Even though on some days it’s hard to appreciate, I do have a lot for which to be thankful.

One more payment, and at age 34, my son Henry is finally free of his crushing student loans. Free at last, and he only has himself to thank for it. For nearly a decade he has aggressively paid down his loans by living a life so austere I have never seen it before (including in the movies and on TV), and still has real money in the bank. He doesn’t have a stick of furniture and lives among boxes, always ready for an emergency move. Right now he is sleeping on an air mattress and debates whether a bed is in his future. For many years, he lived on $10 per week for food. When he tells others how he lives, people can’t believe it.

I, at least, have furniture!

Yet I am thankful that Henry has grown up to be self-disciplined, independent, and free. It is the fondest wish of most parents. I am thankful that Henry and I have independently arrived at similar ways of life. We understand and respect the choices that one another has made.

I am thankful that I once again have solar power. It would not have happened were it not for the generosity of people around me. A gift from a donor let me buy the new components which needed to be purchased. The loan of a charge controller by my neighbor allowed the system to be installed. And then my friend came up to the house the day I received the controller, and installed the system itself.

The oil companies nearly turned me into a consumer. It was awful being milked and having nothing to say about it. I might well have been a hemophiliac with a flowing wound. I have long believed that in this life you are either a producer or consumer, and I have devoted much of the last decade eliminating waste and moving through the in-between grey area to an ever-more-pure state of being personally productive. The bleeding has ended and I can get back to my frugal, productive ways.

When things were at their worst, the only thing that sustained me is that the only reader to have visited Estrella Vista was the first reader to have contributed to keeping it going. Because of his knowledgeable support, I never despaired of my purpose. For that I am thankful, too.

Gratitude, it is said, is the open door to abundance. The universe, some people say, is bountiful. “Abundance is not something we acquire,” says Wayne Dwyer. “It is something we tune into.”

Yet we are surrounded by messages of scarcity. Since my parents exited the scene, I have had to work very hard over long periods of time for anything I have earned or accomplished. Nothing was easy for me and for most of the people I have known.

The economy is in recession and more and more friends and family are without work or are having trouble living comfortably. Cities and states are going broke or bankrupt and cutting back on critical services like education, prisons, police and fire personnel. Our ever-growing population and demand for cheap energy and natural resources are stressing ecosystems and threatening our survival.

Is this apparent scarcity truly real? Is it possible we are living in an abundant universe that can take care of all of us without knowing it?

According to several websites I have consulted, the answer is “yes” if we can learn to see our world in new ways consistent with recent advances in physics, psychology, and consciousness science. Like prior consciousness revolutions, this one will enter the mainstream slowly… but those who adopt its lessons sooner will find new opportunities where others only see limits.


Quantum mechanics tells us that we live in a universe in which many states of reality are superimposed over each other, and the act of observing is needed to determine which one becomes “reality.” As John Wheeler, former Professor Emeritus of Physics at Princeton University described, we live in a “participatory universe” in which an observer is actually required to bring the universe into being.

While this principle is not itself easily proven, recent research at some of the nation’s leading universities says that the lessons of quantum mechanics seem to apply at human scales.


Social psychology research demonstrates that our core beliefs and values shape how we view and interact with the world. For example, many experiments have shown that prosocial and cooperative behavior derives significantly from past experience combined with some overall personality differences. If you believe that you live in an untrustworthy universe, your behavior is likely to confirm this bias. On the other hand, if you are generally trusting and open, you are more likely to call forth trustworthy behavior from others.

Psychology and mythology inform us that true transformation of deep beliefs and habits often requires a letting go of current forms, and embracing a fear-inducing period while one navigates the psychological darkness of the unknown.

Consciousness Science

Neuroscience researchers have discovered that the amygdala in the brain is responsible for emotional learning and fear-conditioning. It consolidates memory slowly over time in ways that shape our emotional responses to different types of experiences. A person’s fear of social situations, or anxiety related to perceived scarcity, is determined by the amygdala through patterning past experience, especially when one was young. These emotional responses can profoundly shape one’s lifetime perspective.

In addition, neuroscientists have discovered that fear responses can be unlearned and openness cultivated in different ways, including through magnetic stimulation and the careful administration of psychedelic substances. With less fear and greater openness, new possibilities can emerge and be realized.

When we bring together these findings from physics, psychology, and neuroscience some interesting new possibilities begin to emerge. If our consciousness plays a role in actually shaping our universe, and if our beliefs play a role in determining outcomes, and if we can  overcome our fear associated with changing these beliefs, then it seems possible that we can actually shift our consciousness to recognize and co-create an abundant world.

One website hosts a lecture series including contributions from 27 different trainers (all free) who teach that we can take positive steps towards creating abundance. Others promote the “law of attraction” which makes the same point from a slightly different vantage point. Is it likely that we will experience a shift towards abundance, not just as individuals, but as a society generally?

Do you see any signs of newly-perceived abundance in your own life? I look forward to hearing your insights and experiences.


Groove of the Day

Listen to Billie Holiday performing “Pennies From Heaven”


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