i decided to look up the basic definition, only to find that it was wanting. i had been thinking "grace" was that spark of spiritual beauty, or light within, we recognize in some people (and also, of course, the more mundane definitions of a way of moving, etc.) (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/grace). in my poem, charlie at sunrise, in my early chapbook, body of the work, i write about charlie (a musician working the bar, standing behind the counter, always kind to all, even a drunk)—"all grace shining through."
not being a christian may have something to do with my not knowing the religious connotations. the following is from some spiritual/religious website i ran into. it speaks of the A ,B,C of grace. notice the part i emboldened.
"The first is an Awakening to Ultimate Reality. (Some choose to call Nature, some prefer to call it God, and others have different names.) It is the realization that the universe contains incalculable blessings that suport you with abundant life and joy. The second part of grace is the blissful feeling or experience that arises from this awareness. This experience of grace feels like unconditional love, bliss, gratitude, blessings, love, profound acceptance, relaxation, joy, serenity, inspiration. The third aspect of grace is Compassionate Creativity. The blissful feeling of grace then energizes and inspires one to share this joy through compassion to others. Compassionate Creativity spontaneously overflows from an abundance of awareness and bliss. This compassionate creativity may look like a smile, an encouraging word, a meal for the poor, the creation of inspirational art, the creation of a helpful new technology, or any action or way of being that serves others. When a person is in a state of grace, they automatically channel Divine Love. Grace shares the abundant overflow of love. Service is the natural expression of grace and its feelings of kindness, love, compassion, radiance of joy, serenity. Grace only gives from a sense of abundance. Therefore, when one is in the state of grace, service never feels obligatory or has any trace of resentment."
--ryki zuckerman February 25, 2015
i learned a new word today: kjæreste (norwegian- for [kind of] "my dearest one"). after i looked
up the pronunciation, i wondered if there was any linguistic link to the greek word, areté .
i had a philosophy professor at college who talked a lot in class about areté (privately telling
me i 'had' it). is "grace" related to aret é?
(the red highlighting in the text below is mine.)
No English word or phrase captures the exact meaning of arete. The nearest equivalents are
'excellence' and 'virtue'. But there is something more to arete which cannot be expressed in words. There is something of the Divine in it. Perhaps the only true way to understand arete is to consider two or more examples of excellence and to contemplate what it is they share.
What does it mean when we say of an action, an artistic work, or some flawless athletic maneuver, that it is excellent? To behold what is excellent, in whatever form, brings us the same joy. We perform an action with excellence and say, "perfect!". In the moment of excellence, something transcends the mundane and touches the Ideal.
For Plato, arete is mainly associated with moral excellence. It is superordinate to specific moral virtues of Courage, Temperance, Justice, etc.; something they all share, a special, unnamed quality, their essence. It is clearly related to Goodness, but not the same thing.
For Aristotle, something is excellent when it manifests its unique purpose or telos. The unique, defining quality of human beings, for Aristotle, what makes them distinct from other creatures, is the capacity for rational thought. Human excellence, then, involves the correct use of reason, principally in connection with moral choice.
--Ryki Zuckerman March 21, 2015