I think if we’re honest, most of us aren’t even clear about what that word actually means.
This article aims to bring the meaning of “grace” down to earth in a way that makes it more tangible, recognizable, and real (while still leaving ample room for the metaphysical mystery of grace). In so doing, I hope to explain how astrology relates to grace as well. This may be a somewhat more academic article than my typical post, but I hope you all will take the time to read it through (reading the first and last paragraphs of the headier sections is an alternative, and I’ve also posted a less heady version of this article here).
Grace Is Elusively Obvious
Most people must have a fuzzy conception of grace, at best. You can surely imagine many people’s eyes glazing over if the word ‘grace’ were to pop up unexpectedly in conversation. How many times have you even become a bit foggy at the mention of that word yourself? (Perhaps you’re already feeling a little of that fogginess right now!)
Grace sounds like a really good thing to have, but what is it, and where is it?
The truth is that grace is hiding everywhere, right in plain sight. It is one of the most prevalent, familiar and fundamental elements of our daily lives, even though we don’t notice it staring us right in the face every day.
OK, so grace is hiding everywhere, but what is grace?
Here’s my working definition of “grace”:
“Grace” is our word for the goal-oriented metaphysical principle that favors the evolution of life.
There’s Massive Grace In Gravity
OK, we’re getting closer now. We have a working definition of “grace,” and an idea that grace is virtually everywhere, but where can we actually pick out specific examples of grace?
Well, to start with, the gravity that we experience at every moment would be a good example. Grace is ultimately what makes the laws of physics conveniently conducive to life. Whether we believe in the Big Bang Theory or some other creation story, we have no idea why the strength of gravity in the universe just happens to fall into a “Goldilocks Zone,” resulting in a “just right” universe that neither crushes itself, nor flies apart before it has a chance to form the stars and planets that host life. We can think of this “lucky accident” as an effect of grace.
Note: I can’t address Neil deGrasse Tyson’s very insightful admonition against reflexively invoking metaphysics at the limits of our knowledge—except to say that meta-physics (literally, “after-physics”) is precisely what is needed to explain the origins of the physical laws, since the physical laws can’t explain themselves (i.e. how they arose in the first place), and the strength of gravity has to do with its own origin as a physical law.
Whether we believe that the universe emerged from nothing (i.e. not Lawrence Krauss’ counterfeit version of a “nothing” that is still imbued with numerous unexplained properties, but actual absolute nothingness), or we believe that there was never a time when at least one universe didn’t exist, we simply can’t show that it was necessary for gravity to have the particular strength it does (at least not without ultimately resorting to some other law that itself lacks an explanation). This is the explanatory domain of metaphysics, as I’ll explain next, and “grace” is as good a word as any for the life-favoring metaphysical element involved.
Bottom line: it makes sense to think of the life-favoring strength of gravity as belonging to the category of things that result ultimately from grace.
Why Grace Is The Final Frontier
I’m sorry, but there isn’t a physicist alive who knows anything more about the ultimate source of the physical laws than you or I do. Even if what we might call “super-physical” laws can be developed, dictating that the strength of gravity “must” be precisely what it is, this would only open the question of why those super-physical laws have the specific characteristics that they have. How would such questions ever cease? Each answered question will only open another one just like it.
I’m calling grace the “final frontier” because at the end of this ceaseless succession of questions is a logical limit of scientific explanation (please forgive me, Neil). It’s impossible to explain why life would be favored in the universe, because it’s impossible to use any set of laws to know why favoring life would be a goal of those laws. If life is favored, then the laws are the way they are because of the goal, and not vice versa (at least, if certain laws do reflect a life-favoring goal, as I will argue for in the next section). This is why it’s not a scientific cop out to leave open the question of whether grace plays a role in shaping life in our universe.
Astrology As an Example of Goal-Oriented Super-Physical Laws
Astrology is a science of how life is orchestrated by super-physical law. The fact that such a science exists at all is a powerful suggestion that the universe is structured with, or around, a goal of favoring the evolution of life. Astrology describes a set of super-physical laws that appear to stem from an understanding of life (how it develops and functions, what it needs, etc.), which is strong evidence of a life-favoring goal orientation of those laws. Moreover, if astrology works here on Earth, then we have every reason to think that it applies throughout the cosmos. The impact of the legitimacy of astrology is therefore enormous, since by itself astrology seems to offer enough evidence to confirm that a “goal-oriented metaphysical principle that favors the evolution of life” (our working definition of “grace”) pervades our universe.
So, as a reflection of a goal-oriented super-physical law, astrology itself provides evidence of grace’s existence in the universe.
Flushing Out the Grace In Water
Other manifestations of grace constantly surround and permeate us, though they go almost wholly unnoticed as well.
Take water, for example. Hydrogen bonds just happen to be weak enough to allow water molecules to flow amongst each other, but strong enough to keep water from being a non-cohesive powder. Considering that every single biological process inside our bodies occurs only in a water substrate, the fact that these bonds also fall into a Goldilocks Zone for life is another incredible manifestation of grace.
So, every time you move a muscle (to breathe, chew, walk, talk, focus, or grab something), and every time your cells generate the ATP that fuels your whole physiology (enabling you to read this blog!), you are experiencing grace—right inside your own body!
Think about that!
Really. Take some time to reflect on how your body simply cannot operate without the grace embodied in water for a single moment. Period.
Why Grace and the Theory of Evolution Are Not Incompatible
The Theory of Evolution primarily uses the idea of “random genetic mutations” to explain how complex life like us developed within a background environment of natural selection (we’ll ignore modern non-random factors like pesticides, etc.). But, a little discussed fact about the Theory of Evolution is that these genetic mutations need not be random.
In fact, the idea of genetic mutations was not even a part of Darwin’s own theory; it was introduced decades after Darwin’s death, once genetics emerged on the scene. At that juncture, the idea that life’s genetic mutations occurred randomly was merely one of two possibilities to be considered—the second possibility, of course, was that these mutations were not random (again, we’re not considering non-random factors like pesticides, etc. here). This second possibility has been all but ignored by modern science.
Given the almost unfathomable complexity of the biological systems that are said to have evolved from single-celled organisms (see, for example, this Harvard video on the mind-boggling biological processes occurring in us at the cellular level), it certainly wasn’t necessary to categorically rule out the possibility that a non-random influence played a role in genetic mutation. Grace would be an influence of precisely this kind.
Consider this: if random mutations drive evolution, then it is totally bizarre that we should be able to recognize the same song in different musical keys. Why should we be able to hear any relationship at all between two sets of notes whose frequencies are simply related in the same ratios? Should humans have the ability to hear a similar frequency ratio simply because of random genetic mutations? From the standpoint of modern genetic theory, it is totally bizarre that we are able to hear a song played twice in different keys as the same song (I will refrain from enlarging on the mathematics of changing musical keys here, but even isolated tribal peoples who may not recognize octaves will recognize a song played in different keys).
How would such an ability accidentally evolve in our brains? It certainly was not necessary by the laws of physics that modifying the frequency pattern of a pressure wave should even be recognizable as the same pattern, much less sound “harmonious,” to a developing biological organism like us. Nothing about daily survival requires that humans should especially distinguish a change in key of sound frequencies or pick out the mathematical relationships involved in translating between keys. This is a glaring, but totally overlooked, indicator that something more than genetic mutations and natural selection is at play in life’s evolution—something goal-oriented, whose aim was to enable us to hear sound frequency relationships and certain natural harmonics.
So, our ability to distinguish music also appears to be a manifestation of grace. Perhaps that is why music is so commonly incorporated into religious practices.
Just Ask for Grace, All the Time
OK, we now have a definition of grace, specific examples, and an argument for its existence, but how do we maximize grace? Accepting that grace exists is wonderfully liberating and uplifting, but it also raises the question of how much any given situation can benefit from grace. Grace seems to want to support life, so I believe that the best and easiest way to get more grace is simply to ask for more grace (and remember, you already have a lot!). Our connection with grace must be very simple and primal. So, try just asking grace itself to “grace this moment,” or use any variation of this request that feels more natural for you.
You can’t overdo it, because there’s no limit to how much better off you could be, so why not ask for grace as much as possible?
Christ’s advisement, “Ask, and it shall be given,” probably wasn’t just an interesting factoid he shared about prayer; it more likely was an exhortation to ask. The only caveat I can see here is that grace seems to favor life only in certain ways. My own experience leads me to believe that grace only favors what we might call “pure” life, not every possible way that life could be favored (after all, some of our pursuits are cancerous to life, either literally or figuratively).
To me, this means that if we ask for grace while identified with the pure life within us (what we might call our “core”), then our purer (healthier) interests and pursuits will be favored more by grace. In other words, ask for grace as the most pure living being you can be in the moment. To my mind, this means that our request for grace will be more powerful when we are more innocent, humble, and life-affirming (benevolent, benign, open-hearted, forgiving, etc.). Then ask only for things that affect life at the purest levels (i.e. things that you feel are truly beneficial to you and other living things). Try it, and see for yourself!
