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:
- I notice an experience that I…
- relate to other similar experiences and then…
- make a judgment (better or worse) that I…
- justify with a defense that validates my values and beliefs.
Now, let’s look at it from an acceptance-of-accountability perspective:
- 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.