Even if you are not an aficionado of Shakespeare you will know the quote "to be or not to be?" What does it mean to a practitioner? What does it mean to you? Maybe we can rephrase it "to acquiesce or not to acquiesce?" Is this a question that is relevant or should concern us? Surrender is at the heart of Yoga and other paths. Surrender though has connotations of loss. Acquiescence is more palatable for us, as conceptually it holds an element of choice.
Does it serve us to acquiesce or not? We maybe have a deep reluctance to acquiescence or surrender. We have already surrendered to the power of alignment which delivered us into the wold of our human ancestors. A world of separation, struggle and strife, a world of pain and pleasure, have and have not. Locked into a point of self-reflection we are chained to something that we are at odds with. No wonder surrender or its companion acquiescence has such a bad reputation.
We are though adults, practitioners. At the centre of all sorcery practice is the element of will. Chinese energy practitioners locate the Dantien in the self - same place as Castaneda's description of the position for will, four fingers below the navel, slightly to the left. Whatever the name or position we give it, if will is something desirable, surrender would seem to be the last thing for us to do. Yet will is a strange thing. Will is not what it seems from our approach to it. Self-determinism is attractive to us. Yet we have been resisting, for so long, are we actually resisting our own freedom?
Possibly we are still behaving like children, forced to do our homework or make our bed or some other such task and resisting out of sheer habit. The thought of getting our own way is paramount to us and blinding us to clear evaluation and action. Are we still at that point in our life? Are we still caught in childish reactiveness? Blindly attempting to show the world, something or the other. The power of alignment is irresistible. Either we are aligned with one thing or another or we are nothing, between alignments.
A man may navigate the seas, yet is never master of them. We can say the difference between a sorcerer and a man of Knowledge is that even though both have found their will, the sorcerer keeps hold of his. For him annihilation is his greatest fear, his will, his defense against this calamity. For a man of Knowledge though he has seen that this state, is actually the last attachment. He gambles on his vision that personal will and will at large are not in direct contradiction but are the ultimate alignment.
The Sufis tell a story to illustrate this. A Sufi leaves his master and travels as is the way of all Sufis. After seven years he returns to his master's house and knocks on the door. The master calls out "who is there?" The Sufi answers "it is me master" From the master's house comes no reply. The Sufi travels for another seven years and again on his return goes through the same scenario without admittance. A further seven years are spent in wandering and the Sufi again returns to the master's house. He knocks and the master calls out "who is there?" The Sufi replies "it is you master." At his words the door opens and the master reaches out and embraces the Sufi saying, "come in, make yourself comfortable, as you have recognised our intrinsic oneness, so there is room for the two of us."
The infinite is reflected in nature, nature is intent and will its major component. A man of Knowledge aligns with that Intent. The infinite in essence is indivisible. We will return to the indivisible, in reality we never left it. We can do it consciously or unconsciously. We can do it in resistance or acquiescence. As the Sufis want to insist. "Freedom is the art of having no choice." So there is our choice, in the words of Shakespeare, "to be or not to be."