Whenever traumatic events like the death of a loved one or an accident happen our perception shifts. What used to be taken for granted starts to feel being a gift. Two experiences that had this effect on me in the past were the 911 attacks and when I fell of my bicycle and fractured my pelvis. The planes hitting the World Trade center and making it disappear was an event that I will never forget. The first four years I lived in New York my apartment was located just one block away from the towers. Even today I can close my eyes and visualize the area that is now called Ground Zero in great detail. But within the mourning for all the lost life’s that day was a feeling of appreciation not to have been there when it happened, and gratitude for still being alive. When I fractured my pelvis a flight of stairs was a huge obstacle. What usually would take me 30 seconds would take 10 minuets.  Suddenly I realized what it means to be able to walk, something I took for granted before.

After I saw Klaus in the ICU unit last week the appreciation for my life expanded drastically. Breathing, eating and drinking I am able to do all that on my own without being tied to a machine. I can walk, I can open my eyes all things that Klaus was not able to do and will not be able to do any more.

All we usually focus on is what we do not have. In my case I feel that my career should be on a different level and that I should make much more money. But what kind of problems are these? What is that compared to not be able to breathe, to eat or to walk?

I was randomly opening a book by Omraam Mikhael Aivanhof named “Know Thyself” today. I usually try not to quote from books but what I read describes exactly what I am trying to get across:

“When you get up in the morning why are you not immediately conscious that you are blessed? You have your arms and legs, hands, a mouth, ears and eyes. Suppose you woke up one morning and you found that you could neither see nor hear nor move a limb. It could happen you know; it could even happen that you do did not wake up at all! So you see my dear brother and sister you are very blessed but you don’t know it. You wake up every morning in the possession of all your faculties and you are not even aware of it; you are not even grateful. This is why initiates think that human beings are really stupid: because they are not conscious of all that they possess and are forever grumbling and demanding more. They possess treasures; they have been given extraordinary possibilities, and yet they get into a terrible state simply because they haven’t all the cloths or all the money they would like. Think about this for a moment and try to see how deep this ingratitude and lack of intelligence goes: you will never reach the bottom of it; it is unfathomable.”

Isn’t it insane that 2603 people had to die in the 911 attacks; I had to fall of my bike and hurt myself badly and had to have a fried have a serious accident and die to be able to realize that? Isn’t each and every one of us who is not able to see that out of his or her mind?

My teacher ones told me, “Carsten if you only concentrate on what you don’t have and forget what you have you will never find happiness.” It is time for me to see that each and every day I spend healthy and alive is a blessing that should not be taken for granted. 






“Gratefulness” Williamsburg/Brooklyn 02-14-08 at 03:53 PM


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