Enlightened self-interest is wisdom. Everything has a cost and you will have to pay in one way or another. If you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t, I feel it’s better to do what you will and accept the consequences.
Imagine a life of gratitude? For what we are. For what we can do. For what we can experience. Would that be a selfish life? Why are we taught it is?
Really, the secret of gratitude isn’t a secret. It’s realizing a simple truth. We are connected, not chained. Supported. We are connected by genetic heritage. We are connected by our place in our eco-system. Even our society, though it seems to struggle against these core truths. Any ideas why? I think it’s because obligation is control.
Fear? Fear is temporary loss of connection. Yes, it seems enduring. Mostly because people are set in being comfortably numb. Gratitude makes you feel, makes you engage life and makes the responsibility yours. Can’t blame someone else when you are grateful can you? It’s essential as water and food. But even food and water is someone else’s responsibility to common thinking. We are told we need to acknowledge obligation to have our life supports. Thus we have to kill our souls for our flesh to survive or do I go too far in that metaphor?
We can’t really kill our souls and if we showed gratitude for them it would heal us. Make us whole and powerful rather than hobbled as we are. I think that is in part why people fear that acceptance of soul. The atman or soul is one with Brahman. Brahman is the all encompassing. The soul is not a nebulous presence floating somewhere in the astral. It is the very foundation of the universe itself.
Brahman is the supreme being. Shown with many faces, the other deities are called the faces of Brahman. But what was the face you had before you were born? The face you had is the face you see. Though that face you see isn’t really the face that is there. The paradox of material existence on a personal level.
The face of gratitude shines. When someone is in gratitude, what did they look like? We respond to many things when we react to physical presence. There has even been music written about it with some humour. When someone is in gratitude they are beautiful even if they don’t posses the “traits”. They are magnetic even in silence. They need not show off. True heart filling gratitude cannot be hidden. Thus the edict about not hiding your light under a bushel. You didn’t create that light but to hide it is to deny its value. To be ungrateful to the source. Now the source holds no grudges. That isn’t its nature. It can’t actually be sinned against. But when we deny that part of us that is it, then we hold a grudge against ourselves. You cannot love yourself and hate God. There is no separation. The divine is your breath.
To deny your worth is to deny support. Why things go the way they go is no great mystery. There are two things that happen that superficially can be called bad. There are difficulties. Things that distress us naturally like the death of a loved one. And there are problems, things that occur from our efforts to “better” our lives. Here is something sort of complex. All of our problems have benefits, but we aren’t grateful for them. Thus we lose control of those problems. We don’t accept them and thus we don’t allow ourselves the fullest understanding.
I will share one of my own problems. I have been having an issue with feeling disconnected from those dear to me. Now what benefit is there in this? Well it isn’t boring, it makes me think a lot. It makes me pay attention to those who I care for. It also urges me to be more straightforward in my interaction and this thing that distresses me only distresses me because I resist it. I call it a problem because it makes me feel bad, but it doesn’t make me feel bad. I feel bad because of my stance toward it. My pain is internal and self generated. I lost sight of a value, of gratitude, and generated pain for myself and pain by sympathy for others. It was regrettable. I don’t think it’s unique to me.
If you would choose a focus for contemplation, for meditation, find gratitude in your heart. You could spend your life with it to much healing and benefit for you and others.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.