Gratitude, Mister Rand informs us, is a muscle he has yet to build up hugely. He says that when he hears slogans in his Twelve Step meetings such as, I need an attitude of gratitude, he says with a groan, Another platitude! Why, he asks, does one need an attitude of gratitude? What is an attitude of gratitude, anyway? And why is gratitude—thankfulness, appreciation, thanksgiving—why are these spiritual disciplines [so important that they are] to be wrestled with until one achieves mastery over them? For that is how Mister Rand thinks of them.
In answer we would say we do not see it in this way.
Consider this, Mister Rand: suppose we were to say to a leaf, Be grateful for the sun, or the sun will stop shining on you. Would you not accuse us of absurdity or villainy or both? Even the mechanist views the sun as a power that shines regardless of the attitudes that any given leaf may bear toward it, if indeed a leaf can have an attitude in the human emotional sense at all. And so we say it is wicked and illogical to suggest that because one is not grateful to God or Goddess or the Universe or the Invisible Sky Friend or the Divine Pizza of Delectability or whatever one wishes to call the source of all life and love at the core of everything and everyone, that that Greater Self or Higher Power or God or Goddess or Divine Spark or deity or immoveable Object-and-Subject requires or weighs or needs or even desires such thanks as a condition of Its willingness to help said one? For we do not see God as required, needing, desiring, or even it occurring to God that HeSheItTheyCoOne might even be missing praise, thanks, gratitude, or love from the Creation, for God by Its very nature is complete within Itself and is entirely Love in all parts of Itself, desiring and thinking of nothing save how It may delight in the beings born from It and help them to fulfill their natures as uniquenesses.
In brief, Mister Rand, an attitude of gratitude is not a proviso you must fulfill before God will bless you. It has nothing to do with getting or not getting, as though one might hold one’s mouth a certain way and Love would flow to one. The attitude of gratitude is the natural result that occurs when one realizes how deeply, greatly, thoroughly, unceasingly, unconditionally, and intelligently the Greater Self loves one already. “Well, then,” says Mister Rand, “I will not bother with gratitude or thanks at all. I will just say, God give me this, God give me that, and to Hell with thanks.” (He wishes us to communicate that he does not really say these things, we are simply using him as an Everyman, as a terrible example of dumbfoolery, in a figurative sense as it were.) And we would reply, Go right ahead. It will not matter to God one jot or tittle. It will not grieve Her one bit, save in that She grieves that you are not large enough in the heart to receive all the blessings that She has for you.
For that is what thankfulness and gratitude enjoinders are at their core meant to convey when issuing forth from a spiritual force or tradition or teaching. They are meant to say, You do not let God do one billionth trillionth quadrillionth of the truthful loving things for you that God wishes to do, and the reason we know this is the case is because you do not feel thankful and grateful. For thankfulness and gratitude do not arise from the belief that having these attitudes will get you more blessings. Nor do they arise from the belief that having these attitudes will keep divine displeasure or punishment away from your door. “Gratitude” so-called is not thankfulness at all; it is flattery, born of fear—born of the consciousness level we call To Be Threatened.
Have you ever turned a corner and suddenly seen someone or something so beautiful, or heard a strain of music so entrancing, or had a thought so crystalline in its perfection, that you were stopped short in your tracks with the joy and wonder of it? Did you pause to say to yourself, “Oh, that is beautiful, entrancing, perfect, and wonderful. I will make myself feel joy and wonder toward it so that it will give me more of itself”? No you do not say this. The joy and wonder that stops [you] short in your tracks springs unbidden from deep within you. It is what one feels when one is shown a glimpse of one’s Divine core nature—one’s Greater Self.
Holy people, saints, boddhisatvas, whatever you wish to call those you deem enlightened or spiritually “advanced”— these persons are characterized by thankfulness and gratitude not because they tried to make themselves feel that way so that their Deity would bless them. They are thankful and grateful because their eyes have been opened to the beauty and wonder and love and light that lie around us all at every given moment. Such beings are in a constant state of delighted surprise. That state of spontaneous delighted surprise is what is meant by “Give thanks to God.”
“But I do not feel grateful to God” some may say. “God let me be abused. God lets typhoons destroy villages. God lets people be raped and animals tortured,” and so forth. And these are true and terrible observations to which the only appropriate response is mourning. Of course if one is suffering from such terrible experiences one is not likely to be able to hold on to a vision of the light and love at the core of everything. Of course one is blinded by pain and fear. That is why God, Deity, Mother, Abba, the One is not angry or displeased or disappointed by those who curse HerHimItThemOne in their suffering. For the Greater Self knows that in physical reality and thought reality—where suffering is available as a byproduct of the illusion of separateness that enables beings to feel like individuals, thus granting them the pleasures of unique creativity, of personalness—maintaining a vision of the big picture, of the true nature of reality, is difficult in the extreme when one’s body and mind are lacerated with the effects of Force, Threat, and Blame.
And if the Greater Self, God, Goddess, Sky Cushion knows this it is because It is within you. It is you. It shares your nature as much as you share Its, for the whole is contained within each part, just as each part is contained within the whole. So to Mister Rand we say, do not worry yourself about being grateful or giving thanks all the time. God does not need your praise to feel good about Himself. God is not insecure. God does not possess low self-esteem. God does not require counseling.
God is Love in all parts of Godself, and thinks nothing of Godself but only of God’s creation, and how to turn your attention and your heart and your body back into a harmonious relationship with that Love and Light which It is the summation of and of which you are an expression.
And we thank you for sharing.
— Channeled 9:41 pm Thursday 28 November 2013