02 Apr Surrender – April 3 2021
Something amazing happens when we surrender and just love. We melt into another world, a realm of power already within us. The world changes when we change. The world softens when we soften. The world loves us when we choose to love the world.
To think of surrender can be frightening. What am I surrendering to? If I let go (of my defensiveness, of my anger at him/her/this situation) what will happen to me? How will I protect myself? How will I make sure I get what I need?
How will I know who I am?
We study the Vedanta, or non-duality, in order to be able to build an idea of life that gives us answers to these and other questions that help support our growth. That allow us to feel safe enough to love. If I tell you to surrender negativity for love, trusting that all will be better, what is it you’re trusting? My word? Some vague New Age notion? How can we find an idea of surrender that can work for us?
In the Vedic worldview we say, trust your experience. So yes, you must have the experience of surrendering in order to feel the power of it.
Many years ago I had a fear of flying. I used to have to drink up a storm before getting on the plane, then drink on the plane, then continue drinking when I got off the plane to recover from having to fly. On one trip to visit family back in Montana, I discovered that an old high school chum had become a pilot. He took me up in his Cessna and explained to me, using the science of aerodynamics, how the air actually held the plane up, actually pushed the plane up, away from the ground. Then he said, now I’m going to show you a stall. I’m going to make the plane fall off of this column of air that’s supporting it so you can feel it landing on the column again and, once again being supported by the air.
With some trepidation, I agreed. He slowed the plane down until a stall speed alarm began to blare. Then, pulling back on the stick, he changed the angle of the plane, the angle of the wings, until literally I felt the whole airplane fall off the column of air, then shudder as it landed again on the column of air. I could feel, with my entire body, the plane being held up. Light had been shed. The mystery of how tubes of steel could be hurtled through the air such that it actually was safe to be in one had been shown to me, and my fear vanished, replaced by excitement.
Like this column of air supporting the airplane, the Veda tells us that beneath this apparent separate individuality of myself there is pure consciousness–what we might call our higher Self. This higher Self never has been touched by anything I have done or anything that has been done to me. It is unsullied by life. Clean. Perfect. Pure. Whole. Complete This higher Self is in truth what I am; and everything I think I know about myself–my thoughts, feelings, ideas, opinions, judgments–are simply barriers standing in the way of me knowing this truth of what I am.
When I surrender, no matter what I surrender, I am supported. I am held up. When I let go, I do not fall into an abyss. Rather, I end up resting on this true Self and beginning to know myself as this true Self.
The more we let go, the more we trust. The more we trust, the more we let go. And as we let go more and more, we begin to feel the brilliance of what we are meant to be: pure, perfect, beautiful expressions of life, able to love and able to be loved.
We don’t have to know where this brilliance is, or what it’s supposed to look like. We need only let go. And after we’ve let go of everything, the brilliance will be all that is left.
Today, when I feel judgment arise within me, I will let it go. When I feel angered by something someone does, I will let it go. If I feel wronged by one of my fellows, I will let it go. If I find myself utterly unable to let go, I will let go of the judgment of myself I may have for not being able to let go. I will let go of my idea of how this all is supposed to work, and entertain for a moment the possibility, rather, of life showing me how this might work.