What’s Mine & What’s Grace

Nothing that’s good is mine, for there are times that I’m good and times that it doesn’t strike me that I’m good, so I cannot be the locus of goodness of any kind. The good may at times and for no clear worldly reasons spontaneously flow out of me, but the source is neither in my possession nor within my grasp. Nothing good, whether at the level of intention or that of action, can proceed from me.

As regards intention and desire, there are times that I have the desire to do good and times that I don’t, and the specific timeline for all that is more or less concealed from me. And even when I have the desire to do good, I may or may not have the willingness or power to act it out in the world; and this power to act is itself sometimes given and sometimes not. And worst of all, there are times I neither have the desire to do good nor the power to do anything, and these are times that I’m all empty and in the lower darkness, and that’s for me another indication that I of myself possess nothing, even the energy to be up to anything or even look or perceive.

So, if Goodness doesn’t belong to me, and neither does its incidence upon me within my purview, so is my relationship with its privation. If I’m not the source of any goodness, neither am I in possession of any evil, for evil is what’s left in the field, and not in me, when goodness withdraws itself from where I stand.

And the wisdom in this privation, which we call evil, is for me to remember that goodness doesn’t belong to me, for if it did I’d be its lord and oblivious to its privation. I can’t even possess my evil.

So, I possess neither goodness nor the perceived evil which is its privation. So, what do I possess then? Strictly speaking I possess nothing. Can I say then that at least I possess myself, the “I”? No, not even that. For, there are times that I’m one with myself and flow, and there are times that I’m divided against myself and cannot reintegrate things into a stable, recognizable whole. And moreover, there are times that even the “I” is taken away from me without me being the one giving it away, and then returned to me without me being able to even ask for it, and that’s the state of dreamless sleep. So, even with regard to my existence, I’m neither its possessor nor its support. My existence, too, is given to me and present as transcendentally as any other thing such as a desire to do good or the power to carry it out.

In summary, I possess nothing and I am nothing. It’s all the One, Him, so much so that even the desire to contemplate Him or pray to Him is also implanted and manifested in me by Him alone. It’s Him alone that throws in my heart, if He wills, to turn toward Him, and it’s also Him who turns me toward Him and keeps my eye in His direction and gives the willing and power for spiritual practice or contemplation, and it’s Him alone who blesses me with the bliss of His presence or the aridity in His apparent absence wherein lies the most precious treasures.

It’s God that draws us near or makes us even think about Him. I am in absolute poverty, and if I am humble enough to humor myself and give the one attribute I possess, that one attribute that I possess is absolute nothingness. So, all that there is is He and His grace.

5 thoughts on “What’s Mine & What’s Grace

  1. Thanks Narayana. Every Bhakti marg person will be elated when your statement confirms his surrender to thee . Of course your rider in the form of his possessions should be absolute nothingness is conclusive.
    Thanks for writing. Please make it at least one every week.

    Liked by 1 person

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