“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” There is a lot of wisdom in these words that open the 23rd Psalm. Virtually the whole body of humanity is entangled in “the wanting game.” It is a kind of sickness, a pernicious addiction, that goes a long way toward explaining why the world is in the deplorable state it’s in.
As human beings, we naturally want things from the earth, from other people, from all our circumstances in life, things that we imagine will give us a sense of happiness and fulfillment. Family, homes, cars, relationships, education, jobs and, most of all, just plain money are some of the things we want. And often we spend much of our lives striving mightily to acquire these things.
Some of the most laudable humanitarian goals are nevertheless part of the wanting game. World peace, abundance and prosperity for all, an end to human suffering—these wishes for all humanity, wonderful as they seem, are all just a part of the ultimately unwholesome human wanting exercise.
Even religion is not exempt from the wanting syndrome. Feeling a sense of separation from the Divine, human beings develop all manner of religious beliefs and practices that they imagine will bridge the gap and connect them with God, Allah, Brahman, etc. Christians, for example, want eternal security in heaven and want some kind of relationship with Jesus as the means to achieve that end.
Several years ago, a movie called “The Secret” came out. I was living in Loveland, Colorado, at the time, and I remember my next-door neighbor, having just seen the film, coming over to my apartment and excitedly exclaiming, “Jerry, have you seen ‘The Secret’? You can manifest anything you want just by using visualization techniques and the Law of Attraction! Maybe I can finally get the job and the money I need!”
I think he was a bit puzzled as to why I didn’t seem to share his enthusiasm. But even though I hadn’t seen the movie, the idea of using a universal law to satisfy human wants and desires seemed highly problematic. I knew I wasn’t getting the whole story, and there was something he was missing.
The Law of Attraction is not a marketable commodity to be exploited in the human wanting game. Using visualization techniques to manifest personal wants and desires is antithetical to the creative process of life, and though it may seem to work for a while in the short term, in the long term, life is diminished.
Spiritual leader Michael Beckwith raises visualization to a more refined level that he calls “visioning.” In a visioning state, one is no longer fixated on drawing things from the environment that will supposedly induce happiness and fulfillment. There is movement out of the purely personal into the transcendent and out of a state of separation from what is higher into a state of oneness with Higher Reality. The ego-centered wanting diversion is left behind in favor of a vision where all humanity is restored to oneness with the creative process of life. I applaud his insight.
David Karchere, spiritual director of Emissaries of Divine Light, refers to this transcendent state as the “Cosmic Story,” contrasted to the “wanting story.” He describes the two stories this way:
There is the urge inside us that loves and appreciates the beautiful, an urge for the fulfillment of life. And yet we know that something goes so wrong in a human life if we try to obtain our self-determined version of what the fulfillment of that want would be when we try to grasp it and take it out of the Cosmic Story. In so doing, we take ourselves out of the Cosmic Story into the wanting story.
Human beings have a long history of being unable to withstand prosperity. I might have great food, a home by the beach with a beautiful view, a Caribbean cruise, chocolate, wine and roses—all the delights of life, everything I might want. Only one problem: In my fixation on all these pleasurable things, I may lose my spiritual centering. All I can think of is wanting more. In fact, one person defined “enough” as “more than you now have.” David Karchere describes the challenge this way:
Can you take your desire for what is sweet—what is beautiful and lovely—without wanting it in a way that takes you off your spiritual centering? Can you appreciate and enjoy it without wanting it in a way that compels you to go after it, leaving empty the place where you belong in the Cosmic Story—wanting it in a way that disables your spiritual power and takes you out of your rightful place?
The obvious implication in all this is to maintain spiritual centering no matter what—in plenty or poverty, in health or affliction, in stress or serenity. In other words, if I stay absolutely true to the Cosmic Story, to the very core of my identity in the Highest Love, then the power of creation is released through me in blessing to my world, attracting the people and resources I need for further spiritual service. This is how the Law of Attraction actually works.
The ravenous, grasping state of wanting is no more, for now my experience is one of abundance. I am constantly giving thanks for everything I have, everything that comes to me, and this allows all the delights of nature and all the other delights of being incarnate on Earth in physical form to come to me on the right basis, without sucking me into the wanting addiction and disabling my spiritual power.
A song was released by The Beatles in 1968 entitled “Let It Be.” I believe these wise words attributed to Mother Mary convey the same message that Universal Being speaks to us: “Let it be. Come out of the exhausting and frustrating treadmill of wanting and relax into the beneficent ocean of Being from which everything ultimately flows, even world peace and prosperity for all.”
As I relax into the creative process of life, trusting the Cosmic Story, I emit an energetic current of blessing and transformation, and by virtue of the heart and subconscious connections that I share with all human beings on the planet, I draw resonant substance in human consciousness upward and homeward to the truth of Love, the truth of Being.
Coming from “I AM” rather than “I want” is the highest form of spiritual service that I or anyone can offer on Earth and the only way that the Law of Attraction can function to restore peace and abundance to humanity. Let it be.