I have been curious of what Douglas Harding refer to as “surrender of the personal will”, and after a while found a clear(er) description in the book Face to No-Face.
It is actually a little anticlimactic as it seems to be headlessness 101: to be capacity and space for whatever arises – internal and external to the small self, including the preferences of the small self. To allow it all to come and go as guests, on their own accord.
Of course, from this clear seeing, I can engage or not with whatever arises. Sometimes, I engage according to the preferences of the small self. Other times, I allow them to just be another phenomena unfolding – with no need to engage according to it.
There is a great simplicity in this. First, of being space for whatever arises, and then to engage or not according to what seems appropriate in the circumstances.
When I act, it is obviously informed by the experiences, information, skills etc. I have access to through the small self, but it is coming from a different space – it is coming from myself as capacity for the world, as that in which the world unfolds within in the present.
I am not completely at the mercy of the habitual patterns and preferences of the small self, although if I am honest – I also see that whatever I do am colored by whatever is available to me from and through the small self. That is after all the information that informs me.