What an Attitude

by Berenice Andrews

“An attitude of gratitude is most salutary, for it bespeaks an awareness that we’re already in heaven.”
—Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind

Being well aware of the violence and misery that prevail in most parts of today’s world, many of us would find that statement ludicrous. After all, what’s there to feel grateful about? And what does any aspect of what we’ve been taught (for centuries) about “heaven” have to do with humans living on this Earth, anyway?

But, before we dismiss Dr. Holmes, let’s look more closely at what he’s saying:

About Attitude: Something that “bespeaks an awareness,” i.e., voices a knowing, can be regarded as pretty important.

“Attitude” has been found by psychologists to be a complex combination of sensation, feeling and thought. (Don Forsyth, Our Social World). As such, our attitudes are connected with the consciousness energies of our root, sacral and solar plexus chakras. Taken together, our sensations/root, feelings/sacral and thoughts/solar plexus energies form an interactive system that is a fundamental and holistic aspect of our makeup. In other words, attitude is inherent in our humanness.

About Gratitude: Ancient Ideas: From bygone places, people and times, we have inherited an immense treasury of teachings about gratitude, aka “thankfulness.”

For many millennia, the ancient peoples celebrated seasonal changes and paid grateful homage to the supernatural forces that they believed controlled their lives. But their gratitude was essentially fear-based and linked to the appeasement of their unseen gods. Even when those early people “kicked up their heels” on special social/family occasions, their gratitude was probably mainly relief that they had lived long enough to procreate.

The development of a truly heartfelt attitude of gratitude/thankfulness was still many millennia in the future.

Not until after the love teachings were brought to mankind, most notably by Lao Tzu, Siddhartha Gautama and Jesus of Nazareth, did the slow shift begin into the idea of gratitude for blessings received. Sixteen centuries after Jesus, Julian of Norwich taught that the only prayer we required was a “thank you,” expressing our grateful awareness of God’s blessings.

Several centuries thereafter, in some parts of the world where there was great abundance and a longer-than-average life expectancy, gratitude/thankfulness celebrations began to reveal a heartfelt attitude.

In the United States, we celebrate our annual Thanksgiving Day. After the country’s blood-soaked, Civil War beginnings, that day has become, for many of us, a heartfelt occasion. At that special time, we can embrace even the strangers in our midst—with love.

Thus, considering an attitude of gratitude as an evolutionary process—Spirit-in-Action has really taken a long time to come about!

About Heaven: Meanwhile, mankind’s ideas about “heaven” (by whatever name) have essentially revealed not only our unhappy lives on this earth plane but also our yearnings for a better life in a realm beyond.

Likely originating with the Ice Age shamans, ideas about “heaven” evolved as civilization slowly progressed and new beliefs and customs came into being. The evidence of this Spirit-in-Action is to be found in the ancient (3,500 B.C.E.) teachings of the Upanishads and in mankind’s earliest myths.

Since those days, many great civilizations have either come and gone (Assyria) or come and stayed (India). All were unique. Yet the common thread that connected them was the yearning for immortality. This was expressed in the sacred writings, most of which defined and described “heavenly” realms.

In Judaism, these were given beautiful, poetic expression in the Psalms:

Psalm78: “Yet he had…opened the doors of heaven…and given them of the bread of heaven.” (the First Heaven)

Psalm 19: “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows His handiwork.” (the Second Heaven)

Psalm 2: “The One enthroned in heaven laughs; The Lord scoffs at them [earthly royalty].” (the Third Heaven)

In turn, the Judaism that in-formed both Jesus of Nazareth and Paul the Apostle provided the foundation for the teachings of Christianity, a religion very much concerned with “heaven.” But only the “Third Heaven” (2 Corinthians, 12: 2) of Paul’s conversion experience became a vital part of the teaching. (Marcus Borg and John D. Crossan, The First Paul: Reclaiming the Radical Visionary Behind the Church’s Conservative Icon.)

Two thousand years after Paul, Christian thoughts about heaven in-formed Ernest Holmes (1887-1960), whose words are quoted above. But, in them there was the vibration of an unfamiliar idea…an unfamiliar way of regarding humanness, gratitude and heaven.

Humanness, Gratitude and Heaven: A Different Idea

It must be noted that despite the many wonderful teachings about heaven and about the rewards for “good” behavior, the story of mankind has mainly been one of only temporary interest in both goodness and heavenly rewards. But, instead of feeling guilty about that attitude, let’s assume that it could have a great deal to do with how we have been “put together” in the first place.

With that as our starting point, let us look into “humanness.” Then, we’ll look again at an attitude of gratitude, at “heaven,” and at the relationship among them.

Briefly, our humanness derives from our being microcosmic expressions of a Macrocosmic Consciousness Energy that made us out of Itself. What we did with it is really the story of the ongoing evolution of our centers of consciousness. Starting off as animal souls, we began a slow emerging into being human. That physical-psychological process—expressed inwardly and outwardly—has finally brought us into the beginnings of a scientific and metaphysical awareness about ourselves. Thus, the evolution of our humanness has provided yet another example of Spirit-in-Action!

And now…

Twenty-first century science has indicated the great benefits to be derived from a genuine attitude of gratitude. Physiologically, gratitude strengthens the immune system and helps us to prolong our lives in many other healthy ways. Psychologically, gratitude has been proven to increase our well-being and happiness and to make us more peaceful towards others.

