Friday, October 2, 2009
Gimme! Thanks! Oops! Wow! II. Thanks! – CREDO LXXXVIII
Continuing with Rabbi Gellman’s pithy contractions of the four kinds of prayer, I would first like to salute anyone of any faith who combines religion and wisdom with joy and humor.! He is a true son of Hagia Sophia, who is described in Proverbs as co-creator with God, full of delight and wanting to be friendly with humankind. Also Gellman is a member of the “God Squad” with the Roman Catholic Monsignor Tom Hartman, which implies interfaith. I say a hearty Mazel tov! to them both. Please, dear readers, check him out!
Sad to say, I think thanksgiving is the least-practiced prayer. Our ego is so occupied with worrying and wanting more, and yet it is only by saying grace (gratias) that we can receive it and consciously acknowledge how blessed we are! The problem arises with self-pity and envy. This comes through comparing ourselves with others negatively instead of positively. As many of us, particularly in these hard times, are consumed with economic or health-related problems, we look to the richer, younger, healthier ones and fail to allow the misery of a greater proportion of the world’s population to intrude on our own predicaments. As the news of this increasing global misery is displayed constantly, we tend to insulate ourselves. So the poster child of this dilemma is Madoff, perhaps, who did this all to himself! “What profiteth it a man if he gains the world and loses his soul thereby?”
After many years of pondering, I have come to realize that the only thing we collectively as human beings really have – and take for granted! – is our level of consciousness. Without it, we would be unable to be aware of anything, let alone the Great ONE or our Creator! So essentially we need to give thanks for that one basic necessity.
Without it, we might never know the unending mystery of Love!
Without it we might not be aware of the gift of Life itself.!
Without it we would not know Light from dark, or the abundant beauty of nature or the joys and privileges of our senses.
Without it we would never know the freedom to create art, literature, music, architecture, the gifts of kindness, comfort, and healing!
That we misuse it is, of course, the matter of our free will.
I am tempted to repeat Jung’s story of being in the jungle in Africa, sitting by himself and thinking he might be the first man to be sitting in that very spot watching the animals and feeling the hush. He asked himself what was he contributing? And it came to him that he was making it conscious! He became conscious of being conscious!! Now, if you haven’t already tried this – stop reading and do it!
So about twenty years ago, I had my own powerful revelation which I related in my CREDO XIII, "God Can’t Eat a Poached Egg" (q.v.).
The following quote comes from a small book called In Abraham’s Bosom by my grandfather Basil King. The words are spoken from “the other side” to the main character, a crusty agnostic, as he lies unconscious.
I found the book by chance and opened it to this, but I am taking the liberty of changing his word God to Spirit. I think Grandpa is giving me permission!
Go back to what we said as to sight being not the action of a temporary optic nerve. We see Spirit by what we understand of It by Its attributes; and we measure Its attributes by their beauty and goodness and practicality. Wherever there has been a blessing to enjoy, you’ve seen Spirit. Whenever love has cheered you or kindness helped you, you’ve seen Spirit. In sunrise and sunset and moonlight and starlight, and trees and fields and harvest and flowers and ice and snow and air, and health and beauty and generosity and friendship, and all that gives to existence, you’ve seen Spirit. It hasn’t been invisible. There is not one world in which It is not. There is not a life with Spirit and another life away from It. There is only one world and Spirit fills it; there is only one life, to which Spirit is All-in-All.
More blessed are they who learn to live in Spirit as in the One Vast Certainty – which created everyone, and supplies everyone and upholds everyone and loves everyone; and does it all with unlimited intelligence and might.
So, as the center of consciousness, according to Jung, is our ego, it is up to each of us to offer thanks and offer it to our Self, which like the individual wick in every candle holds the SAME FLAME of that Vast Certainty!
Posted by IonaDove