BLACK SCHOLARS’ ADDICTION TO APPRECIATIONS (23)
Sitting on my favorite rock at the ocean’s edge, I let my mind “Just Be” so as to begin my 81st birthday celebration. My attention focused on where the ocean meets the sky. Since Waves of ocean tides always harmonize my Selfhood with rhythms of Nature, my mind flowed into Nature’s processes. Meanwhile, my Selfhood quieted as it settled into what is like the calm at the ocean’s bottom. Since the ocean is the cradle of life, encompassing all of life’s dim origins + receiving many transmutations of ends of life, my thoughts bathed in its obvious, forgotten, and hidden Truths. Natural Universe rhythms, as for all within and around Humanity, have Unconditional Love as its “Genetic” source. Nature’s rhythms contain aesthetic order—and, by my becoming “One” with the Cosmic Ocean, I slid into discerning invisible essences of Truths and Realities which otherwise I would be unable to see—a discerning of the infinite in the finite as representing each imaged Thing’s Beauty and Worth. That naturally led to “ME/WE” appreciations in the “here and now.” Examples: I appreciate my good health–a career ideally suited for me—being enthusiastic about my Mission in life to help struggling people—my life’s struggles and setbacks–having people to love and knowing they love me–my possessions that bring such pleasures as to not need to go anywhere else for a vacation–my integrity to remain honorable in the midst of dishonorableness all around me—my freedom from ever hating anybody, despite the world seeming to have gone mad by honoring hatred. No one has anything I want and I envy no one. Rather, I appreciate those who have been successful in a “ME/WE” manner—and I appreciate being able to help those willing to be better or ‘less bad off’. From toddler-hood to now, I have appreciated my family and the wonderful all-Black community in which I was reared. They taught me to appreciate the fact that bad times were not any worse and that by having survived each made me stronger.
But what is the meaning of Appreciate and what does it mean to be addicted to it? Note: to enter African Philosophy, African Knowledge and European definitions/information for a given word are never, never to be mixed. A European dictionary defines ‘Addict” (C16, “to be bound over to”) as a self-generated chronic disharmony way of life—meaning one is literally sentenced to ones habit and thereby gives way to improper impulses to engage in adverse self-indulgences. However, the African equivalent is that Afrocentric people’s work of Spirituality is the subjection of their minds to the Divine Spirit so it can command the Life-Force in harmony with the Laws of Nature. Within this context, a free flowing natural process of creating, enhancing, maintaining, defending, and protecting harmony as a way of life is a good addiction. The consequence of either definition is that Addictions arise from the awareness of something or the memory of something or the wishing for something so significant as for it to become an Icon Image one creates. It is then used for life as ones Standards, Guides, Measures, and Filters.
European “Appreciate” definitions are: (C17) “setting a price on something”; estimating worth; esteem highly; Thankful; Gratitude. In African Tradition, each of these words is distinct—is Spiritually based—and is not about the Material. Instead, as opposed to Acquired Emotions (e.g. likes/dislikes), to Appreciate requires use of ones Pure Emotions. One enjoys Beautiful expressions out of Spiritual Elements’ products within a given creation/creature–especially “ME/WE” displays. Such Appreciation may range from admiration–all the way over to being in awe and full of wonder for it “just being” the way it is and what it does. Personally, to see the infinite in the finite means to see my own Soul in a Thing. Since my Soul shares a “Sameness” of “Genetics” with all other like-kind Things, I can properly use my Pure Emotions for “Feeling” it. Those Feelings, said Ancient Africans, derive from ones Soul’s Spiritual Elements being like a radar beacon “Trademark” and connecting with the infinite. They defined Gratefulness as recognition/enjoyment of the God Substance (Essence) naturally present in oneself as well as in any attribute received from other people.Appreciation and Gratefulness “Feelings” spur one to express Thankfulness to God for the ability to recognize and enjoy the Substance of God in real creatures and creations. Gratitude is Appreciation, Gratefulness, and Thankfulness for being made in God’s Image + possessing Selfhood Greatness of incalculable magnitude and its provision of unlimited potential power directed toward achieving ones Mission in life. jabaileymd.com
Joseph A. Bailey II, MD, FACS
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