The spirit of a city, of a state, of a nation, of the world, all very simple. The world sings if you listen.
We all have things we are grateful for naturally, without anyone telling us we have to be. Gratitude has nothing to do with owing anybody anything. Gratitude that is obligatory is a hideous lie. Obligatory gratitude is actually shame. Shame on you for needing love. Shame on you for demanding respect. I have no use for that kind of gratitude, and I offer it to no one. I never will, I swear it. We know what we are genuinely grateful for because it serves as a relief, a refuge. It’s something that makes us say “at least I still have …”, fill in the blank.
An impulse of gratitude is the thing that 99% of the time compels me toward “prayer.” I think if I didn’t feel gratitude, I might never pray at all. I sometimes do my equivalent of prayer, and it’s usually for the same reason. Not because I am brown nosing anything. I don’t even do it with the notion that anything is listening. It’s more of a way of keeping in touch with what is really around me, sensing the substance of life rather than the thin paint job of my thoughts and prejudices.
It’s not only ok to admit you love something, love some one, it’s vitally necessary for your own health and peace of mind, and there is no virtue in keeping your loved list short. Ultimately, you will only really live for love. Maybe you love to dance, or sing, or write, or solve puzzles. Maybe you love ideas. Maybe you love your devotion to your faith. Devotion is worthy of love. Love is a feeling. Devotion is action. Really, gratitude is devotion. What have you not put aside in your life? What would you hold to from now on? We have to express the feeling life. We have to live the path with heart. I have never put aside my seeking into philosophy and spirituality. I never will. I am devoted to understanding and am grateful for what understanding I find.
What use is any abstract accomplishment, if you can’t devote yourself to the act that leads to it? The best wood workers I know are devoted to their craft. Even the environmentally conscious wood workers are very moderate about their consumption of fresh wood. They freely use old wood, and they also tend to be devoted to craft in general. I don’t think I have met a single devoted craft person who had only one craft to their name.
A parting thought. Another scientifically established secret of happiness, service. Indeed, service does support genuine and lasting happiness, but not service to an abstract ideal. Service to science by itself does not support happiness. The service must be to the heart of an endeavour. The scientist who serves the liberation available through good science will know happiness.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.