Letting Go

Image by the uber-talented Joel Robison
Image by the uber-talented Joel Robison

In this journey of discovery I have lately been getting a message over and over.  It is all about letting go.  I am not yet sure what it is I am to let go, but I am heeding the message.  Listening to the whispers, that’s where it’s at.  To that end I would like to share my most recent whisper.

A friend of this blog recently cited this parable from Illusions – The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach.  I was guided to reread it, to refresh my memory.  The words seemed to jump off the page and do a little dance in front of me.

Okay okay, Universe I get it.  I am listening.

If you haven’t read this book, I encourage you all to find a copy to call your own.  You will want to read it over and over, as I have.  Each new reading brings another layer to light.


Letting Go

From Illusions, the Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

By Richard Bach

Once there lived a village of creatures along the bottom of a great crystal river. The current of the river swept silently over them all – young and old, rich and poor, good and evil, the current going its own way, knowing only its own crystal self. Each creature in its own manner clung tightly to the twigs and rocks at the river bottom, for clinging was their way of life, and resisting the current what each had learned from birth.

But one creature said at last, ‘I am tired of clinging. Though I cannot see it with my eyes, I trust that the current knows where it is going. I shall let go, and let it take me where it will. Clinging, I shall die of boredom.’

The other creatures laughed and said, ‘Fool! Let go, and that current you worship will throw you tumbled and smashed across the rocks, and you shall die quicker than boredom!’

But the one heeded them not, and taking a breath did let go, and at once was tumbled and smashed by the current across the rocks. Yet in time, as the creature refused to cling again, the current lifted him free from the bottom, and he was bruised and hurt no more.

And the creatures downstream, to whom he was a stranger, cried, ‘See a miracle! A creature like ourselves, yet he flies! See the Messiah, come to save us all!’

And the one carried in the current said, ‘I am no more Messiah than you. The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare let go. Our true work is this voyage, this adventure.’

But they cried the more, ‘Saviour!’ all the while clinging to the rocks, and when they looked again he was gone, and they were left alone making legends of a Saviour.

24 thoughts on “Letting Go”

  1. Hi Brenda,

    thanks for this inspiring post.

    Yes , it is about letting go – letting go of the former self-image, letting go of the illusion of control.
    The spiritual journey is about a shift in identity in the end. From the identification with the ‘screen character’ to the awareness that holds All of It. That shift necessarily entails a letting go of the former identity. And that can be painful – if it is resisted.

    I am reminded of the story of Adyashanti. He needed to be weaned from the self-image of being a competitive biking athlete. And the universe accomplished this by putting him to bed twice for several months in a row. Then we was as weak as a puppy and could not identify himself anymore as a super-athlete.

    Margot Ridler , who had to go through a similar ordeal, compares her breakdown process to Adyashanti’s on this page in a video (20min)

    I found this process of being weaned from the my former identity at the core of the spiritual journey. This gives rise to the dark night of the soul ( which is really the dark night of the ego).

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this. And yes, it is a dark night for the ego when the soul starts to shine so brightly we have no choice but to see it. Blessings to you and thank you so much for your thoughtful and wise comment.

  2. Hi Brenda,

    a most important point you raise. Your story reminds me of one a woman told me years ago. She said that she went to her local pool, got into the water, lay on her back and let go of the side of the pool (I presume there were others in the pool). She said that she deliberately did that so she couldn’t see where she was going – she did it as a test of her ability to trust and let go.

    You wrote ‘I am not yet sure what it is that I am to let go’. An excellent point. In my view it is the letting go of ‘rational’ (linguistic, conceptual, patriarchal) control and trusting in and listening to the felt ‘whispers’ of another, non-linguistic but more wholistic reason – that of our intuition. I think this intuition is inseparable from our innate sense of worth – to speak of one is to speak of the other.

    This trusting, letting-go and doing refers not only to expressing oneself in ways welcomed in society (i.e. behaving positively towards another/others) but expressing oneself in general – which may include the expression of hurt and anger.

    Best regards, Phil Stanfield

    1. You are absolutely right about this, Phil. I need to let go of my own need to control how things are going to go in life. I need to trust the whispers and follow the intuition that has never misguided me. A very good reminder in your wonderfully written and well thought out response. I thank you so much for these kind words and excellent guidance.

  3. So beautiful Brenda. Love this excerpt from Richard Bach. Funnily enough letting go is one of my biggest themes too. Just when I think there can’t possibly be any more things left to let go of, more seem to come along…I must be a very over-dressed onion! Love and blessings to you. xx

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