Gratitude is ‘oh’ so simple of a concept, yet its true meaning is convoluted and obscure. The reason its essence is misunderstood to a great deal, is that our concept of life is the antithesis of what our ancient ancestors knew: that it is closely associated with death. Furthermore, what if I told you that the Egyptian/Kemetian “Book of the Dead” (“Per Em Heru” or “Book of Coming Forth by Day”) has much to do with gratitude?

The book is a compilation of rituals and spells to guide the aspirant through the underworld-death into the new day. But what many fail to realize is that the death mentioned in the book is in reference to what we call “life.” Yes, we are in the land of the dead right now; so our ancestors charged themselves with the task of documenting information on how to properly transition from death to life, or illusion to reality.

Furthermore, they were aware that this bubble of death we live in is designed to mature and educate the soul. What we call life is pedagogy, a school of sorts. Thus, the idea of coming forth denotes a graduation. And, just as a young adult graduates from an institution and is thrust into “the real world,” so is the experience of one dying from this current paradigm, and being birth into the great beyond.

In Sufic lore there is also the concept of “dying while ye yet live,” which speaks to a transformational journey one goes through within this 3-D paradigm we live in. It refers to the death of one’s juvenile, neophyte-self, and the birth into one’s higher “god” consciousness.

In each instance described above, the same esoteric idea of gratitude applies. Deriving from the root gar, gratitude means “cry out or shout.” From a connotative sense though, gratitude means to be thankful. So, let’s combine both the denotative meaning – cry out, and the connotative – give thanks, to find the essence of this word. When we give thanks, we are actually giving “thought.” And thought is the precursor of sound, which is what “crying out” refers to. Thus, to esoterically show gratitude, is to be thoughtful and careful with what one cries out or speaks, understanding that these vibrations bounce and reflect throughout the cosmos.

But still, what does any of this have to do with death?? For many of us, when we show gratitude about, for example, arising to another birthday, the catalyst for our jubilation is the fact that we’re not dead. We’re just glad to be alive. But, is being alive a symbol of triumph, or are the activities associated with being alive more important? I choose the latter. I guy once told me, “Don’t just add years to your life; add life to your years.”

My argument is that a life devoid of daily learning, and a continuing hunger to understand who you are, and your mission, is purposeless. A day without learning is a day that you did not live. The gratitude then, should be for the opportunity to learn and refine oneself, while still in school. Every day is a chance to improve yourself, to stretch and grow yourself.

Thus, as you learn and grow more, your words will be more powerful, and you will “think” and “cry out” incantations of power, manifesting with intent and purpose, and not haphazardly existing like a leaf, being blown to and froe. As you allow yourself to rise like the high tides of the Nile River, you will fulfill the mission of the Divine to know itself through experience, until you finally come forth by day, restored to your full, risen potential.

Be gracious, remain humble and persistent, as you continue on the greatest journey known to man: the path of knowing yourself. And, as this year concludes, make sure you remember to stay down until you get up, and when you get up, stay down.

Peace and Power!

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