Cultivating Virtues - Gratitute

(Lecture given in Montevideo, August 11, 1946 by Carlos Bernardo Gonzalez Pecotche*)

"Today, the world is going through difficult times because — as I said long ago — human beings have stopped thinking, and when this happens it becomes very easy to lead them down any path, even towards chasms or hell. And as they do not think it would be just as well to use a trumpet to call them, and they would all follow. In doing so they revert back to the nomad spirit which leaves no alternative but extermination, that is, the total annulment of the rational being who, being conscious of his existence, stops thinking and therefore ceases to exist as an independent individual even though he wears clothes, looks at himself in the mirror and believes that he is a man. The real man [or woman,] the prototype of the human species... utilizes everything that he was given with the purpose of bettering himself and, as a primary cause, creates the thought, exercises the act of thinking and is conscious of his capability to elevate himself above those who do not think.

I tell you this because difficult times are still to come. The mind that does not think is defenseless and left at the mercy of any thought; the mind that thinks protects the integrity of the individual who strenuously resists to be dragged where those who do not think go.

Those of you who have read or remember today what I had stated many years ago, will find the explanation of this recommendation and come to understand the reason for insisting that the act of thinking must not be neglected. How could one conserve what was one day deemed to be good if one does not maintain consciousness of this thought? Obviously it is maintained when one thinks and judges consciously, affirming within oneself the results obtained.

...I do not remember if it was here or somewhere else that I referred to a certain event in my life, an event that is reproduced in everybody's life and which generally passes inadvertently. I stated then that I conserved clearly the memory of everything that was gratifying to me and felt towards it an inalterable gratitude even when it referred to something inanimate. This constituted a virtue that protected me against an infinite number of evils. This is why I once said that gratitude makes the ear more agile, allowing our senses to detect harm well before it arrives. Ingratitude, on the other hand, is a spiritual deafness that impedes one from listening to the oncoming danger and protect oneself against it. 

It is in small things, facts and circumstances that one finds the explanation of other much greater events that frequently occur, not been able to detect them in small things, the individual is not able to obtain an explanation for the others...

I am eternally grateful towards all the thoughts that in one way or another contributed to making my life more gratifying and I etch in this gratitude the loyalty with which I conserve this memory that will never wane because it is contained where everything that constitutes the history of my life is kept.

To remember the good received is to be deserving of all the things that could be offered to us in the future. Do not forget that when a father gives advice it is because he has already lived everything this advice contains, and by expressing it want to protect his son from what was for him a cause of suffering or what could have hurt him.

You can see, now, how the words carry in themselves value when they accomplish their objective, which is to avoid and fight destructive forces so that it makes fewer victims every day and thus lessen its harm to mankind.

In a similar manner you must be loyal to everything that once deserved your affection, your concern, your interest or your attention and retain your gratitude to whatever contributed to spare you harm or made your life happier and more gratifying, even though you may not have understood and assessed its full implications.

I assure you that this truth is of great importance; it is essential among all people because it builds in the world true brotherhood based on the knowledge of doing good for goodness's sake. You who are not made of stone, you who have feelings, who are beginning to think consciously with the cognition, you can achieve this stupendous step of self improvement that opens your eyes to the greatest of all stimuli and to the most important of all objectives.

*Excerpt from the book "An Introduction to Logosophical Cognition"originally published in Spanish. Free Translation


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