The Reality of Affluence

By Eric Butterworth
The Reality of Affluence

In a time when the world is facing the grim specter of lack, there is a great need to understand the omnipresence of divine substance. There is little question that people can fail and even go hungry in their experience of life. But the great truth of the "reality of affluence" is that there is a legitimate abundance for every person, which one can and must claim for oneself, and that lack of any kind in the human experience is the result of some kind of obstruction of the free flow of the creative process…

Life asks of you only that you flow with it, that you do not resist its inexorable bubbling forth, and that you do not crawl into dark corners of insufficiency and erect barriers. Thus the secret of prosperity and success is that it comes through you and not just to you.

Of course, this contradicts the "wisdom of the world" that has asked: Do you want to earn money, make a living, achieve security, and gain fame and fortune? It is all to be had "out there" in the marketplace. Of course, you soon learn that a lot of other people are frantically reaching out there for the same plums. You may even experience pressures of competition and the limiting view that another's success is your failure, another's gain is your loss…

What is success? We have unfortunately equated it with positions and accumulations. We have thought that success comes at a particular rung of the ladder or with the acclaim of the world. This is a delusion. Success is not just "getting there." It is earning the right to be there. It is being in the flow of the creative process.

The drive for success is basic in the American dream. In our cherished idealism, anyone can reach the top of the heap. Unfortunately, this has given rise to the feeling that everyone should want to do so, and to the judgment that anything short of "success" is failure. The paradox is that in a culture that is almost totally success-oriented, there is a pervasive consciousness of failure. For, how much room is there at the top? This is what we may call the "success syndrome…"

Spurred on by the "success syndrome," many persons set their sights on making a lot of money. There are only two ways to "make money": (1) to work at the U.S. Mint, or (2) to become a counterfeiter. The urge to make money is a basic human response to the acquisitive instinct, but it is a sure way to get out of the flow of universal substance. We may succeed in papering our self-image with a painted-on opulence and building our life around a stagnant pool of materialism, but in terms of the fullness of life, we are out of the flow. This may be why Solomon said, "With all thy getting get understanding" (Prov. 4:7 KJV).

One of the great fundamentals of the "flow of life" is the reality of affluence. The word affluence is normally used in the context of things: houses, cars, money-materiality in general. This is actually a corruption of the true meaning of the word. It means "flow forth," or "the free flow." The same corruption is found in the use of the word currency. We use the term in reference to money in bundles or in accounts. But currency implies a flow. Certainly money has no power except in its use.

When you get into the consciousness of the flow of the creative process within you, there will be a constant inner-direction in your life, leading to a deep sense of meaning, and incidentally, as it flows forth, leading to the cars, houses, and money that are part of this meaning—but with none of them becoming the goal of life and all of them a joyous experience in its free flow.

This is strongly implied in the teachings of Jesus, though it is generally obscured through a failure to understand the within-out process that He articulated. He said, "But seek ye first the [His] kingdom…and all these things shall be added unto you" (Mt. 6:33 KJV). He is not talking about a place in space but a depth in consciousness. The kingdom of God is the universal flow within you. It is the one great reality behind every appearance…

"Opportunity knocks only once!" How often we have heard this old saw! It is one of the many axioms of the "wisdom of the world" that must be unlearned, for it is completely untrue. It is a principle in nature that there is a ceaseless flow of the infinite process within every person. Revelation 3:20 puts it symbolically: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me." Thus, the truth is, opportunity knocks constantly. It is as if you were living in a country where any place you drilled for oil you would bring in a gusher. The inner flow of Spirit is constant, and thus any kind of lack or failure must be accounted for through the frustration of the flow in consciousness. And consciousness can be changed!...

Affluence, in terms of the free flow of ideas, substance, and creativity, is the one reality of life. As you increasingly know this Truth and identify with it, there will be a steady improvement of your position in the world. In the flow of life, you are in tune with the wealth of the universe, which is yours to share. "Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (Mt. 25:34).

Excerpted from In the Flow of Life by Eric Butterworth. For more about his teachings, visit