I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
The simplicity of the profound is never more in evidence than in the two topics of suffering and surrender. They can both be expressed in a single word. Suffering is caused by resistance which we label a reaction in Simple Reality. The remedy for suffering is surrender which we call a response in Simple Reality.
Eckhart Tolle has a profound understanding of the importance of surrender. “Surrender—the letting go of mental-emotional resistance [reaction] to what is—also becomes a portal into the Unmanifested. The reason for this is simple: inner resistance cuts you off from other people, from yourself, from the world around you. It strengthens the feeling of separateness on which the ego depends for its survival.”
“Surrender is the simple but profound wisdom of yielding to [responding to] rather than opposing [reacting to] the flow of life, to accept the present moment unconditionally and without reservation. It is to relinquish inner resistance to what is.”
“Resistance is the mind. Surrender is a purely inner phenomenon. Until you achieve the desired result, you continue to practice surrender by refraining from labeling the Now. Non-surrender hardens your psychological form, the shell of the ego, and so creates a strong sense of separateness. The world around you and people in particular come to be perceived as threatening. The unconscious compulsion to destroy others through judgment arises, as does the need to compete and dominate.”
Don’t judge. Don’t compare. Release the need to know why.
Our ability to surrender has a direct relationship with our identity. “The habitual and reactive ‘no’ strengthens the ego. ‘Yes’ weakens it. Your form identity, the ego, cannot survive surrender.” Choosing response (surrendering) over reaction is depriving the false self of the energy upon which it feeds. “To surrender means to release the identification we have with self-protection and our own personal dramas, and to find a greater identity in the whole of creation.”
“Accept—then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it. Make it your friend and ally, not your enemy. This will miraculously transform your whole life.”
“Acceptance happens when there is no active seeking, when there is no expectation or striving, when the mind has come to rest.”
Understanding how profound the choice to respond or react is places us consciously at the crossroads of suffering and surrender. “On a deeper level, our addiction to wishful thinking about good weather mixes with a psychological desire for constant smooth sailing. But what the weather is trying to tell us is to take the changes as they come. When it’s sunny, it’s sunny. When it’s stormy, it’s stormy. Real bad weather comes from wishing it to be otherwise.” It is as if I were saying “I choose for it to be raining,” or in other words I accept what is as if I had chosen it.
Defining worldview as beliefs, values and attitudes, surrender is the attitude of acceptance. “That is the attitude designated by Nietzsche as Amor fati, love of one’s fate. It is what the old Roman Seneca referred to in his often quoted saying: Decant volentem fata, nolentem trahunt: ‘The Fates lead him who will; him who won’t, they drag.’”
To choose to respond to life which is another way of defining surrender is at the heart of self-transformation. “The moment you completely accept your non-peace, your non-peace becomes transmuted into peace. Anything you accept fully will get you there, will take you into peace. This is the miracle of surrender.”
“Surrender does not transform what is, at least not directly. Surrender transforms you. When you are transformed, your whole world is transformed, because the world is only a reflection.”
“Throughout history, there have been women and men who, in the face of great loss, illness, imprisonment, or impending death, accepted the seemingly unacceptable and thus found ‘the peace that passeth understanding.’ Acceptance of the unacceptable is the greatest source of grace in this world.”
The paradox of surrender is that it may seem like a reaction of powerlessness. “Instead of fighting this dependence, you acknowledge it, and no sooner have you recognized your smallness in the face of difficulties and mysteries of existence than you are ready to invoke help from a greater source of wisdom and power. And with unexpected abundance, that help arrives.”
Speaking of power, we have to be aware of the difference between what the false self considers to be powerful and how our True self expresses power. “The final piece of reaching for authentic power is releasing your own to a higher form of wisdom.”
Accepting things as they are, we save effort and energy.
Finding our good in the present, not in the past or in the future, we experience fulfillment.
By not clinging to our ideas, we become more flexible.
Letting go [letting be] we find the joy of living.
References and notes are available for this article.
Also find a much more in-depth discussion of Simple Reality
on this blog and in published books by Roy Charles Henry.