Surrender - Exchanging The Illusion Of Control For The Power Of Creation
Think and Grow Rich, The Secret, The Law Of Attraction, creative visualisation, affirmations, and prayer are all pointing at ways for an individual to draw on Universal power.
The process of drawing on this immense reservoir of power begins with surrender.
To be human is to fear. Fear is what keeps us away from fires, cliffs, and snarling animals with sharp teeth. Fear is a necessary force for our survival.
Fear keeps us from claiming our power to create.
On the foundation of our pre-verbal and toddler experiences with fear, we build a skyscraper of survival strategies, an ego, and ego defenses to protect our ego and therefore ensure our survival.
Our ego is small and powerless, and struggling to compensate. Cut off from the Universal power by the stone walls of its own defences, the ego continues to try to change the world, using only the puny tools of willpower, force, domination, and manipulation.
I say puny, not because these tools have no impact, but because their impact pales into insignificance when compared with the power of the subsconscious, aligned as it is with Universal power.
Émile Coué, in his book Self Mastery Through Conscious Autosuggestion refers to "the enormous power of the imagination, or in other words of the unconscious, in its struggle against the will."
He goes on to state categorically:
When the will and the imagination are antagonistic, it is always the imagination which wins, without any exception. (emphasis in original)
For this reason, he says:
... But above all, and this is an essential point, the will must not be brought into play in practising autosuggestion; for, if it is not in agreement with the imagination, if one thinks: "I will make such and such a thing happen", and the imagination says: "You are willing it, but it is not going to be", not only does one not obtain what one wants, but even exactly the reverse is brought about. (emphasis in original)
The path to power is counter-intuitive. If involves flying in the face of everything we have always believed to be prudent, sensible, and responsible. It requires making a journey into a vast, uncharted, unknown wilderness with no compass and no guide.
You can't "white-knuckle" your way to power. You must go to where the power resides, allow the power to enter into you, to become you, to reshape you as it will. You must surrender to the power, and allow it to use you.
The Ego And Ego Defences
What is "the ego"?
What is this thing which stands between you and the power to manifest your soul's desires?
Here's where the ride starts to get a bit uncomfortable.
You see, your ego, your roadblock on the path to power and freedom, this thing you need to release, transcend, or unwind, this ego is the phenomenon that you are in the habit of referring to as "I", or sometimes "me".
Now it's not actually who you are. But for most of us, most of the time, it's who we think we are. It's who we feel we are. It's who we believe ourselves to be.
Surrender involves letting go to such a depth that you are willing to become unfamiliar to yourself. To be no longer "me".
To your ego, it looks like death.
And in a way, it is. There's a reason why we talk about transformation and personal growth in terms of "being reborn", "starting a new life" and so on. There's a reason why most of the world's cultures have indepedently created a myth involving a god who dies and is brought back to life, coming into his full power as a result.
If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine. - Obi-Wan Kenobi.
We know, at a deep, subconscious, archetypal level, that the road to power involves a journey through the valley of the shadow of death.
Our ego will fight that with every tool in its arsenal.
Every fear-based rationalisation, denial, justification, bluster, or pathetic whimpering "why me" will be thrown at you the moment you fix your sights on a significant transformation.
Your ego doesn't want to die.
You can deal with that, as long as you understand that your ego is not your self, not your "soul", if you like that terminology. Your eternal Self is grounded in Love, and knows no fear. Your eternal Self will survive any number of ego deaths.
Your eternal Self needs no defending.
The Illusion Of Control
Now that we understand that the ego is a fear-based construct trying to run the show for its own survival, we can understand why "being in control" is always an illusion.
Your eternal Self doesn't need to be in control, because it cannot be harmed.
Your ego needs to be in control, because its existence is so fragile and its power so limited. But for exactly those reasons, it simply cannot have actual control. We're back to the antagonism of will and imagination, and will, the tool of the ego, will always lose to imagination, the tool of the subconscious. The ego is in a hopeless position.
But the ego is a great talker, a great puller-of-wool-over-the-eyes. The ego will convince you it has things handled, and it knows exactly what you need to do, for example, at this time you just need to keep your head down and this will blow over, or at this time you need to stand up and make people respect you. At this time you need to conserve your energy and not try too hard, in case you have to be at this for a long time.
The control the ego claims to have, the safety it claims to offer, are illusion. Control and defences are fiction. Your eternal Self has no need of such fancies.
When you have compassion and surrender to your own heart, you are surrendering to the hidden power in your heart, God. You are surrendering to love, because God is Love, the cohesive force of the universe that connects us all. Surrender is not just a religious concept; it's a power tool for listening to the voice of your spirit and following its directions. When you surrender your head to your heart, you allow your heart to give you a wider, higher intelligence perspective. Remember the phrase, "The real teacher is within you." Very simply, that teacher is to be found in the common sense of your own heart.
Sara Paddison, Hidden Power of The Heart
Transcending The Ego
For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father. Mosiah 3:19
The creative process is a process of surrender, not control. -Julia Cameron
Don't seek God in temples. He is close to you. He is within you. Only you should surrender to Him and you will rise above happiness and unhappiness. - Tolstoy
Give up all bad qualities in you, banish the ego and develop the spirit of surrender. You will then experience Bliss. - Sri Sathya Sai Baba
The greatness of a man's power is the measure of his surrender. - William Booth
Growth demands a temporary surrender of security. - Gail Sheehy
I was being called to surrender the very citadel of my self. I was completely in the dark. I did not really know what repentance was or what I was required to repent of. It was indeed the turning point of my life. - Bede Griffiths
Time after time, over thousands of years, in every imaginable context, wise and experienced travellers have been leaving the same trail markers.
Surrender the constructed "self". Let go of the ego. Identify instead with your eternal Self.
Once again, easier said than done.
Cease trying to work everything out with your minds. It will get you nowhere. Live by intuition and inspiration and let your whole life be Revelation.
~ Eileen Caddy ~
The Power To Create
However, once it is done, you are in a whole new reality.
This won't necessarily be comfortable.
But it will give you access to the raw power of creation.
Deepak Chopra describes this space as "the gap" between thoughts. (Verbal thought is a function of the ego.) An intention held in "the gap" is translated into material reality, as long as it is not revoked by a contradictory intention.
And obviously, there's a whole lot more to it than that - more in later Hubs.