Before I began to practice A Course of Miracles, I accepted without question that one could measure their spiritual wellness by virtue of external conditions.
What does abundance mean? A new age dynamic blend of spiritual health and wellness. Or something like that.
And secretly – even though I actively campaigned against this idea in my life – I believed that material abundance was a sign of God’s favor. At a minimum it testified to one’s ability to partake of the world’s natural rhythms of wealth and power.
Rich and successful people were better than I was at prayer, or the law of attraction. They were more holistic. More this or more that.
Rarely did I ever stop to ask what does abundance actually mean? What’s the point of all that stuff?
It’s a good question, a worthwhile one.
Most definitions of abundance focus on the “large amount” aspect. Abundant wealth means lots of money. Abundant land means plenty of acreage. Abundant health means quarterly marathons, organic veggies and daily yoga.
But are all abundances created equal?
Or, more to the point, was there something beyond this idea of abundance, something that was even more critical to regaining my spiritual equilibrium?
A Course in Miracles introduced me to the concept – and then began helping me bring it into application – that the things of the world, be they relationships or objects or even feelings – were not real.
Moreover, it suggested that my perception of the world was fatally skewed. I had no idea what the world was for. None.
Therefore, the idea that I could usefully define abundance and then make it happen in my life, and use it as a yardstick to assess my relationship with God, got tossed out the window.
The flip side was true as well. I had long cherished an ideal of spiritual poverty. Show me a rich man and I’ll show you a needle’s eyes before which camels could only sob in frustration. That kind of thing. Unfortunately, for all my devotion to it, there was no Truth to it.
Any abundance measured in the world’s terms – be it wealth or health or whatever – isn’t good or bad.
Thus, the focus of my spiritual practice is no longer mastering mental tricks or generating a lot of enthusiasm for certain ideas. I’m not trying to fool or manipulate or control the universe.
I’m trying to let it go.
I do that by making my relationship with God – I mean actual daily sustained contact with God – the focal point of my life.
The rest of it – lack, scarcity, abundance, wealth, health, insight – is static, illusory roadblock to that interior meeting place I am – have always been – joined to the Divine, without need or want of any kind.