The Feeling of Thankfulness
A Daily Attitude That Prepares Eternal Bliss
Carlos Cardoso Aveline
Some of the most valuable secrets of the theosophical wisdom are hidden beneath the appearance of “obvious facts”. Although they are decisive in the search of happiness, one can only perceive them by going beyond mere words and the external aspect of ideas. We’ll now examine one of such secrets.
For millennia, the accumulated experience of human search for wisdom indicates that the feeling of gratitude is one of the secret keys to the path to eternal truth.
The soul-knowledge that enables the student to consciously choose between ambition and thankfulness constitutes an advanced lesson in esoteric philosophy.
“Instead of desiring that which you do not have, say thanks for what you have”, every truly wise man says.
The art of being thankful liberates human beings from expectations and anxiety, and reconciles them with the reality of facts. Thanks to it, an individual adopts the attitude of a winner and establishes a positive, harmonious relationship with that which is good and correct.
Voluntary simplicity paves the way to inner bliss, and to live in gratefulness is to choose simplicity.
Thankfulness shows us that while flowing in unceasing movement, life is complete in itself at every moment. A conscious renunciation to personal desire for objects or situations opens the door to new and vast realms and grants access to the “treasure in heaven”.
To say “thanks” means we accept life and the other beings as they are. By seeing the importance of the present moment, we learn to be grateful for the opportunities that surround us all the time.
To be thankful is an act of unconditional love. It is an exercise in detachment. It leads us to choose that which is enough, and contains the seeds of a wise humbleness, keeping us away from exaggeration.
The voluntary self-restriction of one’s lower self is associated to a sense of inner peace. It produces an unlimited plenitude which can only exist in the impersonal plane of spiritual soul. By being thankful we renounce to illusions and open room in our aura for renewing facts to occur on every level of life’s flow.
To Say Thanks as an Intransitive Verb
In order to feel thankful, it is not necessary to think of an isolated, nice fact which may have happened to us because of someone else. We may say thanks in an intransitive way, or without an object. The unconditional or intransitive thankfulness does not depend on external facts. It is not a formality. It is an inner action.
A spontaneous gratitude inevitably emerges once we see that biological life does not belong to us. It constitutes but a passing gift. Life is placed at our disposal in order for us to learn wisdom in a cyclic process for which we are invited during some time. We are guests in physical life, not its owners; and since we are but guests, we must thank Life for inviting us.
The exact opposite to thankfulness is an intense personal desire. Buddhism and theosophy teach that desire is a central source of unhappiness. The emotion of desire is probationary. It usually brings about illusion, and it can build through careless, blind movements a vicious circle of anxieties and frustrations, whose final result is despondency.
A wise man does not have personal desire in connection with this or that future event. He does not depend on hope. He accepts facts as they are. He defines and chooses clear goals and takes practical measures to attain them. More than desires, therefore, the experienced student of esoteric philosophy must have projects. Every desire which is unaccompanied from a practical intention constitutes a waste of energy. Helena Blavatsky wrote in her article “Chelas and Lay Chelas”:
“Deserve, then Desire.”
A Practice to Develop in Silence
Thankfulness liberates from desire. Through it, the pilgrim avoids the psychological pain caused by baseless expectations. To be grateful is a voluntary choice and it produces an invisible freedom regarding karmic conditions, present and future.
In order to be effective, the occult art of being thankful must be practiced much more in silence than in words.
It is important to say “Thank you very much” to other persons. This is a healthy habit and a necessary action. And yet, it is even more important to be grateful in your own consciousness. Be wordlessly grateful in your heart, and you will be happy. The inner feeling of gratitude will be inevitable as you check and verify that the whole Life is OK, and that you are OK.
Saying Thanks to All Beings
Gratitude liberates students from desire, narrow-mindedness and ill-will.
To choose to be grateful is a humble but effective way to celebrate Life and acknowledge the fact that it is complete as it is, in its constant unfoldment and cyclic self-improvement.
Theosophy is the Wisdom that leads us to respect and love Life on the basis of knowing that the whole Nature in its immense diversity is but One, and that everything in the Universe is fully alive. All beings interact and cooperate one way or another. A theosophist can feel grateful for the probationary events in his daily existence, since these are necessary for him to be sure that he is not lost in illusion.
Although Buddhists are right in regularly wishing peace to all beings, there is still something to be wished, in such a practice. The student of esoteric philosophy can see that peace is already present in the whole universe . It does not need to be an object of emotional desire.
A theosophist may say, then:
“Thanks to all beings.”
From such a viewpoint, the energetic cycle is already complete in itself: no desire is needed. There are long-term evolutionary goals to be attained through practical actions and with a calm determination.
According to theosophy, gratitude should not be expressed exclusively through words: the best way to say “thanks” is to help other beings along the road.The Feeling of Thankfulness
 Peace is everywhere but it is not always visible. It is often hidden under the form of Universal Law.
“The Feeling of Thankfulness” is a translation from the article “A Arte de Agradecer”, by Carlos Cardoso Aveline. The Portuguese language text is available in our associated websites. A previous version in English of its final paragraphs appeared at the October 2012 edition of “The Aquarian Theosophist”, page one.
In September 2016, after a careful analysis of the state of the esoteric movement worldwide, a group of students decided to form the Independent Lodge of Theosophists, whose priorities include the building of a better future in the different dimensions of life.
E-Theosophy e-group offers a regular study of the classic, intercultural theosophy taught by Helena P. Blavatsky (photo).