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In The Secret Path PB writes: The awakening to spiritual consciousness is something which cannot be developed by a mechanical and measured system alone. “Art happens!” declared Ruskin, and so does spirituality. The aspirant carries on certain practices, whether meditation or relaxation, whether self-observation or self-remembering; carries on his effort of Interrogative Reflection, and one day the true consciousness seems to come to him quietly, gently but surely. That day cannot be predetermined. It may come early in his efforts; it may come only after long years of disappointing struggle. For it depends upon a manifestation of Grace from the Overself, of a force deeper than his personal will, which now begins to take a hand in this celestial game. … The word Grace is not one I am over-keen to use. It has so many unpleasant and theological connotations, that, could I find a better, I would throw it aside. But I cannot. So I shall endeavour to assign it a meaning based on ascertainable spiritual experience and not on blind belief. (p. 92).

To obtain this Grace we must ask for it. This is not to say that asking is done by verbal action alone. That may suffice for some; for others, the request may be uttered mentally only. But for most of us we must ask with our whole life. Our course of action, our sacrifices of the primrose path, our surrender of time even, should show and express this great desire. And we may even be forced down on our knees, at unexpected hours of the night or day, to pray that the Light be granted us. If this happens do not resist or resent it. Yield, and if you feel an urge to weep when praying for the Overself’s Grace, then let the tears flow as copiously as they come forth. Do not hold them back. There is great spiritual merit in weeping for the visitation of a higher power. Each tear will dissolve something that stands between you and the divine union. Never be ashamed of such tears, for they fall in a good cause. ….(p. 93)

When Grace raises from our own Overself the latter sets up a certain urge in the heart and begins to lead our thoughts into certain channels. We become dissatisfied with our life as it is; we begin to aspire to something better; we commence a quest for a higher Truth than the belief which has hitherto held us. We imagine – and naturally – that the change is due to a developing mind or, sometimes, by changing circumstance. But not so. Veiled behind the mystery that is Life moves the unseen Overself, the august Being who has thus strangely interrupted our mortal sleep. The very quest for Truth was simply a quest for the Overself. Mayhap we find a worthier philosophy of life and thus come a little closer to true self-realization. But the uplifting thoughts and moods of that changing period – whether a week or years-are merely a manifestation of Grace, or if I may put it paradoxically, the results of an inner movement made by the Motionless. (p. 93).

Suggestions for further readingThe paperback version of Perspectives includes an Index which lists many references to Grace found in the notebooks. Also see The Notebooks of Paul Brunton, vol. 12: The Reverential Life.