Mahatma Gandhi, one of Ram Dass’ great teachers, says, “God demands nothing less than complete self-surrender as the price for the only freedom that is worth having. When a person thus loses herself or himself, she or he immediately finds themself in the service of all that lives. It becomes their delight and recreation. They’re a new people, never weary of spending themselves in the service of God’s creation.”
What would “self-surrender” look like in your life? Is it reasonable? Is it possible? How would it change your life to get the “ego-self” out of the way?
In my life, if this were true, I would continue to serve with loving kindness in my daily responsibilities (work and chores, etc.), and seek out service to others that would keep going beyond…the boundaries of service would become all consuming and expansive. It would feed my existence on this plane. And it would be grand!
Reasonable…yes, possible…yes, the ego-self out of the way…I would need to begin NOW, and not keeping saying, “I will do that when…” That obstacle is the curveball to be explored, and through consistent sadhana. Such a great question!
When I think of this I think of giving everything material up and devoting myself to hours of practice each day… almost like becoming a nun. Then it seems impossible. I think of Mother Teresa or Gandhi, or Ram Dass in later years. So it all seems impossible. It would definitely change my life – I need to ponder this more.
I sense that it’s unlikely, for me, for this to ever be a one-and-done kinda thing. While I am in this human skin, I am unlikely to go completely ego-free .
But I would be pleased to reign ego in to a trot or a slow walk, and even form a peaceful awareness that ego-mind has some stuff to say, but doesn’t get to rule.
Less ego, more room for love. More room for the impulse to serve, and for joy in the serving.
Ego as a worthy adversary, or even as an ally that I can love and dance with. I appreciated what KD said about the ego melting (did he say in the fire of love?) And should it congeal again, maybe it would be soft, like ghee or coconut oil. Maybe then Krishna or Kali would eat it as a snack.
“Self” “Surrender” is an interesting practice. ET speaks of it a lot. Really, their primary focus is that point of singularity. Certainly not a middle way practice, but does logically follow from earlier points in the dharma.
Surrender is possible, altho its unclear what results would be available. From a Taoist normative aspirational perspective, following the path of least resistance (internal and external) enables efficiencies and qualities not available through forcing. The latter may stall if not inherit a mess; the former may reach an alternate destination but remain in service of others. It is a process of ongoing death and rebirth throughout the growth, spiritual, and learning lifecycle(s).