RICHARD: Gratitude is one of the many ploys designed, by those who expound on the merits of self-imposed suffering, to keep one in servile ignominy and creeping despair. As strange as it may initially seem, gratitude has the same deleterious effect upon one’s well-being as the resentment it seeks to reform. When gratitude is realised as being the panacea that it is, one will gladly renounce it along with the resentment it promises to replace. To successfully dispense with the despised resentment, its companion emotion, the extolled gratitude, must also go. It is a popular misconception that one can do away with a ‘bad’ emotion whilst hanging on to the ‘good’ one. In actualism the third alternative always applies. ‘Good’ and ‘Bad’, ‘Right’ and ‘Wrong’, ‘Virtue’ and ‘Sin’, ‘Hope’ and ‘Despair’, ‘Gratitude’ and ‘Resentment’, and so on, all disappear in the perfection of purity. Purity is the hall-mark of the stillness that is the essential character of the infinitude of the universe … which is the life-giving foundation of all that is apparent. Unless the factuality of the existence of the third alternative is firmly grasped, one is forever fated to shuttle back and forth between the opposites. Gratitude simply does not work for it draws its energy from resentment itself … and from nowhere else. Gratitude feeds off resentment – one cannot be grateful unless one is first resentful – and one cannot maintain any emotion without retaining its opposite. Neither does one adopt that other stratagem: transcendence. Transcendence is a form of sublimation … to transcend is to confirm and endorse the reality of the opposites. One disposes of all these pathetic methods very simply: By being here now as this flesh and blood body.
Being here now is to put your money where your mouth is, as it were. All other actions are methods, devices, techniques … which are, in effect, delaying tactics. The most sincere form of flattery is not, as is commonly practised, imitating all the other people’s performance of standing back and expressing a feeling. To feel an emotion or be passionate about life is nowhere near the same as actually being here now. In being here now one is completely involved. Being here now is total inclusion. One demonstrates one’s appreciation of life by partaking fully in existence … by letting this moment live one so that one is doing what is happening. One dedicates oneself to the challenge of being here now as the universe’s experience of itself. When ‘I’ willingly and voluntarily sacrifice ‘myself’ – the psychological or psychic identity residing inside this body – ‘I’ am gladly making ‘my’ most supreme donation, for ‘I’ am what one holds most dear.