By Steve Nobel
Prosperity is a Spiritual Path
Prosperity is a cosmic dance. According to the philosophy of the Tao life is a great cosmic interplay between yin and yang, feminine and masculine. This is the path of the lover. The way of the lover is about embracing opposites: innocence and pleasure; intimacy and aloneness; heart and mind; prosperity and scarcity; spirit and matter. Prosperity is about embracing polarities, not about fighting against our differences. Prosperity comes from the sacred dance between the masculine and feminine. Scarcity comes when there is a war between them. To feel whole, complete, happy, successful and prosperous we need to embrace both the yin and the yang within. We contain both yin and yang essences within us. Yet we will feel more at home in one or the other and this has nothing to do with gender it is about essence. Masculine energy is assertive and action oriented. It's the energy we use to go move through the world and to get things done. Masculine energy seeks to penetrate and understand the world and make things happen. Feminine energy is open and receptive; it is the energy of attraction and allowing. It is the energy we use to connect with the world, to relate with others, to build networks and to nurture the life force.
The Feminine/Yin Path of Prosperity
In Hindu mythology the Goddess Lakshmi is the patron of wealth and good fortune on earth. Her four hands represent the four ends of human life: dharma or right living, kama or desires, artha or wealth, and moksha or liberation from the cycle of birth and death. Cascades of gold coins flow from her hands. Her gold embroidered red robe symbolizes the activities of prosperity. Both householders and businessmen offer prayers to her for their well being and for the prosperity of their family and commercial undertakings. She is seated on a lotus because wealth is linked with the fertilizing powers of moist soil and the mysterious powers of growth.
The mystical writer Anais Nin says ‘love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don't know how to replenish its source.’ For many centuries we have lived within a grand limiting mythology of God being a distant father-landlord figure. This is the myth of transcendent dominance. In this myth the distant landlord sends messengers to post lists of do’s and don’ts to let people how to behave. There is also the ever-present threat of eternal punishment for those that ignore the rules. The Yin path of prosperity is about being a lover on the earth.
The lover embraces a very different mythology, one of immanence. There is a Shinto saying that goes "Even in a single leaf of a tree or a tender blade of grass, the awe-inspiring Deity manifests Itself." Anodea Judith describes the feminine as ‘the urge to grow, to move, to change, to awaken. She is pure energy, chaotically free, the fuel for all activity, infinite energy.’
The lover walks the path of immanence and sees Divine power as existing within all living things, where nothing is separate or cast out. The myth of immanence was one that all indigenous peoples lived within. The lover exists within the myth where we still live in the sacred garden, where we were never thrown out of paradise. The lover stands in the garden and lives within a universe that cares about his or her existence and growth. The path of the lover is one of remembering connection and Oneness. It is one that sees physical existence as being a divine state, where the body and feelings are sacred temples that allow the soul expression in this world. The way of the lover is about finding meaning, belonging and a home in the world. The lover is relational and does not see a world of separate free floating and unrelated objects. The lover is not interested in escaping from the world but in connecting with it more intimately. The way of embracing yin is the way of growth through joy and delight rather than growth through suffering. Suffering is the path of being thrown out of the garden, suffering is about sin and punishment, this myth is not the way of the lover. The lover sees the Divine in all things, within a glorious sunrise, a daffodil on a cool spring day, a wave crashing upon a golden beach, a child’s smile, and within the reflective other. The lover honours the gifts of the earth. The earth is abundant and creative; so many diverse species live on the earth. All wealth comes from the treasure house of the earth. All the precious jewels and metals come from the earth. All the things we eat and drink are gifts from the earth.
A lover is happy being alone as with other people. Lovers need space to regenerate because they live so fully. The lover is a child of the earth and stars and knows no bounds, a free spirit who loves the self and life and the source of all life. The path of the lover is a spiritual path. Some spiritual paths such as Sufism talk about love, of paradise, and the divine in the same breath. They think of God as the Beloved. They abandon themselves in dance and song to the divine impulse. Sufism is a yin path or receptive path because it opens to the divine rather than actively seeking out the divine. The way of the lover is of poetry and dance. Rumi, an early Sufi Master lived life as a dance. It is said that he attained to his first samadhi by dancing continuously for thirty-six hours. He danced and his ecstasy was so contagious that many hundreds of people also started to dance. He danced with such ecstasy that it is said that by the time he reached his ultimate samadhi, thousands of people were dancing around him. He fell on the ground and remained still for hours. When he opened his eyes, he looked out on a different world.
