This is a short and sweet memoir which took about 7 hours to finish. I was drifted to pick up this book when I was in a situation where hard decisions need to be made, some I’m afraid they might influence my life trajectory. Some choices in life may be easy while others might be tough. It’s hard since people are afraid there is anything to lose, they’re afraid when they don’t live up to some established perfection.
But the question is, is there such a perfection? Two years ago, I met a guy named Andy, who spent 8 years for his Ph.D. in one of the most prestigious University in the United States. I appreciate his philosophy of living – enjoy each of your days as it had been given to you, do whatever that can make you happy. Happiness is the thing that matters. And he said there is one thing we’re very different: “Your feet direct at some goals, and worked right towards it. However, I would always like to give myself some random perturbation in my life, I came to a point before I’ve done so many detours.” Then the randomness just gifted him the wonderful life I admire, a talented scientist who enjoy his research, a great artist enjoyed the beauty, and unique spirit influence everyone he met includes me.
Then the next question is, can we really control our lives, and can we really “choose” the so-called best life based on our free will?
Here comes the book, the author Michael.A.Singer, who was rapt in the experience from deep meditation when he was a second-year graduate student. He decided to drop out of the program and began his journey in finding and staying with “the spiritual self”, lived in his RV in the woods. However, one decisive moment in his life made he realized the sharp line he’d drawn between spiritual and nonspiritual had begun to fade. Later he began his lifelong experiment in giving up the desire to control and just live with the simple formula:
Do whatever is put in front of you with all your heart and soul without regard of personal resutls. Do the work as though it were given you bu the universe itself — because it is.
Then everything just come as perfect as it would be ever imagined: Start from building a house for meditation for himself to building a huge temple for more people in the town to a construction company earn millions of dollar every year. Start from an interest in the personalized computer to the biggest medical system software builder and then go IPO. What he did is simply: “Surrender”
The wonderful surrender experiment:
At the heart of the experiment is the simple question: am I better of making up and alter reality my mind and fighting with reality make it be my way. Or am I better of letting it go of what I want and serving the same forces of reality that manage to create the same perfection of the universe around me. This experiment is not about dropping out of life, will be about leaping into life, to live in a place where we no longer control our personal fears and desires. For lack of a better name, I have called this: The surrender experiment.
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. Once you are ready to let go of yourself, life becomes your friend, you teacher, you secret lover. When life’s way becomes your way, all the noise stops, and there is a great peace.
Do nothing is doing more 无为
The same philosophy of surrender to the universal power is also manifest in traditional Chinese philosophy -Lao Tze. If you follow the order (same idea as universal power described before), things get done. If you go against it, it takes extra efforts to get things done. In some case, nothing at all will get done, no matter how hard you try.
Ways and Rivers:
There are two kinds of ways in life. One is, as usual, you step on it, walk through it. Another is more like a river, it moves, and will carry you somewhere unknown or somewhere desired.