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Soulful Sundays: Abundance

“If you want love and abundance in your life, give it away.” -Mark Twain

The first law of thermodynamics states that energy is neither created nor destroyed, only transformed. The universe contains ample amounts of free energy--loads more than we could ever use in a million lifetimes--but how can we access it? It follows, that transformation is the limiting factor and not abundance.

There are two competing theories at play here--the theory of scarcity and the theory of abundance. Scarcity has recently become the favorite of the two. Seen as being more scientifically plausible, scarcity describes the competition over resources which has helped shape the principles of natural selection and economics. In short, there are too few resources and too little time to waste energy on frivolity or idealism.

The theory of abundance, on the other hand, is eschewed as impractical hand-waving. In a world where everyone gives freely, the fear is that someone is bound to take advantage of others. Critics claim that human nature cannot support such abundance. We have seen the failure of multiple "equal societies" throughout history. However, these societies did not have a resource problem. They had a innovation problem.

Imagination is the key ingredient to creating abundance. It is the ability to peer into a block of marble and see the statue within. It is the mindset of seeing life's biggest problems as life's largest opportunities instead. We tap into the greater aquifer of universal energy when we are able to think more imaginatively. This power gets enhanced even more when we do such thinking collaboratively.

Energy is always available to those who can find a way to transform it. Petroleum was all but useless to people living in the premodern age. It took the creation of the combustion energy and organic chemistry to fully unlock its vast potential. What other treasure could be hiding in plain sight waiting to be discovered?

There is an obvious caveat to giving our wealth, time, and attention away with reckless abandon. Doing so is just a scarcity mindset in disguise. We are actually afraid that there is not going to be enough time to allow our generosity to grow and are compelled to overdue things right now instead. We will eventually burn out if we don't have the patience to increase our capacity to give alongside that which we are actually giving. Just like a mature fruit tree that is properly pruned and kept from fruiting until it reaches maturity, our generosity can exponentially increase if we cultivate it properly.

To me, abundance is a decision: first, to be grateful for all that we have; second, to share what we cherish with others; third, to use our creativity to transform the banal into the sublime; and to do all of this with the least amount of ego possible. Note, I said the least amount of ego, not none at all. It is essential to extend generosity especially to our own selves as we grow our own unique talents.

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