WHAT IS DETACHMENT AND WHAT IS ATTACHMENT?
Detachment is the art of being happy with or without something or someone.
All great philosophers taught this good value: DETACHMENT. Did Socrates, the great Greek philosopher, teach about that?
THE GREAT PHILOSOPHERS AND MASTERS TAUGHT DETACHMENT.
Some people are doing exactly the opposite. They watch something they like and then they suffer if they cannot have it. Let us picture a girl who sees a really beautiful dress for her graduation. She really loves it; but it is too expensive. Now what? Well, she would buy another one that could be nice; but not as nice as the one she really wants. She will go home with the other dress; but wishing to have the expensive one. She might suffer thinking how beautiful she could look with the dress she left in the mall. That is attachment!
Gandhi’s life shows a great power of detachment. He resigned to his own privilege and comfort in order to help his people.
Buddha taught detachment as part of his life and his philosophy. He resigned his crown as a prince, three palaces built for him, servants, luxury, power and his kingdom in order to achieve enlightenment and freedom. Once he got them he taught them to everyone.
One day, the great Master from Nazareth, advised to his disciple that if anyone ask for their tunic they should give him/her the tunic and the sandals too. In other words, we have to develop such a detachment that we have to be happy with or without whatever we have.
Does it mean that we have to give up everything we have? No, it means we need to develop detachment.
So, what are we supposed to do?
SELFISH DESIRES CAN CAUSE PAIN AND SUFFERING.
- Non-selfish Desires.
- Selfish Desires.
The first ones are good to have. Those desires are under the base of love and detachment. We might use the term: POSITIVE DESIRES. That is fine, as long as we understand them as desires that lead to help our own life and others’ lives. Non-Selfish Desires have a priority and it is not us, but the others.
This kind of desires come out from love, they lack attachment. Their objective is other people’s happiness first and then our happiness. This is learned from Karma Yoga and Bhakti Yoga. These two yogas are really important because they can lead us to a really better world. Yes, it is a dream to have more and more karma Yogis and Bhakti yogis; but the more people know; the more they become aware then the more chance we have to build a better world.
The Buddha said that thoughts create the world we live in. so, the first thing we need to do is to spread these ideas. So they become part of other people’s thoughts. Later awareness will come!
Let us talk about Selfish desires and how they create attachment and finally suffering.
Selfish desires have only one purpose and it is the pleasure of a person. Yes, the person who has selfish desires. When a person has this horrible poison then he/she looks only for pleasure and sometimes at any price.
A person addicted to drugs, for example, might pay any amount of money in order to get drugs. That person might even steal or kill. That person does not think about the suffering he/she causes and actually that is not the matter. He/she causes suffering in the planet and that person will always cause pain.
That type of persons will kill animals without a reason, just for fun. They can kidnap children and even kill them or rape them. They can cause pain to any human being just for fun, etc.
Selfish desires are destructive and therefore we need to understand our own selfish desires. We need to think of the well-being of others. We need to talk to our kids and teens about this. They have to be aware of the pain and suffering selfish desires can cause. So, they have to learn to think in a different way. Kids and teens are the future of this planet. They are the ones who will change the world for better or worst!
It is important to understand how these selfish desires create attachment and how to be free of them.
ATTACHMENT AND PAIN.
The more you have the more you want! It does not matter how much money a person has because he/she will work for more. Is not that the case of multimillionaires or billionaires? Of course! If a person has a house he/she might want a second house or a bigger one. The same happen with everything a person might have because people always want more.
The problem is not having more; but the addiction to have more. It does not matter if you have a lot of money or if you do not have; the matter is if you are happy or not. Having things do not make you happy because happiness has nothing to do with things you buy or get. Happiness is an inner state that comes when you find real peace and I mean inner peace. Happiness comes from Atman and not from any material thing.
Diogenes, the great Greek philosopher used to live in a tub. Was he any less happy than you because of that? No way! One day Alexander the Great came to him and told him to ask for anything and he would give him even half of his empire. But Diogenes asked him to move away because he was blocking the sun. The sun? Which one? No the one you see with your eyes, no the one that brings light to our planet. He was talking about the inner sun: Atman. The one who brings light to your soul.
Modern life seems to have only one objective: Getting more and more; but not everyone can have all he/she wants. The question is: what happen when someone cannot have whatever he/she wants? The answer is simple: Pain comes!
Frustration comes when a person cannot have something or someone. Frustration is pain. One of the causes of depression is frustration. A person under depression feels he/she should have more or something specific, but not having that brings frustration and later depression.
Selfishness desires will always bring pain when someone cannot have something or someone. That is the destiny of the one who looks to have everything. Only a few people in the world can have almost everything. I mean material things because love, friendship, inner peace, trust and many other beautiful values of the soul cannot be bought.
The key is simple: WE ALL HAVE TO LEARN TO APPRECIATE WHATEVER WE HAVE. APPRECIATION AND GRATITUDE ARE THE FIRST STEPS TOWARD HAPPINESS!