Presentation from Rev. Karen Shepherd
Thank you, Rev. Karen Shepherd! In December 2020, Rev. Karen shared her wonderful presentation file on Eric Butterworth's book Spiritual Economics.
Spiritual Economics Study Cards
This page gives a summary for each chapter in Eric Butterworth's book Spiritual Economics and also points you to various audio and video clips where you can watch and listen to him give the same information that is in the book.
One: The Truth About Substance
The Truth is that the whole of God-substance is present in its entirety at every point in space and time. I am created in substance, formed in substance and ceaselessly supported by substance. There is an Allness in every illness, an All-Sufficiency within every appearance of lack, and the “joy of the Lord” within every moment of sorrow. I am a richly endowed expression of an opulent Universe. There is always a sufficiency to do the things I want and need to do.
- Listen to EB elaborate on his point that God-substance is present in its entirety at every point in space and time at clip #2, entitled "Unity and Monism," in Great Teachers - Eckhart
- Another audio clip where EB elaborates on "In the universal realm, in which you live and have being, the whole of God is present at every point in space at the same time" is available in Volume 1 of Practical Metaphysics, clip #8, "Whereever Spirit is, the whole of Spirit must be."
Two: My Fortune Begins With Me
I am a most important person to God, for I am His living enterprise. God is not off somewhere in space where I must strain to reach Him to get Him to work a miracle for me "if I am lucky." God is on my side. He has a stake in me. He is not someone to reach for but a Presence to accept. As Walt Whitman sings: Henceforth I ask not good fortune. I myself am good fortune.
- To watch EB say "every person has the capacity to demonstrate supply, to demonstrate prosperity, to demonstrate abundance" go to the end of clip #10, Prosperity" in On Wings of Truth.
Three: The Law of Visualization
The Hebrew word from which we get the word "eye"... literally means "fountain." True seeing is a flow of consciousness, flowing like a fountain from within. I do not see things as they are but as I am. Having seen and felt the end, I have willed the means to the realization of the end. Having conceived and deeply felt some thing or experience, I have actually created the condition in mind that makes a particular result inevitable. It is fundamental law.
- You can watch EB elaborate on the relationship of our consciousness to our experience of life in multiple scenes in clip #6, The Law of Mind Action, in On Wings of Truth
Four: If I Can Believe
God substance is an ever-present creative resource which must flow forth when I create the conditions that make the result inevitable … Faith is not a vague process of believing in something … It is, rather, a positive act of turning on something. My "faith" is consciousness centered in the universal Source ... My faith simply tunes into and turns on the divine flow that has always been present. I Am God's living enterprise. I am a unique individualization of the Universal creative process. I can, because I AM!
- In this chapter, and at several other points in the book, EB reminds us that "You are God's living enterprise." To hear him speak more about affirmations, go to clip #7, Affirmation and Denial, of On Wings of Truth where he is quoted as saying "affirmations get you centered in the creative process."
Five: The Grateful Heart
“In all things give thanks.”In other words, despite the problems of lack, or even because of them, the need is to get myself recentered in the awareness of the ever-presence of substance. And the most effective way for me to accomplish this is by thanksgiving. I give thanks, not for these things, but from the awareness that there is always an all-sufficiency even within the insufficiency. My grateful heart draws to itself great things.
- In this chapter EB writes, "Meister Eckhart probably shocked his colleagues in medieval times when he said: I never give thanks to God for loving me, because He can't help himself; whether He would or not, it is His nature to. You see, gratitude is not for God. You are not obligated to thank God for your life, for your job, for your prosperity. However, giving thanks is an important state of your consciousness which keeps you in an awareness of oneness with divine flow." To hear EB elaborate on this point, listen to clip #19, "God can't help but love you" in the Great Teachers - Eckart lecture.
Six: Work and the Success Syndrome
I let my work, whatever it may involve, be an outworking of the creative flow, engaged in through the sheer joy of fulfilling my divine nature. I will prosper, and I should do so, but it will not be because I have "made money" in my job. The work in the job is the means by which I build a consciousness of giving, which in turn gives rise to an outworking or "receiving flow." I am God's living enterprise, and God cannot fail. I am going to earn my wings today!
- In this chapter, EB discusses how to overcome the anxiety caused by the success syndrome. His main point is that, as God's living enterprise, we can never fail. To hear EB elaborate on our nature as an "an outworking of the creative flow," listen to clip #7, "You are the expression of the creative process" in Practical Metaphysics, Volume 1.
