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Chapter 4: Love, Grace and Divinity

Somewhere, Aesop has a fable:

By a riverside, a scorpion requests a turtle: “Please carry me to the other shore on your back.”

The turtle says, “Don’t be foolish. Don’t think me stupid. You may sting me in midstream, and I will drown and die.”

The scorpion said, “I am not foolish. Rather, you are foolish because you do not know simple logic. I belong to the Aristotelian school; I am a logician. So I will teach you a simple lesson in logic - a simple syllogism. If I sting you and if you are drowned, die, I will also die with you. So be sensible, be logical. I will not sting you. I cannot sting you.”

The turtle thought for a moment and then said, “Okay. It seems sensible. Hop on me, and off we go.” And exactly in midstream the sting came. They are both sinking. Before the turtle dies he asks, “Where has your logic gone? You have done a very illogical thing, and you yourself said that this is simple logic. That you would never do it. And now you have done it. Tell me before I die. Let me know another lesson of your logic.”

The scorpion said, “It is not a question of logic at all, this is simply my character, just my nature. This is not a question of logic at all. This is just my nature. I cannot be without it. I can talk about it, but I cannot be without it. I am really incapable.”

Something that you are incapable of doing - or not doing - indicates to your nature. We cannot conceive of the divine as not loving or without grace. The love is always there. The grace is always there. We use two words - love and grace - because of our linguistic limitations. Otherwise, one word will do. Either you call it love or you call it grace.

We use two words because with love we always expect something in return, not with grace. Whenever we love someone, something is expected in return. It is always a bargain, howsoever subtle. Told or not told, made known or not made known - it is an inner bargain. Something is expected in return. That is why we use two words, love and grace, because with grace nothing is expected in return. And the divine cannot expect anything in return from us.

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