We are told that gratitude is a miracle, essential for fastest spiritual progress. Surely we shall be most grateful for what we have and what we are when we have achieved perfection, so the fullest expression of gratitude will blossom once we are perfect.
We are also told that aspiration is a spiritual miracle, indispensable for fastest spiritual progress. Aspiration is an intensified longing for as-yet unachieved perfection.
So it would seem that one would be most grateful when one is already perfect and most aspiring when one is yet to reach perfection; for in imperfection there is not enough to be grateful for, and in perfection there is nothing left to aspire for. Gratitude implies a certain satisfaction with our condition, aspiration a definite dissatisfaction. Seen in this way, gratitude and aspiration are incompatible rivals, each requiring the exclusivity of our attention and spiritual focus: where there is one, there cannot properly and fully be the other.
This conclusion may hold sway in the reasoning mind, that gloomy dining room where opposites are served for breakfast, contradictions for lunch and differing divisions for dinner.
The moment we enter into meditation and dive into the infinitude of our hearts, such rivalry and contradiction disappears, for gratitude and aspiration are twin children of the infinite.
While it is good to be grateful for what we already have and are, the highest satisfaction – deserving of infinitely more gratitude – lies yet ahead. What will guide us to this satisfaction? – Aspiration! – so it is aspiration for which we should be most grateful. What will open our hearts faster and most powerfully to grow into this satisfaction? – Gratitude! – so for ever-deeper, ever-sweeter and ever-more sincere gratitude we must constantly aspire.
Thus the more aspiration with gratitude dances, the more each other enhances.