7 min read
Our minds will work on a project, and this is the project of controlling everything in order to reach a state of happiness and satisfaction. ‘Thinking practically’ keeps trying to manage every moment. Every relationship. Thinking tries to be the screenwriter and the director and the actor and the audience. Thinking tries to create a certain storyline. Thinking always hopes and seeks. That is why it is so restless. Even when thinking hears about meditation, it goes, “Wow, enlightenment.” If I meditate strongly enough and focus, I will eventually get to some kind of ultimate peace and happiness and relaxation. But our thinking cannot reach relaxation because it is restless by nature. It tries to achieve it through drugs, through extreme activities, through sex, through relationships, through careers, through enlightenment, through everything. Thinking defines the means to happiness. All the time it’s trying to handle a situation. That is why it is so tight. So we will work on this project very sincerely. It is the project of our individual story. The way we narrate the story decides what will make us happy, what will bring us satisfaction. Thinking knows exactly what it wants to get in any given situation. That, ironically, keeps us completely stressed and completely tense.
How do you know what will bring you satisfaction?
It is just like humanity keeps entering wars in order to reach peace. If we fight strongly enough we will eventually reach peace. So we try through a lot of stress to relax and, through a lot of fighting with reality, to reach peace. This gets really complicated and almost funny, when we remember one simple fact: Basically, we have no idea how we came here. We are here, we have suddenly found ourselves conscious, suddenly in a body. A certain mysterious impulse has organized this tremendously complex thing which we do not understand. We can theorize about it – but honestly, we don´t know. At this very moment, as you read this, do you really know? In other words, did you control your reality when you came into this world? Did you control the body that you got, the certain conditioning you got, the country you were born in, your family? We don’t really know. We came here from such an unknowable mystery. Out of such an unknowable impulse. So how do we know what will make us happy? How do we know what will bring us satisfaction? And does our effort to control every moment help? Does this project of our individual story work? Do you really manage to control and get hold of this life and make it your life?
If the circumstances of our birth are unknown to us, next thing, we enter another complete mystery: death. Again without control. So what are we doing in the middle? In the middle we try and try very hard. But honestly, if we look at it with honesty, the more we try, the more complicated it gets. That is why this project of our “self” seems so endless. Then we realize that our efforts did not lead us to stability and this is because we just don’t know. Thinking is a very bad manager. It writes very bad scripts. The scripts that it writes are so much less intelligent than the script of life. When I clearly see that, when I really see what my thinking is trying to do, then I can see it in everything. I see it in my relationships. Why they get so complicated. Why they get so heavy. Everything starts with love and joy and then it becomes complicated and demanding. And sometimes it brings up only the opposite feelings and experiences. Why is this? It is because we are not meant to be the narrators of our life. Our life is a part of a huge stream that comes out of this unknowable source.
This is surrender. It is like when you really – with your heart and your mind – really get the fact that you can’t do it. Every moment that you try to manipulate into a perfect thing, a perfect event, fully satisfying, there is some kind of annoying element that enters and disrupts. Then you try to kick it out, to control even more strongly. Thinking is effort. If you can see this train of effort inside you, with clear eyes, with intelligence, with silence, then you really can begin to surrender. Surrender simply means rendering control to life´s intelligence, to this very “thing” that organizes our bodies – to the hidden laws. It is that sweet realization that your life is not your life, but that you come out of life. Like a branch or a leaf or a fruit would come out of a tree. People say life is so stressful, it is so tense. But it is not life that is stressful. Life is harmless. What is so stressful in a river? It is the simplest, most easygoing stream because it runs by itself. What is so stressful in life is “you”. You make everything stressful by trying to stop the stream and direct it.
It is the deepest relaxation possible.
Surrender is to let the story of your life be written by itself. By the same forces that arrange and hold galaxies and planets together. The same intelligence that holds us to the ground. This intelligence really knows. It is just like when you eat an apple. All the other processes of digestion and so on – as soon as you take the action of eating – are completely unconscious. You don’t know what is happening. It is too complex, it is too intelligent. We worship Newton and Einstein for being able to glimpse one billionth of this unknowable mystery. Thinking is such a tiny thing. Surrender is when you say – wisely and not with despair – “I can’t do it anymore. I just don’t know.” And then your whole being enters such a profound relaxation. It is not the relaxation that we feel after a good massage. It is the deepest relaxation possible. It comes from our innermost being. This part of us that mistrusts life to such a degree that it needed to create a story of its own finally deeply relaxes.
So when I let go very, very deeply, when I understand and see this, then I stop trying to “do” my life. And my mind and heart become saturated in the wholeness of life. This wholeness that knows how to create trees. Trees are so marvelous. Why can’t it take care of “this tree”? This is the most amazing thing: after surrender you realize that you become so much clearer, so much more intelligent, so much wiser and so much happier. Surrender is not a dumb thing to do. It is opening ourselves to a life that can only be seen, can only be known, if we stop trying.
Now please don’t hope that when you surrender your mind becomes completely silent, that wherever and whenever you go you’ll have a silent mind with no expectation or fear. The thinking part of the mind has quite a huge momentum. It has built itself up since the start of humanity. It has got quite some force. It will not stop; not so quickly. In surrender you separate from this part. It keeps talking, it keeps offering, “Do this, try that. This will bring you happiness. That will make you fulfilled. Don´t let go now. Now it is time to…” So surrender is your decision, deep, deep inside. And it is a heart´s decision. It is not even a mind´s thing. This is when something deep within you stops. From then on you can watch yourself unfolding, calmly watch how your story is being written. Whenever you feel that you need to make an effort, whenever you feel that you are beginning to be persuaded by thinking again, you already have this wisdom of the heart that says,
“No, you can’t convince me anymore. I will let go and relax even more.”