Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Surrender


The content below is an expanded version of a forum post.

You must have noticed that people have huge egos. I'm one of them :D. I'm slowly hacking away its ever growing branches. I noticed that the less I let my Ego rule me, the faster I progress. I've come to recognize it as surrender.

The Ego is an automated defense mechanism, which has evolved for only one purpose - survive and procreate. Its very useful, brutal and is like an autopilot, you don't need to think much, it does it for you. Now, the problem is - it has very limited wisdom, its like an AI, a machine, and it decides on its own what it needs to defend. So it defends the body (of course that's wise), it defends your food, shelter, your hoard of shiny stuff. That's why you don't like when someone touches you, or stares at your food, or enters into your house or steals your belongings. You want to obliterate the intruder. That's Ego in action.

So far so good, the trouble starts when it encroaches into mind stuff, and calls it its own part. So things you know, things you say and things you believe all become something that must be defended from anyone or anything that dares to oppose or destroy them. So the things you "know for sure" must remain so, ego will stand between them and any new knowledge that might try to replace it (Oh I know everything now). The things you have already said must not be changed, no one should dare to call them stupid, they are just perfect, the total truth, and same for your actions (I cannot be wrong, I am fair and just). The Ego will hang on to the last straw to "prove" and thus save your words and deed.

Usually, any attack on your beloved beliefs sends Ego into a fit, especially if their destruction is going to prove that you were an idiot to have believed that (what I believe is truth and nothing but truth, if you don't agree you are the enemy, you are inferior, I deserve more food and females not you). Beliefs are just baseless assumptions, not founded on direct experiences or logical inferences. Their destruction becomes Ego's destruction, Ego sees it as a lowering of its social status, thus giving it a disadvantage in regard to survival and procreation, its competitors gain advantage if they are proven correct and wiser. Ego doesn't like that. So you will see that those who are "authority figures", old, hold top positions, high in command etc. defend their beliefs most violently. They even manipulate others to believe in the same nonsense they believe, they make followers, to gain more power, to silence their competitors and prevent them from gaining a survival advantage. These are our familiar Ego games.

Ordinary people will be ordinary, can't do much and its business as usual, its life, but such tendencies of the Ego become a hurdle for a seeker. His Ego stops his progress. He doesn't want to learn, resists removing his old conditioning and beliefs. So as a solution, it is often recommended to surrender the Ego. By surrender I mean recognize clearly that you are acting and thinking under the influence of Egoic tendencies and intervene to stop them. To not to act as an Ego is surrender. Whom to surrender it? Of course to the knowledge, the teachings. Since a teacher is the source of knowledge, surrendering of Ego starts there. If you do not respect a teacher, or do not surrender your Ego to him, that teacher is not for you, his teachings will have very little effect, if any at all. As a result you won't progress fast enough.

It should be obvious why that would happen. When there is no respect, there is no surrender, the person tends to either ignore, ridicule or argue instead of listening to and experimenting on the teachings. Knowledge comes from experiences, and experiences come from our attempts to convert the teaching into experiences via experiments (putting them into practice). So it all starts from simply listening to the teachers openly. This is the very first step. If you let Ego stand between you and the teacher, you effectively remain where you are.

How to surrender? Its simple, do not offer any resistance to the knowledge, keep a very open mind, curious, inquisitive, critical and questioning attitude. Be very aware that the incoming teachings, whether truth or BS are not a survival threat. You are safe and sound, they are just words. Never believe the words, get the experience. Because once you believe, the Ego will start defending them also. Knowledge has nothing to do with assumptions, you don't even need to remember it, its obvious and self-evident. So whenever you find your Ego getting fired up for a fight on the matter of what is "truth/correct/right", just become aware and alert. You do not have to act, or to accept or believe. Just surrender that behaviour and listen carefully to what is being told.

Note that the surrender does not mean that you surrender your mind too and become a mindless idiot. Surrender only the stupid part of the mind - the Ego. The higher parts must function properly to evaluate and experience new knowledge. In the absence of Egoic mess, the mind functions more clearly, quickly and efficiently. The body remains calm and quiet, you can sit with a teacher for long times, and so the result is rapid progress.

How to surrender to a teacher? Its easy to surrender to a dead teacher who lived a hundred year ago, its difficult to surrender to a living one, especially if he is right in front of you. Usually a good teacher will simply beat the crap out of your Ego, and he will do it everyday without pause. The Ego defences go up very high, its red alert. Its the job of the teacher to destroy your ignorance, and its the job of the Ego to maintain the status quo. It totally depends on the skill of the teacher to make his student comfortable. He may treat you like a friend, and offer just suggestions, not commands. Such teachers are popular for obvious reasons, they are less threatening to any Ego. Some teachers will make you obey, will beat you up, insult you and treat you like a slave. They are effective and fast, the Ego shatters completely, but obviously they are not popular. If you are a hardcore seeker, choose the latter.

What if a teacher is a fake teacher? Its dangerous to surrender totally to a teacher, for practical reasons. Many are fakes. Especially the female seekers need to be very careful, because of the rampant abuse they suffer. Most will only lose money and time, but some may get stuck in cults. Not surrendering your mind comes handy here, listen carefully to what Ego says, observe, whether the teacher is demanding a bit too much in exchange of a few words?, are the demands physical in nature?, is he using you not for service but for his personal work? All those questions. Leave immediately when in doubt. Again, a hardcore seeker will take enough risk to find out if its worth staying there.

Often the Ego will make a mountain out of a molehill and will try to convince you that your teacher is pure evil. It does that by invoking extreme fear. If that happens, calmly confront the situation. Find out if the behaviour of the teacher is clearly a sign of danger, decide logically using solid evidence, not under fear or emotion or impulses. In some cases other fearful or idiotic people spread fear about a particular book, teacher, tradition or method and some seekers steer past those valuable teaching mindlessly believing the propaganda. Again, use evidence and logic. What if there is no evidence and nothing seems logical? When in doubt choose survival, not knowledge or adventure. No tricks here, just plain common sense.

The best surrender is surrender to the Self (you the consciousness). Self is the ultimate guide. All knowledge resides there. Try cleaning up the fog of Ego that surrounds the Self. It has to be a 24x7 affair, not a 20 minutes a day ritual. When you surrender to the Self, you will find that you do not need to surrender to external things or people. The Ego can be Ego, others can be others. Be careful here, because the Ego will often pretend to be the Self. Take up this practice only when you have tasted the Self for a while, a few years at least.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing. I do try to be open minded and think you are right. We should surrender to knowledge but be always critical about the teachings. Our Self needs to develop with the teachings not only to follow them. That way we will not be on our own path.

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