Conscious Living Jewel

Surrender / Full Dawn Circle

Written Interview on the topic ‘Surrender’

Joel, founder of Full Dawn Circle

Spiritual Mentor & Guide

What is Surrender?

In its deepest sense, surrender is the natural flow of life in alignment with the Divine. For when we align ourselves with the Divine, we circumvent our ego-driven tendency to manipulate or control the outcomes of our life experience to serve a personal agenda, and move towards a natural flow in accordance with the evolutionary unfoldment of our life’s purpose.

Natural surrender is produced in this alignment. Natural surrender spontaneously releases contractions and resistances that condition not only our thoughts, feelings, sensations, and perceptions, and the flow and trajectory of our lives, but also our state of being, receptivity to Divine Presence, and preparation for Divine Grace.

We often think of surrender as a conscious “letting go” of something through personal will. We have something we want to let go of because we experience it as a hindrance to our personal goals, a personal flaw or weakness, a point of suffering or pain, etc..

This attempt at surrender is an agenda-driven approach to serve our ego-needs, not necessarily our life’s purpose. And it carries our expectation that our personal will is sufficient to overcome contractions and resistance we experience in life to meet our personal goals. Have we not all encountered those situations where our personal will was not sufficient? Personal will cannot overcome the force of the Divine and our life’s purpose.

When we approach surrender in this way, what we often end up doing is manipulating or controlling our thoughts, feelings, or behavior by an act of will to avoid or deny our fear, anger, pain or suffering. Approaching surrender in this way becomes more an act of negation of what we want to let go of. Sometimes it works. Often it doesn’t. What we thought we let go of comes back. It’s a boomerang effect.

And we keep throwing the boomerang. It keeps coming back. Maybe it takes longer to come back next time. Or maybe, if we throw it enough times it won’t come back at all. Sometimes repetition works. But this type of repetition is not efficient because each time we throw the boomerang, we do it from an intention which is based on manipulation and control. Neither manipulation nor control support natural surrender.

This approach to surrender is an ego-based choice. We pick and choose that which we surrender. Sure, you might surrender fear or anger. But would you surrender something that brings you joy and well being? Not likely, unless you believe in the virtues of self-sacrifice. Surrender must engage a willingness to sacrifice or adopt whatever is needed for our spiritual unfoldment.

If there is surrender in “letting go,” it is the letting go of vigilance, manipulation and control. Natural surrender is entering the natural flow of our unfoldment. It involves acceptance, vulnerability, trust, faith, and patience.

Natural surrender is aligning ourselves with the our Divine nature, while letting go is an action of will by choice. Natural surrender is not an action. It is a non-action. It is an effortless, spontaneous occurrence. There is not something we do other than set up the right conditions for natural surrender to occur. And once we’ve done that, we step into the flow of surrender. It does not involve manipulation and control.

What gets in the way of surrender?

Especially in Western culture we are constantly faced with messages that we are inadequate in one way or another. Perhaps the focus is on our bodies, or our profession, or our relationships, or our social acceptance, or wealth and power.

Through this conditioning we come to believe we should be able to mold ourselves to become more accepted or more successful. This leads us to self-manipulation and self-control, sometimes in rather unhealthy ways. And this leads us to the boomerang effect.

What gets in the way of surrender is our chronic effort to manipulate and control that which we want to avoid or deny, or that which we want to become. If we could at least turn the process towards reinforcing the development of our true nature, we could put manipulation and control to good use as a form of devotional discipline or commitment to our spiritual unfoldment.

What is it that surrenders?

What surrenders is our sense of self. Who we feel we are. And this depends on our stage of spiritual unfoldment. Prior to Awakening, we are principally ego-bound. Our sense of self, our sense of being, is identified with our personal self, ego, body-mind. In this case it is our personal self that surrenders. In Soul Awakening we recognize our essential individual sense of being. Our ego-driven agenda for surrender is no longer dominant, though it is still still operative. So there is that which surrenders still occurring on the level of personal self, but now our essential individual sense of being can surrender. We are more in alignment with the Divine. Natural surrender can function more spontaneously. In Self-Realization our soul recognizes its source in infinite Pure Conscious Being. Now the severance from ongoing ego-based agendas can begin in earnest. While there may still be functioning agendas on the level of personal self, the agendas cannot gain as much traction. Natural surrender dominates. In Oneness, natural surrender is the norm. Ego-based agendas may still play out as deeper karmas are resolved. Oneness is the launching ground for total surrender. And then there is That Beyond Oneness. When we start to move into this territory, we are crossing into the Divine itself. Then there is only surrender. We are fully aligned with Divine intention. And we find surrender is an action of the Divine in surrender to itself through us.

How do we surrender?

In my view, the most self-sufficient and effective way to surrender is by aligning ourselves with the Divine by engaging in appropriate spiritual practice that is effortless, and not based on vigilance, manipulation, or control. Proper spiritual practice lets us relax and naturally surrender. This makes us more receptive to Divine Presence which increasingly reflects in our being, bringing us closer and closer to Awakening as it prepares us to receive Divine Grace. Among recommended spiritual practices are those that enable us to transcend our mind and intellect. This transcending process brings our attention to deeper realities of our being which is often obscured by chronic distraction, or by our efforts to control or shape our experience to avoid thoughts or feelings, or to create or re-create thoughts, feelings or sensations we would prefer to experience. We can continue to make use of the boomerang effect to “let go” of stuff, to the extent it is effective. But we should acknowledge the limitations of this approach. I advocate natural surrender through appropriate spiritual practice, engaging in devotional practices, spending time in the Presence of Awakened people, or seeking their guidance and support. Natural surrender can also be a spontaneous act of Grace. But I should note that natural surrender can also occur under extreme duress where we have no choice but to surrender. We may also find natural surrender occurs through insight in psychotherapy, or those spontaneous “aha!” moments we may experience. When dealing with our mental and physical health, or pain and suffering of our body or mind, we need to be practical and do what we can to bring relief or healing. On the one hand, health issues, pain and suffering, and the despair or hopelessness we may feel, can accelerate our seeking or commitment to our spiritual unfoldment. And natural surrender can place pain and suffering in a different context, easing their severity. But this may not be enough. We still may need to respond with practical strategies applied for the good of the health and harmony of our mind and body. Here we look to healing professionals who are licensed to provide the support we may need.

Why is it important for us to surrender on the spiritual path?

The trajectory of our spiritual unfoldment is always evolutionary, but we resist our progress by exerting control and manipulation, primarily out of fear. So if we do nothing to engage natural surrender, we will still make progress, but it could be very slow depending on what karma and conditioning we need to process, release and move beyond. Natural surrender is the means we have to facilitate our spiritual progress. Natural surrender calls upon Divine Presence to create the cocoon of our transformation. Our being becomes increasingly receptive to that Presence. That Presence begins to saturate us more and more, until that saturation has sufficiently prepared us for Divine Grace, the grace of Awakening.

Is surrender our natural state?

I think of the natural state of Being established in Self-Realization. And within this state, natural surrender dominates over ego-based surrender agendas. So you might say that surrender is a natural state stepped into with Self-Realization. But even Self-Realization is not the fulfillment of natural surrender. Our natural sense of Being in this Awakening still has room to grow and develop. As our Awakening matures, it moves towards Oneness, and as that process unfolds we come to know surrender more deeply. We find that all existence is in a flow state of surrender to what appears to be our state of Being, or Pure Conscious Being as I refer to it. But there is still a deeper significance to this process. Pure Conscious Being arises from The Divine in loving surrender to ItSelf. You could say the arising of Pure Conscious Being, the origin of it, comes from self-reflection of the Divine. Natural surrender is the way of the Divine through a process of self-surrender. And that process manifests in our lives and the world. What I refer to as surrender for us humans is aligning with the Divine which naturally aligns us with the Divine process of self-surrender. In the ultimate analysis, everything is the Divine, and the spiritual process leads us to this realization.

If you would like to find out more about Joel you can visit his website here: