Swami Vivekananda (1863 - 1902) was an Indian Hindu monk and chief disciple of the 19th-century Indian mystic Ramakrishna. He helped introduce Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the Western world and is credited with raising interfaith awareness, bringing Hinduism to the status of a major world religion during the late 19th century. He once said, “You cannot believe in God until you believe in yourself.” Such a proclamation might initially seem counterintuitive. Some might even think it heretical. Yet it makes perfect sense, especially in the context of Abundance.
Unity’s co-founder Charles Fillmore said that Abundance is “invisible substance, with infinite capacity of expansion when held in mind, affirmed, and praised.” I interpret “infinite capacity of expansion” as All That Is, or, more to the point, God. He refers to Prosperity as our “consciousness of God as the abundant, everywhere present resource, unfailing, ready for all who open themselves to it through faith.” Prosperity is our state of belief and being (i.e. our consciousness) about God as Source. We are One with God, or, to paraphrase Rev Eric Butterworth, the fullness of God is present at the point of each of us. In order to experience the fullness we have to fully experience ourselves. We have to believe in ourselves as the fullness of God. Prosperity consciousness will lead to an experience of Abundance which will in turn reinforce our Prosperity consciousness. It is a self-reinforcing loop that begins with our belief.
And to reiterate: Abundance is not about materiality. Here’s an excerpt from my recently published “Classic & Contemporary” column in Unity Magazine: “For decades, the underlying message in prosperity teachings was one of accumulation. The Secret, the Law of Attraction, and even the Prosperity Gospel of Evangelical Christianity all told us that the accumulation of money and possessions and experiences was how we judged a successful understanding of the teachings. They told us that having a full bank account with lots of zeros and living in a mansion and jet-setting around the world was what God wanted for us. It was also the implied message of tithing: ‘Give money to our church (specifically ten percent or it won’t work) and all your problems will be taken care of.’ It became all about demonstrating. It is.. but not about an outward demonstration of materiality. Prosperity is about demonstrating an inner transformation. It’s about living from an Abundance Consciousness, the only state of mind and being that brings peace and fulfillment.”
I also wrote this: “True Abundance Consciousness is a deep knowing that we are always in the flow; that no matter what problem comes our way, we have faith the solution is close behind...sometimes so close it arrives simultaneously. In fact, we stop seeing life as an interplay of problems and solutions, and embrace it as a steady stream of God moments. We no longer live from a have/have-not paradigm, and instead we realize that our true needs can never be satisfied from an external source. The only source is God.”
Do you believe?