I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought;
and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.
There is at the back of all our lives an abyss of light, more blinding and unfathomable than any abyss of darkness; and it is the abyss of actuality, of existence, of the fact that things truly are, and that we ourselves are incredibly and sometimes almost incredulously real.
It is the fundamental fact of being, as against not being; it is unthinkable, yet we cannot unthink it, though we may sometimes be unthinking about it; unthinking and especially unthanking.
For he who has realized this reality knows that it does outweigh, literally to infinity, all lesser regrets or arguments for negation, and that under all our grumblings there is a subconscious substance of gratitude.
Artwork by Sandra Bowden: One Hundred Percent, from the series, Reflections of Glory. Gilded encaustic panels, 100 5”x 5” gilded squares.
“Artists do not merely put on canvas what can be seen. They try to uncover something beyond the range of the eyes. I believe that art is a means to illuminate both the interior life and the exterior world, both seen and unseen. I hope Reflections of Glory will lead those who see the exhibition beyond the edge of their consciousness into a place of splendor, wonder and transcendence.” https://www.sandrabowden.com/exhibitions/reflecting-the-glory
The end of becoming is knowing that you never could, and never have, become anything in the first place other than what you already are. And what you already are has never been subject to becoming ever.
When the Gordian knot of ignorance (taking my self to be the body/mind) slips apart, then I see, Wow! This existence consciousness which I am, never becomes, never changes, is ever the same, and it is the most wonderful constant ‘me’ that I have always loved in every changing moment.
It is what I always wanted to be! And what I always wanted to be, I am! Amazing!
There is nothing that I can do to become my self, because I am already my self, and the recognition of that is called freedom!
I sit on my cushion holding a burning question: What do I know that I can assert is real and true and beyond question?
My brain is packed with knowledge: records of every incident and feeling from the past – including a constantly updated commentary; imaginings about what will come to pass, along with a mixed bag of emotional preferences and aversions. I can’t claim any of this to be true – how can anything that constantly changes be true?
There’s another brain category that fails my test for truthfulness: conclusions. Conclusions are beliefs concretized, non-negotiable. Conclusions about my ever–under–construction self. Conclusions about my life and how it should really be. Conclusions about the meaning and purpose of it all. Conclusions about God and Creation and the sacred.
I know lots of stories about all manner of things, and I acknowledge that they are only the current version of complex commentaries. But I only know one thing for sure, and it’s not an ‘about’.
It’s this: Something exists here on this cushion. Something is alive here. Something is being breathed here. Something senses Life here. I refer to it as ‘I’, but I cannot claim possession of it. It is just this. Now. Here.
This is what I can call real and true. It passes my test. It has never changed one iota in this lengthening lifetime. It can’t be fragmented, measured, observed, described or denied. All that I call ‘existence’ appears within it, and cannot be separated from it. There are no words about it that are true. So I will tell a naked lie, and call it this unlit light.