"The cognition that comes in peak-experiences...can best be described as non-evaluating, non-comparing, or non-judging cognition.... Evil itself is accepted and understood and seen in its proper place in the whole, as belonging there, as unavoidable, as necessary, and, therefore, as proper... [Such] universal understanding would never blame or condemn or be disappointed or shocked. Our only possible emotions would be pity, charity, kindliness, perhaps sadness or amusement. But this is precisely the way in which self-actualizing people do at times react to the world, and in which all of us react in our peak-experiences."

Gratefulness is the mystical dimension of gratitude, thankfulness, its theological one.

Our conceptual framework will inevitably shape experience, but we must make every effort to correct our concepts by ever-alert attention to experience. Within a given religion, the mystics play this role by emphasizing experience. Gratefulness is the mystical dimension of gratitude, thankfulness, its theological one. Thankfulness can, indeed, be grafted onto gratefulness where it will thrive and bear rich fruit. The history of spirituality proves this fact. But mysticism must continually correct theology.

Something similar is true of our personal lives. Gratefulness must continually flow into our thanksgiving to make it full. Remembering our moments of ultimate belonging determines to what extent we find ultimate meaning. Why do we so rarely step out through this door of remembrance into joyful aliveness? Could it be that the mystic gratefulness in the depth of every human heart sings with "a still, small voice," and is easily drowned out by the noise we endure and the noise we make? Maybe we need more silence. Maybe we simply need now and then to look up at the silent stars and lose ourselves to be set free.