The River Is Flowing – Jump In!

water, flow, wave

water, flow, wave

Do you feel abundant? Do you feel surrounded by the inexorable flow of health, joy, resources, opportunity? Right here and now?

I’m not asking for a show of hands. Sometimes we don’t. Sometimes, often, I don’t.

Well known author, teacher and Unity minister Eric Butterworth wrote:

“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 grow 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.”[1]

Many around the world today fear the grim specter of lack. Daily we read about shortages here at home and around the world of water, food, adequate health care, the resources needed for health and productivity. Many feel that life is precarious and that we are not in control.

In her classic New Thought work “Lessons in Truth,” Emilie Cady wrote “God is not a being with qualities or attributes, but he is the good itself coming into expression as life, love, power, wisdom.[2] What she is saying here is that God is that divine energy flowing always around us and through us, coming into expression as us.

You are surrounded by divine substance always, like a fish lives surrounded by water. Eric Butterworth teaches that “the free flow of substance in your life is the continuation of the divine effort that made you in the first place.”[3] As you can see from our reading today, Lao Tzu taught this same truth 3000 years ago.[4] Creation has provided a cosmic flow in which we all have our source and in which we all have our continued being.

So we ask ourselves – why do we continue to fear lack?

Why do we continue to fear that there is not enough, that if you have some I don’t have enough? Why do we continue to see abundance as a zero sum game? Flipping it around, what is stopping us from stepping into the truth that abundance is our absolute birthright – abundance in health, resources, opportunity, joy, and all that life has to offer?

What is the answer for you of that question? Search your own mind and heart and ask yourself why you cling to the idea that somehow there is not enough?

According to Eric Butterworth “The word prosperity comes from the Latin root which literally translates: “according to hope” or “to go forward hopefully.”[5] What he teaches is that our prosperity depends not on outer circumstances or our condition in life, but upon our attitude toward life.

We have been so conditioned to believe that life is a series of events out there that happens to us – we are just victims of the random events of a random world. Not so! Our lives are lived from the inside-out; we have the choice to define what we think of events, or what we do in response to them. You are responsible for your thoughts, and they have enormous impact on your experience and your life.

Think about that in your own life. When you are feeling small, limited, constrained, does your good open up before you? When you think small you live small, or at least I do. Opportunities don’t come, those great coincidences don’t happen. On the other hand, when I live large, when I walk out with the expectancy that the world is going my way, opportunity just opens up – things just start to happen. There is a switch in the energy, and the universe rushes to respond.

Thomas Troward, that foundational New Thought author and teacher, focused upon the verse from Matthew Chapter 7, verse 7 in the New Testament which reads “ask and you shall receive, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you”. For him, this verse summarized the natural law of the relation between us and divine mind. We must be willing, we must make the first move for creative mind to respond.

By aligning ourselves with source, we open up the channels in us for abundance, joy, ease, beauty, and the fullness of life.

We all have our own practice for aligning with Spirit, for stepping into the flow. For me, the first step is to slow down and realize that the energy and power is available to me, right now and here. I try to shut down my monkey mind, and rest in my connection with Spirit. I continue to breathe, and reflect on the truth that the universe is a humming, vibrant energy and it surrounds and sustains me.

Then, I become clear about what I am seeking. Why? Because the messages we send out evoke a like response from creative mind – remember Ernest Holmes’ lesson that the creative mind is like a mirror that holds itself up to our thoughts.

In Lessons In truth, Emilie Cady wrote that “one of the unerring truths in the Universe is that there is already provided a lavish abundance for every human want. In other words, the supply of every good always awaits the demand. Another Truth is that the demand must be made before the supply can come forth to fill it.”[6]

Demand must first be made, and the need will then be filled. You initiate, creative mind responds.

So how do you demand?

Well, I believe you show up. You act, taking a step in the direction of your intention or your dream. Demand is action. I stand by the river and I jump in.

We all saw an amazing example of that yesterday. As you know, yesterday saw peaceful demonstrations around the world in support of women’s rights and social justice, including a march here in Atlanta. Preliminary numbers tell us that over a million people participated in similar marches around the world.

I learned this global event began with a Facebook post from a retired attorney and grandmother in Hawaii. The night after the election, this woman composed a post expressing her frustration and pondering if women could come together and march in Washington on Inauguration Day. A friend picked it up, created an event, and within 24 hours 10,000 people had confirmed their attendance. The result is the millions of marchers around the world we saw yesterday.

