Tag Archives: appreciation

Gratitude

Reposted from my discontinued Ponder blog:

Most spiritual traditions tell us that being grateful for our lives and what we have in them is a necessary component of a full life. If we believe that God needs our praise, then I can see that expressing thanks to Him in our prayers would make sense. But I have had more trouble understanding the “why” of gratitude since I don’t believe God needs us to tell Him how wonderful He is. (Jesus says this in A Course in Miracles.)

Of course, I can understand that we need gratitude. It opens our heart. And, not incidentally, it makes us just feel good. Writing about the Law of Attraction, particularly Rhonda Byrne’s The Magic, says that without gratitude our wishes for a more abundant life will fall on deaf ears in the universe. But is not a rote recall of things we are grateful for just seem to be manipulation of ultimate reality?

Our heart needs to be in the right place when we are expressing thanks for the blessings of our life. We need not to be manipulative, we need not to say “thanks” just because it does feel good.

There is a higher reason for gratitude.

I know that I appreciate my life, and that is a good start. Gratitude does warms our heart, and maybe that is reason enough to be diligent in feeling and expressing gratitude for our lives.

Gratitude does keep us in the right pathway back to God. Separation healed, we are on our way.

Appreciation and Love Surround Us Always

“My request to you to choose a miracle is but a request to you to hear Creation’s response to who you are. What might such a response sound like? Feel like? Look like? It is a response of pure appreciation and love. It is always available. It is the gift given in everything you look upon and see without the obstacle of the ego-mind’s interpretation.” (ACOL, T1:4.16)

“Creation,” here is God Himself. And the One. The All. A response from the whole of Creation to who we are. Later on, in the Dialogues of A Course of Love, the third book, we will see that being who we are is very, very important to Jesus and to ourselves. It is the way that we will proceed, the Self Itself moving forward in tolerance of others, love of others, and peace everlasting. Who we are is the inner Christ Self, and there can be nothing more important for us to learn. This who we are will fashion our lives of the future. This is what we will know and understand when we have united mind and heart in a non-egoic pattern of living. It is appreciation and love, and we too will share in these traits. The ego-mind has no part in this way of living.

Jesus points out what he was really getting at, aside from our fears, when he asked us, several pages back, to choose a miracle. Not something specific, as he later confirms while we dally. But something that will show us who we are. And who we are is shown to us by God Himself, coming out from deep within us in the form of the Christ Self.

Pure appreciation and love are not to be taken lightly. If we really understand this entreaty, we will rush to obtain it for ourselves. Pure appreciation and love always foster peace, and inner peace is essentially what we are finding when we welcome the Self who has been plastered over by the egoic, little self. We will disavow drama in our lives in favor of quiet and calm. We will find that our new reality, the true reality, is an inner place of great tranquility. All of the positive traits of reality—the joy, harmony, peace, constancy—meet us when we turn inward to the Self.

Let us ask for the blessing of the Self today. This is identical to asking for Christ-consciousness, and when we ask for this blessing, we are asking in God’s will. At least calm down enough to catch a glimpse of Awakening. The glimpse may not last, now, but we have all had glimpses, and these tell us that there is nothing to fear. Nothing to be afraid of.

Let the miracle that you request be the wholeheartedness that Jesus has championed for us. This will allow the Self to become available, in union with the personal self, and then this will, in time, lead to Christ-consciousness. We are making the preparations for a blessing that will far exceed anything else that we have experienced in this world.

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for a good day, for a good experience of peace and intimacy with others. This is what I would wish for every day, and with Your help, it becomes attainable. Be with me as I finish out the day. Help me to have good energy in tranquility, the peace that my deepest Self can and will bestow on me.

Thank You for being with me always, even in the middle of the night when I wake up and can’t go back to sleep right away. My prayers to You lessen my midnight anxieties and give me the ability to drift back off to a peaceful sleep. You are always with me, deep within me. Thank You for the knowledge that I can look within and see You at any time, day or night.

Amen.

