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Quotes about Grace

Allowing Grace to Arise as Divine Love

It’s important to work out these object relations, between you and your mother, and between you and your father, so that whatever imagined relationship you have to sacred reality, to the truth, or to God, the divine, true nature—whatever you call it—can be experienced as a relationship of trust, a relationship of love and surrender. The reason that’s so important is that in order for the individual, the separate self, to let go, for it to dissolve and recognize its divine true nature, it first needs to surrender its will. And the personality, the individual, will not surrender its will easily. We know from experience that we only surrender our individual will when we recognize that we are personally loved by that which we are relating to. Otherwise, it’s too difficult for us to trust and let go. So we have to feel personally loved by beingness, by our essential nature, by God, by the divine, by the truth. You need to feel it as a love for you, personally, before you can let go and surrender yourself to it.

And when you recognize that yes, this nature that I love also loves me, then what’s the point of resisting? What’s the point of trying to hold on? What’s the point of saying, “I have to use my will to get what I need”? You recognize that you’re in good hands. And the fact that the individuality isn’t trying to hold on allows grace to arise as divine love, which then melts the separateness and connects us to the divinity. It’s understandable that we don’t really believe grace will arise for us or touch us if we don’t believe the divine being loves us, because grace is love emanating from the divine being. Divine love is being’s love, the love of true nature. If the individual is deluded about who and what it is, part of the delusion will be that true nature doesn’t love this individual. So within that delusion, the individual needs to begin to feel that “I am being loved by this reality that I’m surrendering to.” Otherwise, why surrender? And for us to be able to do that, we need to continue to work on and through our relationship with our parents, because that determines all our later relationships, including our relationship to God or true nature.

Brilliancy Imparts the Qualities of Beauty, Grace and Elegance

When you see someone who is really brilliant, really intelligent—such as one of the great synthesizers of science—your subtle perception might notice that it is the presence of the substance of Brilliancy in his mind that makes the person brilliant. When we say that someone is brilliant, it is more literally true than we usually think. So to be brilliant is not just to have brilliant thought patterns. There is also luminescence—a radiance or brightness in that person’s functioning that you can actually perceive directly. It is this perceivable brilliance that imparts the qualities of beauty, grace, and elegance. Brilliancy gives intelligence to any functioning in which it is present. What we ordinarily recognize as brilliance in the functioning of some individuals is the expression of the presence of Brilliancy in their psyche. We see its influence in their functioning and we say they are brilliant. If we were able to look with our inner eye into their psyches, we would perceive the aspect of Brilliancy present in their consciousness, like a luminous fluid lighting up their functioning from inside.

Brilliancy, pg. 17

Grace Can Descend and Dissolve You

All this means that we don’t actually do anything in the process of understanding. What needs to happen is just an awareness of the fact that you’re resisting, an understanding of the process of resistance. When you understand it, your interest in resistance stops. All you can do is allow that to happen; the rest is not up to you. The rest is up to Essence. That’s why it is sometimes called grace. Grace can descend and dissolve you. It can make you part of it. But you cannot let go, you cannot surrender, you cannot accept. You can only see that you are rejecting, that you’re not surrendering, that you’re not letting go. Then you are seeing the activity of the ego. When there is surrender and letting go, there is no activity and ego is not there. The cessation of resistance, the cessation of rejection, the cessation of defense, is also the dissolution of that part of the personality. It may bring fear because you believe that you will disappear. And you may be concerned about who will do what is required if you don’t do it. You need trust and confidence in Essence here.

