“My will is Thy will, and Thy will be done.” This simple mantra, often invoked by those on a religious or spiritual path, conveys no small concept. It speaks of the ultimate surrender of one’s personal power to an omniscient, unseen deity. It implies that human will has no definitive value, and that it operates best when capitulated in a gesture of obedience and religious fervor.
Several decades back along the trail I too intoned this mantra, imagining that I was humbling myself before the Great Mystery. Then one day my view of God changed forever. During meditation I was practicing a favorite breathing technique that infused me with a metaphysical high – a lightness of being that made it seem as if I were dancing with the angels in the halls of heaven. I remember feeling as if I was in the presence of God, and I consciously sent out my love and felt it returned a thousandfold. Swept up in the bliss of it all, I silently intoned the mantra “My will is Thy will, and Thy will be done” as a gift to the Supreme Being.
With a suddenness that shocked me out of my reverie, my offering was flung back at my feet, accompanied by the words: “Keep your will, my child. For without it you serve me not. Learn to align it with mine, but never surrender your birthright.”
I spent years turning this incident over in my mind, trying to make sense of it. What wasn’t I seeing? It remained one of the unsolved mysteries of my life—until another turning point in my journey. Then it was as if the tumblers of a lock finally fell into place and a door opened to a new awareness. I came to understand that it is one thing to say “All creation is one” as an inspiring poetic or philosophical sentiment, and quite another to grasp its full implication. For what it in fact says when grasped with the heart rather than the mind is that in all of creation there is only God. The creator and all created things are indivisible from All That Is.
This remarkable realization shattered my old view of reality. It also allowed me to revisit the earlier incident from a brand new perspective. The “my” and “Thy” of the mantra merged – God and I were one – all sense of separation had evaporated. The reason why my offering had been rejected was now crystal clear: when I devalue myself, I devalue God. What I, along with the rest of humanity, was being asked to do was let go of the narrow world constructed by ego and, without hubris, reach out to my own divinity.
As the fullness of this realization finally settled, it shed new light on various earlier moments in my life, yielding sometimes amusing revelations. In the early days of my business career, I worked late often and ate wherever my limited budget would allow. One Wednesday night I decided to treat two of my late night crew to the best Burger King had to offer. We arrived shortly before closing and, despite the late hour, were greeted warmly by the young man at the counter, who carefully wrote down each item we ordered. After taking our money, he switched on the counter microphone and read the order to the kitchen.
He seemed unusually careful, enunciating each item to make sure we would receive exactly what we wanted. Then he put on a kitchen cap, walked to the back, and began preparing our food. It turned out that aside from our little group, he was the only one in the store. We all found this wondrously funny, and I instantly loved the young man’s sense of humor. I now see it differently. Here were the three of us making a request of God, who repeated it to God, who proceeded to allow God to cook our dinner through him.
In life it is always best to let God do it. Just remember to roll up your sleeves, take a breath or two, and smile before you assume the role.
Jean-Claude Gerard Koven is a writer and speaker based in Vilcabamba, Ecuador. He was a featured weekly columnist for the UPI (United Press International) Religion and Spirituality Forum and is the author of Going Deeper: How to Make Sense of Your Life When Your Life Makes No Sense, recipient of both the Allbooks Reviews Editor’s Choice Award and the USABookNews.com Award for the Best Metaphysical Book of the Year.
©2004 – 2021. Jean-Claude Gerard Koven / All Rights Reserved.