Here is Chapter One of The Spiritual Laws of Prosperity by Maggy Whitehouse. Now available on Kindle and in alternative e-book format.
Chapter One….On Happiness and Misery.
‘I don’t think of all the misery, but of all the beauty that still remains,’ Anne Frank.
'Regardless of how many boats you send to other shores or how many ships arrive upon your shores, you, yourself are an island, separated by its own pains, secluded in its happiness.’ Kahlil Gibran.
Unhappy people cause all of the trouble in the world.
Unhappy people spread sorrow and grief like influenza, whether it’s small-scale within their homes and families or on an enormous scale like war. No truly happy person could ever find themselves in a situation where they were even partially responsible for a war.
Happy people don’t get into debt. Having been horribly in debt I know through experience that the one thing guaranteed to get you out of debt is following your bliss and being happy. That’s a big one, I know. Debt is like disease – not only have you got to deal with the thought-forms that got you into the situation in the first place, you have to deal with the physical reality too.
I got into debt by denying that I was unhappy. I allowed a feeling of low-grade misery to pervade everything without even knowing that I was doing it. In my case the main culprit was pride. I wasn’t going to admit that I might have made any wrong decisions so I wasn’t going to allow myself to put them right.
It didn’t hurt much; after all, I was fairly used to being miserable. Most of us are. We think it’s normal. The debt mounted up because I was seeking happiness but I was seeking it externally and, dammit, that never works!
It is our right – and our spiritual calling – to be happy. Because happiness too can spread like influenza. The word ‘influenza’ simply means ‘influence’ it doesn’t have to mean anything bad.
Unhappy people often find a small amount of happiness helping other unhappy people to feel better. But truthfully, you can’t help someone be happy unless you know and understand happiness yourself. Anything else is a temporary relief rather than true healing. It may be a bandage for the soul but it is reliant on the person who tied the bandage to return and help again. That leads to co-dependency and that can never bring happiness.
Ultimately, it’s our own unhappiness that we need to sort out. It would be easy to say “Who doesn’t want to be happy?” but the truth is that most of us are so busy trying to make everyone else happy that we don’t notice the yawning breach inside until it starts yelling through a broken marriage, a broken leg or a broken heart. And then we say, “But I took care of them!
But I was a good husband/wife! But I did my best!”
One clue on whether we have unacknowledged unhappiness is whether we are willing to be alone or unoccupied. The French physicist Blaise Pascal wrote: “I have discovered that all human evil comes from this, man's being unable to sit still in a room.” Given that when Pascal lived, in the seventeenth century, there was no TV, very few books to read – certainly very few novels – no telephones (let alone no mobile phones) and no DVDs, imagine how little distraction there was from people’s own thoughts. Nowadays we have so much to distract us; so many things to do that we can run around in ever-decreasing circle doing ‘urgent’ stuff to hide our discontent. Often, we are completely oblivious to what we are doing or how we feel underneath because we never have quiet time that would give our pain a chance to talk to us.
This may seem to be an odd way to start a book on the spiritual laws of prosperity but it is unacknowledged feelings of unhappiness that cause us to get out of sychronisation of our own abundance in the first place. If we can just learn to identify and value our own happiness; to pursue it; to allow it and to revel in it, then we will prosper. We have to; it’s Universal Law.
This planet is a naturally abundant place; it works. Every day the sun comes up; the Earth turns, the winds blow, the clouds form and drop the rain, the seasons come and go. Yes, things change – ice ages come; heatwaves come; there are earthquakes as the planet sneezes and scratches itself. But they are all in the natural order of things.
The main thing that causes any of these events to speed up or go out of synchronization in any way at all is because we humans are unhappy.
This planet is a living being; it is affected by our thoughts and feelings as well as what we do. The nature of the Universe is that it is supported by love; by joy; by appreciation. That’s why angels sing to the Creative Force – not because It demands their allegiance but for the sheer joy of assisting in the process of creation; of experiencing the expansion of the Multiverse.
Luckily for us, abundance abounds and every moment of love or happiness is a hundred-thousand times more powerful than every moment of discord. If that were not the case, this planet would have self-destructed within a year of the advent of soap operas on television.
What we do physically also has an effect. But happy people don’t over-consume; don’t abuse drink or drugs, don’t live on junk food; don’t follow fundamentalist regimes; don’t try to control other people’s beliefs. All of those are ways to placate the howling of an unhappy ego that has to drug itself or needs to belong to a tribe in order to feel remotely safe.
Happy people don’t hate money or the wealthy people who seem to have what they have not. Happy people are just happy. And guess what? They have enough of everything – enough to be able to give stuff away as well.
