In this short article the detachment system is described and how self-inquiry can help you with this.
“Detachment leads to immediate peace” – Lao Tzu
Detachment, what is it?
We will start off with what detachment is not. In fact there is a persistent misconception about spiritual enlightenment and detachment. Detachment does not lead to the point where you are above everything, preferably airy-fairy sitting on a mountain in constant meditation, no longer having any need to do or want anything, no longer participating in life itself.
So what is it? Detachment implies that there is attachment to something. Where are you attached to and what must be de-attached? What are you stuck with? And where do you have to detach from?
The clue is: nothing has to happen.
And that is the essence of detachment: there is no having to. So everything you think you have to, you are ‘attached’ to.
Detachment is to let go of all the having to.
‘You have to work, you have to be nice, you have to behave amusingly, you have to be loved, you have to visit your family, you have to talk to friends, you have to go to school, you have to study to achieve something, you have to go on holiday twice a year, you have to behave properly, you have to eat healthily, you have to…. etc. etc.’
And all those things you have to do, are causing no problems when it results from ‘what comes out of you’ or in other words ‘what wants to be lived through you’. But when there is a situation where you say to yourself, “Oh, now I have to do this but I do not really want to, but I do it because I have to.” Then a problem is arising, then there is a conflict.
Then there obviously is an attachment to something that is seemingly more important than ‘what comes out of you’. The getting rid of these untruthful attachments, leads to the de-attachment that will give you total freedom.
Detachment is to allow (yourself) to do what comes out of you
Conflict arises when what comes out of you is that you do not feel like doing it, and yet you do it because you have to. Then you actually stand in the way of the life that you are. This is caused by attachment to norms and values that you have learned from others. Detachment will mean that you detach from these values. And that you dare to allow the life that comes through you to be fully lived.
And I call it daring to allow, because what is it that holds back detachment?
Fear that if you do not meet the things that “need” to be done, something will go wrong and that a shortcoming will arise for you. That you’re not loved, that people are angry at you, that you will not have enough money, that you can not live anymore…
So the enormous paradox of detachment is that to live fully you have to let go of the fear that you can’t live!
Detachment through Self-Inquiry
Self-inquiry leads to the understanding of what you are attached to. That is a process that can take some time. Remember that your attachments have been imposed on you for many, many years and this happened mainly in a period that you were totally dependent, namely in your childhood.
On our Retreats Spirituality & Self Inquiry in Practice we are going to look together at how you can “dis-cover” your attachments and how you can release them. The retreats will be held on a regular basis at various beautiful locations in the Alicante area in Spain. Go to the calendar or click on the button for more information: