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Surrender - Exchanging The Illusion Of Control For The Power Of Creation

Updated on October 11, 2008
Surrender begins with embracing the unknown.
Surrender begins with embracing the unknown.

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.

Your ego is always on guard, scanning the environment for possible threats, and strategising about how to defend against them.
Your ego is always on guard, scanning the environment for possible threats, and strategising about how to defend against them.

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 storms and dangers the ego is watching for will never touch your eternal Self. You are forever and always, already, irrevocably, safe.
The storms and dangers the ego is watching for will never touch your eternal Self. You are forever and always, already, irrevocably, safe.

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.


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    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Thank you for this article and the suggestions. I am at a point in my life where I have to get rid of my ego because it is destroying me. The mind chatter is so loud that sleep is elusive, enjoying life isn't a possibility and relationships are always in turmoil. The soul wants out of the prison.

      Thank you

    • Inspirepub profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      You're right, Edmundo - what we resist, persists.

      Instead, embrace and release each chattering moment -let the thoughts pass like clouds, and observe them without reacting. Listen fully, and immediately release and forget what was said, moment by moment.

      The ego will always be there, but it is not the ego itself which causes our problems - it is our reactions to its chatter which cause us suffering.

      And if you haven't tried Vipassana meditation, I think you would probably love it.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Do you really know of an effective way to "avoid"...or to shut-down...the EGO ..for every

      situation ..or at least ...for.most of the situations in our lives..???...I want to know....

      I mean ...for instance ..I realize now..those many times that my mind is in continuous...

      chatting..(unfortunatelly ..always above me)..suggesting...considering..etc...bla ..bla...

      or even singing an old Pop-song ...and I realize of doesn't leave me alone at all!!

      Specially at the beginning of each perturbs (sabotages) my meditation works..

      on some occasions...not always...So I device..(may be with my Ego ..???) some things

      in order to counterattack ..??? my Ego? ...or try to minimize it...One of those things are

      (after a long..long ..research)..chanting the Gayatri Mantra....When I do it ..every chatting shuts-down if it were something magic...when chanting silently in my mind

      I feel peace with my self...I'm using it as a tool to evaluate things in front of

      me without the (negative participation) soon as I quit chanting..the chatting ..

      continues again..talking to me of 1000 things..of no value!! most of the time!!...

      Other small tool that ..I have found to wear one or two pieces of amethist my breast...You know...unfortunately most things of daily life aren't there

      to teach us transcend the ego...So please give me your advice about it ....

      I have read some authors like Gina Lake...Eckhart Tolle...and I don't pretend to be ..or

      know...something .for showing it purposes...I realize in my life ...that it would be so nice

      and peaceful...and a lot less stressing...even all ..if the ego didn't have such please tell me ..what other tools you know ..or reduce

      the ego ....Of course ..I know ..that wanting to reduce it a lot ..will activate it more!! ...

      So I ask your help ..what a proper way 'd be ...besides realizing that it's there...

      THANKS A LOT....sorry for this long question .....await your well.....

    • Inspirepub profile imageAUTHOR


      13 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Working on it ... :)

    • RainbowRecognizer profile image


      13 years ago from Midwest

      Yeah, keep it going - very good! :o)

    • Inspirepub profile imageAUTHOR


      13 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Thanks, Misha! I shall ....

    • Misha profile image


      13 years ago from DC Area


      The more I read your works, the more I admire your wisdom. Keep them coming, I'll keep reading :)

    • Inspirepub profile imageAUTHOR


      13 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      No, that's fine.

      Those who lack conscience tend to also lack the ability to experience deep joy. I'd say that state is its own "punishment", bearing in mind that some people are born without that ability to empathise, so it's not exactly their "fault" that they are that way. But it's not much fun, compared with the depths of experience that are available when you DO have the ability to connect emotionally.

      Some people are traumatised by early life experiences and shut down their empathy. Again, that is an impoverished life. And again, not exactly something that someone actively, in this lifetime, causes to happen. If you do choose your parents, you choose them before you are born!

      And the whole thing about burning in Hell - I should do a Hub on that one, definitely.

      Look, even the Bible had no reference to anything like "Hell" until the King James version, and even that was just a result of translating four or five different words as "hell" and then having to somehow combine the meanings of all the (very wildly different) root words into just one concept.

