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What is Prosperity Consciousness? Part I
by Ralph Huber
I’d like to share with you some passages about prosperity consciousness from Eric Butterworth’s book Spiritual Economics as well as related passages on prosperity consciousness from Charles and Myrtle Fillmore and other teachers of prosperity.
First, let me say that I’ve never been as clear as I’d have liked to be about what exactly is prosperity consciousness. I knew that when Charles and Myrtle Fillmore were experiencing lack of funds their first move was to look to their consciousness. Eric Butterworth writes that the Fillmores believed that…when we establish ourselves in the consciousness of God, the whole Universe moves to flow into us with its abundance of life and substance [and] that there is no such thing as a purely financial problem unrelated to false attitudes and emotions that caused it or a healthy attitude or emotion that can cure it. (pp. xii-xiii, emphasis added)
In other words, prosperity is an inside job. Truly, as Louise Hay asserts, “Your prosperity consciousness is not dependent on money; your flow of money is dependent upon your prosperity consciousness. (p.118, You Can Heal Your Life, emphasis added)
In explaining the nature of prosperity consciousness, Butterworth writes:
Take a close look at the challenges you are facing: a possible layoff, an important career decision, the inability to make ends meet on your current income. If you identify these as your ‘‘problems,” there is a tendency to see them as static and burdensome and with a feeling of resentment and self-pity [along with feeling of worry and anxiety]….However, see the challenges as “projects,” and you tune in on a whole different flow of consciousness. You are faced with some opportunities to grow, but you feel secure in the awareness that, in the main, the answers will unfold from within. There is a sense of lightness, of clear horizons, and of confident expectancy. It is the same so-called “trouble,” but your attitude is different. And according to your thoughts, your faith, and your feeling, it will be done unto you. It is a mystic [Oneness with God] teaching that is ages old but amazingly relevant. (pp. 125-126, emphasis added)
So in prosperity consciousness—a oneness with God consciousness--there is no room for worried or anxious thoughts, rather there is a fully present confidence that the answers will come from within ourselves—from who we truly are…our GodSelf. Charles Fillmore speaks directly to this point by writing that Jesus advised his followers not to be anxious. And that we are to “refuse to let thoughts of worry, anxiety, or other distraction act in [our] minds.”(p. 81, Jesus Christ Heals). Instead we are to “establish an inner quietness that finally merges into a great peace. This is the ‘peace of God, which passeth understanding’ When this peace is attained, the individual gets inspirations and revelations direct from Infinite Mind.” (p. 82, Jesus Christ Heals, emphasis added)
In like manner, Myrtle Fillmore says that…
[W]e are to cease worrying and being anxious, thinking and speaking of the past and of apparent lack….We are to concentrate all our attention upon the Truth of God [as Source], and the truth of our own being [as children of God],upon the very things we would see taking place in our life. We cannot do this so long as we have negative thoughts in our heart. (p. 232, The Story of Unity, emphasis added)
Butterworth advises us to be mindful of the thoughts we hold when “trouble” appears to strike: If you brood over the letdown, the disappointment in a job, or some complete collapse of a financial involvement, you simply magnify it out of all proportion. It is like taking a pebble off the beach and holding it close to your eyes. It may be a small stone, but held close enough it can completely screen your view. Hold it at a proper viewing distance and it can be examined and properly dealt with. (p. 126, emphasis added)
And so we may find it helpful to ask ourselves, What do I focus on when I experience a lack in my life? What feelings do I have? Am I continually nursing anxious and worried thoughts, not having any real measure of faith that I have the answers within me if only I keep my attention on God rather than on the pebble of “trouble” that I hold in my hand?
By asking these questions, we open ourselves up to the realization that we have a choice about how we respond. As Butterworth observes…
You are always responsible for the way you accept things that happen to you. The incident is external; the reaction is always your own….All that really counts is what is happening within you. How are you reacting to the experience? Where is your faith? Within you is a limitless, unborn potential of creativity and substance, and the present experience can be your great opportunity to give birth to it. Thus, if you will, the tragedy can become a blessing, the disadvantage can become an advantage, the failure can become an opportunity, and the disappointment can become “God’s” appointment….Shakespeare had this in mind when he said in As You Like It: “Sweet are the uses of adversity.” (p. 127-129, emphases added)
What is Prosperity Consciousness? Part II
We could rightly say that how we think and feel about our “troubles” is critical to our keeping ourselves in a prosperity consciousness. Esther and Jerry Hicks, authors of The Astonishing Power of Emotion, offer this perspective on prosperity consciousness:
The key to consistently getting the good results that you desire is to manage to feel good even when dollars are in short supply. When you learn to manage the way you feel, you will discover the powerful leverage of Energy Alignment, and you will see the Law of Attraction deliver veritable fortunes to your door….However, we are not guiding you to improved thoughts and feelings in order to affect your financial situation. Rather, we are guiding you to improved thoughts and feelings for the sake of the improved vibrational offering. If you will let the improvement in the way you feel be your objective, the greater amounts of money must begin to flow to you as you accomplish a consistent improvement in the way you feel. (p. 225, emphases added)
