“I have had to experience so much stupidity, so many vices, so much error, so much nausea, disillusionment and sorrow, just in order to become a child again and begin anew. I had to experience despair, I had to sink to the greatest mental depths, to thoughts of suicide, in order to experience grace.” ...................Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha
“To bow to the fact of our life's sorrows and betrayals is to accept them; and from this deep gesture we discover that all life is workable. As we learn to bow, we discover that the heart holds more freedom and compassion than we could imagine.” .................Jack Kornfield
When we take upon ourselves the path to spiritual renewal or enlightenment, we assume that it is a task to be performed through a purely a physical, mental and emotional exercise. This attitude is nothing short of an ego driven motive in asserting its power. This is where the experience of Buddhist thinkers and Bodhisattvas comes to our rescue. Both Hermann Hesse and Jack Kornfield are essentially authors greatly influenced by Buddhist philosophy. If you carefully consider the Christian concept of grace, it is functionally identical to the Buddhist idea of non-judgemental acceptance.
I am trying to make out the subtle differences of these two concepts to make sure I am not missing any significant differences in meaning. The only thing I see is that grace tends to be used in an active sense, and acceptance in a passive sense. But in both cases there is a process involved and hence it would be erroneous to assume an active and a passive role in a normal sense My understanding is that while Grace tends to be used when the flow of libido is away from oneself and towards the other, acceptance is from the other and towards the individual. You may be wondering why I have used the term 'flow of libido' which is normally associated with sexual desire or drive. Libido which is limited to a purely physical level cannot travel beyond the second Chakra or swadhisthana, wherein dissipation occurs and terminates as erotic love and temporary euphoria. But this same libido can raise the potential of the energy at the second Chakra when it is open fully to transcend to higher levels and gets manifest as Agape or Divine love. Every form of desire that truly emanates from the heart level, which is the balancing point of the manifested potentials and the all pervading unmanifest potentials, provides the individual with infinite capacity for acceptance and hence transcendence.
Summing up, I would say that Grace is the process of the flow of the unmanifest potential and acceptance is the process of opening all restrictions and hindrances and expanding the receptacle, at the physical, mental and emotional level.
In ancient Polynesia, Grace was a way of being, of how you treat people. grace was a state of mind where all was in acceptance. Here we can see the merging of the concepts of Grace and Acceptance as two sides of the same coin. When someone is in a true state of grace, they accept that people, things, circumstances just are. They are not to be judged, and therefore, allowed to live. The Polynesian symbol for grace is a series of wavy lines, such as a wave.
Water accepts a pebble and ripples and then becomes calm again.
A wave can assume many different shapes. This shape is determined by the sum total of the induced potential energies of the water, earth and the air which transforms into a dynamic form in bringing balance.
“As far as inner transformation is concerned there is nothing you can do about it. You cannot transform yourself, and you certainly cannot transform your partner or anybody else. All you can do is create space for transformation to happen, for Grace and Love to enter.” ....................Eckhart Tolle
I will close this article with the following suggestion is from an article written by Stefanie Miller, who is a teacher, energy healer, spiritual counsellor:
"I think learning how to be and letting go of expectations and our agenda is a difficult concept to master. It seems quite easy, and in fact it really is. As humans our ego gets in there and we think we know how it is supposed to be done and which way things should be heading. We do not always see the big picture. The fear, anxiety, and worry that are plaguing many of us as our lives go through this recalibration can be daunting. We want to take the steering wheel and lead the way. If we can get out of our own way, allow ourselves to be, things will naturally fall into place."
Love to you all