It’s how we react to others’ good fortune or how we react to stories of therapies that cost a lot of money that are the tell-tale signs as to whether our own, personal, money situation is trying to get our attention and point out to us the unacknowledged pain.
As I was writing this book I talked to an elegant Ayuvedic doctor about Reiki healing. This lady, who appears calm and relaxed, had a complete hissy fit as soon as Reiki was mentioned. She was still angry at how much Reiki used to cost ($10,000 for Mastership about 20 years ago) and threw all sorts of accusations at the system itself which were all associated with her own negative views about money. When I said that sometimes Reiki training is now sold for practically nothing she said, “Well it’s useless anyway. I wouldn’t consider having it.”
There wasn’t going to be a positive answer in her mind or even a consideration that perhaps sometimes Reiki training was good and other times it was not so good. And yet, she would never for one moment have believed that her issue was with money itself – and about the fact that she had once wanted to train as a Reiki healer and hadn’t had the money to do it. Had she been a truly happy person she would have let the matter go. She wouldn’t have been at all bothered at how much people paid to learn Reiki – or whether it worked or not. It would have been up to those people to decide for themselves.
Our wounds always show up when it comes prosperity. Or to be more accurate, when it comes to money. Then the pain shows clearly – both in how we think and speak of money and those who have it. And it shows too in how money responds to us. Money, as you know if you’ve been to any of my workshops, is totally imaginary. It is a means of acknowledging exchange invented by humans. Once it was a token of an amount of gold kept in somewhere like Fort Knox. As the pieces of paper denoting payment moved around, the actual gold was sectioned up appropriately. Now, there often isn’t even a piece of paper – and there is certainly no gold behind it.
Money only exists because people believe in it.
When we have a crisis of faith about money, it vanishes into the ether.
If you believe in what the world tells you about money, then you will experience what the rest of the world is experiencing. If you know that it is purely energy and that you are honour-bound by your duty as a human being to focus on happiness, then the external world can have no detrimental, financial effect on you at all.
Wow. That’s something isn’t it?
It’s easy to say of course. It took me years to achieve it. And even when it is achieved, there are times when you may forget for a moment, a day or a week, how to be happy. Shit happens, as they say. It’s how we react to it that matters and none of us alive on this planet are immune to death, loss or dramatic change. But once we understand that we are meant to recover from the pain; meant to seek joy; meant to come through happier than ever and meant to be prosperous at all levels, even the difficult times are bearable. The Jewish proverb made famous by Abraham Lincoln, “this too shall pass” encourages us to make the most of every happy moment and to realize that the nasty times will also fade away.
The only reason that most people in holistic work attract difficult times is because of the low-grade misery that we don’t even notice. After all, we know about positive thinking; we know about the Life Force. Surely we should be happy and prosperous? But the Law of Attraction must respond to our thoughts and feelings and even a slow build-up of negativity can result in quite a surprising landslide when the tipping point is reached.
In the Beginning…
A certain amount of low-grade misery is trained into us in early childhood. When we first emerge into this world we are beings of pure joy who let the world know very clearly when we are not being treated as we think we should be! But pretty soon we learn what behaviour is acceptable and what is not and that we can’t please all the people all of the time – but that we should keep on trying. We must let them be selfish and have what they want but we must not be selfish ourselves. Some people turn into rebels and ostentatiously do what will make them appear strange to others (which can lead to unacknowledged loneliness) and others become people-pleasers (which can lead to unacknowledged resentment).
We all have a basic make-up – a blueprint if you like. I use astrology to assess a person’s blueprint although I always try to make it clear that we all have free will. We have the ability to overcome our astrology with consciousness; it’s simply the default position.
So we all have a default position – and we have training from our parents, teachers, brothers and sisters, outer family and our peers. We learn very young what behaviour is acceptable and what is not and what gets us attention. Getting attention is generally perceived as being a good thing by a healthy psyche as it means we are likely to be fed and looked after. For a psyche damaged by abuse, whether physical or psychological, getting attention is generally perceived as a bad thing.
As our ego – the lower part of our psyche – is our natural, everyday thinks-on-automatic self, is designed to protect us it will reinforce our survival instinct. Therefore, if we are repressed and we never became the pianist/actor/singer we wanted to be because we had to do what our parents and siblings needed us to do, we are likely to dislike other people who are successful. It’s called projection and it’s rarely conscious.
We also have a subconscious ‘place in the tribe’ – the pecking order if you like. Until my husband and I had chickens I didn’t realize that the pecking order was a definite and powerful thing. To start with, Wiz was the lead hen; she was the one with the most feathers (they are ex-battery hens) and the most adventurous. Then Fan became lead hen because she grew stronger fastest. But then she hurt her foot and both Wiz and Phyl (previously the bottom of the heap) leapt up the food chain and bossed her around.
