What’s Going On? #87
Written by Donna in November 2001
ALONG THE WAY:
Spirit is teaching the awareness to be fully conscious.
THIS MONTH’S THOUGHT:
I refuse to dissipate my precious energy over things I can do nothing about.
SCHOOL TALK #32 THANKXGIVING
(Excerpts from a talk by Dr. Bob Gibson)
In as much as Thanksgiving is coming up I thought it might be appropriate that we talked about thanksgiving or the giving of thanks, which is possibly the idea of gratitude, being thankful or full of thanks or gratitude or appreciation for everything that’s around us. Now, of course, we have a national holiday set out for one day of being thankful. It’s been promoted until all we can think of is turkey, dressing, and cranberry sauce. Now there’s nothing wrong with any of those things. They’re all wonderful and I like them all. Let’s think in terms of just being thankful and let’s don’t put it down to one day. I think in order to experience being thankful it requires being aware of our four questions that we frequently run through with: What am I? Where am I? What’s going on here? and What can I do? I don’t think we ever outgrow these four questions. So I think it is well to be reminded of them frequently. Because they are the key to an inner state of being that is hard to surpass.
So if we see “What am I?” I’m obviously a privileged, invited guest by Life in this place That is something to be very thankful for. That I’m here. And I was invited to be here and share in this thing called Life in this beautiful planet called Earth. The next question is: “Where am I?” I’m at the beautiful planet Earth, where there’s mountains and there’s trees and there’s hills and there is plains and there is birds and there is butterflies and there is little streams and there’s rains here and there and there’s flowers blooming and there is many different climates. So there is everything to be thankful for where we are. And Life is the Host here and I think that is an extremely outstanding something to be in awe-ful thanks—In awe. Of how much it provides for us. Where there is Life. And what all it produces that we are free to use everyday of the week. So, what’s going on here? There’s obviously a big party going on. There’s jillions of people out here playing games. Now that is something to be very thankful for. That we can play whatever game we want to and we usually never have to play any game we don’t want to. Now if I’m sound asleep, I don’t know there are any games. I think I’m caught up in a horrible bunch of situations and it’s terrible the kind of people that’s around. And I hear people saying there could be no God or anything else if it allows wars. But a war is a game and some people love to play it. I just happen to not want to play that game. But that doesn’t mean that somebody else who wants to play a given game shouldn’t be allowed to play it. It seems to me. People play a lot of games that I don’t want to play. I don’t want to play football. It looks like it would be hard on my ole bones. We play traffic games. We play the business game. And we play the working game. And there’s a big game going on called government. Then comes down to: What can I do? Here’s where you have, seems to me, the greatest thing to be thankful every day of the world, every day of the week, every day of the month, every hour of the day is “What can I do?” If you stop to think of all the things you are privileged to do by the very fact of being alive. You could never be thankful enough. Being thankful, again, is another state of consciousness over fault finding, blaming, complaining, sticking up for rights, feeling sorry for yourself because you have to please everybody, struggling to improve yourself, or anything else. The fact of seeing you can do anything. That you can walk. That you can taste. That you can see. That you can hear. All of these are gifts that you can stop to think how rich you are. Maybe we’re sitting around moaning that we don’t have any money and that we’re broke and we’re poor, and all this. But how much would you take for the ability to see, for instance? Say you could sell your eyes for the transplant bank for a million dollars each. Would you peddle them off? No. What would you sell your ability to hear? Got any price you would set on it? Or would say, “No sale”. I wouldn’t want to give up hearing because I run into a few irritating voices in my life. I wouldn’t want to give those up. And what would you take for tasting all these simple little things that we eat everyday. What would you think if everything was just tasted nothing? It was just blah. It wouldn’t be much fun, would it? So think of all that we have. And think of how wonderful it is to have a companion. No price on it.
So we have an extreme amount to be thankful for. And we take it all for granted. Once in awhile I’ve had occasion to work with someone who had had a severe illness of some sort or other. Say they’d had a heart attack that was really severe. Or they’d had some other totally disabling condition. They were very thankful for whatever this so-called illness was back the way because now they appreciate all the things because they almost went out without having it. And now they were busy experiencing things around them and being very thankful for hearing, for tasting, for seeing flowers, and for seeing birds flying, and seeing a butterfly drifting along, or seeing a snowstorm. All the things that they had taken for granted after it looks like you’re about to lose the whole show. You begin to be very, very thankful for what people call these simple things. I don’t see any of them as simple. To me they’re miraculous. I think the fact that two little globs of meat in the front of your head can pick up something and report it to a brain, which is a bunch of gray looking goo inside your skull, and you can come up with a picture. And you can replay that picture years later. You can see places in California, you can see places in North Carolina, you can see places in New York right now—zip, zip, zip. Just like that. A little piece of meat up here started that show. And I think that is pretty miraculous. Now what have we got to be thankful for and how, to me, can we go around with not having a constant feeling of being very, very thankful? How can you not? Which is the big item to me. But how can you keep from being very, very thankful, which is another word, I think, for being happy. How can you keep from being thankful for what’s going on around you when can just stop to look at a few of the things that we have taken for granted, which, if you look at them, are utterly, totally miraculous. Now if you took a human body and took the life out of it, you cannot prop it up to stand up. It will fall over. No matter what you do to it. But we stand up straight every day. Strange, but we do it. You don’t know how. You didn’t have to do much about it. You can walk. You can think. You can taste. You can sense all kinds of sensations. You can sense the ones that are painful because they tell you you are in danger. I’m very thankful for those because if we weren’t capable of experiencing sensations that tells us something’s very hot and going to burn you hand or that it’s sharp and going