Grace is the experience of the oneness of heaven and earth, of heavenly things and earthly things, and the experience as a human being of the Divine in the midst of creation, in the midst of all that we are experiencing as a human being, however it seems to us. When we know grace we feel the perfection that transcends the ups and downs of life. We experience how all through the creative process we are loved.
The God of All Creation calls to us. As a song I once wrote says, “From beginning to every ending, you have always called to me.” That calling is a calling of love. It is a call to be true to the Creator within us.
The principle of reciprocity brings grace to a person’s life. The Merriam Webster dictionary defines something that is reciprocal as “Shared, felt, or shown by both sides.” The Latin origin of the word means “Returning the same way.” A person knows grace when they practice reciprocity—when, having received the inspiring, uplifting, enlightening power of Creation, and let that power work through them, they return the favor. They bring that same power to their world. They give it back to the Source of All Creation by paying it forward to other people and to the world.
There is an experience of reciprocity available to us in all kinds of ways, in all phases of the creative process. For every activating essence of Creation that comes to us, there is an act of reciprocity for us to become a living embodiment of that essence. If we allow reciprocity to work, we find that it brings the ultimate reciprocity, which is the oneness of our humanity with the creative source that gives us life.
Reciprocity is the working of the One Law of Cause and Effect, and the freeing up of substance at any level to move in that process of Creation. Substance is put in motion by the Law of Cause and Effect: positive cause, the power of the Creator works through Creation, setting Creation in motion. What happens after that is the dance of life, which is the dance of reciprocity. Because where the activating power of Creation moves through the substance of Creation, that substance comes alive and ultimately becomes an expression of the very power of Creation that set it in motion. This principle is at work through all the phases of our life.
The power of Creation is coming to us from the Invisible all the time. It also comes to us from people. It could be somebody that you know well and intimately, or somebody who seems to be more distant. It could be someone you’ve never met but who is still a friend to you. I think of people of great stature through the ages, like Kahlil Gibran, who I have read from recently, or the contemporary author Eckhart Tolle. Eckhart Tolle has been a friend to many people, most of whom he has never met. But yet he has brought the spirit of the Creator to them.
So I invite you to think of a friend in your life. Here that person is, one out of seven billion or so, and they have appeared in your life. How random! Or so it seems. In your relationship with this person, are you interacting with just one seven-billionth of humanity? And if, in some way, they are bringing the spirit of the Creator to you, did you just get one seven-billionth of the Creator as it relates to humanity? At a human level, that’s what it looks like. Here is another way to look at it. When you are with that friend, potentially all of the Creator is coming to you through that person, through that Being. At least that’s the opportunity. All of the divine essence of all humanity, in a holographic way, can come to you through that person and bring you something in the unique way in which they bring it. If they are open to bring it and if you are open to receive it, they are not just bringing one seven-billionth of something. All of the Creator has sent His/Her/Their envoy, Their emissary, through that friend.
Have you been seeking out such friends? Have you been looking for your Eckhart Tolle or Kahlil Gibran? Or for that special loving friend who confirms the presence of all that is worthwhile and important in your life? Have you been finding them? They are present, but to find them we have to seek. We have to want to find them. When we do find them, we have to have an ear and a heart that is listening and open to receive. And how deeply are we receiving what they have to give? Are we open to receive what the Universe is attempting to give us through this person?
There are essentially two channels through which we can drink in what the Creator has to give us, whether from within ourselves or from another person. There is the love channel and there is the truth channel. Love stimulates and activates the heart, and truth stimulates and activates the mind.
Sometimes people want to reduce the truth to thoughts and their beliefs. I find that sometimes a person is frustrated with me because they want to know the truth I believe in and it seems to them that I won’t tell them. But even though you can express the truth through your thoughts and beliefs, the truth is far more than that. Truth is not just content. It is that quality of the Creative Spirit that stimulates the mind to think creatively. As I write this piece, I am not trying to get you to believe something. I am hoping that the thoughts I am sharing will bring the truth to you—the creative energy that activates the mind to think creatively. That is a very different matter.
