Suspect Insight Forums
Suspect Insight Forums
Would you like to react to this message? Create an account in a few clicks or log in to continue.

Go down
LSDMB
LSDMB

12 Rules for Cultivating Moral Virtue, An Antidote to Sin; Rule 1: Gratitude Empty 12 Rules for Cultivating Moral Virtue, An Antidote to Sin; Rule 1: Gratitude

on Fri May 22, 2020 10:53 am
Message reputation : 100% (3 votes)
Of all of the practices I will explain in this series, few are more ubiquitous in training the affections than a practice of gratitude, few are more agreeable to the self interested disposition of man, few are more intuitive to the current circumstances of most, and few provide such an obvious and immediate return on investment. As such, it is a great disappointment that the practice of gratitude is not more widely and extensively among humanity, and it is a good first practice to take in the cultivation of moral virtue.

Gratitude constitutes the state of being appreciative and thankful for what one has, and to call forth such a state of mind, one has a myriad of options to choose from. One could turn their focus towards their loved ones, their friends and family who have provided them support, comfort, and company. For example, the countless sacrifices made for a person by their parents or caregivers are frankly incalculable. I know I in particular am extremely blessed with the family and friends that have been given to me, and all they have done for me in my life. There are few things more nourishing and beautiful than these kinds of intimate relationships.

One could also contemplate their civilization, for which, in most instances, there is much to be thankful for. There are the countless generations of dialogue and wisdom that have accrued across an incomprehensible amount of time to produce the culture, perspective, and education gifted to modern man. The labor and innovation that has accumulated across generations to produce the wealth and technologies behind our agriculture, our infrastructure, our comfort, our convenience, our medical technology, and our homes also form a stark contrast between how we live now, and how people lived even fifty years ago, much less further back across the span of human history. Then of course there is the sacrifice of blood spilt by those who risked and gave their own lives to protect the society you currently live in. It is important to remember and be grateful for the fact that you stand on the shoulders of giants in a manner of speaking.

Then, of course, a Christian also has God to be grateful for and towards. The foundation for all of reality, our Creator, our Lord and Savior. The praises a Christian could have for God are endless, and the blessings he has bestowed upon us are countless and greater in depth than the human mind could even comprehend. The sacrifice on the cross, the promise of salvation, the strength we find in the Lord, and the unconditional love of God are blessings so deep we could never earn them, and yet we receive them nonetheless. If you are a Christian, this kind of gratitude is one of special significance to cultivate, for the sake of loving the Lord your God with all of your heart, all of your soul, all of your mind, and all of your strength.

In addition, there are a few particular sentiments worth indulging for the sake of cultivating gratitude. One such sentiment is the appreciation for beauty, which can be found in great music or art, nature, sunrises and sunsets, the night sky, and in my own experience particularly in national parks, areas of land marked by such a profound beauty society determined they were worth preserving and maintaining against other interests. Another such sentiment is nostalgia, which allows you to tap into a sense of gratitude across time. This is important for the sake of making one’s life more integrated and complete, the potential depth of gratitude in past experiences that have truly left a profound impact on a person, and in allowing a person to reach into their past for gratitude when they cannot do so sufficiently within their present.

There are, however, a few sentiments that must be discouraged, these being the sentiments that would lead a person to the rejection of gratitude. The first and most obvious of these sentiments is that of entitled bitterness. The expression of this particular sentiment is usually along the lines of “Why should I be grateful for what I have when what I have is such shit!” It is the notion that gratitude for what you have would be an insult to your honor and ego. This is an attitude fundamentally rooted in pride and is inherently deceptive, as it claims to speak in your interest, yet offers you no benefit. It replaces the potential for happiness with the suffering of bitterness, and it is not in any way constructive. There is a place for the pursuit of justice, however if you pursue it from a state of bitterness rather than one of proper appreciation for value, your judgment will be too terribly askew to trust in that pursuit. As such, this sentiment is one you should certainly make a point to discourage within yourself and avoid indulging.

