by Fr. E.S.Q.S.
What follows is a short article concerning the matter of gratitude. Perhaps it seems to many people that this is not, technically, an esoteric matter and, so, hardly deserves to be considered an "esoteric article"; however, proper understanding of gratitude and how it relates to living well - in accord with the laws of life, more precisely - most certainly is. It is a matter of esoteric life view as opposed to esoteric world view. In any case, the matter of gratitude is something that we all have to learn, for we are hardly as grateful as we should be.
What spurned me to write this short article concerning the matter of gratitude was a series of earnest reflections on my own life. It becomes quite clear to me that, in observing myself (honestly) and others, we - as peoples - tend to gripe a lot about our lives. We are always complaining. We are always looking at "how terrible it all is", even though we are eating with silver spoons off a silver platter so to speak. In truth, a great many of us behave - far more than we'd like to admit, of course - like spoiled-rotten brats. This attitude, of course, is not supportable. We are all too often ungrateful; unappreciative and unthankful. In truth, we have much to be grateful for. Nearly everything that we have got we hardly deserve. Nearly everything that we have got we have got "for nothing". If we take a good hard look at our lives, we can see that - despite our complaining - we are very well provided for. We have what we need.
Gratitude is being appreciative and thankful. We need to be more grateful; we need to be more appreciative and thankful. Life is a wonderful opportunity to live, learn, and grow. We could be grateful for the opportunity: we could give thanks to our Augoeides and our parents. We could give thanks to the Planetary Hierarchy and the Planetary Government. We could give thanks to "God" (all that is higher - not least of all, the members of the seventh divine kingdom, worlds 1-7).
Gratitude and contentment
When we are grateful, we become content; when we become content, we stop the suffering there is in desire and aversion; in wanting. Desire is wanting what is not present; aversion is not wanting what is present. In either case, we suffer because we are wanting the present moment to be something else - sometimes anything else - than what it is. Being grateful is learning to see all the good things that we have got in any given moment. This leads to contentment. This leads to an acceptance of the present moment precisely as it is. When we stop asking for more - stop demanding things of life, can appreciate what we have, who we are, and where we are then we are "through".
Desire and aversion (more emotional and more extreme in nature) should be turned into preference (more mental and less extreme in nature). Desire and aversion produce suffering in that they are demands of life. When we do not get what we want - or when we get what we do not want - we become miserable. When we become miserable, wallow in lower emotions (48:5-7), we make life harder to live for ourselves and others. When we become miserable, we produce misery wherever we go. Like a broadcast tower, we are broadcasting our thoughts and feelings to the world around us - as such, we best be sure that what we are promoting is the best thing and of the highest possible caliber. Those of us studying Pythagorean Hylozoics have no excuse: we know about telepathy.
Desire and aversion (more emotional and more extreme in nature) should turn into preference (more mental and less extreme in nature). What this means is that we may prefer, but that we do not demand things of life. For example, we all - undoubtedly - prefer good health; however - ultimately - we do not really get to choose good health. Sometimes we get sick. If we become upset by this, then it just goes to show that we had desired good health. It was more than preference. Preference prefers, but does not demand. Preference recognizes the fact that - sometimes - we do not get what we prefer. Preference makes due. Desire suffers.
The importance of gratitude
As one continues with their studies of esoterics - and especially Pythagorean Hylozoics - one will discover the importance of things like gratitude; appreciation and thankfulness. One will discover the importance of happiness and contentment. The greatest, most important thing is how we affect each other with our thoughts and feelings. We help and hinder each other, on a daily basis, by virtue of our thoughts, feelings, words, and deeds; also, by virtue of our behaviour, attitude, and reactions. We are not living in a vacuum by ourselves. Everything we are, everything we do, has an effect. Gratitude plays a part in this. When we are grateful, when we can appreciate and be thankful, we start to realize just how good we all have it. We realize that we are all attended to. We stop making demands of life.
Thanks for your time,