“Surrender is to give oneself up to the original cause of one’s being.” Ramana Maharshi
“Surrender” . . . advice that we hear often. What does it really mean? I have heard that it means “letting go.” Letting go of “control” I guess. I can’t say that I was actually trying to control anything the last time I felt the need to surrender. I was just a little anxious. I also have heard that it means to “surrender to God’s will” for my life. But, I really can’t say that I have ever experienced hearing the voice of God (and, I really do sometimes) tell me to do something, and then do the opposite. I guess I was always afraid that I would be swallowed by a whale, like Jonah who supposedly went the opposite direction that God told him to go. And I can tell you for sure that if I am ever leaving Sodom and Gomorrah, I will never turn and look back. I would hate to spend the rest of my life as a pillar of salt.
Though I could never really pin down a solid definition of what it means to really surrender, I have managed to surrender, none-the-less; and it works. I recently did have the experience of feeling anxious about a situation that I cannot control, because we all know that we cannot really control what another person feels or does, or does not do. I was not even slightly trying to control the other person; but I gave myself that sage advice to surrender. For me that meant giving up the anxiety, and knowing that no matter what, my life would go on and be productive, etc. regardless of what anyone else does or says.
I also recently had a period of going back and forth over worrying about a recent lab test that came back with results that I had not been hoping for (nothing definitive; just threatening). I did finally manage to surrender that to the point of absolutely no worry or doubt; and then received a knowing from God or higher consciousness or whatever you care to call it. I now know exactly what to do about those lab results, even though my doctor disagrees.
With all of this “surrendering” that I have been doing lately, I still was unclear exactly what the process of surrender actually is. Then, I saw this quote by Ramana Maharshi, “Surrender is to give oneself up to the cause of one’s being.”
The way that I interpret that quote at this point is: The cause of my being is to pay very close attention to what I know to be the purpose in my life, and not be distracted by anything else. For me that also involves leaving myself open to daily reminders of my purpose from “God’s voice” through meditation. My “purpose” is the original cause of my being . . . the reason for my creation 9 months before September 29, 1952.
I just cannot be bothered by what anyone else is doing, saying, or not doing. I also cannot be bothered by a lab report. I know what my purpose in life is, and I will fulfill it regardless.
I would encourage anyone who is reading this blog to reflect on what surrender means to you. Let me know.
Christopher Knippers, Ph.D. March 15, 2017
P.S. I think that SURRENDER is an appropriate theme for the Ides of March. Maybe Julius should have just surrendered. CK