Is Thanksgiving a pointer to the formless? How do turkey and sweet potatoes point us to the divine truth of oneness? The forms of a Holiday don’t point us to the formless, but the underlying essence is thanksgiving itself. We are thanksgiving. We are the wellness of beingness through graciousness from which all forms arise. If you “think” about it, really ponder or meditate on what we are, you find the formless thanksgiving that is our essence.
First I want to share some etymology stuff. Yes, language fails to capture the divine but it can point to the divine. A limited language of subjects and objects can’t describe the truth of oneness. Words created from within a perceived reality of duality can’t contain, within concepts, what is infinite. The finite form operating from a limited perspective will naturally categorize and divide as it peers deeply into a temporal reality like an electron microscope trying to determine all cause and effect. The egoic structures attempt to label cause so it can control effect. This may be entertaining and stimulating but it doesn’t bring us to truth. Truth lies outside the limits of the mind just beyond the perplexing paradoxical chasm between physical perception and divine truth. Still language, in its most basic form, can give us clues about what lies beyond the limits of language.
The word thanksgiving is a compound word from “thank” and “giving.” OK, that was trivial but let’s go a little deeper. The word giving is somewhat obvious but its meaning can be lost when we are trapped by forms. Giving, in its original intent meant to “yield to pressure.” Giving can be something that is from the ego, from survival mode, so the body/mind might benefit. But it can also be from the divine essence as something that bubbles up from the depths of our nature.
The word “thank” is akin to the word “think” like song is to sing. To “thank” is reaction to “think.” To “think” can have two connotations. One is the egoic, separate-self body/mind expression that is categorizing and conceptualizing. On a deeper level, to think is to ponder deeply, to meditate on something. When we meditate on our “beingness” our essence of “thankfulness” and “giving” bubbles up.
OK, how about we go a little deeper?
The word “eucharist” is most often used for the “Lords Supper” in the Christian faith. What it really means is “thankfulness.” It comes from two words: Eu and Charis. Charis is grace. From this word we get the English word “charity.” It is something given without obligation or expectation or performance. Grace is getting something we don’t deserve (as an egoic person). It is a natural expression of the divine (what we really are beyond the illusion of identity with form).
“Eu” is very interesting. It means “well” or “good.” It isn’t the “good” as in “this is good or this is bad.” It is good as in complete or whole or what we would call wellness. It comes from the word “Es” (and this is the very interesting part). The word “Es” is “beingness.” It is the “I am” of what is. When we ponder or meditate on our beingness or are aware of the awareness that we are or are awake to the consciousness we are, we are experiencing “wellness.”
If you put it all together, can’t you see the pointer? Thanksgiving (not the holiday) is a natural expression of our true self. It is what the body/mind will experience when the ego fades away and the form experiences the formless.
But you know the holiday of Thanksgiving does the same thing in an indirect way?
When we think of the Thanksgiving holiday maybe we think of turkey and dressing and pies and pilgrims. Maybe we think of historical traditions and sharing meals with Native Americans on a cold day when food was scarce. Maybe our minds have those mindful thoughts, but deeper down we have a connection to the formless that bubbles up into our form. The structure of life is a manifestation of eternal life. The formless takes form so the formless can know the formless through form. Take our families as an example.
The “warm feelings” of “graciousness” and “thanksgiving” are really the formless manifesting as form as a result of how the “world works” for the human form. We have parents and siblings and extended families. The warm feelings of the season are really something that we sense from beyond form. We have “blood connections” to our families. This may seem like a physical, scientific fact of human procreation but on a deeper level it is a sharing of like energies that take the form of procreation.
We can say we share DNA with our parents. What is DNA? There is a scientific and biological definition (a concept within form) but really DNA is energy like everything else. If you get out your electron microscope and drill down as far as you can go, you will find energy. It is random (not complying with cause) and unpredictable (not complying with effect). We might be sharing an experience of like DNA on the form level, but we are experiencing like energy on a formless level. What we “feel” is the oneness of the energy we are. The “warm feelings” of the season are the experience of oneness which is our true nature.
We become form to experience the formless from the inside out. We enter our bodies as blood cells to experience bone cells surrounded by muscle cells. We forget we are the body and believe we are the cell. This is necessary to have the experience of the body. But we aren’t just the cell. We are the body. When we look around we are seeing other cells of the same body. We aren’t individuals but are the one consciousness that manifests as perceived many. When we are with our families on Thanksgiving, we are experiencing the ONENESS that we are.
From the ONENESS experience our true nature bubbles up into the limited form. From the formless arises divine consciousness within the focused consciousness experience we call ourself. This focused consciousness is experiencing the story of a human form. In reality we aren’t the form but the form is a manifestation of our formless self. We see others as something other but in reality they are other focused expressions of the same self. When we are with family (even if it is a bad experience) we are experiencing the one SELF. It’s easy and effortless because we have a form concept to explain the connection. The ego takes a break because it doesn’t have to explain a cause and effect. The ego takes a vacation from survival because, within the form world, it already has a concept to agree with. The mind settles and the formless emerges. We aren’t even aware this is happening.
So Thanksgiving is a great time to be thankful as the eucharist that is ever-present. We are the beingness. We are naturally gracious as the divine graciousness we are. We aren’t waking up through effort or as a result of performance or as a reward for good behavior. We are waking up because of the grace we are as our divine essence.
We can be thankful for stuff. Try that out. I bet you’ve done that before. Then think about what you were thankful for last year. I bet you don’t remember the stuff. That kind of thinking (a precursor to thanking) is egoic thinking. It is shallow and temporal. But think about (meditate on) what you are. Our families and the holidays are a good pointer to the formless. From this kind of thinking arises thanking. From the depths of our essence arises grace. From the true self bubbles up a true Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving, from the right (righteous as Jesus would say) perspective is a great pointer to the formless.