Originally posted by knightmeister
I just love this quote------
"Grace strikes us when we are in great pain and restlessness. It strikes us when we walk through the dark valley of a meaningless and empty life. . . . It strikes us when our disgust for our own indifference, our weakness, our hostility, and our lack of direction and composure have become intolerable to us. It strikes us g; do not intend anything. Simply accept the fact that you are accepted."
Important, that phrase.
You are accepted, accepted by that which is greater than you...
How could it be otherwise? We are manifestations of that something greater, not aliens in it. No one would even feel the need to hear such words as these if somewhere the thought had not crept in that they are not accepted. Sad. As sad (and silly) as my saying that I don’t “accept” my toes—or that I do, for that matter. Sad that we need to hear this reminder from Tillich (although I guess that we do).
Perhaps it begins with not accepting the natural world just as it is, the scorpion as well as the sunrise, the rattlesnake as well as the rose, the typhoon as well as the zephyr—and our own existential condition in and from and of it all. It is not avoiding the scorpion, or building a shelter against strong winds that is the problem; it is the thinking that it ought to be otherwise, that such ought-thinking makes any sense at all—one way or the other.
The point is not to accept existence as “perfect”—perfection is our concept, whatever it means. The Tao is as it is, however we judge it. The Tao cannot reject us any more than a circle can reject any of the points that lie within it, any more than the ocean can reject water. I cannot reject the Tao any more than I can reject my skin.
(One can, of course say something like: “That person ought not to be a psychopathic killer.” But to even say that, one must recognize and accept the fact that that person’s behavior is as it is. To say that we will not accept certain behavior among our fellow humans is one thing; to say that we will not accept the behavior of the universe is quite something else, an absurdity.)
The world is as it is prior to our thinking about it, and we are part of it prior to our thinking about it. Our thinking is not necessarily any more problematic than any map-making: maps can be useful guides. But it is silly to judge the territory according to the map, and, where it does not conform to our map, judge the territory to be what is false. Whether we like it or not, our existence is part of the territory, and our maps are just maps.
...and the name of which you do not know.
Bingo! The territory has no names but the ones we give it. It is prior to our naming, to our thoughts about it, to our conceptualizations of it (and ourselves in and of it)—the gridlines on our maps that do not exist in the territory.
And it is our maps, not the territory, that we argue about. The Tao is unmoved by either our maps or our arguments.