There is of course thoughts, choices and actions, and when a story of a separate I is placed on it, there is also the appearance of a doer.
What was just thoughts, choices and actions, happening on their own, now has become the appearance of a separate self, and someone thinking, choosing and doing. There is now the appearance of an individual, or personal, will. And this personal will appears to sometimes be at odds with life itself.
Thoughts are innocent questions about the word, but when believed in, and belief in a doer is placed on top of them, they appear to quite often be at odds with what is, with how life manifests. It even looks as if personal will is at odds with God’s will.
Of course, that too is just happening. That too is life manifesting. That too is doing without any inherent doer. That too, is God’s will.
The only way to surrender personal will, is to see that it is not there in the first place. To see, clearly, that any sense of a doer comes from a belief in stories… independent of their content. (Any belief creates a sense of a split, of an I here and Other there, which in turn creates the appearance of a doer.)
Trying to surrender personal will, while there is a sense of a separate self, only adds to the drama. It reinforces the original misidentification. But at the same time, although it comes from misidentification, it may also bring everything a little closer to how it is. If done skilfully, it may nudge the system a little closer to recognizing that there was no doer there in the first place. I surrender my personal will to God’s will, to what is, and then gradually come to see that that’s how it is anyway. It is all God’s will. That is all there is. And this (possibly) sets the stage for a more full shift to happen, where any sense of an I with an Other falls away.
The bhakti approach is to surrender personal will, gradually seeing that it wasn’t there in the first place. And the jnana approach is to inquire into the whole sense of a doer, also gradually seeing that it wasn’t there in the first place.
Meanwhile, it is good to follow any conventional guidelines on this… To align (what appears as) my will with what is good for the larger whole, as much as possible. Exploring and trying out goals and strategies that appear life-supporting and effective at all levels, for myself, those close to me, my community, the larger social and ecological systems, and future generations. (There are lots of them, from eating local and organic food, living close to work, buying used clothes, using bike and public transportation, vacationing locally, to working with beliefs and shadows so we are a little more easy to be around and we see ourselves in others.)
And if my will is at odds with what is, then reconsider goals or strategies, and also find more peace with what is (which happens through both the bhakti and jnana approach).
Of course, any of that too, in whatever form it takes, is also God’s will.