Abundance and Wealth by Donald L. Engstrom-Reese
One of the great confusions that appears to touch all aspects of our contemporary lives, is the idea that abundance is a synonym for material wealth. It seems a given in this culture, that abundance is measured by how much we own; be it dollar bills, houses and cars, diamond rings, material goods of any kind. For that matter, many have forgotten that there is a definition of wealth which holds a meaning far beyond a corporate capitalist’s definition.
The Oxford defines it thus:
abundance - 1. Overflowing state or condition; superfluity; hence, loosely, plentifulness. 2. A large quantity, or (less correctly) number. 3. Affluence
wealth - 1. The condition of being happy and prosperous; well-being. 2. Prosperity consisting in abundance of possessions; riches, affluence. 3. Economies. A collective term for those things the abundant possession of which constitutes riches or ‘wealth’ in the popular sense. 4. Plenty, abundance, profusion (of what is specified).
Those of us called to Queer Spirit and/or to other cutting edge spiritual traditions are reawakening to an abundance understood by our ancestors that many of us never learned about in our schools, homes and workplaces. We are tasting an abundance in our day to day lives that hitherto, had only been tasted in our dreams; both in our day dream wanderings into the realms of possibility untouched by poverty, alienation and hatefulness and our night dreams which have lead us into sweet visions of a transformed life cherished by spirit.
Our sense of wealth and abundance is no longer tied to any particular economic system. Nor is it any longer tied to large bank accounts and hoarded goods. Wealth and abundance is simply living a life with all senses honed and alert, consciously filled with wonder and curiosity. It is a life immersed in glory and graciousness. It is a life rich with relationships. It is a life that consciously surrounds itself with beauty. It is a life filled with sensual pleasures and that chooses to embrace the majesty of everyday life. It is a life that knows when enough is enough.
It appears to me, that post-modern spirit people of all traditions are choosing to become major players in co-creating the sustainable abundance and wealth which are foundational to the emerging Cultures of Beauty, Balance and Delight. Just what do I mean by Cultures of Beauty, Balance and Delight? These are the currently emerging cultures that, among other things;
- Focus on transforming the relationships between the human made worlds and the natural realms into loving, sustainable and joyful partnerships,
- Choose to live life fully awake, aware and co-creatively,
- Are dedicated to pleasure and beauty,
- Embrace an ethics of justice and fair play,
- Delight in the authentic lives of it’s individuals and communities,
- Are willing to accept the consequences of their choices, learn from them and then move on,
- Remember that there is always a choice,
- Are spinning cosmologies clearly naming love and compassion as foundational underpinnings of the multiverse,
- Are committed to abundance and joy.
I am noticing that Queer Spirit people are not only mingled through out the many groups embracing these and other cutting edge ways of being, but are some of the primary voices naming the possibilities emerging from these cultures. I am noticing that we, Queer Spirit people, are essential to restoring and expanding the current definitions of what it is to live wealthy lives of abundance.
More and more Queer Spirit folk are using our own lives to flaunt our notions of abundance and wealth. I have noticed us shamelessly and publicly expressing our queer wealth by the ways we dress, decorate, eat, garden, make love, travel and just plainly celebrate our choices as out confident Queer Spirit folks in a culture consumed by greed and fear.
Queer Spirit people, as do many Earth Centered folk, have the advantage of the outsider looking into the ringing hollow calling out for meaning and substance at the heart of the over culture. We have noticed that this heart has lost its paths to sustainable lives of joy and plenty. Frankly, we are people who have worked hard to remember the ways of those lost paths while learning to live on the razor sharp edges of those over cultures because we simply wanted to survive. But now, not being satisfied with mere survival, we have kept moving forward along unknown roads of possibility. We have dared to create new standards of wealth and abundance to not only maintain our very sanity in this culture, but for the very real pleasures and wonders such explorations have brought to us and our feres.
Queer Spirit people are still feeling the stirring of ancient memories in our bones and blood. With each breath we take, we are awaking further to the fact that we have always been and will always be Living Treasures of planet Earth. This has led many of us to consciously choose to claim our places as co-creators of the multiverse. We are recognizing anew that all Treasures of all kinds; rocks, rivers, plants, animals, planets, stars, Mysterious Ones, ancestors, etc., are eternally co-creating the multiverse together in every instant of every second. This has encouraged us to deepen our relationships to all being-ness, adding immeasurably to our sense of place in an abundant cosmos.
Queer Spirit people are choosing to actively claim our places as co-creators of this and all of our worlds. We are choosing to claim our joyful obligations as spiritual leaders in the human realms. Queer Spirit folk are a people who have dared to learn from the past, while not being afraid to look for new ways of building and maintaining sustainable abundant lives on planet Earth. We find ourselves in the 21st century, continuing to learn how to more consciously choose to take on our co-creators’ responsibilities with dedication, respect and sincerity. We are modeling how to learn to embrace optimism and hope well tempered by the flaming realities of the current situations on this planet. We are learning anew the ancient knowledge, where two or more peers agree on an idea, that agree to invest their skills and time to manifest that idea, that agree to trust each other’s expectations, judgments, abilities, and contributions and that agree to trust in the mystery of co-creation, nothing is impossible!
Queer Spirit folk are again finding ourselves facing the opportunity to join other people of spirit, in bringing this understanding of abundance, this knowledge of well-being, to the forefront of human consciousness.
As we prepare to step into these challenges, I suspect that it behoove us to honestly ask ourselves a few questions.
- Do we have the courage to act on our dreams with graciousness and compassion?
- Do we dare to openly live lives of spirit and act accordingly?
- Do we dare to publicly take the hands of our Druid, Heathen, Wiccan, Shaman, Christian, Buddhist, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim and other peers as we dance together the magic of this great dance?
- Do we dare to embrace the realities inherent in nurturing the incredibly diverse authentic communities sprouting up around the world?
- Do we dare to dwell in beauty, balance and delight?
- Do we dare to declare, as a core truth, the understanding that abundance and wealth are the birthright of all beings?
What will we choose to do? How will we support and nurture each other as we continue this great adventure? What other questions would be good to ask of ourselves? Perhaps it would be a good time to sit down with one another, over a nice cup of tea, and ask them of each other as we witness the wealth of spring emerge, yet one more time?
May abundance and joy flow through our lives like a wild, untamed river.
Bless the Bees.
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A longtime activist in gay spirituality, Donald Engstrom/Reece's work dates back to the mid-1970s when he took part in early consciousness raising communities in the Midwest — communities that foreshadowed later Radical Faerie developments in the early 1980s. In the 1980s he began doing work with the Reclaiming Community and hosted the first Faggot Witch Camps. He lives in Minneapolis with his partner and travels around the country doing work in the Reclaiming Tradition. “The Everyday Sacred” is a regular feature in White Crane.