Forgiveness & Gratitude

Brute force has long been the preferred way for the brutes among us to express themselves, and the recent violence in Sutherland Springs is an example of just how brutal some so-called humans can be to others. But many of us are quietly, pitilessly brutal to ourselves, sometimes without even knowing it; and those senseless murders in a place of worship are a valuable reminder of just how fleeting embodied life really is, how at any moment it can be snuffed out without warning.

November is the month of Thanksgiving in the U.S., and of all the many things we have to be grateful we should be most grateful by far for life itself, for this precious gift that we have been permitted to enjoy for an unknown length of time, via the vehicle of the human body. Living flesh is a veritable miracle, one for which we should be daily thankful.

That many who know no better ruin their physique with diet and habits that they “fall into” makes all the more distressing the plight of those who, knowing better, torture themselves in the name of spiritual development. While it is true that a life dedicated to the pursuit of the pleasures of the senses is usually a life wasted, a rigid refusal to take proper care of one’s meat chariot often reflects a stubbornly spiritual anti-materialism passing for “enlightened neglect”.

Only after realizing the One does one gain a truly accurate perspective on the innate value of manifested existence. A saint who knowingly elects to let the body fully go its own way ought not be emulated by an ambitious aspirant whose mind (and body) are still not fully sanctified and whose judgement is thus imprecise. So long as we live our bodies are our responsibility, a responsibility that we only dare ignore after our alignment with Reality becomes true.

As awareness dawns within us of the violence that we have done to our physical selves we must ask forgiveness of our long-suffering limbs, and we must forgive ourselves for being self-violent, just as the Prince of Peace, whose house of worship was so cruelly violated, calls upon the members of his congregation to forgive the deranged human who violated them. In their forgiving of him they release him from themselves, that they may move forward in life without being poisoned by thoughts of hatred or possessed by the demons of revenge; as we forgive ourselves our past errors we can let go of our unhealthy past selves and be reborn as beings of sound mind in sound bodies.