I came across something on social media that intrigued me, and got me thinking. This was about “God” and “surrender to God” and what one needed to do, and how one needed to live.
And it got me thinking, as most things do, nowadays. This is not about “God” from any denomination. I have seen such anecdotes about “God” across all denominations and hence I thought it useful and appropriate to put MY two bits down and share it with others.
I am sure there are people from across the spectrum that exist – From the Atheist at one end, to the Theist at the other, and the Agnostics. And my thinking is that humans are not born as any one of those (there is a quote on this from the Dalai Lama at the end of this article) – and they start thinking and leaning towards one line of thinking as they progress through life and based on their life’s experiences, their beliefs, and so on.
At the start, given the slightly “contentious” nature of the topic I am proposing to write on, let me state a few things very clearly:
- I am a firm believer in the construct and concept of “One God” – I understand and internalize this “God” to be all powerful, all knowing, all loving, and most of all “all accepting” – This is MY belief of GOD, and I acknowledge and accept that each person can have their own. I frequently refer to this power as “The Universe.” As a client/friend of mine referred to this, “I’d rather use the nickname for this ultimate power – God – since it is easy to.”
- The TRUTH is just that – THE TRUTH and there can be no other. So, GOD to me, is THE ULTIMATE TRUTH – so could even be the largest electromagnetic field that everything in the Universe was created in and from, and resides in, and will end up in, when everything perishes.
- I believe that GOD is unlike ANYTHING or ANYONE that human beings have known. Many have walked the planet who might have been GOD LIKE, and NONE of them IS GOD! GOD ALONE is GOD. Every being that might have been the most evolved is ONLY GOD LIKE.
- Paradoxically, and contradicting the point just shared, “Every being and thing has been created FROM and BY this ALL POWERFUL source and hence EVERYTHING that is known and unknown are GOD.” And both thoughts can co-exist even though they seem mutually exclusive.
- I do not believe that there is ANY “religion” that is better than another. Each religion is a path to the same destination. Religions are pathways that help each individual stay on track to get to whichever destination that individual aims to reach (Provided an individual knows what they want, that is!)
- Last, but certainly not the least, my intention is not to glorify any path (religion) or denigrate any other. Religions, all of them, are creations of humans, and are only “Paths” or “ways” that help each individual move towards their perception and concept of “God” or any other power that each believes to be the ULTIMATE.
Any affront that might be felt or experienced by ANYONE who reads this, is entirely unintentional, and I apologize IF anyone who reads this feels that way in the slightest. I apologize for you feeling bad, if at all you do.
With this background, let me start with the anecdote that was probably one in a long list of observations that prompted me to write this article.
“Total Surrender” means leaving everything to God. No matter what happens to you and completely trust him with unwavering faith. Though it may sound simple while reading/writing it is far more difficult to practice. Let me tell you one example:
One day the Lord started running from His palace. But suddenly he turned back and sat down.
When asked what the reason was for this behavior, He replied that one of his devotees was being chased by dogs and he called for Him. So he had to rush to save his devotee. And when asked again, “why then did you come back before helping him?” He replied, “the man started throwing stones at the dogs.”
And then the anecdote surmises, “So once that person started to take matters in his own hand God did not Answer his Prayer.”
My thoughts on this anecdote were as follows:
- The purported intent of the creator of this anecdote was to enhance the faith of others in “God!” They also intended that “believers” ought to surrender to God, and accept the will of God.
- Many people, spanning all paths (religions) seem to refer to GOD in the masculine. I am unsure if GOD can be gender specific. I believe that GOD is beyond all genders, species and the like. So, when one uses the words “Lord,” “HE,” “HIM,” I think the appropriate reference must be to “IT.”
- Since all humans perceive the world and the Universe through the senses, it is possible that they have therefore created a “Power” that is in their own likeness. And it is my thinking that this “power” can only be experienced – and probably not seen, heard, smelt, tasted or felt – and as was a contradictory point earlier, the experience that one has, can be experienced through all of their senses, including that of “emotions.”