Grace in the Dissolution of Ego Boundaries

Now, if the individual can do nothing to be free from boundaries, then how can this issue be resolved? How do these boundaries dissolve? They dissolve through the action of Essence itself. This can be called blessing, or grace, or divine intervention, and in some sense it is, but it is really a natural phenomenon, with its own immutable laws. One cannot do anything to dissolve ego boundaries, but if one truly loves truth then one is bound to explore and eventually understand this whole issue of boundaries, separation and individuality. The issue arises and will finally become clear, and distinctly uncomfortable, because of the continued experience of the Personal Essence. One’s curiosity based on love of truth for its own sake will turn one’s attention naturally and spontaneously to understanding this issue. One does not have to have any attitude towards boundaries. He is only interested in the truth, not for any end, but because he loves Truth deeply. Truth will expose this issue as an issue because in reality there is no such thing as a boundary; Truth is ultimately a boundless presence, as we will see in the next chapter, and this will emerge first as the dimensions of Essence that will expose and dissolve the falseness of boundaries.

It is True that Guidance is a Grace

It is true that guidance is a grace, a benediction, a blessing from beyond, from the source that is unseen; however, blessings do not arise if we are not open to them. Blessing does not try to bore into us like a power drill. It is very delicate in its operation. It doesn’t come to us when we are defended, doubtful, resisting, and disbelieving in guidance. It arises only when we relax, open up, and don’t take positions against it. This has to do with the very nature of how our consciousness functions. Guidance is not something sitting over there saying, “Pay attention to me—I’m here to guide you.” It has to do with our own inner Being opening up and revealing some of its possibility. Only when we open up through whatever means—necessity, calamity, or true sincerity—does the blessing arise and guide us. Even if you believe in such a guidance, but you believe that the guidance must arise as a person with a long beard, as an angelic being, or as a diamond spaceship, that could block it as well. Both negative beliefs and positive beliefs become barriers if they are inaccurate. So openness means that you are spacious and allowing about the possibility that guidance exists, that it can come in unfamiliar forms, and that you are interested in finding out what is true. So I am not saying to replace negative belief with positive belief. Openness is the absence of belief.

Manifestation of Divine Love in the Occurrences and Experiences of Our Lives

So what is grace; what is blessing? It is simply the expression of being’s love, the manifestation of divine love in the occurrences and experiences of our lives. Sometimes the grace is obvious. Frequently it is not, and it might take some time and work to see and appreciate it. So we’ll end our exploration of the boundless dimension of divine love by discussing and exploring experientially its relation to grace, learning to recognize that we are always receiving its gifts, even when we are caught up in the representational world and those gifts are not immediately apparent to us.

Seeing that You Are Nothing But Grace

It is not that when you go through the emptiness you'll feel "Oh, now I have a true self." The perspective of having something is the perspective of the separate self, the personality. So it not that you are a little brilliant entity and you have love, compassion, beauty; no, the whole shift happens because the true identity is the identity with all Essence, with all of reality. This very moment, not related to past or future, is the center, and from there you can see that you are nothing but grace. Not only does life have meaning, but it is a grace, as if the heavens opened and poured grace into you. You will see that your very nature is that grace, pure unoriginated preciousness, which you don't see by looking but by being. There is no sense of separateness between the looking and the being; they are one act. To be yourself means you are Essence, you are Being, you are the significance, you are the meaning.

The Soul Seen as a Drop of Grace

The soul is a particular local form that has the potential to glow much more intensely than physical forms, and more completely than any essential form. It is a manifestation of true nature, embodying its potential and dynamism, but doing so in time and space, in the world of manifestation. It is a particular wave of the ocean of Being, but a special wave. Its specialness is in its potentiality, reflecting the infinite potential of transcendent true nature itself. Each boundless dimension reveals more of the nature of the soul and her objective relation to true nature on the one hand, and the world of manifestation on the other. We will discuss the contribution of each dimension in the following chapters, but reserve for the last chapters in the book a full discussion of the nature of the relation between true nature and the soul. Divine love reveals that the soul is an inseparable offspring of true nature, a child of the divine. The soul is a body of light, a drop of grace that embodies the total potential of the transcendent, but in a particular and individual manner. She is a potential necessary for the emergence of further possibilities within true nature. This dimension also reveals that the soul is the expression of the love and grace of true nature, and the carrier of this love in the world of manifestation. The soul is the manifestation that can consciously experience true nature in all of its fullness and splendor, contemplate its knowledge and mysteries, reflect on its miraculousness and majesty, and celebrate its beauty and magic.The soul is the organ of experience and expression of true nature and, hence, the organ of consciousness of Reality.


