We all have dreams and aspirations of becoming somebody right? To have the fast cars, the designer clothes, the big house and the lavish lifestyle. If anything was possible I’m willing to bet that the majority of us would have envisioned this as our perfect life. There is nothing wrong with accumulating material wealth if we work honestly, earnestly and hard for it.
When I began my quest to find the true meaning of life and the path to enlightenment I came across many philosophies taught by gurus and sages. There seems to be a vast array of books that take up gargantuan shelves in book shops instructing us how to manifest wealth and abundance. The two books that have had the most profound impact on me were ‘The Secret’ and ‘The Power of Now.’ However, after completing both books I encountered a conundrum as to whether wanting so much would deplete my quest of enlightenment. Firstly I will break down the foundations of the two teachings in order to explain the paradox.
THE SECRET – RHONDA BYRNE
The secret is the belief that thoughts have the power to directly influence our lives and what we think has the ability to manifest. Our mind is the most powerful tool with the capacity to influence the outcome of events. It emits a frequency which is recognised by a universal receiver and once the exchange has been established the related people, places and scenarios will be placed in your life in correspondence to that thought. The universe does not know right from wrong, all it knows is the thought it is receiving thus if you think negatively it will bring more of that into your life since this is what you are unintentionally asking for without realisation. However, once we become mindful of our thoughts we can manipulate our reality in our favour becoming observers of our thoughts. We can now allow only positive thoughts, dreams, aspirations and passions to enter our mind palace. Keeping these visions on a repetitive loop bridges the gap between surreal and real until what we had pictured becomes a physical manifestation. The universe grants whatever you think so become wise with your thoughts.
THE POWER OF NOW – ECKHART TOLLE
The power of now places the emphasis on being present in this current moment and not letting the mind veer off into the past or the future. There is and only ever will be now and the more present we become the greater our consciousness will expand. We will be able to witness the finite details in creation and merge ourselves with the present moment ultimately becoming the moment. The practice of thoughtless awareness enables us to clear our mind of clutter making space for divine ideas and inspirations. Buddha had a teaching where he held a flower in the palm of his hands amongst his students and sat there silently in meditation. One out of the dozen smiled and realised the lesson that was to be learnt and that through being present one can see the beauty in all.
THE SECRET VS THE POWER OF NOW
After reading both philosophies I realised that there may be a paradox between the two teachings. Where one says visualise your future and make thoughts manifest, the other instructs us to be present and expel thoughts of the future. If we constantly want how we do ever remain content with what we have. Is it wrong to constantly strive to achieve the next big thing?
Eckhart Tolle answered this question in the most humble way. If one who is devoted to the spiritual path renounces all materialistic things including living a life of celibacy one day decides to wonder into the woods yet constantly thinks of lust, he is not detached from what he has renounced. Buddha expressed that to end all suffering one should understand that everything is connected and that we should detach ourselves from the materialistic world. The worldly pleasures will only bring us temporary happiness and to place all our happiness in people and things is futile.
It is not wrong to set goals and want to accumulate materialistic prosperity so as long as we do not become attached to them. Have you ever seen someone experience a car accident and the first thing they do is open the door in anger and shout “You hit me!” Realistically it was the car that was hit, a piece of metal and machinery. We treat the object as if it is an extension of our body and we reconcile with it profoundly. Once we understand that materialistic objects do not play a part in spiritual enlightenment we will seize to seek happiness in them. Eckhart Tolle also expresses that the more we focus on being rather than becoming our desire to accumulate material wealth will dissipate as part of the path to enlightenment is to realise that happiness lies in our state of mind. You could be man of very basic possession yet see the beauty in every day compared to one who swims in a sea of wealth yet still feels a void.
As long as you keep a balance between materialistic wealth and spiritual wealth you will be able to lead a wonderful life. If you strive to achieve material abundance just be cautious that you do not look for happiness within them and be totally content within the present moment. The true happiness you seek comes from within your heart space. Once you have conquered your mind and your perspective of life, you will see the richness of every moment.