SUCCESS AND ENLIGHTENMENT
(Success and Spirituality)
Is it possible to be financially successful and spiritually enlightened at the same time?
In all probability, many spiritually-minded people would refute this, in view of the common belief that one can be either material or eternal – but not both. Conversely, one finds people in pursuit of material success, who share the belief that to be wealthy one must be underhanded in some way. After all, “it’s a jungle out there,” and, “only the strong survive.”
In the book, “The Spirituality of Success – Getting Rich With Integrity,” I contend that
It is impossible to be successful without simultaneously being spiritual.
In fact, by starting without spirituality, one is already lacking 80% of what is required to become financially successful. The reasoning for this statement lies in the initial motivation that stirs people to want to become financially successful: they want to be happy.
However, too many people equate success with money, as if the possession of money can guarantee happiness. There are many people who have lots of money, but are miserable. Can they be deemed successful? No!
Happiness is the acid test of financial success.
For this reason, the term, “financial independence” is used, which is defined as the ability to live debt-free and pursue one’s dreams, without the financial worry about what tomorrow may bring.
Money is simply a tool in this equation; to give it any more importance reaps the karma of a short-lived experience of success at best, and a life of misery at worst. This explains why 85% of lottery winners are broke again within five years, and why generations of the “moneyed” families of this country suffer tragedy after tragedy.
In short, to pursue success without concentrating on its spiritual aspect is futile.
So what is the Spirituality of Success?
The answer is found in the realization of the mind-body-spirit connection, which is characteristic of mankind and evident in all that one does. Over the years, success has been professed to be the culmination of a person’s thoughts and actions. Thus, every success author/trainer writes and talks about goal-setting strategies, time management, working smart, and positive thinking as the requirements needed to attain financial nirvana.
Although there is no argument with the necessity of performing those exercises correctly in order to achieve that desired result of financial independence, they only fulfill the mind-body elements of the equation. They neglect the spiritual element, which comprises more than three-quarters of the reason why someone does or does not become successful.
Research shows that those who have achieved authentic and long-lasting success, the kind that results in happiness, have done so because of their acceptance that success has a universal aspect; the same is true of enlightenment. It is immaterial whether they realize this consciously or unconsciously. They know, or have come to learn, that
Success happens in society. The` self-made millionaire is a complete fallacy, because success is a relationship concept.
Hence, we have the realization that financial success has very little to do with intelligence, ability, education, or any of the other things that we were erroneously led to believe result in success.
Not all successful people are bright, and they don’t really “know” any more than the average person. The fact that nine out of ten of the wealthiest people in this country are not college graduates should dispel any misconceptions one has about the educational aspect.
What they do have in common is the knowledge that in order to become genuinely successful, it is necessary to tap into the universal concept of success, especially the spiritual, and have a universal outcome as one’s objective. That’s why
Around every truly successful person there are droves of others who have also experienced their dreams. This paradox applies to the pursuit of any of the things that are truly important in life. In order to be loved, one must give love first. In order to receive happiness, one must first give happiness. In order to experience success, one must make it appear in the lives of others first. That which you desire to attain, you must first give, or in other words, become before one can experience its fulfillment.
So, if spirituality is absolutely essential to the attainment of success, is the opposite also true? Is financial success absolutely essential to the attainment of true enlightenment?
The answer is YES! One cannot truly exist without the other, because they are essentially intertwined in a symbiotic relationship within all that is. The simplicity of this reasoning will become obvious, when you start to examine what constitutes enlightenment. If we contemplate the definition of enlightenment, ascribed to by every major school of thought, one finds that becoming one with the universe is a basic tenet.
The goal of the universality of man was spoken by Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, Moses, Confucius, Joseph Smith, Lao Tse, and every other Master who demonstrated “the Way.” Simply stated, becoming one with the universe includes the adoption of all of its characteristics. Abundance is one of those characteristics.
To be enlightened, no matter how learned, holy, introspective, or meditative someone is, they must experience this abundance, and success is the experience of abundance!
Usually, when I point this out to someone they immediately feel offended, and then become defensive. They’ll often retort, “Well what about Mother Teresa? She certainly wasn’t wealthy!” My reply is that poverty was a choice that Mother Teresa made, but very few can argue whether or not the abundance of the universe was part of her life. She just chose to give it to others.
And what about Jesus, Buddha, and the others I previously mentioned? There is no documentation that they were rich, nor any mention that they engaged in work to make a living. My guess is that the same is true for them as was true for Mother Teresa. They experienced the abundance – they had to! They just chose to give it away.
But, most spiritual seekers today experience the same fate that 93% of Americans experience – lack of financial independence. In fact, people will often pursue spirituality to validate their lives, because at least if they are spiritual, they feel their lives have meaning.
Even the new quantum sciences have become aware of, and accept, the veracity of this universal quality in everything.
Every thing in this cosmos develops to its maximum potential. The exception is mankind, because man can choose not to, which is, invariably, exactly what s/he does.
The reason, however, is not something they are consciously aware of. They don’t realize that they’ve been conditioned to fail by a society of people who only know a lack of financial success. Once the how, when, and why of this conditioning is uncovered, their life can be changed! Then, the practice of religion is no longer motivated by guilt, the pursuit of spirituality is no longer an alternative prize, and true enlightenment and the spiritual evolution of man can occur more quickly and decisively.
ACTION STEP: What do you think? Is abundance a necessary facet of success? Comment below.