What exactly is Grace according to Eckhart?

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What exactly is Grace according to Eckhart?

Post by Goldenflutist » Mon Jul 09, 2007 11:14 pm

In Eckhart's audiobook Living a Life of Inner Peace and Dealing with the Pain-Body, he talks about two levels of surrender. The first being surrendering to what is, but he says that sometimes this is not possible when experiencing great loss, like the death of a loved one (including dogs :cry: ). The second level of surrender is to surrender to what you feel. If pain arises and level one is not possible, you go to level 2 and surrender to the pain. He says you need to accept the pain completely and if we do that after awhile, pain turns around and there is a vast peace under the pain. Eventually a hole is created, and the winds of grace blow through that hole. When I was in the Christian church, grace was defined as something the physical man Christ in heaven gives you to help you overcome adversity. It was a so called supernatural event. How does life provide grace to the suffering individual? I never understood grace as defined by Christianity, and don’t understand it now. I was surprised when Eckhart used that word. I know it is just a word and I could use another if I knew one. Is grace really a pretty word for time? Like the phrase time heals all wounds? Any insight would be appreciated.

:) Golden F
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Post by Annie » Tue Jul 10, 2007 1:49 am

Hello GoldenFlutist,
What an interesting word to explore!
Here's what 'onlne etymology' site has to say for starters -
grace Look up grace at Dictionary.com
c.1175, "God's favor or help," from O.Fr. grace "pleasing quality, favor, good will, thanks," from L. gratia "pleasing quality, good will, gratitude," from gratus "pleasing, agreeable," from PIE base *gwer- "to praise, welcome" (cf. Skt. grnati "sings, praises, announces," Lith. gririu "to praise, celebrate," Avestan gar- "to praise"). Sense of "virtue" is c.1330, that of "beauty of form or movement, pleasing quality" is c.1340. In classical sense, "one of the three sister goddesses (L. Gratiæ, Gk. Kharites), bestowers of beauty and charm," it is first recorded in Eng. 1579 in Spenser. The short prayer that is said before or after a meal (c.1225, until 16c. usually graces) is in the sense of "gratitude." Verb meaning "to show favor" (c.1440) led to that of "to lend or add grace to something" (1586, e.g. grace us with your presence), which is the root of the musical sense in grace notes (1657). Gracious as an exclamation (1713) is short for gracious God, etc
Thanks for beginning the thread,
Annie.

P.S. It is said that The Law of Grace will sometimes overrule The Law of Karma - in that if you become a different person from the one who incurred the karma, grace may intervene.
A.

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A beginning

Post by Goldenflutist » Tue Jul 10, 2007 1:53 am

Thanks Annie for the definitions. Do you think good will is the one that fits with Eckhart's teaching? It is still such a mystery to me this thing called grace.
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Post by JD » Tue Jul 10, 2007 3:20 am

Annie wrote:It is said that The Law of Grace will sometimes overrule The Law of Karma - in that if you become a different person from the one who incurred the karma, grace may intervene.
Funny you should say that, Annie.

Last week I was given a book by Kirpal Singh, entitled, Karma, and the epigraph is: "When the Law of Grace works, the Law of Karma ends".

I haven't read it yet, but I see the main talk, "The Law of Karma" is online here:

http://www.ruhanisatsangusa.org/lawkarma.htm

and contains quite a few references to "grace".

A (poor quality) audio version can be downloaded here:

http://www.ruhanisatsangusa.org/audio.htm

Law of Karma: http://www.ruhanisatsangusa.org/mp3/72tour/29oct72.mp3

I'm not endorsing it of course, as I haven't yet read beyond the first paragraph. :D

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Post by Fasty » Tue Jul 10, 2007 3:09 pm

Wow, Goldenflutist, I've read a few of the threads you've started and you're asking exactly the same questions that I have had problems with.

Ok, here's my current stance on the word "grace" as I understand it.

Grace is found in that which you are given without asking for it, for which you are grateful.

So this basically presupposes that you are given things, and this is where it gets subjective. So grace is a subjective thing. It also presupposes that there is a giver. In this scenario we'll say that the giver is Life (which some also call God, or any other name used to describe the intelligence behind the universe). So this now enables us to identify things given to us and allows us to be appreciative of them.

Does that make sense?

