Chapter 14: Ripening the Meditator on the Path
So it will be an error to look upon the ultimate as a person. Existence is not a person but an energy; therefore, prayer and worship hold no meaning. It is meaningless to have expectations of it. If you wish for this divine energy to become a blessing, a grace for you, then you have to do something to your own self. Hence spiritual practice has meaning, prayer does not. Meditation has meaning, worship does not. Understand the difference clearly.
In prayer you are doing something with God: you beg, you insist, you expect, you demand. In meditation you are working upon your own self. In worship you are doing something with God; in spiritual endeavor you are doing something on your self. The effort for spiritual growth means that you are transforming yourself in such a way that you are not in discord with existence, with religion. When the river flows you are not swept away by the current. Instead, you are on the bank where the waters of the river strengthen your roots rather than washing them away. The moment we see the ultimate as energy, the whole structure of religion changes.
It is for this reason I had said that if grace descends suddenly and directly it can sometimes become a disaster.
Another question you have asked: “Can an unfit person be the recipient of grace?”
No, grace never descends on a person unqualified for it. It always descends on a person who is prepared for it. But sometimes an unfit person suddenly develops the necessary qualifications, even though he himself is unaware of it. The event always takes place under the right conditions, just as light is visible only to those with eyes and not to the blind. But if a blind man has been medically treated so that he can see, and he comes out of the hospital and he sees the sun directly, he will be seriously harmed. He will have to put on dark glasses for a month or two and wait.
If an unreceptive person suddenly becomes receptive, there is bound to be a mishap. The sun cannot be blamed in the case of the blind man. He has to develop the strength of his eyes to bear the sunlight or else there is a danger that he can become totally blind. The first blindness was curable, but now it will be difficult to cure his second blindness.
Understand this well: the experience comes only to those who are deserving. But sometimes there is a possibility of an undeserving person suddenly developing the necessary qualifications due to circumstances of which he himself is not aware. Then there is always a danger of disaster, because the energy descends suddenly and one is are not in a condition to bear it.
For example: a man suddenly comes into a large amount of money. Usually it should not be of any harm, but if it comes suddenly it may be dangerous. Sudden happiness may also trigger an accident, because we need a certain capacity to bear it. We become able to bear happiness if it comes upon us gradually. If bliss comes gradually only then we become prepared for it.