Beyond Gratitude as Judgment

Gratitude is all about noticing and awareness. By asking a question, I can bring about noticing in a way that promotes awareness beyond the First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble. Within the bubble of limited perception, I experience gratitude as an emotionally-charged competition or comparison – a value-judgment backed by a defense that often takes the form of an expression in the syntax of emotion-comparison-justification:

“I feel grateful for [something I value-judge as positive]… because… [some reason this judgment confirms my values]”

Example: “I feel grateful for sunrises because they make me feel hopeful…”

Structurally, my statement includes an emotion, “I feel”; a comparison judgment, “grateful for…”; and a defense, “because…” – the basic structure of the bubble, in which I compare, compete, and defend. “Grateful,” in this case, means “compared to what I value” – a validation of my opinions/notions as truth.

Is there another way?

To experience gratitude beyond the bubble, it must take on a different sensibility altogether. In the realm of accountability for creation, awareness would appear as a sort of universal acceptance of ALL that IS. As a confirmed bubble resident, I can tell you that my experience of this kind of gratitude is exquisite, sublime, and ultimately life-affirming.

To turn bubble comparison into life-affirming accountability, I might question how I express thanks – and maybe reconsider in the light of acceptance.

Let’s start by reviewing how I express gratitude within bubble awareness:

  1. I notice an experience that I…
  2. relate to other similar experiences and then…
  3. make a judgment (better or worse) that I…
  4. justify with a defense that validates my values and beliefs.

Now, let’s look at it from an acceptance-of-accountability perspective:

  1. I notice that everything is as I perceive it.

From my limited bubble perspective, Fourth Degree of Illumination acceptance of accountability may appear to me as surreal – and maybe the truth behind the illusion.

4 Aspects, ONE Consciousness

Within my First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble consciousness, I experience the concepts of “Source” and  “Oneness” in terms of separation and competition. This sense of prompts me to view life in terms of ME vs Not ME.

From this perspective, I am not the Source or One. I seek, pray, or connect in some way to Source or Oneness – because I’m conscious it is NOT ME. Even when I think Source is IN me, “it” appears as a separate concept competing with others.

An Illusion of Separation

I manage this “trick” of conscious separation by means of aspects I defend. Each aspect seems separate from others  because each DOES something different from its siblings. Yet, they are actually all functions of ONE consciousness – ONE Source ME.

Separation Within Oneness

ONE (Source) provides an illusion of separation by flowing consciousness through functions of:

  1. Will that provides power for…
  2. Intent that provides beliefs and direction for…
  3. The Interpreter that translates belief thoughts into…
  4. Experience in the form of emotion, sensual awareness, judgments, and etc.

This process returns accounting back through the various functions to Source:

  1. Will accounts to Source by returning an appreciation for separation.
  2. Intent accounts to Will by returning a sense of purpose…
  3. The Interpreter accounts to Intent by returning value and meaning for beliefs and direction…
  4. Experience accounts to The Interpreter by providing validation for interpreted belief thoughts…

All without actually fragmenting ONE Source. Ingenious!

Separation as Sacrifice of Self

Separation hurts. I don’t like it. I think it would be SO cool to be whole and to live in wholeness, oneness. You might say I aspire to that great and lofty goal. Besides, it sounds pretty amazing to say, “I AM WHOLE.” Especially coming from a background in which one is expected to earn their way in the world – honoring the struggle. It’s what I’ve come to believe in. And yet, now I question, “Is it true?” Hmmm… I wonder…

What I believe in, I defend. When my belief in being separate is challenged, I defend it by imagining “me” separate from “not me.”

I don’t see my behavior as defensive. Rather, I view what I do as being proactive towards self-preservation and my only means of saving myself from disappearing completely. To me, the sacrifice of “me” was in the becoming “not me.” I felt compelled to separate self from oblivion.

Read more Separation as Sacrifice of Self

Expectation and Probability Affect Intention

I get it – expectation improves outcome probability. What I don’t get is why so often I do NOT get what I expect!!!

I’m sitting down right now. I intend to get up and go into the kitchen. When I get up out of my chair, I expect to simply stand up and carry out my intention. Were I to trip or slip out of my chair onto the floor, I may feel surprised, maybe alarmed, or even terrified.

Expectation deals with outcome based on need – “I must stand up now!” No plan or strategy. Just a predicted outcome to fulfill a need.

Read more Expectation and Probability Affect Intention

Working Towards Mastery

Every day, mastery gets me up,  puts my clothes on me,  slips my shoes on my feet, brushes my teeth, washes my face, brews my hot cup of java, gets me to work, and etc.

I don’t have to focus on HOW to do these things – I just do them.

Let’s look at skill acquisition and consciousness. By consciousness, I mean conscious awareness. The following is based on the 4 levels of competence, generally attributed to Abraham Maslow to which we’ve added a fifth level:

Read more Working Towards Mastery