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The Freedom in Surrender

House of Prema  - Freedom in Surrender

The other day my wife Suwanti and I were having a chat in our home with some friends and one asked, “Where did that saying come from that says there are only two emotions, love and fear?” I said that it was from ‘A Course in Miracles’, a remarkable book said to be the channeled words of Jesus Christ. The Course teaches: ‘There are only two emotions, love and fear, and fear is but the shadow of love’.

I’ve spent many hours pondering on the meaning and implications of this profound statement, and I’ll share with you some of my reasonings:  Like darkness in a room, a shadow has no existence of its own – we can’t take it from ‘here’ and put it over ‘there’. A shadow is merely an absence of light. Something is blocking the light, giving us the shadow. And where is this light? The shadow gives this information because it is pointing back towards the source of the light, as well as leading us directly to what is blocking the light

In using this analogy of the shadow, the Course is saying that fear does not really exist – it is simply an absence of love. Something within us is blocking our love so that we experience only its shadow, which is fear.


      Applying this understanding we can say that, if our thoughts about someone or something exclude the possibility of love (or one of its attributes such as confidence, peace, joy, compassion and so on), we will experience fear (or one of its attributes such as anger, sadness, loneliness, greed and so on). Knowing this, when fear comes we can try to disregard its apparent importance, and instead use its arrival as a wake-up call to change how we think about ourselves and our circumstances.

      Letting go of our habitual ways of thinking is a form of surrender. We are letting go of the old and familiar ways of reacting to a situation so that a new - and as yet unknown – way of responding can take its place.

      Not long ago a good friend of ours was talking about being released from his one and only life-long fear, claustrophobia, which is a fear of enclosed spaces. The key to his release was an almost involuntary act of surrender. Here’s what happened.

      A few years ago John went on an amazing journey with his Kriya Yoga master to a sacred place high up in the Himalayan Mountains of northern India, up to where the powerful Ganges River begins as a glacial spring. When it was time to camp for the night they went down into a cave which became pitch dark once the door was shut.

      Lying there in his sleeping bag, John’s claustrophobia rapidly escalated into sheer terror. He couldn’t escape to the outside where the temperature at night plummets to 5 degrees below zero. Then, just as the uncontrollable shaking, pounding heart and fear of the unknown reached a crescendo, something in his mind said, “I surrender”, and he did; then silently laughed himself into a long, deep, dreamless sleep.

      When he woke up in the morning, John realised that all fear was gone, never to return. Climbing up out of the cave into the clear morning light, he experienced a long, timeless moment of pure love and absolute truth – John no longer existed as a being separate from his surroundings, nor was anything separate from anything else. There was only an all-pervading bliss-filled awareness of universal Oneness. He was the mountains, the sky, ice and snow; he was the Kriya Yoga master and the wandering hermit yogis who sat meditating around the smoking camp-fire. The ‘seer’ and the ‘seen’ had become one, indivisible and supreme.

      Many of us know from our own experience that, when a higher love comes into our life, there is a wonderful feeling of unity, of oneness with the beloved. For a few moments, hours or even days we surrender our little self – our ego, our illusion of being in control – and there is nothing to block the seemingly-limitless love within us from shining forth. 

      At such times, like a river in flood we find the ‘beloved’ expanding to include all of creation – everybody and everything looks, sounds and feels astoundingly beautiful. Sometimes, rarely, our sense of being a separate unique individual disappears for a moment and we become one with the Whole, the Infinite, the All.

      John’s beautiful story serves to remind us of our innate fearlessness, and the vast, limitless oceans of love, peace and joy abiding within.
      When fear next comes, perhaps we too can ‘surrender’ our usual attempts to run away, to fight or control this pretender to the throne. To facilitate this release, some would chant, “I let go and let God”, over and over if needs be. Others might cry, “Now I am broken. Do with me what Thou wilt!” Our friend John simply said, “I surrender”,  and he did.

      When we find our own way of cutting the cords which bind us to fear, then perhaps we too will end up laughing at this once-terrifying paper tiger, our phobia, our fear.

      Fear can only be present when there are two or more things or people, for there must be something or someone to fear. When  ‘me’,  ‘that’, ‘they’, ‘them’ and the ‘other’ disappear, so too does all fear. At such times, like John, we can be graced with a vision of love-soaked, bliss-filled Oneness of all life and creation. We become, as Henry Thoreau once noted, “Nature’s way of looking at itself.”

      We trust you enjoyed the story.

      Until next time;


      With love,
      Ron and Su Farmer
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