      Separation is an illusion. Hitler is this wave, Mother Theresa is that wave, but we are all the ocean. If you look across the tops of the waves from the vantage point of being one, it really does look like they are all separate.

      But the truth is that all waves are the product of forces above and beneath the surface, they don't stand or fall alone, and all waves will turn and mingle and be indistinguishable from one another soon enough.

      Given that we are all One, Hitler IS Mother Theresa. And me. And you.

    • Hope Alexander profile image

      Hope Alexander 

      13 years ago

      Eeeep. So those who commit terrible crimes but get away with them, and those who lack the conscience to feel bad about bad things they do, or perhaps have some sort of mental illness such that they enjoy them.. there is no consequence there for their 'eternal soul'?

      Does this mean that not only is Hitler not burning in Hell, he's chilling out with Mother Theresa right about now?

      (I hope you don't mind the questions. I just find this sort of thing very interesting and enjoy the discussion thereof.)

    • Inspirepub profile imageAUTHOR


      13 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      It "matters" as much as anything else matters.

      Your eternal self and the eternal selves of the African orphans are having an eternal tea party together and watching the show. Like movie-goers, they can't be hurt by the movie suffering.

      "Mattering" happens within our thoughts, and therefore within our ego.

      I am not saying that the consequences of those two courses of action will be the same. I am not saying that you can avoid the physical, mental and emotional consequences of your actions. I am not saying you will feel just as good about yourself, no matter what you do.

      I am just saying that those consequences are limited in their impact, in that they don't impact your eternal self.

      That's the reason for "God loves everyone, just the same" and all other expressions of similar sentiment from other major religions.

      That's the reason redemption is always possible.

      The choices you make don't affect your eternal self, but they do affect the flavor of your life experience. And that flavor "matters", at least for as long as you are alive.

    • Hope Alexander profile image

      Hope Alexander 

      13 years ago

      Wait, so at the end of the day, it doesn't matter whether I rescue African orphans from malnutrition or sell them as hamburger substitute?


      (No African orphans were harmed in the asking of this question.)

    • Inspirepub profile imageAUTHOR


      13 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Money only exists in the ego world. It means nothing to the eternal self.

      What the ego does to earn ego money is irrelevant to the eternal self.

      The eternal self can't BE corrupted. Contract killers and drug dealers have exactly the same eternal self as Mother Teresa or Mahatma Gandhi.

      Judgement is a process which takes place in the ego. Judging money to be "corrupting" and therefore avoiding it is just as much ego as desiring money is.

      The eternal self is supremely unconcerned whether you pursue money, avoid it, or float through life always having just enough without being sure where it came from. It doesn't matter to the eternal self, because money isn't real anyway. None of it is.

      (disclaimers as required!)

    • Hope Alexander profile image

      Hope Alexander 

      13 years ago

      Thanks for the explanation, that makes a lot of sense, but I wonder about the fact that there's an awful lot written about this 'eternal self' by various people. So, if one writes a book about it and tries to sell said book and earn monies with it is it still about the eternal self? Or is it a corruption thereof?

      For example, Deepak Chopra has earned a place as an international guru of some kind, but does not being an international commercial guru somewhat indicate that his efforts come from ego? He's paid for his work, isn't he? It's not like he is a monk who has renounced all worldy goods and only spreads his message for the joy of spreading it, and no monetary reward.

      (Or am I wrong about that?)

    • Inspirepub profile imageAUTHOR


      13 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Really good question!

      I am considering whether the answer might be a Hub in itself.

      But, in brief - if fear is present, it's the ego.

      In brief, in another way - If "I" is present, it's the ego.

      The eternal self does not think, compare, evaluate, anticipate, reflect, resist, strategise, or even recognise.

      Recognition implies having been temporarily "out of touch", and the eternal self isn't out of touch, ever. Only the ego can be out of touch in such a way that it can get back in touch and "re-cognise".

      Most of our experience, obviously, is ego experience.

      Another in brief - if you can describe it in words, it's the ego. The eternal self is ineffable.

      I'm not sure if that helps at all ... :)


    • Hope Alexander profile image

      Hope Alexander 

      13 years ago

      How would one recognize the 'eternal self' as something other than another manifestation of the ego? How can one tell the difference?


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