The other sentiment is one that is more subtle and typically unspoken, that being a state of self-deprecation in which one refuses gratitude because they do not believe themselves worthy of happiness. This is a self-destructive attitude fundamentally rooted in shame, and attitudes of this nature are particularly difficult to dispel. One important thing to remember is that you, much like everyone else, are a person of intrinsic value, and that dissatisfaction in this manner is purely destructive and offers no benefit to yourself or anyone else. The other thing worth addressing is the concept of worthiness as it relates to gratitude. It is worthwhile to flip the script, and rather than considering whether or not you deserve the joy gratitude brings, instead consider whatever blessing has befallen you as something that deserves gratitude accorded to it. That the act of gratitude itself makes one worthy of the joy it brings, as gratitude is the fulfillment of a moral good.

As previously mentioned, the spiritual benefits of gratitude are rather ubiquitous. Primarily, it deepens the love and humility of a person, as it is an expression of both. It is the lowering of oneself to experience appreciation that is humility, and it is the appreciation itself that is an expression of and cause for love. In gratitude, you find an appreciation for life itself, for your own existence, for your blessings, for God, and for your fellow man that make these things easier to love and submit yourself to in service. As such it is also an effective antidote to both arrogance and shame, as it both humbles you in appreciation, and gives you something of positive value to run towards as a replacement for the need to run away from something within yourself.

It also helps stave off the temptation towards sin in general. The anger and hatred of wrath become smaller in proportion to the joy bestowed by gratitude. The entitlement and craving of lust, greed, and gluttony is weakened by a more fulfilled sense of contentment. The lethargy of sloth is instead replaced by a sense of appreciation and commitment towards something worth honoring. The bitterness of envy finds itself undone by a focused appreciation for the fact that things could be much worse rather than a resentment towards the notion that things could be better.

Gratitude also helps encourage many virtues. Sacrifice becomes easier when you are genuinely thankful for all that has been sacrificed for your sake. Diligence becomes easier when you feel you have something worth honoring and living for through your work. Forgiveness becomes more intuitively correct when you appreciate all that has been forgiven of you, and repentance more intuitive when your thankfulness gives you a standard worth living up to. And the pursuit of justice becomes righteous when you seek to uphold genuinely felt value rather than when you act out of a very horrendously biased sense of bitterness and offense.

So by all means, count your blessings daily. Accord them the gratitude appropriate to them. Find a deeper joy in repaying these blessings through gratitude than in the fleeting happiness of self-indulgence. And find your own righteousness magnified by the desire to honor what has been bestowed upon you.


Last edited by LSDMB on Fri May 22, 2020 3:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
SithSauce
SithSauce
Level One
Level One

12 Rules for Cultivating Moral Virtue, An Antidote to Sin; Rule 1: Gratitude Empty Re: 12 Rules for Cultivating Moral Virtue, An Antidote to Sin; Rule 1: Gratitude

on Fri May 22, 2020 2:09 pm
Message reputation : 100% (1 vote)
Great piece, how did you turn to christianity?
LSDMB
LSDMB

12 Rules for Cultivating Moral Virtue, An Antidote to Sin; Rule 1: Gratitude Empty Re: 12 Rules for Cultivating Moral Virtue, An Antidote to Sin; Rule 1: Gratitude

on Fri May 22, 2020 3:35 pm
@SithSauce wrote:Great piece, how did you turn to christianity?
I was raised with it by my parents in a rather effective way for my personality. When I was younger my two main characteristics were my curiosity and my rebelliousness, and so my parents raising me as a Christian but not being hyperstrict about it made it something I was curious about rather than rebellious against. It was always something I had taken seriously but never the center of my life until I had some psychedelic experiences that really brought it into focus for me.
Latham2000
Latham2000
Level Two
Level Two

12 Rules for Cultivating Moral Virtue, An Antidote to Sin; Rule 1: Gratitude Empty Re: 12 Rules for Cultivating Moral Virtue, An Antidote to Sin; Rule 1: Gratitude

on Fri May 22, 2020 4:13 pm
Message reputation : 100% (1 vote)
This is absolutely correct.
Sponsored content

12 Rules for Cultivating Moral Virtue, An Antidote to Sin; Rule 1: Gratitude Empty Re: 12 Rules for Cultivating Moral Virtue, An Antidote to Sin; Rule 1: Gratitude

Back to top
Permissions in this forum:
You can reply to topics in this forum