Whatever your politics, these events were an amazing example of putting an intention out into the universe and watching that firehose just open up, carried even further by the energy of others who added their own vision, belief, and commitment.

I saw a smaller, more personal example of that yesterday. Linda Wendt and I were down at the march, and we had no sign. As we walked toward the march route, a woman came up heading back to the Marta. She asked if we wanted her sign.

Look at this sign. For those of you who were here last week for my talk on Beloved Community, could there be a more perfect sign for what I believe is the foundation of our own loving communities?

We could have been given a sign that said anything – if you watched the marches you’ll know there were signs with many different messages, some funny, racy, profane, or inspirational. We received this one, which so perfectly articulates why we marched. We often say there are no coincidences, and I don’t believe we were handed that sign by a random universe.

Ask and you shall receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be open. These are radical words, describing exactly how creative mind works with our own connected consciousness. We open to the flow. We can’t push water through a hose, but when you simply open the faucet the water comes pouring out. As we open ourselves to the fullness of life available to us, we seek an expansion of consciousness, a lifting of our eyes to a greater truth that brings us joy.

Does joy play a part in opening us up to the reality of the abundance all around us?

I believe that it does.

When we think of the operation of such an encompassing, beneficent, sustaining universe, of which we each are essential and beloved, isn’t joy really the only possible response? Joy is the absolute key to living in the consciousness of abundance. Joy opens us up to be clear channels for the substance of the universe to express through and as us.

What else does joyous living tell the universe about you? It says that you know you are deserving, that you are entitled to the abundance that surrounds you. The phrase “ask” used in the Bible in the context of conveying our needs to God is also translated as “claim” or “demand” – it’s not a plea for some good that an ambivalent God may or may not give you. It’s a claim to what is rightfully yours here and now. I claim my good, I demand and expect that the substance that surrounds me in energy be manifested in my life so that I can go forward and share my gifts and talents with others.

Now, what if you are moving through periods when your experience of the world is that your good is not manifest? You lose a job, you have a big expense that sets you back but the bills don’t stop.

You have a choice. Some of us move back into that undeserving energy – this is normal for my life. Things don’t go right. What did I expect?

The fact that you have periods of challenge does not mean that the universe is sending you a message. It doesn’t mean that Source is telling you that you have somehow stepped out of the flow of divine supply.

You remain deserving, and your substance has not departed. Don’t let the outward appearance of lack rearrange your inner landscape, because if that happens you may well remain where you are.  Don’t let your monkey mind, your fearful mind, keep you in that place of limitation. Just as there is a law of gravity, laws of physics that every day we learn more about, there is a law of abundance that says there is enough.

So you breathe, and you release the fear that is closing you up. You find again that sweet spot. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you.” Eric Butterworth wrote that “he is not talking about a place in space but a depth in consciousness. The kingdom of God is the universal flow in you. It is the one great reality behind every appearance. Place yourself in the middle of the stream, says Emerson, and you will be impelled without effort to a “right and perfect contentment.”[7]

The river of abundance, joy, health, opportunity is flowing. We have the choice to jump in, or stand on the bank watching all that substance flow by. What is your choice?

This blog is based on Rev. Melanie’s talk on January 22, 2017.
You can listen to the entire talk on our website or on YouTube at our One World Spiritual Center channel.

Blog by Rev. Melanie Eyre
Spiritual Leader, One World Spiritual Center


[1] Eric Butterworth, In The Flow of Life, Harper & Row ©1975 (In my talk I mistakenly credited this excerpt to Ernest Holmes – my apologies!)

[2] H. Emilie Cady, Lessons In Truth, White Dog Publishing ©2009 (the book was first published in 1896)

[3] Eric Butterworth, Spiritual Economics: The Principles and Process of True Prosperity. Unity Village, MO: Unity, 2001.

[4] Today’s reading was the following, from Eric Butterworth’s In the Flow of Life:

3000 years ago, Lao Tzu taught the concept of abundance. “He declared that the human spirit has its source in a cosmic flow, even as rivers have their source in some far-off fountain. To find one’s fountain, he said, is to learn the secret of heaven and earth. 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.”

[5] Eric Butterworth, Spiritual Economics.

[6] H. Emilie Cady, Lessons In Truth.

[7] Eric Butterworth, In The Flow of Life.

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