Investigation and Grace

Investigation cannot be undertaken when one is sure of the result; a spirit of openness is necessarily inherent in investigation. We do not know what we will discover; if we did, then the investigation would be a recovery effort. Who knows does not investigate.

Just so, as we inquire into existence (into Self and Reality and Truth and whatever-else), we have to consider that we do not know what we will find. The answer or insight always arrives in a spirit of grace, facilitated by the investigation. We do the work and the work always inevitably reveals what is given.

On the investigative side of this experience, there is work to do, and it requires attention and diligence and willingness. But on the grace side of it, there was never anything to do, and nothing to discover. We are always already looking at what is given: there is nothing else to see, and nothing else with which to see.

These things can’t be planned. They can’t be accommodated or arranged. All we can do is respond to what happens moment by moment. We can do this skillfully or unskillfully, attentively or otherwise. Most of our lives reflect an inattentive drift through circumstance, with no awareness of the loveliness and simplicity that abounds, the beingness that longs to be beheld. It doesn’t have to be this way, but it is. It is a consequence of conditioning, a way of thinking to which we are addicted but from which we can be liberated.

All we can do is give attention to what is: whenever we remember, for as long as we can, as gently and patiently as possible. There is nothing else to do, because everything else is done. It is. In the course of investigation, grace reveals this to us. For me, this revelation is slow and gentle, very much in the nature of the sunrises that I so often witness while or just after walking. It is never clear that anything is happening because the light dawns so slow and gentle and silent. But first it is dark, then it lightens, and then it is light. Just so our own experience.

Investigate, then. Make inquiry. Accept that A Course in Miracles asks nothing of us but that we question every belief we hold, and bring it into literal application. Embrace this. And then await grace: be confident in it, assured of it. Rest in grace as you rest in God: wholly and without condition.


  1. This is a lovely piece. A winter balm in spirit it is both comforting and a reminder of possibility and discovery. Appropriate as early signs of buds hint at blossoms still dormant

  2. Sean, I so love the dawn analogy. I have always been in a hurry to get to my destination, both physically & spiritually. It is only in the last few years that I have slowed down and allowed myself to enjoy some of the journey. Nature can be such a great teacher!

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