Surrender is an important element of the spiritual life. It allows you to get past all the “do’s” and “don’ts” of life by letting them go rather than figuring them out.
A shift in consciousness happens when the thought-based life gives way to an experience of pure being, when one surrenders to the moment. Using more scientific terminology, we can say that left-brain dominance gives way to a pure right-brain experience. After that, the brain can start to work in harmony within itself.
This shift is eloquently explained by a brain researcher (neuroanatomist) who underwent a severe stroke that shut down her left-brain functioning. She experienced the bliss of pure being and was profoundly changed by it.
My Stroke of Insight is a fascinating 18 minute talk by neuroanatomist, Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor.
Also of interest is a short snippet from Fr. Bede Griffiths who also underwent a stroke. He describes the outcome of surrender and how it changed him. His experience was also a shift to that state of pure being. He was forever changed by that event.
There is a common outcome of those who find expansive and transcendent states, whether by stroke, near-death experience, or spiritual awakening. The radical shift of consciousness is a change in brain functioning brought about by the relinquishment of left-brain dominance regardless of the source of the event This is the barest explanation of these type of events without the cultural add-ons. We usually hear about transcending the ego or moving beyond the self. These are all metaphors for the this same shift in consciousness.