Friday, August 21, 2015

Glory, Grace, and Mercy, part III: Grace

Lord Jesus Christ, through your glory, grace, and mercy, help me to honor and obey.

So I come to the second element of this prayer, which is grace.

Grace is the path through which all of what the Lord bestows upon His creation reaches it.  If we take glory as the pre-existing quantum state of all energy — its life within the Lord before it manifests — then Grace is the point where the quantum state, or the absolute perfection of God and glory within all aspects of the unknowable, breaks down and takes a direction as either a wave or a particle.

 But this is much too technical a description, even though in the sense of physics, it's accurate. Grace is a path; and it is all of the points on the path, not just the beginning point or the endpoint. The path is composed of all of the points on it; and so grace is both the beginning, the middle, and the end of all of the infinite directions that the emanations of the Lord take on their way from the Lord Himself into His creation.

 In this way, just as glory is the absolute condition of perfection within which all creation arises, so is grace the vehicle whereby that arising takes place. Each and every thing, in other words, arises within and manifests through grace. This may seem terribly confusing to us, because it means that even the worst and most horrible things that we perceive and and counter arise through grace, but there is a truth within this that is too refined and sublime to be appreciated within the context of our own understanding. (See Buddhi and Buddhiyoga in Sri Anrivan's Inner Yoga, an extraordinary analysis by any measure.)

 The important thing to understand here is that grace is just as ubiquitous as glory, mapping the path from glory into Being. When we say that mankind has fallen from grace, we simply mean that his intelligence is separated from the experience of it. Intelligence needs to become opened and re-sensitized to grace, which is already there, in order to appreciate its presence. Swedenborg called the appreciation of grace the inflow; Jeanne de Salzmann referred to it as a higher influence, which actually means exactly the same thing — as it must, since the experience of it is in variable, no matter which word one uses. The words are, in point of fact, quite useless, since the inflow, that is, grace, is a perfection that cannot be grasped with the mind or written about with words in such a way as to impart its actual nature. All we can do here is examined an abstract of the abstract.

So I appeal to the Lord first through glory, which is the absolute manifestation of his perfect being within all of creation (and outside of it as well) and secondly through grace, which is the path into which the Lord's influence flows into all of creation.

Grace is objectively manifested in Christianity through Mary and Christ, because they represent the direct path through which the highest grace, that is, mercy bestowed directly from God upon mankind within creation, reaches human beings. The birth of Christ through Mary and the sacrifice of Christ are not events that took place in the past, but events that take place internally and throughout creation at every level. That is, Christ is — as Gurdjieff explained — a living presence to be taken into us, not an idea. (See Frank Sinclair's   Without Benefit of Clergy.)

Once again, grace is not a theoretical proposition. Grace exists within Being; because only through received Being can grace be made manifest as an existing force. This force reaches its living potential within the receiving of the energy through the path by the individual. That is to say, all inner activity that attempts to open us to a higher influence is an effort to become available to grace, which is the vehicle for God's presence.

 Grace is an essentially transformational force, since the receiving of it immediately moves Being from the unnatural but necessary center of gravity it forms around its own kernel of ego into the sphere of the Lord's influence, where it is able to acknowledge its position correctly. This can happen over a long period of time, but it also happens in only an instant.


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