Seven: Reversing Financial Adversity
Missing the mark is one of the ways in which I learn to hit the target. Failure is a vital part of achieving success. Thus the tragedy can become a blessing, the disadvantage can become an advantage, the failure can become an opportunity, and the disappointment can become "His" appointment. I accept the reality of this situation, but not its permanence. ... It has “come to pass.” I accept it, but I accept it as a changing experience that is on its way out. Something better is on the way for me.
- In this chapter EB writes, "You are needed even as you have a need ... As you sit thinking, "If I could only find a job," some employer is at that very moment thinking, "If only we could locate the right person for this opening!" Keep that vision of the orderly Universe. It is not a miracle that is needed to create a job for you but an expression of divine order in bringing you together with that which is looking for you." EB likely got this concept from Meister Eckhart, as he explains in clip #12, "What you have sought before seeks you" in the Great Teachers - Eckhart lecture.
Eight: Security in a Changing World
Feeling is the key! Whatever financial measures I take, if I am motivated by fear or anxiety, then I mine my roadway into the future with booby traps. But I am secure, for I know who I am: a richly endowed child of God. I am secure in all I do, for I know my oneness with the divine process. I am secure in all I have, for I know my treasure is in my mind, not in my things. I live my life from day to day as if God's supportive substance were as exhaustless and dependable as the air I breathe, which it most certainly is.
- EB cautions us in this chapter that our desire for security can fill us with so much fear and anxiety that we "mine our roadway into the future with booby traps." He tells us to "get out of the retirement business!" and to "think creativity and involvement." To hear more, go to clip #11, "Life is for living" in the Great Teachers - Eckhart lecture.
Nine: The Money Enigma
Have I had a time of financial stringency and cried out, "I need money?" Actually, it could be said that my money needs me! … if I consciously imbue my money with the idea of abundance, it will begin to work for me in a positive way. Suddenly the seemingly little supply becomes dynamic seed money, giving rise to unbelievable increase. More than money I need faith. I need a flow of creativity. I need ideas. I always have within me the inlet that may become the outlet to all there is in God.
- EB often quotes Ralph Waldo Emerson's statement that "Every man is the inlet, and may become the outlet, of all there is in God." Charles Fillmore also uses the Emerson quote in the title of Chapter 4 in Prosperity, "Man, the Inlet and Outlet of Divine Mind." To hear EB talk about how Emerson has impacted his life, listen to the Great Teachers - Emerson talk.
Ten: Discover the Wonder of Giving
Meister Eckhart gives the key that unlocks the true meaning of John 3:16: “God never begot but one son, but the eternal is forever begetting the only-begotten” … there is that of me, the whole person of me, which is begotten only of God. … What a transcendent idea, that I have my own unique flow of the divine! In my spiritual quest, I am seeking to establish myself in a unitive relationship with the divine flow. I can never really achieve this level of consciousness until giving becomes the main thrust of my life.
- In this chapter EB talks about an inspired painting by a German artist, Rosenthal, entitled, "The Blessing of Work." To actually watch a video of EB telling the same story, go to On Wings of Truth and select segment #11, "Right Livlihood."
Eleven: A New Look at Tithing
Tithing is normally encouraged for all the wrong reasons … Do I tithe to get things, or to get a greater awareness of divine law? Tithing can be a way of getting into a giving consciousness, but it is not a substitute for a giving attitude. "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again." (Luke 6:38 A.V.)
- To watch EB talk about the problem of tithing as an obligation, go to clip #12 (2:20 into the clip on Giving and Receiving) of On Wings of Truth, where EB says "Tithing is considered as God's law. I question that. I say it's not God's law at all."
Twelve: A New World Order
Certainly my human heart longs for security and stability in financial affairs. But there is another side of this coin. As I achieve prosperity I at once also become an influence for abundance in the world. I have the marvelous opportunity to usher in the new world order, in which people of awareness will live with what Thoreau calls: the license of a higher order of beings. "when I move toward prosperity, the whole economy improves." … "Let there be prosperity on Earth and let it begin with me."
- To watch EB say "Let there be prosperity for all the people of the world" go to On Wings of Truth and watch clip #12, Giving and Receiving (EB appears about 2 minutes into this clip)
- EB often quotes Henry David Thoreau's statement about "living with the license of a higher order of being." To hear EB speak about Thoreau's statement, goto clip #51 "Living with the license of higher order beings" in the Great Teacher's series on Thoreau.
You may also find the following Spiritual Economics study cards helpful:
- Download Spiritual Economics study cards in PDF format.
- Download Spiritual Economics study cards in Open Document (.odt) format.
(Print the study cards on Avery 5392 card stock, six cards per page)