THE SPIRIT OF OPULENCE
By Thomas Troward, Excerpt from “The Hidden Power”
“It is quite a mistake to suppose that we must restrict and stint ourselves in
order to develop greater power or usefulness. This is to form the conception of
the Divine Power as so limited that the best use we can make of it is by a policy of
self-starvation, whether material or mental. Of course, if we believe that some
form of self-starvation is necessary to our producing good work, then so long as
we entertain this belief the fact actually is so for us.
But all this exists in, and is produced by, our belief; and when we come to
examine the grounds of this belief we shall find that it rests upon an entire
misapprehension of the nature of our own power.
If we clearly realize that the creative power in ourselves is unlimited, then there
is no reason for limiting the extent to which we may enjoy what we can create by
means of it. Where we are drawing from the infinite we need never be afraid of taking more
than our share.
That is not where the danger lies. The danger is in not sufficiently realizing
our own richness, and in looking upon the externalized products of our creative
power as being the true riches instead of the creative power of spirit itself.
If we avoid this error, there is no need to limit ourselves in taking what we will
from the infinite storehouse: “All things are yours.” And the way to avoid this
error is by realizing that the true wealth is in identifying ourselves with the spirit of
opulence. We must be opulent in our thought. Do not “think money,” as such, for
it is only one means of opulence; but think opulence, that is, largely, generously,
liberally, and you will find that the means of realizing this thought will flow to you
from all quarters, whether as money or as a hundred other things not to be reckoned
We must not make ourselves dependent on any particular form of wealth, or
insist on its coming to us through some particular channel—that is at once to
impose a limitation, and to shut out other forms of wealth and to close other
channels; but we must enter into the spirit of it.
Now the spirit is Life, and throughout the universe Life ultimately consists in
circulation, whether within the physical body of the individual or on the scale of
the entire solar system; and circulation means a continual flowing around, and
the spirit of opulence is no exception to this universal law of all life.
When once this principle becomes clear to us, we shall see that our attention
should be directed rather to the giving than the receiving.
We must look upon ourselves, not as misers’ chests to be kept locked for our
own benefit, but as centres of distribution; and the better we fulfil our function as
such centres the greater will be the corresponding inflow. If we choke the outlet
the current must slacken, and a full and free flow can be obtained only by keeping
it open. The spirit of opulence—the opulent mode of thought, that is—consists in
cultivating the feeling that we possess all sorts of riches which we can bestow
upon others, and which we can bestow liberally because by this very action we
open the way for still greater supplies to flow in.
But you say, “I am short of money, I hardly know how to pay for necessaries.
What have I to give? The answer is that we must always start from the point
where we are; and if your wealth at the present moment is not abundant on the
material plane, you need not trouble to start on that plane. There are other sorts
of wealth, still more valuable, on the spiritual and intellectual planes, which you
can give; and you can start from this point and practise the spirit of opulence,
even though your balance at the bank may be nil. And then the universal law of
attraction will begin to assert itself. You will not only begin to experience an inflow
on the spiritual and intellectual planes, but it will extend itself to the material plane also.
If you have realized the spirit of opulence you cannot help drawing to yourself
material good, as well as that higher wealth which is not to be measured by a
money standard; and because you truly understand the spirit of opulence you will
neither affect to despise this form of good, nor will you attribute to it a value that
does not belong to it; but you will coordinate it with your other more interior forms
of wealth so as to make it the material instrument in smoothing the way for their
more perfect expression. Used thus, with understanding of the relation which it
bears to spiritual and intellectual wealth, material wealth becomes one with them ,
and is no more to be shunned and feared than it is to be sought for its own sake.
It is not money, but the love of money, that is the root of evil; and the spirit of
opulence is precisely the attitude of mind which is furthest removed from the love
of money for its own sake. It does not believe in money. What it does believe in
is the generous feeling which is the intuitive recognition of the great law of
circulation, which does not in any undertaking make its first question, How much
am I going to get by it? but, How much am I going to do by it? And making this the
first question, the getting will flow in with a generous profusion, and with a
spontaneousness and rightness of direction that are absent when our first thought
is of receiving only.
We are not called upon to give what we have not yet got and to run into debt;
but we are to give liberally of what we have, with the knowledge that by so doing
we are setting the law of circulation to work, and as this law brings us greater and
greater inflows of every kind of good, so our out-giving will increase, not by
depriving ourselves of any expansion of our own life that we may desire, but by
finding that every expansion makes us the more powerful instruments for expanding
the life of others. “Live and let live” is the motto of the true opulence.”
How POWERFUL is that?