{As an aside…Healers, who have known (and practiced) this science for many centuries, have also known about the interactions between the immune system and the non-physical centers of consciousness, also vital to our well-being. When there’s a healthy, i.e., open and unobstructed, “dance” among the physical and the non-physical, i.e., when each chakra is contributing its own wonderful “beat” within all our “bodies,” we are fully alive. (See “Understanding the Human Energy Being,” Parts One, Two and Three in Transformation Magazine June, July and August, 2015.)

In short, the evolution of our humanness has taken us as long as “attitude” and “gratitude” to come about!

With that as foundation, we can assume that an attitude of gratitude is no longer simply about placating or otherwise relating to “heavenly” forces out there, somewhere. And instead of continuing to blame ourselves for our “sinfulness,” we can now tap into a slowly emerging new-but-old understanding about heaven and about ourselves.

Here in the West, that awareness has been helping many of us to move out of the “mythic” level of consciousness that has yearned, for centuries, for the Apostle Paul’s “Third Heaven.” (Jim Marion, The Death of the Mythic God: The Rise of Evolutionary Spirituality.)

Yet, while people are discarding their beliefs in a mythic god, many are still looking for a transcendent connection. Their search is taking them into many ancient practices, including the use of hallucinogenic substances. Others are adopting Westernized versions of ancient Eastern religions.

And some of us are moving into the next—what Jim Marion refers to as the “rational”—level of consciousness. While we venture forth, we’re discovering that we can keep the best of the “old” as we move slowly into the “new.” At this time in the journey of mankind, we’re being in-formed by both an awareness of our ancient centers of consciousness (chakras) and the knowledge generated by modern science.

Old/New Definitions

After getting underway, we realize that Spirit-in-Action has already anticipated our efforts. We discover what our Ice Age ancestors already knew…that our spirituality is inherent in us. (Their cave paintings indicated this awareness.) Then, we discover that our spiritual yearning for a better life on this plane had already been anticipated in the Upanishads. We read there that “…our native state can be attained here in this life by those willing to devote their lives to the necessary purification of consciousness.” (E. Easwaran, The Upanishads (Classic of Indian Spirituality); Katha II.3)

In sum, we have already been long-informed about the location of “heaven.” With this in mind, we can return to Paul’s epistles and find in them a different reality. We can now see how he struggled to describe and define something no one had ever before experienced: namely; the energies of a Christ Consciousness. In his letter to the little Christian church in Rome, Paul came very close to succeeding, when he wrote that “if we had been united with him [Jesus] in a death like his [i.e., a total surrender/obedience to the Spirit], we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection [i.e., an en-lightened awakening into newness/fullness of being] like his.” (Romans 6: 5)

Then we can go further by returning—with a different awareness—to the teachings of Jesus.

There, in the first verse of the Great Prayer that he taught we read:

“O Thou from whom the breath of life comes, who fills all realms of sound, light and vibration, may your light be experienced in my utmost holiest.” [1st century Aramaic translated by Neil Douglas-Klotz].

Then, we can go to Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount” (Matthew 5-7) where we’re given an immense teaching about a way of living in-formed by a compassionate heart awareness. We follow this with another teaching in which he made it clear that “the kingdom of God does not come with observation…for indeed the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17: 20-21)

In sum, the lessons presented by the Great Teacher repeatedly pointed to the location of heaven. Even the story of his birthing can be understood within that framework. It’s in our cave of the heart that the Christ Consciousness is born…in our sacred…and inner…kingdom of heaven.

As Jim Marion put it:

“We are called to divinize everything about our humanity and our role in the evolutionary process. We are called to be gods upon the Earth, just as Jesus prophesied.”

At this time, it’s a distinct possibility.

Involved in that undertaking are our heart/mind-brain/mind with which we utilize all our centers of consciousness (chakras) in order to raise our animal soul vibrations. Thereby, we acknowledge both our intelligence (heart) and our intellect (brain) and accept the downward flow of our higher (vibration) spiritual power. Thus, we can allow ourselves to be all that we are—humans without apologies.

And all of it “bespeaks” our awareness of the kingdom of heaven within.


It would appear that Ernest Holmes had known more than we might have thought.

Then, of course, we realize that he was one of the many messengers (“holy helpers”) who have been sent to us throughout the centuries. Here was Spirit-in-Action teaching us, time and time again, that we were “little lower than the angels.” (Psalm 8: 5)

And where does it all lead? With an attitude of gratitude we can acknowledge, accept and allow all that we are. When heaven is within us (and, thereby, we’re “in heaven”) we can fully experience/express our paradoxical humanness—a compassionate rationality that’s both earth-bound and transcendent.


Berenice Andrews is a shamanic teacher/healer. For more details about the healing practices mentioned above, see her book Rebirthing Into Androgyny: Your Quest for Wholeness…And Afterward. See also her articles “Finding Your True Self: A (Sort of) Socratic Dialog,” September, 2014, and “Understanding the Human Energy Being,” June, July and August, 2015 in Transformation Magazine. If you are interested in reading more and/or becoming her student, see her web site: thestonecircleclassroom.com.

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