to poke in you or that it’s toxic if you put it in your mouth, you would have one terrible time surviving a day or two, ever. So think of all things that Life is and is expressing and we’re getting to go along for the ride with the greatest of ease. How can we be in any other state than being in a total state of gratitude, thanksgiving, delight, whatever word you want to use for thankfulness. I don’t see how we can keep from being there every minute. Now if you’re there all the time you live in what a person would almost have to say was a paradise. Cause that’s what they gave you as a description of paradise was that it was a place where you would be eternally delighted. And if you were totally thankful at all times at all the joys around you, then you are in paradise. Now I think that the Creative Power in the world, Life, made it quite possible for us to set here and all of us here in this room, that we could experience either a hell or a paradise right here. Apparently they are very efficient. They didn’t have to make two places. They just made one. And let us figure it out. Now if I’m sitting here full of delight and thankfulness for the joys of life and for all the opportunities and for the unusual things Life is, I mean miraculous things, they really are, I would be in a paradise. If somebody else came in and sat down and said, “The ceiling’s too low. That light flickers up there. It makes my head funny. That picture on the wall over there is very depressing with all those birds in it. That microphone is probably not making a real, good, super clear recording here. Wonder why those girls didn’t dress up when they came in here. They’d be kind of cute if they were dressed.” I could sit here and be in a literal hell. All of what? Because of the way I see things. Not because there is two different rooms here to be in or two different situations. But because I am choosing to have instead of the question what’s going on here, I am essentially saying, “What’s wrong here?” Now anytime you go around finding fault and seeing things wrong, any of us, we have been asking ourselves the question, knowingly or unknowingly, “what wrong here”. Now if you go to work today and you say what’s wrong here, there’d be lots of problems, right? If you go in and say, “What’s going on here? You’ll have a ball laughing at it.” It’s like a bunch of clowns. Did you ever go to the circus and see the clowns? Now what are the clowns doing? They’re making important very unimportant situations. That’s the only thing a clown does. Any of us could be a highly performing clown. Most people are without knowing it. But we could be a perfect clown because we make a big production out of everything. They’re merely making insignificant, little nothings very important. So if we were all dressed in clown suits we’d recognize what we’re doing. But we don’t wear suits so we forget about it. It’s not a matter of making an effort to be thankful. It seems to me that it takes a considerable amount of effort to ignore all the wondrous things that’s around us every minute. If we saw it as it is, you couldn’t keep from being in an utter state of gratitude, thanksgiving at every moment. It would be very interesting if we all practiced seeing all the things to be thankful for. If you start out to try to be thankful, you go asleep again in a very few minutes. But if you will see if you can prevent yourself from seeing the utter fantastic arrangements that Life has set up here on this planet, if you will try not to see, I think you will find that you cannot ignore it. Now Not-I’s being what they are sometimes we have to approach the situation in reverse. We had a mule when I was a kid named ole Beck. She was very contrary as many mules are. If I wanted ole Beck up next to the tongue of the wagon, you didn’t shove her from the outside towards that, instead, knowing that Beck was contrary, like human beings are, I would go stand on the tongue of the wagon and shove her hip like it was to push away from the tongue and she slammed right up against it. Then I could hook it up and everything was right. I could handle it with the greatest of ease because I knew Beck. She is going to do exactly opposite from whatever it was you wanted her to do. If you wanted her to back up, you got in front and pulled on her. She’d back right up. It was no trouble to control the mule, because I understood the mule. Now the human being with a bunch of Not-I’s is very much like a mule. So if one would want to forget something you try to remember it. It’s a very good forgetting device. If you would want to keep something in memory, try to forget it. If you’re trying to forget something, try to remember it. So in order to avoid this business of forgetting to be thankful, let’s try to forget to be thankful while we live in this world that we’re in, while we’re privileged invited guests at this beautiful estate called earth where there’s a big party going on and very interesting things going on around us and we can contribute to a pleasant mood. Let’s do our best to forget that. Try never to think of it again. So we’re going to do our best to forget what we are. We’re going to try to forget where we are. We’re going to try to forget what’s going on here. And we’re going to try to forget what we can do. So let’s work at that this week and see what things we can accomplish with it. I think we will find something about the whole idea of thanksgiving.
SYMPTOMS OF INNER PEACE:
- An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment
- A tendency to think and act spontaneously, rather than on fears based on past experiences.
- A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others and judging other people.
- A loss of interest in conflict.
- A loss of the ability to worry.
- Frequent, overwhelming episodes of appreciation.
- Contented feelings of connectedness with others and nature.
- Frequent attacks of smiling.
- An increased susceptibility to the love extended by others as well as the uncontrollable urge to extend it.
I have been asking “What can I do to be a considerate guest today?” The answer comes in opportunities if I’m awake enough to see them.
Last week I had relatives visiting from New York. They rented a car at DFW and called me when they left the airport. We agreed to meet at the Black-Eyed Pea restaurant in Hillsboro for dinner at 6:30. This allowed them 2-1/2 hours to make the 80-mile drive. I arrived at the restaurant about 6:15. They didn’t get there until 7:45. Their first question was, “How long have you been waiting?” “Not very long”, I replied, then changed the subject.
This may not be a big deal to some people. But it was to me. Because my tendency is to let others know how I have been put-upon or what a tough time I’m having. This is playing the victim role. I choose not to do that today. What would it have accomplished if I had told them I had been waiting an hour and a half? Did I want them to feel sorry for me? It was over and to re-hash it would have been a waste of time and energy.
Today I will be awake and latch on to the opportunities given to me to be a considerate guest at this incredible party. Perhaps I might even make a contribution to a pleasant, harmonious mood.