Several years ago, in our Thursday evening discussion group, we undertook the study of Michael Singer’s book The Untethered Soul. I found the material interesting and in agreement with my worldview; nevertheless, it moved into that fog of barely recalled content of a parade of philosophical/theological readings, thus I did not remember it as “transformative”. Still, it held a warm place in my heart and would qualify as an entry on a list of recommended readings for those interested in exploring Unity’s teachings from other perspectives.
So when I heard about his new book, The Surrender Experiment, I pre-ordered it on Kindle and had it delivered the day of its publication. With my personal approach to life being less about planning and more about responding to the events and conditions of the moment and imagining the possibilities of his coming book based on its title, I scheduled a talk series based on it a couple of weeks prior to its release. This act alone reveals a good deal about my approach to “planning” :).
The Surrender Experiment does not center on any single event in Singer’s life but on his approach to living. From his days as an economics student in graduate school in Gainesville, FL, it recounts the various circumstances in his life that sculpted much of his spiritual growth, beginning with the question (paraphrased), “Who is the ‘observer’ in my head?” From that question, his journey led him to the proposition that his most effective approach to life was to surrender control of his life to the Universe, even in the face of seemingly undesirable outcomes. This might indicate to the casual reader that he was “giving up” but it’s an approach more akin to “giving in”, swimming with the current instead of against it — but swimming, nonetheless.
I find his Experiment particularly interesting because, some 30+ years ago, his and my paths crossed. He was in the process of fully embracing his approach to release control of his life just as I was at the peak of my efforts to gain control of my life. COMDEX, 1982, was the launch event that propelled his Medical Manager software on its journey to being a premiere software offering in the medical billing industry; it was at that exposition that the portable computer maker for which I was the Director of Marketing, Otrona Advanced Systems, was fully in production and displaying its wares. His became a billion dollar company before his retirement, ours was bankrupt within four years. This anecdotal evidence seems to indicate his was a more productive approach.
If you have a sense The Surrender Experiment might offer an instructive perspective for your life, it’s an easy read and I recommend it. Our talk series based on his book is available on YouTube for the talks dated June 7 – July 12, 2015 (excepting Father’s Day, June 21).
Be well, be loose, release.