You work hard – it never happens without you working hard, that is certain; it happens only when you have worked hard – but that only creates the situation for it to happen. It is not like cause and effect. It is not that you heat water to a hundred degrees and then it has to evaporate – it is not like that. It is not a natural law; it has nothing to do with the world of gravitation. It is a second law, a totally different law – the law of grace. You work hard, you come to a hundred degrees, then you wait there – throbbing, expectant, alive, happy, celebrating, singing, dancing. You wait there at the hundred-degree point. It is a must, you must come to the hundred-degree point – but now you have to wait, you have to wait patiently, lovingly. When the right moment comes, when your work is complete and your waiting is also complete, then the grace descends. Or, you can say that the grace ascends – both mean the same because it comes from the deepest core of your being. It looks like it is descending because you have not known your innermost core up to now. It seems as if from somewhere above it is coming to you – but it really comes from somewhere within you. The within is also the beyond.
Hard work is needed to attain to grace, but the real thing finally happens only because of grace. This is a paradox. It is difficult to understand it. Because of this paradox millions of people have lost their way. There are a few who say – and they are very logical, their logic is impeccable – there are a few who say that if it comes only by our effort then why bother about grace and godliness? If it happens only by our effort, then okay, they will make all the effort, they will make it happen. So they don’t talk about grace or godliness. They will miss, because it never happens only by your own effort.
Then there are people who say that if it happens only by grace and never happens by our own effort, then why bother? We should wait – and whenever existence wills it, it is going to happen.
They both miss. One misses because of egoism – “Only my effort is enough. Only I am enough” – the other misses because of laziness, lethargy. Both miss.
The one who arrives home has to follow the paradoxical path. This is the paradox: “I have to work hard, not only hard, I have to put myself totally at the stake – only then will I become capable of receiving grace. But it happens through grace. A moment comes when I have done all that I can do and then I pray that now no more is possible from my side, now something is needed from the other end, now you also do something.” And existence starts working on you only when you have done all that you could have done. If something is still lacking and a part of your being is still not involved, then existence cannot come to your help. Existence helps only those who help themselves.
This is the paradox of the Hasid. He works hard and still he trusts that the ultimate flowering is going to be only by his grace, by God’s grace.
And it is beautiful. We are very small. Our effort cannot create much. Our fire is very small – by this fire alone we cannot set the whole existence aflame. We are just drops. We cannot create oceans out of these drops. But if the drop can drop into a deep prayerfulness, the ocean becomes available. When the drop relaxes, it becomes capable of containing oceans in itself. It is small if you look only at its periphery; it is tremendously vast if you look at its center. Man is both, man is a paradox. He is the tiniest particle of consciousness, an atom, very atomic, and yet he contains the vast. The whole sky is contained in him.
So first these two languages have to be understood: the language of having and the language of being. And you have to change your gears from the language of having to the language of being.
Let me tell you a few anecdotes.