This is the last installment of Cynthia Bourgeault’s reflections on surrender.

You can back out into Presence, but the thing you use to do it with is surrender. So when you’ve gotten stuck in the small self, which is where we’ll always go when we don’t pay attention, when we allow ourselves to get blind-sided, then we have to surrender to regain Presence. And I think it works that way rather than the other way around.

A lot of people try to regain Presence first to be able to surrender, but I think almost in all cases the surrender actually precedes it. And then you’re free to regain Presence, to feel your feet on the floor again, to see the pungency of the now that surrounds you and to get back at it.

Consciousness and conscience don’t come so much by the steady little exercise of will power at a lower level as they come from a certain inner surrendered-ness which allows more and more of the whole to be revealed from you.

Let’s see, I wrote this down on the page when I was fresher so maybe I’ll just read it because I think it’s true: “Will must express a wholeness or an integration that has come from surrender. True will is the fruit of surrender, not the means to it.”

…as we surrender patiently to it something is born in us which is more akin to a seeing.

…service should be done from a surrendered state. That’s the trick. And a lot of people who try and help out in the Christian path actually do all sorts of good things, but until you do it from a surrendered state it’s laced with arsenic because it tends to be tinged with the poor helping the weak and the thank God I’m not like other men, and the unwillingness to exchange places with the person you are helping – that’s the acid test.

…another word for surrender would be conscious suffering.

A big death could be something as simple as suddenly being right up against a core pattern of your false self system and having to live it through all over again, and having to feel the every-which-way-ness and just standing there in the midst of it. And having to take it all over again and feel it [as if] for the first time, like you’ve never felt it before what it means to surrender and stand there in the agony until it finally passes through.

…it doesn’t mean to give up and surrender doesn’t mean “whatever”. It doesn’t mean that you are completely indifferent to the outcome because the great prayer of surrender of Jesus is not “whatever” but “Thy will be done.” In other words, the real will is the will to be aligned with the Divine Will, with the Divine Truth, at all costs; and it’s that which allows you to surrender the little will.

Surrender is not rolling over and playing dead, and it’s not being neutral to outcome at the spiritual level. It is simply being neutral to outcome at the physical level. But you stay very, very straightly aligned with… you’re very attached to the outcome at the spiritual level. The outcome at the spiritual level is “Thy will be done.” And anything which is moving forward the will of God which is to manifest God’s treasures in the world, fine. As long as you are at one with that in your subtle bodies, in your subtle heart, and are not just inventing this with your mind and your fear scenarios.