buddha did not say to focus on what you want. Jesus said seek first the kingdom of God and everything else will fall into place. The Buddha said when conditions are sufficient, there is manifestation.

Kingdom. Conditions. They were both talking about living in divine consciousness, not writing down a vision and affirming abundance. There's nothing wrong with those practices. In fact, they help create the consciousness we need for manifestation, to make the fields fertile, to allow and open our minds to receive.

What's been missing (for me) is to realize the GOAL is divine consciousness, not using the tools to get what I want. What I want will show up, almost magically and ever more quickly, if I am living in constant awareness of the Source. (Janet re-enacted the story of this discovery in her delightful Sunday talk recently in Austin.)

The other book is Finding Your Way in a Wild New World by Martha Beck, who made the same discovery communing with wild animals in Africa. To be an animal "whisperer," you have to be in an energetic state of wordless oneness, at peace and in touch with the connectivity of all things. That's also the perfect consciousness for creating or attracting.

Martha Beck lists four steps to creating the conditions ripe for manifestation. Janet Conner has a 30-day process for listening to your Inner Voice and clearing out baggage. In both, asking for what you want comes at the very end. It's almost an afterthought, an exercise in imagining a future that, they both swear, will take form almost instantly.

The old-timers in Unity used to chirp, "Life is consciousness." They were right. That's where our spiritual work lies: in seeking oneness, in knowing ourselves - our Selves - as part of an abundant universe where, like the lilies of the field, we are clothed in glory.


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