Understanding Attachment

Source: Gopal Nair gopal@mfgglobal.org via googlegroups.com

Understanding Attachment

Why do you suffer so much when things that you have brought so close to you are changed or lost? It is because they are too close. When someone damages your car and you suffer it is because you think you are the car! This is the deepest mistake. It is the deepest cause of the suffering called anger. You are not aware of this of course, but if you were to take a moment and see what you were doing in your own mind, you would see you have brought the image of the car up on the screen of your mind. You have then gone into that image of the car in your mind, and you have lost your ‘sense of self’ in the image of the car. In effect you identify with the car. So if the car outside is scratched or damaged in any way, it feels like it is happening to you and, as a result, you become disturbed. The disturbance is called anger. In spiritual terms this would be called attachment. Attachment is a mistake we all make within our consciousness and it creates what is known as ego. From a spiritual point of view, ego is the root of all suffering, and all suffering can be found and felt at an emotional level in the various forms of fear, anger and sadness.

If you don’t want to suffer from fear, anger or sadness, don’t get attached to anything or anyone, to any expectation, any item, any particular outcome (result). That does not mean you shouldn’t have possessions. It does not mean you can’t have people around you that you love. Nor does it mean you don’t have expectations, goals, etc. You do. But your relationship with them changes. Detachment means you are no longer dependent on any of them for your peace and happiness. You choose to be peaceful and content anyway. So when possessions are damaged or when people leave or die or when expectations are not met, all of which are inevitable, you don’t become discontent. You have realized everything in life comes and goes, everything decays, every dynamic process is unpredictable and uncontrollable, and must end. You know this is a reality. Every time you get angry it means you are having an argument with this reality.



Resistance is always Futile (worthless) as it only Sustains Your Suffering

Whenever anger appears inside your mind, you will notice that you are in a state of resistance, or non-acceptance, towards an event, a set of circumstance or the other person – sometimes all three. Resistance is the seed of all conflict between people. Resistance sustains the cycle of violence with others and with yourself, and it is driven by the emotions of fear and anger. This is why the first step to resolve all conflict is always acceptance. It is to accept the past is past and nothing can change it. It is to accept that other people’s behaviour cannot be controlled, because you cannot control their thoughts and decisions, and you definitely cannot control their beliefs and perceptions (ways of looking at things). Acceptance means that you are able to think calmly, see clearly, create options and make better decisions. Acceptance is the first step out of anger, out of your self-inflicted pain and suffering, and into peace.