Earlier this month, I gave a talk in Birmingham—not Alabama but the original Birmingham in England. It was to a group that calls themselves TruthJuice. I love the name! Truth juice stimulates the mind. But we have to be open to receive it, however it comes to us. And if we can receive it from a friend—an intimate friend or someone with whom we connect from a distance—we can receive it from within ourselves.
Personally, I don’t care very much if a person agrees with my thinking. I care, so much more, that their own original thinking is activated. If I can play a part in stimulating and activating someone’s mind so that they can receive the truth from within themselves and think thoughts that are an expression and an embodiment of that truth, I am happy. It is disappointing if someone just believes what they believe to be the content of my thoughts. That’s the booby prize. Receiving truth juice from another person, we reciprocate when we allow our mind to be stimulated to really think for ourselves, and then bring truth juice to other people.
We have to seek and receive love and we have to seek and receive truth to participate in Creation. When we do, something else happens: we are stimulated by what we have received and then motivated to reciprocate. If you receive love from a friend, you can bring the activating current of love back to that friend so that there is a dance of reciprocation that transpires between you and that friend. But that dance isn’t limited to the two of you. It begins to involve your whole world. If you give love to me and I pass it on, have I not reciprocated? If you bring truth to me and I share the current of that truth, have I not honored you and honored what you gave me? Have I not reciprocated by bringing that truth to the world?
When we deeply receive love, when we deeply receive truth, we are energized by what we have received. The more deeply these activating energies are received, the more it motivates us. And motivated isn’t even a strong enough word. We are compelled to reciprocate. We are compelled to pay it forward, to bring it to the world. For me, it is so easy to see my whole life as reciprocity for what I have received. I can think of what I have received in the past. When I ponder the deep, unfathomable love that I have received from others, and the stellar truth, I’m motivated with deep, fervent passion to live that reality.
But receiving is not just a thing of the past. I know that whatever was true can never cease to be true. Real truth is not just a thing of the moment. It can be embodied in the moment, it can be shared by a human being in the moment, but any real truth is present here and now. Any love you have ever received is part of a reality of love that is always present.
I think of the gifts I’ve been given, and I invite you to ponder the same. I think of the people from whom those gifts have come, each unique, stimulating something different in me, activating something in me. Deeply receiving, do I have to try to motivate myself in life? Do I have to try to get myself up in the morning and be about something important? That’s not how it is for me. When I think of all that I’ve been given, it feels like I have so far to go to pay it forward and to give back. I’m happy to live with that debt of gratitude.
The urge to reciprocate in our life is magic if we let it be. It means that our own heart can be a conduit of love—the love that’s within it, but of all love. The love of the Creator—that we have received from so many people in our life as well as from deep within our own soul—can live in this human being so that my love is not somehow separate from all love. It isn’t just human love—it’s the one Love, embodied through a human heart. The light of Being, the light of truth can shine through this human consciousness, not just as human thought but as the very light of Being. The energizing power within us activates thoughts, and those thoughts can guide what we do. The love within us can empower what we do. As that process unfolds, then, through the magic of reciprocity, we become not just a channel or instrument for the Creator. We become the Creator in the middle of our Creation. Our energy is then activating creative thought and empowering love in others.
Through all adversity and challenge, through all joy and delight, the Creator can be known in and through us in human form. That’s grace. You don’t come to it by making some kind of arrogant claim: “I am God,” or whatever other name for God you might have. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with saying such things if that’s truly your experience, but just saying it doesn’t make it so. We become that in actual experience as a human being through the magic of reciprocity in our life.
Ultimately, each of us as a human being reciprocates by being God for our world. That is being a real friend to God. Sometimes when we say that, we think of the capriciousness of a human being who is “being God,” acting like God in some kind of arbitrary way. We think of arrogance. When the principle of reciprocity is at work in a person, it isn’t arrogance. It isn’t a superhuman effort to be godlike. It is the natural process of becoming on the outside what you already are on the inside. As a human being, you become an emissary of the inner reality that gives you life. You become an emissary of divine light—not just someone affiliated with an organization but someone who knows grace in their life, whatever is occurring.