THE CONCEPT OF SURRENDER
BARBARA J. LEVIN O’RIORDAN shares some insights she has learnt from P. Rajagopalachari over the years about the beauty of surrender.
Many people are concerned about the concept of surrender in a spiritual journey. Why? We fear surrender because we consider it to be a somewhat abject state – submission, giving up a sense of self-direction, losing the ability to choose, being enslaved. The alarming example of Jim Jones, who led his followers into group suicide, leaps into people’s minds. But real surrender does not involve any of those things at all.
We all have a higher Self. It is hard to say what that is, but many of us feel the presence of something within ourselves that is greater. For some, it is a palpable presence. For others, the higher Self is experienced as conscience – the feeling of uneasiness when we have done something wrong. For others, it may be described as a ‘moral compass’. And for others, it has to do with the profound sensations that arise when we see or hear something beautiful. It does not matter what you call this thing, but most of us have experienced it in one way or another. It is our ‘eternal companion’ – something that stays with us all our lives.
Spiritual surrender is simply the act of handing
over our decisions to this higher part of ourselves.
When we listen to our higher Self, we usually end up feeling alive, fulfilled and happy. When we ignore it, it does not go away, but simply goes to sleep. It waits for the time when we are willing to listen to it again. Sometimes, when we ignore the higher Self and it goes to sleep, we feel heavy. We start to have many competing opinions about what to do. We can become depressed, angry or confused. But, even when we are feeling like that, the higher Self is waiting for us to listen and respond to it. Spiritual surrender is simply the act of handing over our decisions to this higher part of ourselves. It means having the courage to give increasing priority to its requirements. It starts out as a guest in our hearts, but at some point …