My husband summed up the kind of childhood both he and I had with the story of how when he went to a friend’s house he was instructed not to be selfish and to watch what they wanted to watch on the TV and not to ask to watch his favourite show. But when the friends came round to his house, they were encouraged to watch their favourite show because they were the guests… If you can relate to that in any way, it could be a root cause of poverty consciousness.
Religion and Belief
We become miserable because we are trained to think that we don’t matter and that deep inside we are alone with our fears our faults and our resentments. We believe that our limited experience of ourselves (reflected back from other people) constitutes our whole nature. And somehow, we are wrong.
Even if you aren’t a Christian, if you were raised in a nominally Christian country, you will have been encouraged to fear some external being called God who sacrificed His own son because of our sins. We don’t remember that somewhere within us resides a supreme being of peace; we fear that God is out there and if he’ll do something that mean to His own son what is he going to do to us?
Belief in a totally external God can only lead to fear and despair. Even in the New Age where we speak of Source, Chi, the Universe, Goddess or Unity, we are slightly avoiding the issue. We don’t speak of God because we fear him. We can deal with Source because it is neutral and has no Gospel. We see God as the external judge. And Jesus of Nazareth was someone who lived a life of poverty and who gave his life for others. If we want any love from God, we must do the same.
I’m not a big fan of St. Augustine but he hit the nail right on the head when he wrote: ‘Our whole business in life is to restore to health the eye of the heart whereby God may be seen.’ That’s the real God; the great Joygiver who wants nothing more than our happiness. Not the nasty, mean brute that we have come to believe in from misunderstood scriptural teachings perpetuated by a priesthood that doesn’t understand itself — and sometimes doesn’t even believe.
In the last century in particular, with the advent of worldwide news and science we have lost the idea that we are naturally happy and abundant beings. We think that happiness is somehow a matter of chance, such as winning the lottery. Or that we have to work hard to earn enough money and then we will have suffered enough to deserve to be happy. Or that if we take care of everyone else at the expense of ourselves, then we will deserve to be happy.
But you can’t get to happiness on a road filled with suffering. The Law of Attraction doesn’t work like that.
Luckily people like Esther Hicks with the Teachings of Abraham, Eckhart Tolle, Louise Hay and Deepak Chopra are here to remind us but if you, like me, have layers of trained thinking to dissolve you may have to make an effort to rediscover your own happiness. Not a painful effort; not something which is a struggle but what Liz Gilbert in her wonderful book Eat, Pray, Love (Penguin) calls ‘diligent joy.’ We have to re-member our happiness.
The idea of this book is to address the great spiritual laws of this planet – all of which are aspects of the Law of Attraction – in the hope of helping the inner child in us all to understand that we have a right to strive for happiness. It is not a selfish inclination; it is not ‘wrong’ it is our spiritual duty.
There are examples from Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Shinto, Hinduism, Atheism – you name it, it’s got teachings on how very, very important it is to harness the Law of Attraction (though it’s more usually referred to as the Law of Karma). That darn Law works whatever we do so we might as well turn it to our — and our loved-ones’ —advantage.
Oddly enough, if you examine all the spiritual teachings of the world (including the ones that initially make it look as if God is a total bastard) you’ll find that they are originally intended to be guidance as to how the Law of Attraction works.
As the great prosperity teacher Dr. Catherine Ponder, author of The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity (DeVors) and dozens of other books, writes, it’s not so much ‘fear of the Lord’ that is the beginning of wisdom. It’s ‘fear of the Law.’ And before you say ‘I don’t think we should be afraid of anything,’ I bet you would be afraid of a raging fire! The Law of Attraction is just like fire. It is a wonderful servant but it will rampage out of control unless we learn how to live happily. And surprisingly enough, the world’s spiritual laws will help us to do just that.
Perhaps, however, it is easier to explain that the Hebrew word used for ‘fear’ in the original Old Testament quotation is yirah which also means ‘awe,’ ‘respect’ and ‘reverence.’
I am very happy to live with awe, respect and reverence for the Law of Attraction. It is so simple and so pure. I hope this book will help you feel the same way.
Set your intention.
‘Tomorrow is a new day, you shall begin it well and serenely.’ Ralph Waldo Emerson.
All spiritual practices include ritual that signify a drawing in, or down, of good. Ceremonies of some kind have been conducted by humanity since the beginning of time and many of them are so old that it seems that the angelic forces, the Universe and the Earth know them by heart. You only have to start one of the services I facilitate in the independent sacramental church into which I am ordained and I am almost drowned out by the chorus of energy that knows, supports and builds the aim of the ritual.