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yes

Post by Goldenflutist » Tue Jul 10, 2007 6:24 pm

Dear Fasty,

It does make sense. I think the entire reason I am asking this question is that I may, very soon in the future, need to have this so called grace available to me, and there is a fear that it is an illusion. I think time is grace. I don't understand why we call something grace when we feel better after suffering intense mental and physical suffering. Maybe it is just time. I have not been able to believe that a special thing is given to me from life to help me overcome deep grief. I am looking for a magic spiritual pill for suffering that does not exist for me I'm afraid. :cry:
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Post by heidi » Tue Jul 10, 2007 7:25 pm

Grace, for me, is simply going with the flow. If there is no resistance to what is, that's grace. I recall reading in The Artist's Way, a description of letting go like this: It's as though you are in a canoe resting, and letting the flow of the water take you along the stream - You are at rest in motion. Real acceptance, letting go of force and ego, and allowing Creation to flow through you - flowing with Creation - that's grace, baby. :)
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Re: yes

Post by eseward » Tue Jul 10, 2007 10:22 pm

...
Last edited by eseward on Wed Jul 11, 2007 12:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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sorry

Post by Goldenflutist » Tue Jul 10, 2007 10:47 pm

:)
Last edited by Goldenflutist on Wed Jul 11, 2007 12:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Grace

Post by Heatray » Tue Jul 10, 2007 11:08 pm

Grace is the unexpected, unsolicited, "Yes". No, that's not QUITE right. It's like deja vu, no. It feels like when you read PON, and felt like it was something you wrote a long time ago, but had forgotten. That's close.

Oh, I guess thats my definition, not Eckharts...

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Post by JD » Tue Jul 10, 2007 11:35 pm

There's no need to worry too much about the concept of grace and what it really means.

I think that grace will always be a mystery to some extent.

What ET does say is that the death of a loved one can be an extraordinary opportunity.

It leaves a massive hole in your life and that hole is - or can become - a portal into presence through a profound shift in consciousness brought about by acceptance of the loss.

If you can truly surrender to this loss you'll find a deep abiding peace.

That, at least, has been my experience.

There's no death, only a transition from one state of being to another.

We grieve for ourselves when a loved one dies.

We can't change the fact of death but if we can accept it we can find our own true life.

When Christ said: Let the dead bury the dead, this is what he was alluding to.

We're all dead until we wake up from the dream of egoic mind - or we might as well be.

Your ego will rebel at this death.

"Do not go gentle into that good night
Rage, rage against the dying of the light".

The stupidest couplet ever written.

Accept the loss without struggle and resentment and the ego itself will die a death.

That's the only grace that matters.

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Post by Webwanderer » Wed Jul 11, 2007 12:09 am

Okay, here’s my sense. Grace is the eternal and infinite availability of Divine redemption to our essential being, without a requirement to make redress for perceived transgressions. In other words grace transcends the karmic rule of an eye for an eye, etc. or any such concept of retribution or punishment for perceived sins.

Grace is readily available to anyone who will release his/her conceptual attachment to beliefs in separate-self identification, to personal historical judgments or need for purgatorial cleansings. All such beliefs and judgments of wrong doing are false concepts built on false concepts, the belief in which gives them the appearance and experience of reality. Forgiveness, primarily of self, but any judgments we may hold, is the doorway to Grace.

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Thanks

Post by Goldenflutist » Wed Jul 11, 2007 12:17 am

It leaves a massive hole in your life and that hole is - or can become - a portal into presence through a profound shift in consciousness brought about by acceptance of the loss.

If you can truly surrender to this loss you'll find a deep abiding peace.

Yes JD, once again you reached the spot in me that needed to be reached.
I realized after I read your thread that indeed I was concerned about the level of pain I would be experiencing, and not seeing it as an opportunity for growth. Before I discovered Eckhart, I had always been lead to believe that when someone or something passed on, they went to a "better" place, and that one day I would be reunited with that being in eternal blissful joy. This reuniting in blissful joy as the form and personality we once were is an illusion; something I know many of my close friends will never be willing to let go of and we all know why. At the end of ET's compassionate answer to the woman's question he tells her that soon you come to realize there is no death. He also talks about attachment. Something else I have to learn about and the lack thereof.
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Post by Goldenflutist » Wed Jul 11, 2007 12:24 am

Bravo webwanderer, well said. I need so much to let go of the "human" aspects of spirituality that have dominated my thinking for so long. :?

Wait a minute, isn't too much thinking the problem to begin with? Drat the luck!! I fell into that trap didn't I. :shock:
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Re: Thanks

Post by JD » Wed Jul 11, 2007 12:55 am

Goldenflutist wrote:This reuniting in blissful joy as the form and personality we once were is an illusion...
Yes, but the real illusion is believing that you really are that form and personality.

See through that and you'll understand why there can be no death.

You won't need to worry about pain, either.

Pain is a thought. You are not your thoughts.

That's why the death of a loved one presents such a rare opportunity for transformation.

Because the thought of pain associated with such a loss is so strong and insistent, successfully disidentifying with it causes a deep and profound shift in consciousness.

I know it probably seems hard to appreciate right now, but there really is a potentially great blessing in such a loss. :)

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