The web weaver for this site is Cathy, a mother, wife, scientist, teacher and web designer. Trained as a scientist (Ph.D. in microbiology), I take a scientific approach to everything, including grace.
Over the years, I’ve had some experiences that filled me with intense ecstatic gratitude for existence, for life, and for the awareness to appreciate it ALL. I was curious about this beautiful state of being. The only reports of this grace came from people reporting religious experiences. Being skeptical, I sought to understand the science of grace. I have researched hormones, DNA, neurotransmitters, and brain structures.
Now, I discover that grace fascinates me more than ever. I can hardly contain my enthusiasm for it. My life feels so much more joyous. Now, in the light of grace, even the rough patches don’t seem so rough.
Many years ago, while hiking in the mountains of southern Colorado, I experienced a profound and magical sense of oneness and bliss. For a long time, I thought that this event was nothing more than some weird, although pleasant, brain glitch. Years later, while nursing my baby, I felt an exquisite sense of gratitude, bliss and deep connection to my baby and to the entire cosmos. This profound sense of ecstasy happened again years later while I danced alone in a church sanctuary in preparation for a dance class I was about to give.
The overwhelming intensity of ecstasy I felt during these experiences led me to question my sanity. To discover if these feelings of ecstasy were normal, I began to pay attention to the extraordinary experiences of other people.
I found I was not alone.
Now, after what I have learned, I look back at my experiences and know that they were not brain glitches, but rather, moments of grace where I experienced a deep connection to myself, to others and to the creative process of the cosmos.
Later, I realized that people of all faiths and philosophies have reported similar experiences. For example, Buddhists refer to it as “Enlightenment,” athletes as being in the “Zone,” artists as being in “Flow”, Hindus as feeling “Oneness” or Samadhi. Others call it “attunement” or “integration.” I realized that my experiences were what some people call the state of grace. I like this term because it is related to the term “gratitude,” which, to me, is integral to this experience. I began to read about this phenomenon and to listen to other people’s stories of grace. Soon after the dancing experience, similar episodes of feeling deep connection and bliss became more frequent. Some have been as intense, although none as startling because I have now become familiar with the experience of profound bliss.
The feelings of grace include a sensation of unconditional love, as if the power that creates the universe loves me and everyone else. This used to be an odd sensation for me, given that my old understanding of science had made the concept of God and Divine Love seem improbable. Today, many of my old ideas of God have disappeared and in it’s place is something much more awe-inspiring.
It has become more apparent to me that the feeling of grace is not a delusion, (i.e. a perception that is not based on reality.) The only delusion is thinking that I am separate or that the power that creates the universe does not support me.
For me, doubt has been the doorway to discovery and my skepticism has led me to realize the power of grace. The more I learn about it, the more wonderfully grace transforms my life. Grace is a truth that goes beyond any single religion or philosophy. What I call grace (and what is known to others by various other names) is universal to all cultures and spiritual traditions, whether they practice religion or not. My goal is to continue exploring grace and to share what I learn with others.
As I create this site, I am sharply aware of the limitations of language. I know that some of the words I use will alienate some people. I know that if I try to be more precise in meaning, my language will become cumbersome. Alas. I also know that I cannot convey the experience of grace to anyone. It must be a personal experience. If you have not experienced grace, all my words about grace probably sound like the ramblings of a mad woman. If you’ve experienced it, YEAH!
While I was having these grace experiences, I was exploring another seemingly unrelated idea, that of evolution. At first, the science of evolution seemed to suggest that grace was merely a delusional state of mind. However, the more I explored the science of evolution, the more apparent it became to me of what I now call the “Evolution’s Arrow” and “Survival of the Most Harmonious.” I don’t know if it’s “chance” or “purpose”, but growing mountains of evidence show that the universe, (at least in our galaxy) has a direction toward greater cooperation, greater consciousness and greater compassion. Furthermore, organisms that harmonize best with the laws of the universe survive. These revelations are awesome to me! I cannot convey the sense of serenity it gives me to know that the power that creates the universe conspires on our behalf. Whenever I feel glum and remember Evolution’s Arrow I feel a sense of optimism. I immediately realize that “This too will pass.” More than this, I realize that “This particular obstacle may be an opportunity” and “if I align with the divine I’ll feel fine.”
I have heard many stories of people who “had it all” including wealth, friends and health, yet they still felt unhappy, unconnected and spiritually impoverished. Then, through an accident they “lost it all”: health, friends, and/or wealth. Those who sought answers, for the first time in their lives, found what truly made them happy. It was grace, the experience of harmony with the WHOLE and a profound gratitude..
The more stories I hear about grace, the more enthusiastic I become to learn about this magical state of awareness. If you have a story you would like to share with me, I would love to hear from you. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.