By Ivor Sowton: The Time Is Now! A Note on the Appreciation of Others

Jesus in A Course of Love (ACOL), as he does in A Course in Miracles (ACIM), and for that matter in the New Testament (“Love Thy neighbor as thyself”), is often working to convince us of the critical importance of appreciating our brothers and sisters in our lives just as they seem to be occurring to us.

In the New Testament (our reading of which is admittedly encumbered by the passage of two millennia and translations from Aramaic to Greek to Latin to English, with numerous political influences on the translations by all accounts), Jesus still comes through with the same basic message: we are to recognize whom we perceive to be “others” as ourselves, and this will lead us into the Kingdom of Heaven. Moreover, we are to forgive “our transgressor” (that is, the one we thought had done us wrong!) 70X7 times–meaning all the time!

In ACIM, Jesus has many extremely beautiful and powerful Workbook Lessons devoted to “seeing our brother differently” as a way of letting go of our grievance against him, as our grievance can only hamper our own experience of the enveloping Peace of God. Original ACIM teacher Ken Wapnick put it in such an effective way by saying “No one but YOU can prevent your own direct experience of the Peace of God!” So when we really do the insight work asked of us in any of these great Dispensations from Jesus, we eventually see that we were judging “someone else” in order to remain separated and unrelated to them and a lot of others like them, making us vastly superior to “them” and effectively blocking access to Divine Love and Peace– FOR US! When we finally see this (!), then we undertake the undoing of “the old thought system” that both ACIM and ACOL refer to so often.

In A Course of Love, Jesus is in my opinion gives a current re-tuning of that eternal message of love, by which I mean he uses terminology and insight into our present time realities in a way that can be extremely helpful to us. In the wonderful Third Treatise, Jesus leads us into an understanding of our own unique role in a world that has become over-populated with humans, many of whom seemed determined to operate by the old paradigm of “kill or be killed,” also known as “the survival of the fittest.” This is the old ego thought system that has literally run the show for us humans here on Earth for AT LEAST the full length of our recorded history (which is at least seven thousand years–a pretty good chunk of time!), and by extrapolation for long long before that.

Now, however, we are coming into a truly New Age, according to this Great Master in this great Work. In “The New,” children now being born into “The Time of Christ” will have now have no desire to form a separate and conflicted ego, and will only settle for its provisional establishment while they wait for something MUCH BETTER, which they seem to be “geared” to expect as natural and the way things should be. All this is to be found at the end of the Third Treatise of ACOL, which I cannot recommend more highly!

My job as a man in his 60s, as I now understand it from this Teaching, is to hold a space for these new ones coming into a Higher Age–an age much closer to the Gates of Heaven, as the end of the Text of ACIM would say. My generation can and should mentor the young, of course (we just had our first grandchild, and it makes me appreciate just how helpless and dependent we are on our adult relatives when we “pop in” as 7-9 pound infants!) But as we help raise the young we can also be trying to cultivate an attitude of sincere appreciation for who they are in their True Natures.

Perhaps we could look at it this way. A highly advanced, highly empathic and very compassionate Alien first coming into contact with Earth and its dominant species right now would most probably be VERY CONCERNED for our continued existence, and any potential ability to thrive in harmony with all might well appear to be an almost impossibly remote chance! Overpopulation, extreme concentration of wealth in the hands of a privileged few while the masses languish, huge ongoing wars causing massive loss of life, impoverishment and starvation, huge stockpiles of armed nuclear warheads just waiting for “parts of the Sonship” crazy enough to set them off, easily preventable environmental degradation including the now exponential global warming—all with the powers that be seemingly having no desire to do anything different from what got us into this mess in the first place!

So it is actually a daunting scenario. The thing that can turn it around, according to Jesus in the ACOL, is a whole new state of consciousness, which he calls the Elevated Self of Form. This is our sense of ourselves becoming hugely expanded through receiving the Christ Consciousness of Unity in Relationship with ALL our brothers and sisters. He entreats us very directly and personally here in the Fourth Treatise:

“What you are called to do is to, through your multitude, sustain Christ-consciousness, and thus create the union of the human and the divine as new state of being.” (4.18)

May we all be empowered to do this, whatever the apparent age of our bodies! We are coming into a very auspicious time, according to our Great Master. Time to jump on the bandwagon!