In Castaneda’s works (specifically The Eagle’s Gift) he writes how, at a certain point, the team of sorcerers realizes that the odds against their succeeding on their quest for freedom are so vast as to be insurmountable. At that point, the male sorcerers effectively give up; but since they have trained themselves over decades to act impeccably, and since they don’t know of any other way to live, they continue acting impeccably, without a shred of hope left that acting impeccably will ever pay off. (The female sorcerers, CC writes, act as if they always knew the goal was impossible, so they experience no major change of outlook.) It is at this point that the sorcerers realize that living impeccably cannot be a strategy for gain; it can only ever be an expression of the warrior’s freedom, his impeccability, and his boundless love for life.
The path of the warrior (struggle) would seem to be the antithesis of surrender. But really, it is the essential prerequisite for surrender.
A warrior should be prepared only to battle. His spirit is not geared to indulging and complaining, nor is it geared to winning or losing. The spirit of a warrior is geared only to struggle, and every struggle is a warrior's last battle on earth. Thus the outcome matters very little to him. In his last battle on earth a warrior lets his spirit flow free and clear. And as he wages his battle, knowing that his will is impeccable, a warrior laughs and laughs.
It is my commitment to teach you to see . I am compelled, therefore, to teach you to feel and act like a warrior. To see without first being a warrior would make you weak; it would give you a false meekness, a desire to retreat; your body would decay because you would become indifferent. It is my personal commitment to make you a warrior so you won't crumble.
The trick is, then, for us to maintain the necessary illusion that surrender is possible, long enough, so that we continue on the path of the warrior until that path becomes fully ingrained into our being. So by the time we realize that surrender is not possible, and that we will never attain it, it is too late to “quit.” At this point, since we cannot give up anymore, all we can do is… surrender.
We surrender to the impossibility of surrender.
Then we will see that freedom was not a goal to be reached, but a state ~ a knowing ~ that was within us all along. We are all free, all of us. We can never be anything but free. Put another way: there is no need for us, as persons, to surrender; because what we are surrendering to already has us, through and through. Instead, we get to surrender. This is the real “Eagle’s Gift”: our tenderest compliance with this awareness, which then gives way to a forward benevolence (our command becomes the eagle’s command): the movement of the spheres.