A Few Thoughts on What Constitutes Surrender
Even for someone on the ecstatic path, it is mistake to think that surrendering to the Divine – utter immersion in the World Tree – is always an emotive moment with mystical elements. Often, surrender to the World Tree – being fully in the moment – means taking dry quantitative action, applying one of the spiritual disciplines that may not be appealing. I am not suggesting harmful pseudo-surrender. For example, thinking oneself bad for wanting a happy romance or good sex or a satisfying career, and trying to eradicate these healthy desires, is not surrender, it is self-abuse.
The disciplines I am suggesting are too numerous to list here, but a few are:
- Looking into oneself to see where one is not the amazingly spiritual person one identities as. No self-flagellation, no invention of errors that did not happen. Just a simple appraisal of where one, right this minute, or this very day, is falling down on the job of being the kind (or thoughtful, or generous, or otherwise good to others) person one thinks oneself to be.
- Asking Divinity what it wants one to do right this second. Then getting quiet enough to hear an answer. Then doing what is asked. There is also the question of what the Divine wants of you over the longterm, but surrender in the immediate moment is sometimes a less spectacular experience, and the surrender that feels less glorious is the point of this musing.
- Allowing oneself to walk away for one minute (or one hour) from work, from worry, from crisis – no matter how serious a problem – to take care of oneself, eg by taking a nap or eating one’s lunch.
- Allowing oneself to walk away for one minute (or one hour) from work, from worry, from crisis – no matter how serious a problem – to ask Divinity for guidance.
These are examples of quiet surrenders without which the ecstatic path becomes a drug and leads to a miserable contracted state. But with these quantitative disciplines, we move toward gut experiences of Divine beauty, we find ecstatic interconnection with all the Cosmos, we achieve self-hood and self-expression, and we are filled with power to follow our dreams.
Nor should we think emotive moments of surrender always must feel the same to be “authentic.” These moments can greatly vary. They might be transcendent, ribald, peaceful, or ecstatic, or all four, or might be something else altogether. Do not tell yourself these moments must feel one way or another, let them be what they are, surrender to them. Surrender means being in the moment.