Can you speak on the alchemy of gratefulness?
Gratefulness is certainly the most precious alchemical process. Gratefulness consists of a few fundamentals of spiritual awakening.
The first: that you are needed by existence. Man’s greatest need is to be needed. And if you can feel that even trees, the moon, the sun and the stars all need you… without you this existence will miss something, will not be complete – although you are so small, almost nothing. But unless you were needed, you would not have been here. There must be some essential need which you are fulfilling; without you here would be a gap which nobody else could fill.
You are not replaceable.
The second… that you are so unworthy, so undeserving, you have done nothing to have this dignity to be part of this beautiful existence. The feeling of your nothingness, the feeling of your being almost a nobody… still, existence goes on showering its love. Not that you deserve, not that you have earned it in any way – but it is simply the nature of existence, its overflowing joy, its overflowing love, its overflowing nourishment, its playfulness. And it goes on giving without asking anything in return. Its greatness, its vastness… our smallnest, our nothingness. Its abundance and our nobodiness immediately create a deep, heartfelt feeling of gratitude.
In gratitude your mind is no more… because the mind can exist with doubt, the mind can exist with anger, the mind can exist with hate, the mind can exist with any kind of neurosis. But the mind cannot exist with innocence, with humbleness, with gratitude, with love, with meditation.
And the alchemy of gratefulness is that it dissolves your mind, it evaporates your ego, it makes you absent in a sense and present in another sense… absent as a personality, and present as an individuality; absent as somebody, and present as nobody.
If you can remember as much as possible this state of gratitude, slowly slowly it will penetrate into your blood, into your bones, into your marrow. Then there will be no need to remember; then it will simply be there – like breathing, like heartbeats. Then you can be certain that you have arrived home. Now there is nowhere to go; you have achieved the unachievable, you have found the ultimate secret of life. Now you are not just a part of existence, but the whole of it.
To me, this is the only prayer. All other prayers – that arises out of you as fragrance arises from flowers; a prayer that is not said, not expressed in words, but is lived. It is expressed in words, but is lived. It is expressed in each of your actions, in each of your gestures. You have a tremendous reverence for life; out of this reverence nonviolence arises. Out of this reverence a love for peace and a rebelliousness against all war and destruction arises. This prayer is nothing but a silent “thank you”. But its alchemical impact on your being is immeasurable.
Osho, The Rebel, Chapter #28, Q/3