There’s Often a Struggle Before Grace Descends

Feeling of Utter Helplessness

You’ve already heard from my journal entries about times when I was consciously working on certain issues with great intensity, doing my practices and paying constant attention to my process but experiencing great difficulties. I would often be feeling completely stuck and deeply frustrated that nothing seemed to be happening, even though I kept practicing and applying myself. It’s an experience that many people report, this feeling that there is no progress at all. For me it has often come to the point where I've gotten so stuck, so frustrated, and so totally fed up, that I finally give up. It’s not out of anger at that point—in the end this giving up comes more out of a feeling of utter helplessness. It comes at the point when I truly recognize that I can't do it and that I simply don't know what to do any more.

The Time when I Really Give Up

Up until that point, I may think I know what do: “Ah yes, I'm being told to do this, this, and this. I understand.” And so I do all those things, but nothing happens. And then I realize that deep down, I haven't got the vaguest idea really. And it’s only at those times when I really give up, when I recognize that I can't do it and I actually don't know how to do it, that something of a different order happens. That's when I feel some kind of release, some kind of letting go. But it's not really letting go—not in the way that people often talk about letting go, as if it’s something that you can “do.” It's more like I fully realize that I can't do it, and in that feeling there is a recognition of my helplessness, a feeling of my incapacity, my smallness, and my ignorance. And at that very moment something else happens. It’s as if some kind of rain begins to fall inside, an inner rainfall that is gentle, delicate, soft, and sweet. And it is that delicate gentle rain that really dissolves the problem, dissolves the issue, dissolves the difficulty or the barrier. So I’m trying to make the point that besides recognizing the fact of grace, it’s also important to recognize that there is a dynamic in it that relates to our inner practice—the process, and often the struggle, that comes before grace descends.

What Brings Grace and Dignity is Truth

You will see how your value and respect, your consideration and love towards people, depends on the truth. You will see that when you see someone loving the truth, you will naturally tend to love them more. It’s as simple as that—not because it is good to love them, but because you can’t help it; it’s a natural thing. You notice that the more you love the truth, the more you respect yourself, and you cannot help but respect other people who love the truth. It is natural to love the truth when the state of balance is reached. It is not something that should happen, not a moral or a judgmental perspective. What makes things beautiful, what brings grace and dignity, is truth; balance is the spontaneous, natural result. Truth has these three elements, as well as others. What makes something beautiful is the truth in it. What makes something graceful is the truth in it. What makes something dignified is the truth in it. Falseness brings in ugliness, awkwardness, and indulgence and lack of self-respect. The more a person loves the truth, the more she will naturally and spontaneously want to live her life according to the truth. The truth is not just something you understand or something you experience. Truth begins to influence and determine and govern your life. It is in the living and the doing of life according to the love of truth that makes one’s life a life of beauty, grace, and dignity. You can understand your measure of balance, and your measure of development and refinement, just by seeing what you do in your life. Do you live your life according to the truth? How much do you live your life according to the truth?

Without Grace, No Practice Can Work

We’ve seen that divine love is the dimension of our true nature that reveals the secrets of surrender. Learning about divine love and realizing this way of experiencing being can therefore help us understand something very important about spiritual practice, the inner path, and the way we view inexplicable things that happen in our lives—that is, the meaning of grace, or blessing. I talked about the importance of grace in the previous chapter, where we saw that we will only trust in grace if we believe that the divine being is love or loves us. I want to focus more now on the importance of understanding grace, because in truth, it is not possible to comprehend how spiritual practices work without knowing the action of grace. In other words, without grace, no practice can work. No liberation can happen without the gift of grace, without this loving action of true nature. This is often not clear to us at the beginning of the path, and it takes a great deal of experience and maturation to appreciate this truth.

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