- While this might sound condescending to some the truth is that just like there are people across the spectrum in terms of belief in God, it is also true that there are people at varying levels of evolution in terms of “consciousness.” This is the truth – and does not mean that one at a higher level of consciousness is better than another. What seems to be “my truth” at a certain level of knowledge and consciousness, might turn out to be mundane, or even foolish at another. However, it comes along with being at a higher level of consciousness, to be accepting and respectful of another, who might be at a lower level.
- While I type that out, I remember a statement made by a learned professor on a completely different topic – “Self-assessment is not illusional – it is delusional.” So, I cannot be the judge of my own level of consciousness. And whether I am evolved, and at a higher level of consciousness depends on how I behave and live. It is not an event, and a journey.
- Humans tend to have an anthropomorphic representation of God. Since they believe that GOD is more powerful, they tend to give all aspects that end up making God more powerful, as they are capable of thinking (like a thousand arms, eyes, etc.) This reminds me of something that I had written a while ago – thanks to some learning from some of my teachers:
- The truth is that God is always giving, always loving, and extremely easy to please! God does not expect ANYTHING except that all beings are living in Harmony, and with peace, and towards their purpose! And yes, God does not differentiate between any of God’s creations let alone between life forms! However, for humans, it might be worthwhile to note the following:
My GOD is created by ME, and in MY likeness and according to the limitations of my thinking, levels of consciousness and my beliefs! And therefore,
At lower levels of consciousness, squarely placed with the “Ego”
If I believe in “Shame,” MY God is a “Despising” God!
If I believe in “Guilt,” MY God is a “Vindictive” God!
If I believe in “Apathy,” MY God is a “Condemning” God!
If I believe in “Regret & Grief,” MY God is a “Disdainful” God!
If I believe in “Fear,” MY God is a “Punitive” God!
If I believe in “Desire,” MY God is a “Denying” God!
If I believe in “Anger,” MY God is a “Vengeful” God!
If I believe in “Pride,” MY God is a “Demanding” God!
At higher levels of Consciousness, when one begins to transcend the “Ego”
If I believe in and have “Courage and Empowerment,” my GOD is a “Permitting” God!
If I believe in and have “Neutrality”, my GOD is an “Enabling” God!
If I believe in and have “Willingness,” my GOD is an “Inspiring” God!
If I believe in and have “Acceptance,” My GOD is a “Merciful” God!
If I believe in and have “Reason,” my GOD is a “Wise” God!
If I believe in and have “Love,” my GOD is a “Loving” God!
If I believe in and have “Joy,” my GOD is “One!”
If I believe in and have “Peace,” my GOD is “All-Being!”
If I believe in and have “Enlightenment,” My GOD is “The Self!”
(Thanks to Dr. David Hawkins and his work on the Map of Consciousness)
The “If I believe in and have” refers to the “general state of thinking and living” of a person, rather than the emotions that one might feel at a certain point in time. What this refers to is the average that a person is at – or at an extreme – an emotional or character trait that personifies that person. For a little more on this, I reproduce some relevant and select passages from “The Emotional Life of Your Brain” by Richard Davidson, PhD and Sharon Begley (emphasis supplied).
“The smallest, most fleeting unit of emotion is an emotional state….. A feeling that does persist, and that remains consistent over minutes or hours or even days, is a mood, of the “he’s in a bad mood” variety. And a feeling that characterizes you not for days but for years is an emotional trait…… An emotional trait (chronic, just-about-to-boil-over anger) increases the likelihood that you will experience a particular emotional state (fury) because it lowers the threshold needed to feel such an emotional state….. It is governed by specific, identifiable brain circuits and can be measured using objective laboratory methods. Emotional Style influences the likelihood of feeling particular emotional states, traits, and moods. Because Emotional Styles are much closer to underlying brain systems than emotional states or traits, they can be considered the atoms of our emotional lives— their fundamental building blocks.”
