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The Ten Commandments of Everyday Living 6

Show appreciation to others at every opportunity

To show appreciation to others is an act of great kindness to ourselves because the power in the words thank you opens the doors of opportunity.

We see this more clearly when we have enough understanding of the process of incarnation to recognise that, in the way that a screen gives the point to a projector, ‘other’ makes everything happen.

Regardless of whether ‘other’ is a circumstance, an event, an object, an animal or another person, the truth of ourselves is to be found in the relationship that we have with other.  It is for this that we come into incarnation.  When we understand this we become appreciative from the core of our being because appreciation is an aspect of recognition.  Regardless of what other does to us, we know that it is only our own reality that is being played back to us for our benefit.  When we appreciate the process we benefit from the process; but until then we simply suffer amid life’s trials and indignities.

People who feel diminished by saying thank you or who view it as an irksome obligation are in the suffering stage, stinging from a process they do not yet understand and trying to protect their wretched egos by withholding appreciation from others.  Failure to show appreciation is very revealing of the true level of development.  The only thing too big to show appreciation (or to apologise) is ego.  A person who cannot say thank you or sorry has yet to learn the things that matter.  The things that matter concern how to relate appreciatively and respectfully to all that is other and which is serving his developmental needs as he serves others.  We are all in this together.

Every month we receive hundreds of e-mails at the DK Foundation.  Most are from people asking for advice.  We always reply.  Some recipients write back to say thank you (one such person is the writer of the letter featured as this months LOM) but they are the minority. With these people we often develop a long and useful association.  Of the people who offer nothing back, I chase after those who are ready to be given the wake-up call, pointing out to them that we have spent time and effort in answering their question and that an acknowledgment is due.  I do this not because we need to receive thanks but because the recipient needs to learn to give it if he wants doors to open to him on his spiritual path.  Where better to start than showing appreciation to people trying so hard to help?  But mostly we let the matter go because the door has already slammed shut.   Not having heard what they wanted to hear, it does not occur to these enquirers to express appreciation for the time and effort given.

The same attitude is extended into life.  If we don’t get what we want, it does not occur to us to say thank you for what we did get.  When it comes to nationalities it is hard to say which is the least expressive of appreciation: the Australians, the Americans or the British.  The basic cause is resentment against a life which should be better than it is. Allergic reactions come from this place too and are the result of insufficient appreciation.

When we understand the process we will know that there is no bad luck; things are the only way they can be until we learn how to change them.  When they fall short of expectation then maybe we need to ponder on why this should be and be appreciative of the opportunity to do this.  This is why we are here in incarnation.

We miss the point when we expect perfection and withhold appreciation because things are not good enough for us.  What Earth offers us is an opportunity to externalise and adjust consciousness.  There are many disincarnate beings with their noses pressed against the window of the material plane wanting to get back to this place where they can adjust the things that keep them in a state of suffering.

Appreciation is an aspect of love.  Its scent is sweet and its effects far-reaching, yet we deny ourselves the benefits of this because of our worthless, defensive pride, and none are more likely to deprive themselves than those with a little esoteric knowledge and a lot of spiritual ambition.

The great body of esoteric knowledge that is Theosophy serves one purpose and one purpose only, and that is to inspire respect for the process of which we are a part, so that we live our daily lives more consciously and more purposefully.  It is an appeal made to the mental body, but whether there are seven rays or twelve, three keys or five, is unimportant to the person who can distinguish spirituality from intellectualism. These things are merely the conceptual scaffolding within which, it is to be hoped, the personality is becoming more aware, more appreciative of the processes in which we are involved and more conscious in our use of life and time.

The value of this extraordinary scheme laid out by Blavatsky and Bailey is in its power to persuade us that our lives are worth something and to encourage us to use our time well, hopefully and wisely.  But so many now are looking down the wrong end of the telescope, their everyday lives paling into insignificance and their relationships into neglect as they count rays, award themselves initiations, feel superior to others and focus expectantly upon the extravaganza that the Masters are expected to unfold, that the Hierarchy has no choice but to abandon this structure.  The water has flooded in, and what ever is going on within this edifice now, it is not the kind of effort that makes ideas spiritually transformative. So once again we are being encouraged by the Hierarchy to put our small houses in order by looking at ourselves and paying attention to the quality of our everyday lives. 

Even if you think your life is bitch and that I am undeservedly lucky, try expressing gratitude and let its effects communicate their own message.  At first it may be just words, but in time, who knows, those words may open up the door of your heart and let in the secret of life on Earth.

DK Foundation member, Elizabeth Dempsey, to whom this article is dedicated, says this:

I had to learn appreciation, and it was that which lighted my way out of the darkest darkness.  Appreciation is nothing short of magic; it opens our eyes and reveals a whole new world!

Suzanne Rough

The DK Foundation

March 2006

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