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Excerpted from The Tao of Abundance by Laurence Boldt. Copyright 1999 by Laurence Boldt. Excerpted by permission of Penguin Putnam, Inc.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. HTML and web pages copyright by SpiritSite.com.
 


"We are the system."

Laurence Boldt, The Tao of Abundance, Part 2

Throughout this book, you will be asked to accept responsibility for creating your own experience of abundance or lack. Of course, no individual operates in a vacuum. It would be absurd to deny the impact that the values and organization of the broader society have on us as individuals. In an effort to secure the ever-expanding productivity and consumption upon which its "health" depends, modern commercial culture vigorously promotes a "lack consciousness." We buy things we don't need (or even want), because we have become convinced that we will be somehow lacking or inferior without them. We do work we don't want to do, because we have become convinced that there is a scarcity of good jobs and that we can't create our own work. Thus, even while we amass more and more stuff, the feeling of abundance keeps eluding us. In addition to the role that the values of the broader society have in promoting a psychology of lack within the individual, the current organization of society poses institutional barriers to his or her creative development and financial independence.

Nevertheless, ultimate responsibility for the individual's experience lies with the individual, not with the culture into which he or she has been born. Awareness of the broader social dynamics that promote a consciousness of lack, as well as the inner ego drives that bind us to them, empowers us to break, once and for all, the chains of psychological poverty and lack. This book will address the root causes of the psychology of lack, and how these can be overcome.

Ultimately, the system is the ego. Freeing ourselves from the dominance and control of this system will be our primary concern. What we see reflected in the broader social and economic system--alienation, attachment, struggle, resentment, craving for approval, competitive hostility, pride, greed, and chaos--originate within the ego. We are the system, or, as J. Krishnamurti put it, long before the popular song: "We are the world."

This book will contrast the way of the Tao with the way of the ego. The way of the ego necessarily produces a psychology of lack--one that cannot be overcome, regardless of the quantity of money or goods we accumulate. Alternatively, the way of the Tao naturally yields a feeling of abundance, regardless of how great or meager our accumulation of money and goods may be. Though he was often without money, and at times even food, William Blake's poetry exudes abundance. As he put it:

I have mental joys and mental health,
Mental friends and mental wealth,
I've a wife that I love and that loves me;
I've all but riches bodily.

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