Gratitude, a Psychic Virtue
Compassion and gratitude are essentially psychic virtues. They appear in the consciousness only when the psychic being takes part in active life.
The vital and the physical experience them as weaknesses, for they curb the free expression of their impulses, which are based on the power of strength.
As always, the mind, when insufficiently educated, is the accomplice of the vital being and the slave of the physical nature, whose laws, so overpowering in their half-conscious mechanism, it does not fully understand. When the mind awakens to the awareness of the first psychic movements, it distorts them in its ignorance and changes compassion into pity or at best into charity, and gratitude into the wish to repay, followed, little by little, by the capacity to recognise and admire.
It is only when the psychic consciousness is all-powerful in the being that compassion for all that needs help, in whatever domain, and gratitude for all that manifests the divine presence and grace, in whatever form, are expressed in all their original and luminous purity, without mixing compassion with any trace of condescension or gratitude with any sense of inferiority.
(The Mother, CWM, Vol. 15, p. 277)
The Only True Way of Expressing One’s Gratitude to the Divine
Q: Sweet Mother, What is the best way of expressing one’s gratitude towards man and towards the Divine?
Why do you put man and the Divine together?
It is true that man is essentially divine, but at present, apart from a few very rare exceptions, man is quite unconscious of the Divine he carries within him; and it is just this unconsciousness which constitutes the falsehood of the material world.
I have already written to you that our gratitude should go to the Divine and that as for men what is required is an attitude of goodwill, understanding and mutual help.
To feel deeply, intensely and constantly a total gratitude towards the Divine is the best way to be happy and peaceful.
And the only true way of expressing one’s gratitude to the Divine is to identify with Him.
(The Mother, CWM, Vol. 16, pp. 313-314)
Enthusiasm and Gratitude – Two Powerful Levers to Contact the Divine Within
There are two principal things. This, the capacity for enthusiasm which makes one come out of his greater or lesser inertia in order to throw himself more or less totally into the thing which rouses him. As for instance, the artist for his art, the scientist for his science. And in general, every person who creates or builds has an opening, the opening of a special faculty, a special possibility, creating an enthusiasm in him. When this is active, something in the being awakens, and there is a participation of almost the whole being in the thing done.
There is this. And then there are those who have an innate faculty of gratitude, those who have an ardent need to respond, respond with warmth, devotion, joy, to something which they feel like a marvel hidden behind the whole of life, behind the tiniest little element, the least little event of life, who feel this sovereign beauty or infinite Grace which is behind all things.
I knew people who had no knowledge, so to say, of anything, who were hardly educated, whose minds were altogether of the ordinary kind, and who had in them this capacity of gratitude, of warmth, which gives itself, understands and is thankful.
Well, for them, the contact with the psychic was very frequent, almost constant and, to the extent that they were capable of it, conscious—not very conscious but a little—in the sense that they felt that they were carried, helped, uplifted above themselves.
These two things prepare people the most. They are born with one or the other; and if they take the trouble, it develops gradually, it increases.
We say: the capacity for enthusiasm, something which throws you out of your miserable and mean little ego; and the generous gratitude, the generosity of the gratitude which also flings itself in thanksgiving out of the little ego. These are the two most powerful levers to enter into contact with the Divine in one’s psychic being. This serves as a link with the psychic being—the surest link.
(The Mother, CWM, Vol. 7, pp. 418-419)
Gratitude and Love
From my earliest childhood (when I was five, my memories at five) and for more than eighty years, I have always been surrounded with people who brought me an abundance of revolt, discontent, and then, more and more so, cases (certain cases have been very acute and still are) of sheer ingratitude—not towards me, that doesn’t matter at all: towards the Divine. Ingratitude. . . that is something I have often found very, very painful—that it should exist. It’s one of the things I have seen in my life that seemed to me the most. . . the most intolerable—that sort of acid bitterness against the Divine, because things are as they are, because all that suffering was permitted. It takes on more or less ignorant, more or less intellectual forms. . . but it’s a kind of bitterness.
It takes sometimes personal forms, which makes the struggle even more difficult because you can’t mix in questions of persons—it’s not a personal question, it’s an ERROR to think that there can be a single “personal” movement in the world; it’s man’s ignorant consciousness which makes it personal, but it isn’t: it’s all terrestrial attitudes.
It came with the Mind; animals don’t have that. And that’s why I feel a sweetness in animals, even the supposedly most ferocious, which doesn’t exist in man.
And yet, of all movements, the one that gives perhaps the most joy—an unalloyed joy, untainted by that egoism—is spontaneous gratitude.
