‘Tis the Heart that Puts the Human in Humanness
Acceptance, gratitude, and forgiveness are uniquely human – as far as we know. They are part of the treasure of the heart and essential qualities of true nature. Let’s look at their individual and collective contributions to the process of understanding and spiritual development.
These jewels of the heart are mostly misunderstood by the ego-mind within the limited confines of a dualistic, cause and effect paradigm. At their core, within the realm of the soul and true nature, they are radically different from what the mind imagines.
Acceptance, gratitude, and forgiveness are a mere sampling of the heart’s rich and sublime treasure. In the Diamond Approach, an exploration of the heart and love delves into these three qualities and many more.
Acceptance is not the opposite of rejection
In the dual world, the world of personality, acceptance lies in the province of the comparative mind, the realm of either/or, yes or no. Acceptance is mostly seen as saying yes to something, but being in the now, being Being requires openness not agreement.
This means that no part of ego is capable of accepting. The individuality of ego is incapable of Acceptance because its very existence depends on a subtle attitude of rejection. Ego can only cease rejecting, but it cannot accept. The complete cessation of rejection is the absence of all defense and resistance. This precipitates the aspect of Acceptance. – A. H. Almaas, The Pearl Beyond Price, ch. 24
Essential acceptance is not a doing. In fact, it can’t be done. It is a beingness, a state of being, an openness to what is, a seeing, and feeling, and experiencing of what’s what. Without openness, we cannot truly explore, understand, and participate in our process of development and growth.
Acceptance will not be the personality accepting. Acceptance will be essence coming; it will be like a benediction, a blessing, a gentle rain. The personality cannot accept. It can surrender to the truth of the moment—which is the same as the stopping of rejection—surrender and allow what is there to be there without preference and judgment. For example, if you feel your knee now, you have no judgment, good or bad, about it; this is the attitude of allowing. When that surrender to the truth happens, then the acceptance comes and is experienced as a gentle, cool shower. After the hot harshness of the constant rejection of the personality, it feels so cool and refreshing. Your heart will be cool and your mind rested. The feverish movement of rejection is gone. You cannot act in such a way as to accept, but you can allow acceptance by allowing and perceiving the rejection. Even the lack of awareness of a feeling is a rejection of it. Dullness, dimness, numbing all are rooted in rejection. Often the personality pretends to accept things as they are, in order to avoid a feeling. When you’re completely aware of what is happening and not doing anything about it, you surrender to the truth and open the door for acceptance to rain on you. It washes away the pain that you wanted to avoid and reject. You don’t want to reject the pains, you are aware and surrender to their existence. – A. H. Almaas, Diamond Heart Book Two, ch. 6
Acceptance is associated with the color of aquamarine, a combination of the green of compassion and the blue of consciousness with a little more green than blue because openness to our experience often means openness to our pain and suffering. Compare this to forgiveness which is turquoise more blue than green because forgiveness results in more openness of “beginner’s mind.”
One way I see our situation is that creation, or the universe, is like a tree. Love is the flowers of the tree, and the human being is the final fruit of the tree, the final fruit of creation. The thick nectar of the ripe fruit is gratitude. Gratitude for how things are, gratitude for being vulnerable, gratitude that you can be completely influenceable. Gratitude for being human. – A. H. Almaas, Diamond Heart Book Three, ch. 13
Gratitude deeper than thankful
Appreciation is a first step toward gratitude.
Gratitude is always a response to the functioning of the totality of the situation – A. H. Almaas
The following are related to gratitude and gratefulness: outflow, generosity, fulfillment, and contentment. Gratitude requires recognition and understanding,
Gratitude is greater than, deeper than thankfulness or valuing something, though both are needed and contribute to the experience of gratitude. Gratitude also involves the elements of fulfillment and contentment – the satisfaction of recognizing the fruition of some part of one’s process – a recognition that the Work is working.
So, gratitude has to do with our personal development and the fruit of the Work. It’s a result of a kind of spiritual metabolism of experience, a ripening of the soul, the “bearing fruit” stage of the growth process.
Gratitude is not only part of the metabolic process of inner growth, it is also nourishment and fuel for the process of unfoldment and understanding – part of the perpetual dynamism between not-knowing and revelation.
A barrier to gratitude is holding on to the past, especially negativity from the past, which includes emotional hurt, anger, and hatred from interactions with others. This will block full awareness of the situation and the full process of unfoldment.
Without gratitude, there will be no ripening, no fruition.
Grace comes to forgive and then forgive again. – Rumi
Forgiveness is not a mental action.
In the normal world, the everyday world of humanity, forgiveness is understood as an action we take, a decision made – I forgive you. In the essential world, forgiveness is the arising of a particular state of being that reflects a result of a metabolic process of understanding.
Forgiveness, the process of letting go of the past is a stage in the process of the arising of the turquoise aspect of true nature which is deeper, more subtle, and more comprehensive than forgiveness,
Forgiveness heals the heart
The state of forgiveness has clarity, openness, purity, and innocence. There is a freshness in the mind, a result of the past falling away. Events still happened, but the sticky emotional and psychological detritus disconnects and fades away.
Our past is burdensome, heavy, opaque, and energy-draining. When we don’t reject and the past falls away, life is fresh, we are fresh. With the inclusion of gratitude, one might say we are fresh fruit, ripened by reality.