Rituals set an intent and, if your intention is to become happier and more prosperous then it’s good to have a regular practice that enforces that idea in your mind and in the annals of the Universe. Throughout the book there will be ideas and exercises for you to follow but the most important of all is the idea of the Law of First Intention.
Even the Bible starts off with ‘in the beginning.’
Start the day with a prayer of intent. It doesn’t have to be any more than, ‘Let this be a good day’ or ‘I want to be happy today.’ If your first conscious thought to the Universe is one that moves you forward towards your desires it can start to get a momentum going.
Simple things are best as they won’t over-challenge you.
If you read The Little Book of Prosperity you’ll know that I started to wear the perfume called ‘Joy’ when I was getting divorced. At first the irony of that amused me and then I realized how reinforcing it was of what I wanted. Now I have a bottle of ‘Joy’ on my work desk and the first thing I do on sitting down at my desk in the morning is to dab my neck and wrists with Joy. Then I light a tea-light candle and, if the desk needs tidying I put it into a little more order.
If I do that before I open my computer to write or to check my emails, I have set a clear intention that I want the day to be joyous, spiritual and organized.
What intentions can you set for your day? Whatever it is, it needs to be done with consciousness. Know you are doing it and why you are doing it.
Hint: if doing something that used to make you feel good has lost its power, or even makes you think ‘why hasn’t it happened yet?’ the energy has changed and you need to find something new to do. Changing and updating simple rituals is important. The great and ancient ones don’t need it so much because they are built on a structure that builds energy towards a positive goal. Simple rituals need to work for you now.
I've just come across another blog (via Neale Donald Walsch's FaceBook page) that quotes the alleged Biblical phrase 'The Love of Money is the Root of All Evil.'
I've studied the spiritual laws of prosperity for years now - and written books and taught workshops all over the world. I even went to Birmingham University for a year to study New Testament Greek to try and work out the actual teachings of Jesus about life, soul, spirit - and money. I'd be the first to admit that my Greek is pathetic but I can, at least, recognise Greek words...and 'the love of money is the root of all evil' just isn't there.
The Bible — including The New Testament — is actually a prosperity workbook. It just needs to be looked at with clearer eyes. Nowhere in the world (in my opinion) is there a better instruction on how to become more prosperous than in a clear interpretation of the Old Testament tithing system (and no, it doesn't say give the first ten per cent of your money to charity!)
That teaching is explained on an earlier posting here on my blog
But let's look at this 'love of money' error. It's important if you're struggling with the idea of 'good people shouldn't be wealthy.'
Nowhere in the New Testament does it actually say (in Greek) that love of money is the root of all evil. It says 'obsession over money is a root of all the crap in your life' (the word is kakos which means just what it says). The word for 'evil' used everywhere else in the NT is 'poneros.'
The full quotation from St. Paul’s letter (1:10 Timothy) is: "Having food (diatrophe - sustenance) and raiment (skepasma), let us therewith be content. But they that would be rich (plousios - of possessions) fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and hurtful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all evil' (kakos); which, while some coveted after, they have erred from faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.
The word translated as 'love of money' is philarguria and it does mean love - but a more practical translation would be avarice or obsession over money. Paul is trying to make it clear that focusing on financial wealth over all other things can be harmful to the soul. However, he doesn't say that money should be hated or despised. The word translated as 'evil' is an appalling translation. The word used for 'evil' in the whole of the rest of the New Testament is 'poneros.'
Here, the word is 'kakos.' Kak. Crap.
So Paul is saying 'obsession with money is A (not the) root of all the crap in your life...’
It's also worth noting the words for food and raiment ( diatrophe and skepasma ) mean 'a sufficient supply of that which nurtures and sustains us' and 'all the coverings, clothing, shelter etc'. that we need including sufficient for the four pilgrimage trips taken to Jerusalem for the festivals.
So, basically, he's saying 'if you have enough for your mortgage, your bills, the utilities, clothing, transport and four holidays a year, don't seek after money for its own sake... or you could be in danger of losing your focus and making your life suck.'
I don't think many of us would disagree with that.
If you want to know more, please go to my Pure Prosperity website. There's free webinar that talks about tithing and how to loose the bonds that tie our egos up about money. And there's also a six part, thorough and detailed workshop webinar on the Spiritual Laws of Prosperity which should put you straight on Jesus' teachings on money.
For many of us, Christianity was the sword that went in over poverty consciousness — so it's important to clear those misconceptions and move on so that we can help others to prosper too.
Thank you. Have a wonderful day.