Photo: An illustrated leaf from a manuscript of Nizami's Khamsa, from the Haft Paykar, depicting Bahram in the white pavilion; Isfahan, second half of the 17th Century.
If we let fly an arrow, that action is not from us: we are only the bow, and the shooter of the
arrow is God.
You may try thousands of times, but nothing can be achieved without God’s grace. One cannot see God without His grace. Is it an easy thing to receive the grace of God? One must altogether renounce egotism; one cannot see God as long as one feels ‘I am the doer.’...God doesn’t easily appear in the heart of a man who feels himself to be his own master. But God can be seen the moment His grace descends.
I can of mine own self do nothing.
(St. John, v. 30)
Source and Recommended Reading:
'A Treasury of Traditional Wisdom: An Encyclopedia of Humankind's Spiritual Truth'
By Whitall N. Perry (Author)
This extraordinary compendium gives access to what the greatest minds of all time and the various faith and philosophical traditions say on every aspect of the spiritual life, be it faith, patience, suffering, or mercy. Relevant passages are included, such as Eckhart, Philo, Rumi, the Talmud, Shakespeare, Rama Krishna, Black Elk, The Psalms, the Tao Te Ching, and Milarepa, among countless others.