“Your heart must become a sea of love. Your mind must become a river of detachment.” Sri Chinmoy.
The first time I saw a quote on detachment, I knew instantly that those words were true, yet I didn’t understand a thing. I mean how do you detach when love is supposed to mean attachment? Shouldn’t we die of heartbreaks and all what not? How can we be loving humans, yet detached from the outcome of our own existence?
In my insatiable search for truth, the Universe decided it was time for me to learn, so everything I held on to was taken from me. Everything here means my beliefs around love, loyalty and prosperity. As my love life weaned, so did my finances. I started to drown in the seas of my own fears. It was in the darkness, I finally understood.
Every spiritual seeker knows that our dark moments serve, even though we may not realise this with tears streaming down tired cheeks. They wake us up in ways our light cannot. It is when you feel lost, terrified and at the end of our fears that the light comes in. Some of us will need a divorce as part of our divine curriculum; others may lose someone, become broke, ill or suddenly wealthy to wake up to our everlasting presence. To finally realise that we are not our mind, rather we are the all seeing awareness that sees our own lives evolving daily as we should.
I am not going to make this piece something to be intellectualized or debated. It just is. I want to speak to the person who is willing to hear.
As someone whose foundation is Roman Catholic, I have had to learn about Detachment from Buddhist teachings. If you are closed minded about religion and the Universal Intelligence that created us all, this is a good place to stop engaging with this piece. If you choose to continue, it might transform your life right now!
The Buddha explains detachment of a noble disciple not as the physical act of withdrawal or austerity but rather a means of inner purging and mental transformation connected to the destruction of craving. In English Language saying; a person is “detached” could mean something negative. It is important to know that when detachment is used here, the focus is on non attachment as opposed to implying that a person is not compassionate.
Interestingly, detachment has been a core theme in Christianity from the very beginning. Remember, the story of the rich young man, who engaged Jesus Christ? He went away because he could not imagine giving up his possessions in exchange for eternal life. He was attached to his wealth and his identification with all he had.
Do you know anyone who took their life after losing all they had materially? Or people who cannot be seen unless they are wearing the most expensive designers the world has to offer? I used to be that person who could not be seen by certain people outside my SUV. My car which was there for my enjoyment became an extension of myself. I had no sense of self outside my possessions or connections with people. The day I realised this, I became born again.
In Romans 12.2 the Bible says, “and so not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God”. Does this verse resemble Eastern religious teachings on Detachment? You bet!
I am currently living through the process of moving from attachment to a state of non attachment or like some say, detachment. If you saw the movie Star Wars, you might remember, Yoda’s advice to Aakin Skywalker, “train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.” This practice can be life transforming for as many as will choose to go on this journey.
I have written a few times about surrender. How I get results after I have surrendered to the Will of God concerning that person, thing or life event. The best things in my life truly just come to me after all my scheming, controlling and fears give way to love. Since, we are taught that our lives are under our control, it can be supremely difficult to let go and let God or like some say the Universe do what it does best. The story of Abraham shows his spiritual detachment when he obeyed God’s command to sacrifice his son Isaac. Knowing God, there was no need for the blood of Isaac. That lesson was to aid the spiritual evolution of both father and son.
When Jesus says, “whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” In real terms in other to follow Christ, we must detach ourselves from the fears around the things we hold dear.
It’s important to emphasise that there is nothing wrong with having natural desires. We must have desire in life or life will be empty. “Some religious traditions teach that all evil comes from desire, and that one must empty oneself of desire. But to empty oneself of desire is itself a desire.” Fr Bob Camuso. Life in itself is a series of balancing acts not denial of that which is part of us. The journey back to self or spiritual enlightenment leads to the realisation that we are enough. We don’t need anyone to make us complete for in ourselves we are whole. We won’t need to queue up for a new phone or gadget, unless we truly want to not because we have to impress our friends. We become who we are as we allow our divine curriculum find true expression through our willingness to yield, rather than obstruct our unique journeys.
I like this quote by Tony Robbins alot “nothing means anything except the meaning we give to it.” Trust that our lives are unraveling as it should. It won’t make you complacent; instead you will find true freedom in those words. What are you really in control of? The day you are born or the day you transition to the other side of eternity? What might happen if you stopped being a victim of life and realise that you are Co-Creator?
I would close, with the timeless words of Apostle Paul, in Romans “owe no one anything except to love one another.”
May our collective lights be the force that drives out darkness.