Are we able to surrender our ego at a moment’s notice?

Are we able to surrender our ego at a moment’s notice?

There are times when I feel uncomfortable with the prayer “we should surrender our selves to God”. Surrendering feels disempowering. It’s as if it means to stop growing or to stop attempting. Furthermore, on the surface, it feels contrary to the principle of pursuing integral human development and even the parable of the talents.

But maybe Ryan Holiday is on to something when the stoics and Buddhists advocated for us to dissolve our ego. As one book’s title reads: the ego is the enemy.

And maybe that’s what it means to surrender – to surrender our selfish ego. And even if we cannot prove that a literal resurrection is applicable to us, there are moments when suppressing our ego for a greater good is like a parallel to the story of death and resurrection.

The challenge now with social media is that we are called to “build our personal brands”; having memorable and entertaining personas is the name of the digital revolution.

But maybe this is a recontextualized challenge of spirituality: can we abandon our ego at a moment’s notice if it means we can grow more spiritually? Are we willing to articulate our insights without needing to claim authorship? Are we willing to craft an obra maestra for its own sake, without needing to sign it?

These things seem so impractical to do the way our current society and culture are structured and values things. But maybe we can draw inspiration from the masters who went before us; those who lived lives of flow, focusing on the craft in its purest form, and willing to do it again and again, because their craft, their art, their work – they transcend the ego and can dent the universe.

Luke 17:26-37. Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses it will save it.


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