Coming back to the anecdote that started this article off, I then shared with my friend, my thoughts and comments on the subject:
My dear friend, this is with regard to the anecdote about “Surrender” that you shared with me.
Surrender does not mean one does not do what one has to do. One has to do what one has to do – and yet have faith and trust in GOD and the Universe that whatever happens, happens for the good.
God ALWAYS answers all prayers – because the answer to the prayer comes from the person praying. GOD is ALWAYS GIVING and anything that the requestor is WILLING and able to receive, they get. If they do not get something, that is because, THEY are blocking that which they ask for, from coming to them. And this might be also so, because, at the level of the soul, and the unconscious, they probably know that what they are asking for, if really not good for them.
It is blocks that one has within, either from the EGO, or from their past karmic disposition that they block it from coming to them.
GOD does not decide to help or not based on one’s actions. GOD HELPS ALL! it is the BLOCKS within, that make one unwilling to accept the help.
The anecdote shared has the power to appeal to anyone who does not take 100% responsibility for themselves. And at an extreme, might end up supporting them to “blame” “GOD” or any others for their circumstances in life. Which is not appropriate – finally, EVERYTHING in my life, is EXACTLY as I intended them to be. This is THE TRUTH!
And this anecdote makes GOD like a HUMAN – that GOD helps based on ego and judgment! This is totally anthropomorphic in nature and therefore, a creation of the level of consciousness that the human is in. (The Map of Consciousness referred to above, will help understand this better.)
GOD is ONLY, and ONLY and ONLY and ONLY and ONLY and ONLY and ONLY and ONLY LOVE – and does NOT have negative emotions or judgments like humans do.
God does not even want the soul to go through any purification process that the SOUL THINKS that it must go through to become one with GOD. And since the SOUL or the human attaches so much importance to the process of “purification,” GOD says, ok – if that will give you satisfaction I will help by standing by and allowing you to go through whatever you think will be necessary for fulfilment and to become one with me.
GOD does not stipulate that something MUST be done to become one with GOD – this is something the SOUL and Humans perceive to stay focused, with integrity and to be “God like.”
This does not certainly mean that I can do anything that harms another, in thought, speech or action. And so, in my thinking, it all comes back to finally, having and living with “Integrity,” “Kindness,” “Compassion,” and “Unconditional and all giving Love,” since that is what being GOD like is.
And has been said countless times, by evolved, wise humans over the ages, this translates into some simple, and therefore maybe often overlooked behaviours:
- Being kind in thought speech and action, first with self, and then with others.
- Being loving towards all – and behaving with integrity at all times – be it at home, on the road, or elsewhere.
- Focusing on being the best that one can be, at all times, and doing things with commitment and passion, and striving for the excellence that one can achieve.
- Focusing on and ensuring the greatest good for all beings – not just of one species, and within the species, any segment – be it on the basis of gender, geography, socio-religious-political or any other orientation.
- Abhor any kind of violence – physical, mental, emotional or spiritual.
- Respect the free-will of another, as long as it is in consonance with being integrous with oneself, and others.
The Dalai Lama had this to say about “Compassion” – in a nutshell, be “Child-like.”
To have an idea what genuine human compassion is like, look at children. Naturally open and honest, they don’t care about other children’s background, what their religion or their nationalities are, so long as they smile and play together. It’s as we grow older that the trouble begins—we only smile to get what we want. But when we see other human beings as being like us and show concern – that’s genuine compassion.
And it is useful for any human to consider anything and everything that might be necessary for them to live in this manner. And as always, it is most useful to start practicing Integrity, Kindness, Compassion, and Unconditional all giving love, with oneself!
And at the cost of sounding like a stuck record, Integrity is the backbone of all of this. When I am integrous in thought, speech and action, I am most likely kind, compassionate, and unconditional in my love towards myself, then, chances are that I will live appropriately with all beings! And I then choose my destiny in this moment! And in doing so, I have a chance to truly become “God-Like!” at least for that instant.