Is it grace that saves our hides, or a creative process of manifestation that we can manipulate at whim?
Or is it both?
Around this time last year something minor but major happened to me in Sydney that made me rethink my views on the workings of the universe. The more I ponder this event the humbler I feel, and in total awe.
So what actually happened? It was Easter Friday and I was an hour north of Sydney en route to the airport, due to fly home in a few hours, to the other side of the world. Noticing my phone was running low, I stopped to get the charger from the boot of my hired car, and, in the process, somehow managed to lock the car keys in the boot along with my luggage, wallet, air tickets and, inside the locked interior, my still playing iPhone. To make matters worse, I had somehow chosen a no parking tow away zone as the location for my mini adventure.
What to do?
With no cash nor phone I had to reach out for help.
I asked a man with broad shoulders if I could use his phone. First call got through to my car hire company’s ‘we are on holiday for the weekend’ message. Next call to national rescue got ‘If a baby has been locked in the car, press 1. If the car is a hazard to others, press 2. If you are in danger, press 3….’ Clearly I was at the bottom of the rescue list, and not a member anyway; so when I finally did get through, they simply transferred me back to my car hire company’s ‘we are on holiday for the weekend’ message. After an hour of trying and repeated holding, I learnt that the car hire branch didn’t have a spare key.
Clearly more drastic ‘self-help’ measures were called for. It seemed to me the cheapest and quickest solution would be to simply smash a window. The kind man who had given up an hour and his phone agreed this was the best solution and then quickly vanished – and another had to be found as well as a very large boulder. However, car windows have progressed, it was mission impossible. The boulder bounced! We tried really hard to shatter it with zero success and no visible proof of intent to harm.
Last option was to find a local locksmith willing to work on public holidays. Eventually I found one but he had several jobs ahead of mine and would be at least two hours.
There was now nothing more to do besides wait and ‘be here now’. I decided to surrender fully to my plight (possible missed flight). Perhaps calming and emptying my mind would speed up the locksmith’s arrival. I sat down on a rock wall in the shade of a large blue gum and closed my eyes. Two minutes later I opened them again and there, parked 10m away, was a national rescue car! He had come to help someone else who had called hours earlier and fortunately agreed to help me too. Within seconds I was back on the road. The traffic vanished and somehow, I have no idea how, I got to the car hire drop-off just as it was closing.
Whenever I play this incident back in my head, the whole thing seems like a surreal dream, seamlessly stitched together, almost as if were ‘manufactured’ out of thin air to demonstrate the difference between grace and manifestation. This clearly was grace; not manifestation. It was a generous gift from beyond that had nothing to do with my being deserving. At most, what helped was trying to do all that was possible and then surrendering to a higher mind.
Becoming fully present, in joy, with no expectations –‘I’m here and I’m available’– is perhaps the bridge over the gap in our synapses that usually trips us up.
This article was first published in Living Now Magazine
After pondering this incident at length, as if by serendipity, after the article was published, I received a link to new recording by spiritual teacher Thomas Huebl, giving his perspective on this:
“There are two principles. One is empty, is still, is ever-present and transcends every form. It is the deepest aspect that is looking right now and listening right now, and the other one is the process of creation…. A satori is when I stop trying and suddenly grace can happen… from nothing something appears. All the rest is spiritual mastery. There is a lot of knowledge about energetic processes about how things come into a form. This we can study and the other part is to bow down and be quiet.”
This quotation is from the sound recording by Huebl titled:
meeting what drives me the deepest, at approximately 2 min 48.
What do you think? Grace or manifestation or both?