Conscious Gratitude

(Lecture given in Buenos Aires, September 20th, 1949 by Carlos Bernardo Gonzalez Pecotche*) 

"I once said that one of the causes of human unhappiness was due to man's ignorance regarding the correct behavior he must adopt in each act of his life. To condone this teaching, I referred to something very important that I will now repeat urging you to follow the example because it is a goodness that needs to be cultivated.

I am sure that all of you here have had one or more moments of joy or happiness. But I am also sure that it has not occurred to anyone to remember these moments, not so much to relive the image of joy or happiness but as a token of gratitude to that instant that was yours, that was lived by you and that should be made to last in your memories as should everything that has been grateful in your life be made to last and remain identified as something of your own.

When one experiences the well-known sensation of emptiness, lassitude, or despondency, is it not a trait of intelligence to allow one's mind to share once again the gratifying moment that was lived happily, and being real, has been part of our life? If we forget this act, it is because we have demeaned that part of our life that belongs to it.

This would, obviously, seem inconceivable to the common mind, to the physical mind; but if one is capable of consulting one’s conscience, I am sure that it will state that this remembrance is sometimes as necessary as the one that frequently moves us to seek another moment of joy or happiness. What we have then is that in the first case the moment that was lived had passed and was forgotten, and in the second case we have a moment to be lived in the future. But if the moment to be lived in the future also passes through our life without being retained in it, it will become something that was lived unconsciously, without any benefit or usefulness to us; and if other such moments, as those that constitute one's entire existence, were added to this one, then the individual would have lived a totally sterile life. But this need not happen: if we are living, then it must be for a purpose, and if we want to live, then it must also be for a purpose; and what is the meaning of this desire to live? It means that what we will live in the future must be of great value to us since we want to live it. Is it not so? Why then do we forget it after having lived it as if it did not belong to us? Therein resides the seed of ingratitude manifested in a person. No! Life must have a great value and must not just contain what we are living or what we will live in the future; life constitutes our past, that must integrate our present since our present will become tomorrow our past. Should we forget that too? Why not strive to integrate, within ourselves, what we will live as something that must always be alive instead of letting it pass without giving it the importance it deserves as something that was lived? In doing so, we will be able to maintain permanently within ourselves our whole life, otherwise, we will only have a piece of it that will diminish every day as a result of having lost the consciousness of everything we lived before."

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


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