Astrology As a Medium of Grace
Astrology itself can be used as a vehicle for grace, too. This isn’t as easy as simply asking for grace, but it is often still worth the effort. Astrology is like a window (and mirror) that allows us to more clearly perceive our environment. The fact that we even comprehend this abstract window at all is grace, and the clarity it affords can be a form of grace as well, provided we orient ourselves properly towards our astrological reflection and tides. This is why I posted the article, “Surfing Your Astrology” and why I typically spend half of every 90 minute initial reading with clients constructing an “astrological portrait” (or mirror reflection) of them from the elements of their charts. Understanding influencing energies enables us to orient in ways that harness those energies, where we otherwise would drain our resources in blind resistance to those energies. The resources we save, which have both material and psychological benefits, are thus a gift of grace from astrology.
A Potential Proof of Grace: The Prevalence of Complex Life
I think we need to open our minds to the possibility that, even if evolution is true, the genetic mutation that drives evolution may not be as random as modern science believes. If, in fact, some kind of metaphysical intelligence at least occasionally (if not constantly) influenced the development of life in the universe with the goal of benefiting that life, then those benefits could rightly be labeled, “grace.”
Interestingly, if it turns out that life is common in the universe, rather than being a rare accident that was fairly unique to this planet, then the typical objection from those who deny the existence of grace (and any metaphysical intelligence whatsoever) would instantly evaporate. Skeptics invariably appeal to the “law of averages” to dismiss the suggestion that a superconscious benevolence (e.g. grace) is responsible for anything in the universe that is conducive to life. They usually point out that, if the universe is big enough to host virtually every possible combination of events, then life was bound to emerge somewhere in the universe exactly as it has on Earth. In other words, if the odds of our ecology arising are a gazillion to one, and you have at least a gazillion possible places in the universe for such an ecology to evolve, then it’s statistically unremarkable that our ecology should have evolved somewhere in the universe, as it did here.
The skeptics’ claim is entirely true, if complex life is unimaginably rare. However, if events in the universe consistently favor the development of complex life like ours, then the impact of the law of averages actually reverses, and instead supports the conclusion that something goal-oriented (like grace) helps that life evolve.
How Astrology Implies the Prevalence of Complex Life
I think that the legitimacy of astrology (as a science, not as it is practiced in every instance) requires us to assume that complex life evolves fairly consistently throughout the universe, even if such life manifests in limitless diversity. Astrology is the science of how life is orchestrated by celestial laws. The fact that these celestial laws exist at all is a powerful suggestion that life is distributed throughout the universe and is similarly governed by these laws. Why would astrology exist and apply only to one solar system in the universe? The specifics of how our astrology affects us may indeed be particular to our solar system, but the fact that astrology works at all has nothing to do with our planet’s location in the cosmos (note: astrology may not actually be a “cause” of life events, but may rather just systematically correlate with those events; in either case, the science of astrology shouldn’t be limited in scope to Earth and our little solar system).
Are We Close to “Proving” the Existence of Grace?
Given my last point, I actually suspect that as a species we are approaching a period in which we will become aware that life is fairly prevalent elsewhere in the cosmos. I think such a revelation is most likely to occur in the kind of Saturn-Ketu periods that I wrote about in last month’s blog posts. A high percentage of the “other worldly” events in recent history seem to have occurred in those periods, like meteor impacts and breakthroughs around space flight (for example, in the next Saturn-Ketu cycle, a large asteroid will miss Earth by such a narrow margin that people will be able to see it with their naked eyes!).
Astronomers already claim to be closer to deducing if life exists on any of the countless planets we have recently found in other star systems (as our instruments get closer to being able to detect the atmospheric free oxygen that is attributable to living ecosystems). If we do not achieve such a revelation in the present Saturn-Ketu cycles (i.e. by 2019), then I think we are likely to do so in one of the subsequent Saturn-Ketu cycles soon to follow (e.g. 2028-31, 2039-42). This ultimately will have the effect of indirectly proving that abundant grace accompanies life, as I’ve explained above, because a universe of abundant life can’t be obtained by the mechanism of “random genetic mutations.” So, the “final frontier” of space may soon bring the reality of grace down to Earth for us, so that the existence of grace eventually becomes common knowledge.
But we needn’t wait for scientific discoveries to prove to us what, if we only look more closely, we can clearly see for ourselves. So, see the grace all around you every day, and thank your lucky stars for every moment of the blessed life you live!
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