The Masculine/Yang Path of Prosperity
Long ago in a distant land there was a large Buddha statue made of pure gold. It was as high as ten people and sat in a lotus position in the beautiful and tranquil garden of a Buddhist Monastery. Many people, over the years, came to sit at its feet and pray or meditate. In time a great marauding army invaded the country and the community of monks decided to disguise their beloved statue so that it looked like ordinary stone. They worked tirelessly until the whole statue was covered with grey cement. When the army passed the Monastery they paid the statue no attention. The army occupied the land for many years and by the time they left everyone had forgotten the true nature of the statue. One day as a young man went to meditate under the statue a piece of cement fell off revealing the true nature of the statue. Soon the local people were alerted and the statue was restored to its original golden condition. This golden statue still sits in its original position in a garden in The Temple of the Golden Buddha in Bangkok.
The way of yang is that of conscious awakening. The Yang of prosperity is about embracing a higher consciousness, a transcendent spirit. This spirit is known in different traditions by many names; in the spiritual tradition of India it is called the Atman which means ‘breathe’, or ‘vital principle’. The Atman is our personal guiding spirit. This resides in Brahman, the Universal Intelligence that sustains all things. In Hawaii the personal spirit is known as Aumakua which translates as ‘utterly trustworthy parental self.’ The transcendent spirit is also known as Buddha Mind, Christ Consciousness, Deep Self our Holy Guardian Angel or Higher Self. Spirit is the descending force of consciousness that seeks to enter ever more deeply into matter. Opening to this force is like finding a great treasure for this transcendent spirit illuminates the way to what we are becoming. This is the current of enlightenment, wisdom and guidance.
The message is that prosperity does not lie outside of the self; we are the source of our prosperity. This same message has been repeated by spiritual teachers throughout the ages. The Master Jesus in the New Testament said ‘the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.’ Opening to spirit does not mean we become an ascetic; the spiritual life is a prosperous one for prosperity exists within the fibre of our being. Prosperity is what we are becoming. Prosperity is the Intelligence that sustains the Universe. The same power that holds the earth in its orbit around the sun can help you in your life. This Higher Power is very willing and able to be of help. It will not, however, interfere in our lives but it will assist when asked. Assistance does not always come in the way that we expect. Eastern poets describe human souls as drops of water that will eventually dissolve into the ocean of God. Another way to look at this is to see that the drop of water can open to the ocean, so instead of just dissolving away we remain conscious of who we are in this life and can access the mystery and power of the greater ocean of consciousness. Prosperity is how the universe works.
Real prosperity comes in learning to rest and trust in the source of life. The same power and intelligence gives birth to stars and galaxies and sustains worlds in their orbits around suns is there for us. The source does not interfere with our lives but is there to support and sustain us if we are willing to open our hearts and minds and soul to this power. To trust in the source we have to undergo the journey. We have to activate and use the gifts that we came into this world with. These resources are doorways into the divine. No amount of begging or pleading can allow the source to help us in our journey. Underneath begging and pleading is the idea that we are not connected with the source and that we are not sustained by it moment to moment. The paradox is that we are never separate from the source even when we believe we are and do everything in our power to maintain this illusion. We are not separate from the creator and sustainer of all things. When we know this more than just theoretically then we will know grace and create miracles for ourselves and others.
Prosperity is about Inner Balance
Feminine energy seeks to embrace the world, to feel it and in turn to protect it. A man comes into real intimate connection with his inner feminine - his anima when he connects to his body, to his capacity for feeling, for his needs and vulnerability and for relating. A woman comes into alignment with her inner masculine – her animus when she opens to the realm of being more decisive, focused, action oriented and independent. A man or woman with a strong masculine essence feels fulfilled and happy when they are aligned with their purpose. A man or woman with a strong feminine essence feels fulfilled and happy through being in authentic connection with others. The feminine is to do with the soul of being, the masculine with the spirit of becoming. Both are necessary for a successful and happy life. The soulful life brings a deep satisfaction from the core of our being. The spirit filled life is about diving into the fire of making things happen. The way of the lover is about balance. The feminine person must embrace their masculine strength and power in order to help serve their feminine essence. The masculine person must seek out their inner softness and deep feelings and align them with their purpose. We do not need to look outside ourselves; we contain all the energies we need.
Embracing Your Opposite
Are you a masculine man or feminine woman?
Or are you a feminine man or masculine woman?
Do you find it easy to be (yang) active, outward looking, assertive, decisive, thinking, and action orientated?
Do you find it easy to be (yin) still, inward looking, reflective, intuitive, emotional and dreamy? Are you primarily a yin or a yang person?
In order to feel balanced Yin people need to: embrace thinking, planning, deciding, a sense of order and doing. Do something physical each day. Practise speaking out. Stretch and explore new ways of doing in the outer world.
In order to feel balanced Yang people need to: embrace feeling, stillness, a sense of chaos, and pure being. Meditate each day. Practise silence. Find new ways to gain awareness in the inner world.
This article is an extract from my book The Prosperity Game ()published by Findhorn Press 2006). If you would like to know more about my one to one and group work then visit my website for more information.