As soon as you want to let go of something, you hold onto it.
The control instinct of the human mind is incorrigible. Even letting go of the control he wants to get under control. He even tries to apply acceptance, surrender, and ‘doing nothing, as if they were skills that you could learn and practice. The mind tends to immediately turn everything it discovers into a strategy or technique for achieving something (or getting rid of something). However, as soon as you turn something like acceptance into a strategy, non-acceptance has already crept in through the back door.
What else is your motivation to accept something? Acceptance can never be a skill or exercise. The word ‘accept’ as a verb is actually absurd because a verb suggests that you can ‘do’ it. The concept only has meaning as a noun, because acceptance is not a doing, it is the absence of doing, it is the absence of resistance. When there is no resistance, there is acceptance. Acceptance is the essence of what you already are, it is your very first given: the silent consciousness that impartially and without judgment gives space to everything that comes to mind. Even your resistance is welcome.
Skills belong to the domain of the ego, the doer, and as an ego, you cannot accept, the ego is by definition resistance. It wants something or it doesn’t want something. There is always an interest, an agenda. The ego always makes the move of grasping or pushing away. When there is real acceptance, it always comes from a deeper place. There even the word acceptance loses its meaning because accepting or not accepting is not an issue at all. Things are just as they are and there is simply no judgment. The concept of acceptance somehow suggests a subtle judgment: okay, I don’t really want this, but okay, I accept it. That is not acceptable, but resignation.
There is also a lot of misunderstanding about the concepts of ‘letting go’ and ‘surrender’‘. They’re beautiful concepts, but getting started without a clear understanding of what these words refer to will inevitably lead to a lot of frustration and disappointment. You hear it so often: just let it go! Again it is assumed that you can practice letting go and surrender, that you can do it.
The more you try to let go of something, the more it seems to stick to you! Just like acceptance, letting go is not a skill, but the logical consequence of a realization, of insight; letting go happens automatically, the moment you discover that you have never been attached to anything. Only the ego would want to let go of something, for only the ego attaches itself to things.
Consciousness does not hold on to anything. Consciousness is, as it were, a permanent state of letting go. The point is to see that letting go is already the case. With abandon idem; as soon as you as a person ‘try’ to surrender to something, then there is already talk of non-surrender, because you put in surrender, in the hope that this will lead to something, you hope to achieve something with it. That’s not surrendering, it’s controlled.
Surrender also refers to an absence, the absence of interference and manipulation. That absence is what we most deeply desire because this absence means the end of psychological suffering. It is the absence of the false self, the show-off in our heads. Realize what you really are, and see that there is only surrender. Even your non-surrender has always been fully accepted by the consciousness that you are.