It is something very special. It isn’t love, it isn’t self-offering. . . It’s a very FULL joy. Very full.
It is a very special vibration unlike anything other than itself. It is something that widens you, that fills you—that is so fervent!
It is certainly, of all the movements within the reach of human consciousness, the one that draws you the most out of your ego.
And when it can be a gratitude without motive, that vibration (basically, the vibration of what exists towards the Cause of existence)… then a great many barriers vanish instantly.
(Mother contemplates that vibration of gratitude for a long time)
When you can enter that vibration in its purity, you realize immediately that it has the same quality as the vibration of Love: it is directionless. It isn’t something going from one thing to another, it doesn’t go from here to there (gesture from low to high) or there to here… it is (round gesture) simultaneous and total.
I mean it isn’t something that needs the two poles in order to exist; it doesn’t go from one pole to the other or from the other to the one: it’s a vibration which in its purity is the same as the vibration of Love, which doesn’t go from here to there or from there to here—the two poles of existence.
It exists in itself for its own delight of being. (And what I am saying spoils it a lot.)
Men have repeated ad nauseam that nothing exists without those two poles, that those two poles are the cause of existence and everything revolves around them (Mother shakes her head), but that’s not the way it is. This means that man, in his ordinary outward consciousness, cannot understand anything beyond that. There we are. That we know. But in its essence (Mother again shakes her head), Love is not like that.
Ultimately, gratitude is only a very slightly coloured hue of the essential Vibration of Love.
(The Mother, Agenda, Vol. 4, pp. 426-427)
Gratefulness is Really Neglected
Q: Mother, I have always thought, in what way could I show my gratitude, my gratefulness towards You?
To me!. . . Ah! This is a privilege to which I have no right. For no one takes the trouble. If there is a difficulty, an obstacle or an attack, at once they send a prayer to me, a supplication for help: “Please save me. Please protect me”, or even in order to surmount the difficulties: “Mother, come to our help. Stretch out your hands to protect us. Extend your compassion. Have pity on us.”
And when the Grace has accomplished its work, the benevolent power that She is. . . then, never a word of gratitude for the thousand and one things that I constantly accomplish for them. When I protect them, or surmount a difficulty for them, not a word after that. . . When the Grace has done everything for them, — saved them, protected them, and has overcome all the difficulties, — not a word which goes up from below. Forgotten immediately.
It makes no difference to them that there was a formidable force that had pulled them out of danger, without which how could they have been saved and how could they remain safe and at peace! Phew! Forgotten and gone without leaving a trace on them; the great miraculous phenomenon which had saved them, they do not remember. . .
The attitude of gratefulness is really neglected, an act that is not to be found in the world. At least, it is very rare. . . Hmm! To be grateful! That is the difference.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
You may pray in order to ask for something, you may also pray to thank the Divine for what He has given you, and that prayer is much greater: it may be called an act of thanksgiving. You may pray in gratitude for the aspect of kindness the Divine has shown to you, for what He has done for you, for what you see in Him, and the praise you want to offer Him. And all this may take the form of a prayer. It is decidedly the highest prayer, for it is not exclusively preoccupied with oneself, it is not an egoistic prayer.
There is a kind of prayer at once spontaneous and unselfish which is like a great call, usually not for one’s own self personally, but like something that may be called an intercession with the Divine. It is extremely powerful. I have had countless instances of things which have been realised almost instantaneously due to prayers of this kind. It implies a great faith, a great ardour, a great sincerity, and a great simplicity of heart also, something that does not calculate, does not plan, does not bargain, does not give with the idea of receiving in exchange. For, the majority of men give with one hand and hold out the other to get something in exchange; the largest number of prayers are of that sort. But there are others of the kind I have described, acts of thanksgiving, a kind of canticle, and these are very good.
(The Mother, CWM, Vol. 5, pp. 141-142)
Gratitude toward the Seers and Sages
Each morning when you get up, before you begin your day, with love and admiration and gratefulness hail this great family, these saviours of mankind who, ever the same, have come, come and will come until the end of time, as guides and instructors, as humble and marvellous servants of their brothers, in order to help them to scale the steep slope of perfection. Thus when you wake up, concentrate on them your thought full of trust and gratitude and you will soon experience the beneficial effects of this concentration.
You will feel their presence responding to your call, you will be surrounded, imbued with their light and love. Then the daily effort to understand a little better, to love a little more, to serve more, will be more fruitful and easier at the same time. The help you give to others will become more effective and your heart will be filled with an unwavering joy.
(The Mother, CWM, Vol. 2, pp. 115-116)
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