“How does Grace come in?” is the title of the third episode of my internet-based radio show, Nurturing the Spiritual Spelunker in All of Us.
Please have a look at my page at Voice America:
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how [Grace] gets in.
Leonard Cohen – Anthem
In Episode 3, I would like to share a few more words about the concept of the “core wound” and reflect on how we can, through our spiritual work, render this wound “sacred.”
I would also like to keep connecting the dots between our ‘disastrous or life-shattering experiences,’ the “dark night of our souls,” and what comes out of them, what constitutes our penetrating Light. I am talking about Grace here and would like to explore the conditions or attitudes necessary for It to ‘move in.’
Finally, I would like to discuss one more notion: that of loving ourselves. Is there a phenomenon at play within these ‘disastrous, earth-shattering experiences’ that sets up the stage for true self-love? For instance, is Spirit involved? Maybe there isn’t any…
Here is a quote from Parker Palmer that I will be using. It is full of wisdom. Openness, or as I see it, vulnerability, seems to be a key ingredient.
The Quakers took a stand against slavery early in American history partly because one man, John Woolman, was willing to hold the tension between reality and possibility. But it is important to note that the entire Quaker community was also willing to hold the tension until they were opened to a more integral way of being in the world. They refused to succumb to the impulse to resolve tension prematurely, either by throwing Woolman out or by voting to allow the slavery-approving majority have its way. Instead, they let the tension between reality and possibility break their collective heart open to justice, truth and love.
There is an old Hasidic tale that tells us how such things happen.
The pupil comes to the rabbi and asks, “Why does Torah tell us to ‘place these words upon your hearts’? Why does it not tell us to place these holy words in our hearts?” The rabbi answers, “It is because as we are, our hearts are closed, and we cannot place the holy words in our hearts. So we place them on top of our hearts. And there they stay until, one day, the heart breaks and the words fall in.”
(Parker Palmer, Hidden Wholeness, p. 181)