I heard the voice on the audiobook proclaim that he had it all and so can you. All anyone has to do is believe you are rich and it will happen. You have to want wealth and success so badly that all you do is focus and believe in it. The voice boasted of the joy of owning large mansions, going on exotic vacations, and even owning ones own helicopter. The voice claimed anybody can have the same riches.
The famous voice claimed that if you fail to attain riches and prosperity, it’s because you failed to believe and work hard enough to get them. The voice exhorted that if you believe you are blessed, you will have an amazing relationship with prosperity. The voice suggested that the solution to a lack of prosperity can be found by attending the speaker’s seminars, reading his books, and purchasing more of his products. The voice said that if you want it badly enough, you’ll try harder, and it will come to you.
If you pay even scant attention to popular media, you can’t help but notice the strong implication that we should chase after celebrity, success, and money. Famous, wealthy people are displayed in front of us, each day.
There are other voices that readily condemn the blatantly wealthy, prosperous celebrities. It is pointed out that many famous, rich people are profoundly unhappy. Many of the rich people escape into alcohol and drug abuse. There is the claim that wealth brings with it the obsession for more and more. Is there a healthy balance between wealth and poverty?
Modern culture glorifies achievement and ambition. We cheer on our sports teams and athletes. Their success fills a void that we feel because we don’t have the prowess and good fortune the famous players possess. We see the same message adapted to film, television, music, political and religious institutions. We are encouraged to find more thrills by following the adventures and misadventures of the people making the headlines. We’re asked what we might do if we could win the lottery, whichever lottery we play.
Whether we believe that either owning more or having less will somehow save us, we will soon find empty disappointment. We will be ruled by the want for more and envy; or we will want to get rid of everything and condemn those who have more than us. Why must we aggressively compete and consume?
The moment we want to be someone or attain something, we have lost our freedom.
Even if we instinctively understand how we lost our freedom, there is still the question as to how prosperity fits into the question of security. Don’t we need some sort of “home base” in which to rejuvinate ourselves and protect us from life’s storms? We imagine that we are somehow permanent and that we need to ensure that we remain so. We might take comfort in some sort of philosophy or belief in our undying personal nature. We form these beliefs because we are able to think, conceptualize, remember, and communicate.
We build a cozy, mental nest in which to rest our thoughts. We think we can shelter ourselves from the swift winds of life. We feather our nest with ambition, work, family, religion, tradition and fear. The more we are wrapped up in these things, the less we understand the winds of life. The winds endlessly erode, rebuild, and bring constant change. Within this nest, we stagnate, grow mentally lazy, and waste away. It is this condition that is called existence.
Soon, we become numb and bored with our security. We again seek out new acquisitions and thrills. Once more, we think that fun and getting stuff is what life is all about. The cycle repeats. In clinging to our cozy nests of cherished beliefs we become people of fear.
I’m not saying that it is wise to just give it all up, become a hermit and live in a cave. There’s not enough room for such a thing for everybody. Just giving up fun and stuff in the search of some sort of ideal, is only something else to acquire and display.
The idea is to simply appreciate the fact that we have been creating a facsimile of life that we wear like a suit of clothing. Sometimes we need to strip off the clothing in order to bathe and clean ourselves. The suit of clothing needs to be regularly laundered and repaired from time to time. Don’t we feel best after we’ve showered and dressed ourselves in fresh, clean clothes? Don’t we feel like we’re more engaged in life when we’re clean and fresh? If we’re not actively involved in understanding the heart of our lives, aren’t we simply stagnating and dying? Is this an ingredient of prosperity?
Don’t we only want to live happy, fulfilling lives? Deep inside, we understand that unhappiness results from a lack of love. We feel a yawning gap between ourselves and other people and the Earth. When I’m thinking only about myself, my wants, and goals, I eventually feel shallow. Ambitious people seek power. In their efforts, is found blindness about the fact of the power of authentic love. Sadly, many powerful, wealthy people do not really understand that love is the only thing that matters. Love is the deepest intelligence.
Do we do what we do to obtain and maintain a nest of security or do we do what we do out of curiosity and love? Do we pattern our lives after a template of techniques and hand-me-down beliefs, or do we explore and create prosperity from the depths of our hearts?