I used to believe in surrendering to a higher power. And not only to my wife -- but also to a spiritual, supernatural, metaphysical higher power.
No more. Don't see any reason to.
Now I'm much more comfortable with surrendering to lower and equal powers. Which, I suspect, actually are the only varieties powers come in. In fact, we could be talking singular here.
Power. Not powers. There's no higher or lower. Just varying manifestations of One Energy, One Nature, One Cosmos, One Reality.
But religions, spiritual systems, mystical philosophies, and other advocates of surrendering to a higher power would have us believe that life can't be fully lived without imagining some "sky god" is looking down, guiding our steps, inspiring our positive motivations, leading us out of darkness and into the light.
Bullshit. Crap. Fantasy. And self-serving.
Because almost always, somebody gains from all this higher power surrendering. Not the higher power, since there's no evidence of one, but the holier-than-thou men and women who run the organizations which claim to point the way to Higher Power'ness.
Groupies, syncophants, and hangers-on get pleasure from associating with powerful people, even at a distance. That's sort of strange.
But at least those objects of adoration are real. Surrendering to higher powers which are undetectable, even if supposedly manifested in a living saint, guru, master, prophet, or whoever, is even more ridiculous.
I speak from experience.
For more than thirty years I sought to follow the will of what the Indian Sant Mat teachings variously call God, Spirit, Shabd, Satguru, and other high-pointing terms. I got a lot of pleasure from obeying rules, performing volunteer services, giving talks, writing books, opening my mind, heart, and soul to whatever the higher power I believed in wanted me to do.
Not surprisingly, the more I identified with this higher power, the more elevated above other human beings I felt myself to be.
Sure, I knew how to appear all humble and selfless. That's the first thing you learn in Higher Power School: how to say stuff like "It's not me doing it; it's Him," or "I'm the dust beneath the feet of the Master, nothing more."
But lurking just below the surface of every surrender to a higher power is a feeling of "I'm so cool! So blessed! So special! I'm the Higher Power's best buddy!"
Meaning, other people aren't so cool, so blessed, so special, so befriended. Eventually I got tired of feeling humbly superior. It annoyed me when fellow Surrenderers to a Higher Power would look upon my non-believing wife with pity.
"Poor woman. She doesn't have a direct connection to God like we do. Maybe in another life."
Actually, my wife wasn't deprived. She felt totally content. Just as I feel now, having given up the conceit of knowing Mr. or Ms. Higher Power more intimately than those poor souls who can't get in the door of the exclusive spirituality club I once belonged to.
Our twelve year old dog, Serena, doesn't move as well as she used to. No matter. Almost every afternoon I still take her on our traditional dog walk, a two mile loop around our rural neighborhood.
Serena used to pull me along at the end of the leash, she was so eager and energetic to explore sights and smells that beckoned around the next corner. Now, we plod along at a speed considerably slower than I'd walk at if I were by myself.
So slow, my habitually fast-walking wife finds it frustrating to accompany Serena and me. Usually she takes our younger dog, Zu Zu, on a much more aerobic walk. I understand her attitude, but I've surrendered to my commitment to walk with Serena for as long as she can, at the speed Serena is comfortable going at.
If Serena were to stop, lie down, and take her last breath on our afternoon dog walk, I'd be happy. Not that Serena died -- that I was with her at the end, while she was enjoying one of her favorite activities.
Given the "dog years" thing, it's unlikely that Serena and I are going to die simultaneously on our dog walk.
However, every time I'm out with Serena, watching her sniff those marvelously interesting smells left by passers-by (canines, humans, deer, squirrels, whatever captures her nose fancy), I think It wouldn't be the worst way to go, holding the leash of the dog I love so much, out on the road we each have come to know so well.
That's my surrender. Not to a higher power called God. To a lower or equal power named Dog. It feels precisely, exactly, 100% the same as my previous surrendering to a imagined higher power. Well, actually better.
Because I'm no longer looking upward and outward for the power that I've surrendered to. Sideways and inward -- those are the directions which now point to where I want to go.
The natural world and me; we're connected in a way that seems a whole lot more genuine than the subservient posturing I used to engage in during my Surrender to a Higher Power days. Everyday life always is guiding me.
There's no need to look outside of nature, or ourselves, for some mythical guidance mechanism.