The Fillmores continuously aspired to live in the state of improved vibrational thoughts and feelings that Esther and Jerry Hicks speak of. For the Fillmores the thoughts that they held in mind were focused on God as/is the Source of all good. And the feelings that flowed from those thoughts were feelings of faith. Indeed, as James Dillet Freeman writes in The Story of Unity…
The Fillmores taught that prosperity is governed by the same laws that govern physical health. They thought that if they could maintain themselves in a prosperity consciousness, an awareness of God as the Source of their supply, prosperity could not fail to be theirs. If the money did not come in, it was not because God had failed, it was only because they had not maintained a high enough consciousness of their supply in Him, and they redoubled their efforts in prayer. They felt that their supply depended on their maintaining the right consciousness….Many times the Fillmores must have wondered about the direction from which funds would come to carry on the work, but they never wondered [lost faith] about the Source—God. Always they prayed. Always prayer worked. Always, however impossible it might appear to be, the funds materialized. (pp. 118-119, emphases added)
Joel Goldsmith in his book Invisible Supply, echoes what the Fillmore’s taught:
When we have God, we have supply. Our task is to acknowledge God and realize Him as the Activity, the Source, and the Law of supply. We must acknowledge God as our sufficiency….If you hold in your consciousness that God is the only Source of your supply, you will always have your supply….You may say, “But I do recognize God as the Source!” How often and how consistently do you? It must be more than an occasional thought. It must be a continuous activity until your consciousness is so imbued with the realization of God as Source that it becomes automatic and you no longer need to consciously think of it. Then the flow begins. (pp. 65-66, emphases added)
So it’s living with every breath the Truth that God [within us] is our Source, and our consciousness of God is our supply is what makes the difference. A steadfast faith in this Truth [“The Father and I are one.”] is the catalyst for the flow of supply into our lives. Simply remembering this Truth every now and then isn’t enough. The Truth of our real supply must become an ever-present thought.
With this in mind, consider these inspiring words from Butterworth on prosperity consciousness:
By the “all things work together for good” principle, any experience of life [e.g. lack of funds] can become the best thing that ever happened to you. Haven’t you heard someone say, “I was certainly upset about that challenge, but now as I see it in retrospect, it was the best possible thing that could have happened”? It is occasionally said of alcoholism, drug addiction, bankruptcy, or unemployment. But why wait? Why not accept the possibility right when the crisis occurs?
Why not pick out the most difficult thing facing you right now and say: I know that this is the best thing that could happen to me, for I know that in the happening there is revealed a new lesson to learn and some new growth experience. I know that within me is an unborn possibility of limitless potentialities, and this is my opportunity to begin to give birth to new ideas, new strength, and new vision. I accept the reality of the difficulty but not its permanence. I am not at the end of anything….something wonderful is on its way to me far surpassing anything I have ever known before. (pp. 129-130, emphasis added.)
I am deeply inspired by Butterworth’s invitation to see “troubles” as wonderful opportunities for growth and learning. Indeed, what may appear to be misfortunes are actually the most precious of fortunes in disguise. And that the Spirit within us—who we really are--is always at the ready to help us find the answers that can turn any apparent lead into gold.
What is Prosperity Consciousness? Part III
Our part in the divine alchemy of prosperity consciousness is to have faith that there truly is never any lack of any kind for we are one with God and God is only abundance, perpetually flowing in our direction—yes, a flowing of all good all the time, a flowing beyond one’s imagining of God’s divine love stopped from reaching us only by our worried and anxious thoughts.
I recall once hearing the leader of an organization who was seeing “troubles” in that organization say in distress “This place is going down the tubes.” And I thought to myself, if this is what the leader truly believes, if this is the kind of consciousness the leader is spreading throughout his organization, then this organization is most likely going to continue going in the direction of despair. For God’s abundance while freely given, can only be embraced by means of our faith.
I can’t imagine the Fillmore’s when facing the many challenges they encountered as they grew their community, holding a “going down the tubes” consciousness. From all I read in their writing they knew the Truth that all was truly well because all was truly God, and that they just needed to look past appearances, affirming the Truth as they connected with Spirit in prayer to find the answers within themselves that would vanquish any and all “troubles.”
So what kind of consciousness do we want to hold when we face challenges at Unity Santa Fe? Do we want to hold a despairing consciousness—a human race conscious-ness-- fueled by distress, by worried and anxious thoughts?
Or do we in our community want to look past the appearance of “toil and trouble,” being steadfast in our faith that God’s perpetual abundance is ours for the asking? Do we want to affirm that the answers are always within us, brought fully alive by Spirit’s grace? Do we want to live the prayerful faith of the Fillmore’s and grow ever more vibrant in a prosperity consciousness--a consciousness of our oneness with God that sees wonderful opportunities for growth and learning in all of life, even when life dresses itself up in distressing disguises?
Indeed, let us ask ourselves these two most crucial of questions
- How strongly do we desire to know our oneness with God, to know that we are God’s children?
- And how strongly do we desire to have faith in what our Mother/Father/God has so lovingly beseeched us to understand, “Do you not know that all that I have is yours?”
With these two questions in mind, allow me to leave you with this question from Thomas Kelly in his book A Testament of Devotion:
Are our lives unshakable,
because we are clear down on bedrock,
rooted and grounded in the love of God?