The Editor Asks An Important Question About Gratitude
Brenda Becker, the indispensable editor of Absolutely Yours, asked me if gratitude is dualism. I promised her I’d write about it in the next post. What follows is not about gratitude expressed when someone does something nice for you? That’s a courtesy. I’m writing about gratitude expressed “to” God for “His manifold blessings.”
When I read Brenda’s question, I had flashbacks of my first days as minister of the Unity in Silver Spring church. At the close of the service we all held hands in a circle. A man led the closing prayer with these words “We are so grateful. We are so grateful. We are so grateful.” Every time he said the word grateful, the few and fine hairs on my back bristled. I felt the ghost of “ol’ time religion” in the room.
The Trinity Of Dualism
Webster’s definition of gratitude is riddled with dualism. Gratitude is defined as “appreciation of benefits received.” Do you see the dualism? Count them yourself: The receiver (1) is appreciative of the benefits (2) from the giver (3).
In our case, this trinity of dualism looks like (1) God, the giver (2) the gift, and (3) the receiver. If the gift is big enough, or comes right in the nick of time to avoid a calamity, the receiver may look heavenward and blurt out “Thank God.” Is this dualism? You bet.
Why? Because in most cases, the person who thanks God believes God to be something other than her own I AM. Look at it this way. Have you ever bought something nice for yourself – something you’ve been wanting for a long time? Did you thank yourself after purchasing it? Most likely not? We only thank so-called “others.”
Christ Jesus Explains His Expression Of Gratitude
The Abundance of Oneness can never be experienced in the human attitude of gratitude. The two are farther removed from one another as the earth is from the sun. Indivisible Oneness of existence is the reality of Being. Here there are no gifts, no giver, and no receiver. The Allness of God is All there is.
“But,” you ask, “didn’t Jesus thank God when he raised Lazarus?” Yes, he did, but take a look at the record. “And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, ‘Father, I thank You that You have heard me. And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.’”
Did you catch the reason he thanked God? Christ Jesus knew that many still believed that God was a separate Identity. He also knew they worshiped Him as a personal doer. He often said, “I of myself can do nothing,” but they insisted that Christ Jesus, of Himself, was the doer. Publicly thanking God was Christ’s way of diverting attention away from Himself as a personal doer to the eternal action of the One Presence and Power.
The Bottom Line
Here is the bottom line:
Gratitude expressed “to” God is dualism.
Being grateful that you know God Is All is not.