“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” 7
Thoughts stem from my mind, and my mind is facilitated by my body – a body consisting of minerals and elements shared by all plants, animals, nature, cities and cosmos.8 I am able to produce because I exist in this very context of time, place and amongst people.9 In front of me I begin to see beyond materiality, concept, intimacy, impact, humility and the feeling of brightness.
I applied the humanistic approach of psychotherapy, “Unconditional Positive Regard” 10 to art-making – You repeat what your subject/object tells and shows you, whether verbal or non-verbal, tangible or non-tangible, material or non-material, based on the genuine trust that your subject/object is embodied with the power to heal itself only by becoming its mirror. The obstacle emerges when our mind starts to filter out what we identify and acknowledge based on our own conscious and unconscious judgement of value even though our subject/object is just in front of us in its authentic form.
Thought and material, mind and matter, and consciousness and the object of consciousness lean on each other in order to manifest as a whole, and as a hole. With the mind-set we possess now, we are unable to touch the “ultimate” to reflect, understand and accept it with full justice and basic respect.
We are situated in a capitalistic economy in a discriminatory mind set of give and take, buy and sell, and between subjectivity and objectivity. The discriminative mind is based on the principles of identity – we believe in something as it is an identity we want to associate ourselves with. My artwork is attached to my name because this is how it works right now, even though my thoughts are never purely mine. Gratitude is the ability to see and appreciate this other almost magical economy 11, to acknowledge the debt of intellect, consciousness, and existence through the span of awareness as enormously as our world view may reach.
Intelligence is the quality of observation, including the observation of thought, without the interference of thought and evaluation which is pure, clear and immediate 12, enabling us to be free from the control of knowledge developed from it. I would like to add our in-born quality of experiencing gratitude to which, whilst wonder (doubled with happiness) is perception prior to judgement and will, pure, clear and immediate, and I think this is a baby step to freedom.