Ok, I’ll admit that in typical Virgo fashion, I can sometimes split hairs when it comes to definitions. But really, words are just symbols. There is no way that a simple four-letter word can convey an abstract concept such as Love or Life. Words are simply meant to convey a thought or idea. That is why a good meditation practice is to perform a word study. One of my favorite revelations came when I was studying the word “resolve”. It seemed as if a whole world of understanding opened up when I looked up the various meanings and nuances of this powerful word.
So why the need to differentiate between Surrender and Obedience? The issue is the religious understanding that God demands obedience in order to be appeased, placated or otherwise disposed to take care of us and meet our needs. We often assume that obedience produces reward and disobedience results in punishment. Biblical stories, parables and axioms seem to reinforce the concept of obedience, even blind obedience. One can argue any biblical interpretation from many angles (some have even made a case for extra-terrestrials) but suffice it to say different day, different time. Some things that were applicable thousands of years ago in an agrarian, patriarchal culture have been outgrown. Not to say that Truth is no longer relevant, simply that expectations have been raised. In the grander scheme of things, obedience is a small objective, both for God and for mankind.
The biggest issue, at least for me, is that if God wanted our obedience, as King of the Universe (or the Universe itself) He has a myriad of ways at His disposal in order to get it. I cannot believe that the highest achievement of man is blind obedience to God. Yet this appears to be the culmination of man’s existence, at least according to most fundamentalist, evangelical churches. And you can rest assured that in the course of your existence God is going to ask you to do some shit that you really, really don’t want to do… in order to test your “faith” of course. It’s almost as if God has some sort of identity complex – like Santa Clause in those Christmas movies where the world has stopped believing and it needs some starry-eyed, nerdy kid to restore the Universe to its proper balance. Nope, not buyin’ it.
No, God is not a human being. He is not a person like us. God is Spirit. God is Love. He is also the source of all Wisdom. If God is Love, then He is also Peace, Serenity and Joy. In fact, God is Positive Energy. Instead of looking at God as a “person”, even a highly revered, honorable “person”, and instead, seeing Him as his attributes of Love, Peace, Serenity, Joy, Freedom and more, it changes our view of Life and our responsibility to ourselves. If we want Health then we have to revere it and pursue it. We have to abide by its principles, accept its laws, in other words “Surrender”. In surrendering to Life, we avail ourselves of Life. We enjoy Life. We have Life and all Life has to offer. In other words, surrendering is in our own best interest.
Obedience focuses on the external, on some outside force that is greater in power, knowledge and resources who must be served. One could argue that obedience is an act of love and respect but this is only true to a point. If one were to simply act out of obedience yet harbor resentment, or even secretly act differently when out of the “view” of authority, then they are violating their own Integrity. Surrender is a result of maturity, of development, of Enlightenment. We must become enlightened to the fact that we are the offspring of the Creator, the Source. In other words, we are Light, Love, Peace, Joy and Success! Then, adhering to the Principles of Light, Love, Peace, Joy and Success is in our own best interests. At that point, our motivation becomes internal. Our actions flow from our nature rather than being something we do in order to “earn” validation or approval.
“Enlightenment” is an act of falling in Love. Once we realize that Positive Energy is part of our very nature, not only are we grateful for the Principles of the Universe, we begin to see ourselves differently. The veil of Darkness, Ignorance and Deception is lifted and we know true Freedom!