Sometimes it seems as though everywhere I look, I run into advice related to manifesting abundance. We are supposed to visualize abundance and expect abundance in order to manifest abundance. People say “abundance,” but most of the time it seems as though what they really mean is money, or if not money, then stuff. Material objects. Travel. Everything we’ve ever dreamed of.
And what’s wrong with that?
Aside from the fact that it makes me want to throw up?
I have three problems with all the abundance talk that’s going on.
1. Is material abundance and making money really the priority we need to have right now? I can see you all nodding your heads and saying, yes, Bonnie, maybe you think you can live on air, but the rest of us would like to be fed and housed regularly. And I’ve heard, as well, all the comments that I know are coming — the universe wants us to have the things we need, it’s okay to ask for and receive on the material plane, etc.
Fine, but it’s still not a spiritual focus, and it troubles me. We should be focusing, and I know this sounds corny as hell, but it’s still true, on love and compassion and mindfulness. Transforming negative energy into positive energy. I think that material abundance CAN result from this transformation, as a sort of secondary byproduct of it, but, it cannot be our prime focus. Why? Because, for one thing, if we profit too much from spiritual pursuits, we become corrupt. It’s not hard to become corrupt. It’s easy. Too easy. See point 2. That’s why monks have traditionally taken vows of poverty. Remember when Jesus said that it was easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven? He wasn’t just talking to hear himself talk. And the rules haven’t changed in the last 2,000 years. Material wealth is NOT all good; if we become too attached to it and too focused on it, it can be an obstacle, not a small obstacle but a MAJOR obstacle, to our spiritual development.
More importantly, we cannot stop focusing on making offerings of love and devotion to sentient beings. To take our focus away from this goal in order to instead concentrate on our own needs for abundance, that’s what makes me want to throw up.
2. There’s a serious conflict of interest problem. The “abundance talk” always seems to come from people who are trying to make money. It’s always a matter of spending money to make money, of taking money away from people who are turning to spiritual healers because they desperately need hope and because they are desperately trying to find a way to get by. I recently saw an advertisement for a workshop on abundance that included a disclaimer that I really appreciated (wish I could remember now whose workshop this was so that I could credit that person, but I don’t recall — if you know where I might have seen this, please post a link in the comments section). The disclaimer said something like, don’t take this workshop right now if you are in the middle of a financial crisis — resolve your crisis first. And it was clear that the teacher in question was worried about this very issue. Usually, though, the abundance products are marketed with nothing but promises and hope. And I don’t think it’s right when we are in the middle of a recession. The abundance that’s out there — and the abundance that people might get in touch with by taking a workshop — may not be financial or material. See point 3.
3. The universe’s idea of abundance is not the same as ours. Okay? Yes, the universe will take care of you, but that doesn’t necessarily mean housing you or putting your favorite meal into your belly on a regular basis. The universe looks at these things more in the way that we would be looking at them if our focus was better placed, or if we were materially wiser than we are. Abundance, to the universe, could mean that you have plenty of love in your life. It could mean that you have been provided with a gorgeous rising moon to view. It could mean that you are so lucky that you live somewhere where there are mountains!! You simply cannot assume that when the universe promises abundance that it means money. The universe knows what I wish we all knew — that there’s a lot better stuff than money out there. There’s love. There’s beauty. There’s peace. THIS kind of abundance is what the universe wants for us.
Be careful when you start assuming that you know the mind of God, or of the gods, or of the universe, or whatever it is that you believe in, when it comes to abundance. Chances are that you don’t. And if I were you, I’d at least take the time to ask. When in doubt, add prayer! However, tarot can be a useful tool for asking these questions as well. In part 2 of this post, I will share a tarot spread (one you can do for yourself if you have a deck handy) that I think works well for asking questions about abundance — but only if you can free yourself from obsessing over monetary/material abundance.