Iris Murdoch was having a chat with Krishnamurti once, and voiced the opinion that he was “in a state of Grace,” implying that he was different from the milling crowd. K was rather irritated by this, protesting at first, but then saying, “Call it Grace if you wish, but be in a state to receive It.”
What potential confusion lurks in this response! (Perhaps this explains K’s irritation.) Grace is not a thing that gets sent from somewhere and is received by someone. I’ve been blessed to be in the company of sages who were resting in/as Grace, and what I noticed was that if I was open enough, still and soft enough, that Grace could be felt in the energy field called my body.
To be in a state of Grace is to embody this openness, this fluid movement of Life’s livingness – and to be unburdened by any desire that IT be different than it is, exactly as it is now, in what-is. It sounds simple, but it’s a very big ask. Yet we all know what the state of Grace feels like. Perhaps we know it best by its absence, those painful times when we argue with Life and second-guess ITs incomprehensible order.
She-who-scribbles is a very slow learner in the Grace-stakes. It gets easier … but at the same time ever more challenging. I don’t remember who said it, but it’s spot-on: “As the water gets calmer, the fire gets hotter.”
Grace is amoral
It belongs to no one – not even the awakened –
and cannot be bestowed by anyone.
Mother’s Grace, Guru’s Grace, God’s Grace, are all terms assuming the existence of duality, separation:
me-and-Mother, me-and-Guru, me-and-God, and so on, with me endlessly supplicating for ‘my’ supposed needs.
Have you noticed how Grace seems to simply show up right when you’re at the lowest ebb, when you’ve pretty much given up, when you don’t know where to turn?
When the doer loses grip
Grace gets space.
To be in a position where you can do what you truly love, when you wish, and how;
where you can be the being you intuit yourself to be, and long to express;
where clarity and contentment are unwavering states of mind
– isn’t this the core longing of every human being?
Isn’t this what most people would call freedom?
Yet who will pay the price? The utter, total relinquishment of everything they think about themselves and their life – all those precious stories, all those achievements and injustices, all those dreams of a glorious future …
She-who-scribbles wouldn’t, couldn’t. She was heavily invested in her self-construct. But the longing was so intense that Life took the matter into ITs own hands and set up a scenario that by-passed gentle relinquishment. IT simply put her in circumstances where everything was wiped out without her having any choice in the matter.
What unspeakable Grace!
It’s part of the great Game to imagine that one can do or think anything to help – or hinder – any thing, person, or state – including the appearance we label a body and call ‘me’.
We race around scoring a goal here, losing one there, thinking we know the codes and strategies, (good intentions, valid expectations, responsible control, well trained intellects) when along comes Grace with a dropkick out of the blue.
Grace’s hallmarks are the utterly unexpected and uninvited. Grace drops in and plays for either team (helpers or hinderers) without preference. Grace is the dynamic expression of the big game sponsor: IT.
IT watches from the grandstand
loves both teams equally
cheers all the action
and is unmoved, unaffected
whatever the result
this morning it’s so deliciously simple:
in the absence of a self-as-solid-state-entity
doing, needing, wanting, believing,
having, and all that stuff,
the intelligence that lives this body-brain
somehow looks after itself beautifully
it dictates the conditions
under which it will be healthy,
and prompts the necessary
adjustments in ‘lifestyle’
that intelligence is what I’ve come to call Grace
being in a state to ‘receive’ IT
is what I call meditation
darkness to light,
night to day
the dawning light
that will display the appearance of the daytime world
is never in a hurry
it arrives in its own sweet time,
gradually and graciously, then,
all-of-a-sudden – it’s here!
waking up to one’s true identity is similar:
impossible to achieve,
yet ripeness ripens
via some-non-thing we call Grace
and suddenly the eyes of the ‘I’ are open
that can never again be caught napping
person running for their life,
keeping ahead of the competition
imagining the joys of winning,
and the misery of failure,
fearful of the finishing line
which denotes the end to their
participation in the human
race w h e w
no separate person
no separate others
no competition or race
no fear or fantasy
no shoulds or suffering
no birth or death
just the sweet, mellow, peaceful
of Life’s unfolding
in total fulfillment a h h h h