Gratitude is Strange, Cool and Deeply Weird

MoonThere is this fabulous quote by Fred Nietzche which goes like this: I cannot believe in a God who wants to be praised all the time.

Yes indeed, I can appreciate this… it’s a man-made God that needs thanking all the time. Religion is man-made; spiritual awareness is cosmic. The forces of the cosmos, the Divine, the Source, God or whatever you want to call it, probably doesn’t give a hoot if somebody says “Thank you” or not. We know this because lovely things happen anyway, whether it’s a great day by the seaside or an exquisite song from an unexpected blackbird. We don’t have to thank anyone for making it happen; it happens anyway.

When we are born, our mothers – most mothers – do everything for us without any thanks, and that may be the moment when people are at their most special and sacrosanct – doing stuff without any expectation of thanks, and on the same basis I wouldn’t expect any great cosmic omnipotence to want thanks. A mother’s love for a child represents unconditional love. When people nurse friends, parents or children with severe problems or disabilities there are no thanks involved: similarly those serving people or animals or the planet do so because they wish to. Unwittingly they also ‘do’ unconditional love, and ‘are’ gracious. Making somebody or something better for nurturing is a reward in itself.

So stuff thanks… or should we? The fact is… there is something very powerful about saying thanks, very powerful indeed. It’s like perception. Quantum physics reckons that the moment one perceives something it’s changed, whether that thing is a star a zillion miles away, or an eyelash. Saying “Thank you” seems to be a bit like this. The moment one says “Thank you” to somebody or something they seem to change, so long as the ‘thanks’ are authentic. Being thanked is nice, it makes the recipient feel good, at the conscious and sub-conscious level. I believe this because of a powerful hypnotic practice whereby the hypnotist just says “that’s right” to the subject all the time. If one is being hypnotised by this process it’s truly lovely…”That’s right.” We so need to hear words of loving approval, which makes one feel better and better… “That’s right. That’s right. That’s right.”

But then there is something even weirder about gratitude. It doesn’t just make the recipient feel good. It makes the person that does the thanking feel good too. There is something inexplicably pleasant about saying “Thank you.” Not only this, the more one celebrates life by thanking whatever it is out there, the better things seem to get. I have moments of saying “Thank you” constantly. About six months ago I had a mad fortnight or so when I felt the need to thank everything that moved, hiccoughed, did nothing, smiled, sat, snoozed in a flowerpot or sang a song. Everything nice seemed to be happening, and I wanted to say “Thanks”. It was as if time itself was irrelevant. The gratefulness was making flowers grow, unexpectedly lovely things arrive, the bank made an error in my favour and even the sun shone. Before I even bothered to say “Thank you,” stuff was anticipating my mood.

It is no coincidence that when one learns to be a Reiki Practitioner, one of the key daily principles is to be grateful. Being gracious is inspirational and can, and indeed does work miracles.

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