New Thought Editorials > Allowing Abundance


Spring 2009

Allowing Abundance

Johnny Carson, former host of the Tonight show, frequently observed that life was a series of peaks and valleys. If one of his jokes failed to go over, Johnny—who was at his funniest when he was in trouble—would comment, "That was a valley!" Our global economy is currently experiencing a valley of the sort known as a business recession. It is by no means the first, and it probably won’t be the last. Nevertheless, a lot of people are experiencing a lot of pain and anxiety. It’s time for New Thoughters to review our principles and lead the way out of the valley.

New Thought began with the healing work of P. P. Quimby, who believed he had rediscovered the lost healing methods of Jesus. It wasn’t long before those who eventually picked up the torch from him realized that the same basic principles could also heal pocketbooks and relationships. What are those principles? Belief in a good God and in an abundant universe.

A good God, known by many names, is one who is everywhere present and available, whether we ascend into heaven, make our bed in hell, or take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea. God’s power is all-good and all-sufficient. Each of us is the favorite child of this loving father. God did not lead us into this valley; we blundered our way in, but he definitely stands ready and able to lead us out. God is the source of all good—and prosperous—ideas, which we may or may not accept. Since God is in it with us, God takes no pleasure in our misery but prefers that we turn away from what doesn’t work and embrace what does. God continues to see the good in us, even when we are covered in the mud of our own misdeeds; and God wants to restore the years that the locust has eaten, no matter who failed to use the locust-control spray. Translated into our current economic crunch, here is a golden opportunity to clean our economic house by carefully managing our money, whittling away at unsecured debt, setting a little money aside for worthy goals, glad giving, and just plain fun.

This good God has provided us with an abundant universe. Each of us is God’s rich child as well as God’s favorite, but we have to recognize it and act on it. Emmet Fox tells a story of a tramp who froze to death outside a lime kiln, where he had crept for warmth. He was wearing an old, discarded set of elegant evening clothes. Sewn into the lining was a thousand-dollar bill. Abundance requires a habitual, God-aligned state of consciousness and an understanding that life is not a zero-sum game in which for you to win, someone else has to lose. When there doesn’t seem to be enough to go around, it’s time to bake a bigger pie, to have a better idea. We must plug into God’s wisdom to overcome distribution problems that often look like scarcity when they are really opportunity. We need to go ahead and use whatever substance is on hand, prudently, but knowing that there is more available. However, even with a big idea, we almost always need to start small, to build on little successes. Five loaves and two fishes. "Baby steps, Bob". Keep planting and watering, and God gives the increase. But abundance is not profligate, not wasteful, not neglectful of the goose that lays all those nice golden eggs.

Before we can rebuild, we must demolish old, outworn ideas and structures in order to make room for the new. In New Thought, we call such demolition denials, and we follow them up with affirmations. We clear away what we do not want in order to make room for what we do want. Here are a few scarcity-consciousness denials that can make room for our prosperity. First, getting into a prosperous state of mind is not tugging at God’s metaphorical sleeve trying to get him to change his mind. Ours is the mind that must change to match his. God is always more ready to give than we are to receive. Second, we are not victims, who must depend on someone else to bail them out of difficulties. We are victors; we are more than conquerors. We may be down, but we can bounce back better than ever. And third, we do not have to continue to wallow in past mistakes once we have learned from them. Our attention should be on the joyful abundance we desire, and we should give thanks for it in advance.