The Relationship Between Fear and Attachment
It’s amazing how quickly fear can set in when you find yourself attached to certain outcomes. It’s always a gamble to become attached to an idea or a fantasy because the likelihood of things not going your way is usually very high. Few things in this world are completely reliable. The world is always moving, all things are in constant motion, moments in time and space colliding with each other and resulting in reactions that then reverberate once more in their own right. This is an infinite dance and in this dance there can be no attachment to certain moves and gestures because attachment means concretization and the dance of the universe is equipped with powerful bulldozers that can smash through concrete with ease.
There is also the matter of darkness and evil. The world has so much of both. Philosophers and mystics and great thinkers throughout the ages have always pointed to this reality as something we must all come to terms with if we want to be real, to be really alive. The tendency is to get lost in wishful thinking, to get lost in fantasies of beauty and the glories of love while wishing away the truth of evil, using mental gymnastics to argue away the veracity of life’s deeper, mysterious dimensions where light and dark intermingle in harmonious equilibrium. We prefer to pit these forces one against the other and take sides, siding firmly with the light of truth and love and beauty. But when ugliness rears its ruffled head as it inevitably does, we find ourselves in a quandary because we aren’t prepared — spiritually or psychologically — for the truth we’ve been busy denying all along.
Some people have a gift for lightness. Their eyes shine brightly and they can’t see any ugliness anywhere. For them life is a joyful enterprise and things always seem to go well. I wonder if it’s the inner attitude of jovial buoyancy that makes it so or is it some act of fate? Why do some of us perceive things through the eyes of beauty only, never encountering nor observing pain or sorrow, loss or grief, while others of us seem to have a knack for honing in on the desperation and mutiny of horrors? Once again the question of attachment is relevant. Some of us become attached to another’s way of being and seeing things, wishing we were more like them. Then the sad stories of woe become our constant companions, the stories of self-rejection and misery stemming from an inherent disdain for one’s peculiarities and idiosyncrasies. We want to be free of our burdens and we think if we were more like someone else, someone who looks happier than we do, then things would even out and we could stand life without further complaint. Yet this is precisely where the rubber meets the road, as it were, it is the very nucleus of truthful existence because the second we have rejected even one iota of ourselves we have lost the game.
Despite the billions of humans scattered all across this planet giving the impression of homogeneity, each of us is unique. And each of us has a singular fate that works as a binding cosmic contract. There is no running away from whatever one is, there is no escaping the realities of life, the reality, for example, that some people can carry their burdens lightly while others must groan their whole lives beneath an unfathomable heaviness. There’s nothing for it but to accept what one is and take on the challenge of living out that unique life path to the fullest possible extent. To accomplish this we must release our death grip on attachment to ideas and fantasies about what we may have been or should have been, and become instead intimately acquainted with what we already are, and walk with conviction upon the path of becoming who we were always meant to be from the start. There is enormous freedom and potential in this courageous letting go but most people never tap into it. Most people live out their whole lives in anguish over their lot, refusing to see their challenges as cosmic portals to deeper dimensions of consciousness and self-knowledge.
I want to live my life inside the psychospiritual dimension of inner peace that only reveals itself when an unequivocal acceptance of all things everywhere dawns on the land of consciousness that we call our life. More than ideas about a perfect me living a perfect life, I desire to submit to what is without attachment to preconceived ideas about what should be or ought to be or could have been. What already is is so precious and rich, life is a goldmine of riches swirling all around us and all we have to do is dig in and enjoy the abundance. It is our attachment to definitions and ideas of what abundance looks like that prevents us from enjoying everything already available. Most of us are lost in these mistaken fantasies all day long, running around like harrowed zombies chasing after happiness and fulfillment and working like dogs to push away anything that might hamper our reach. But as I said, this concretization of desire is almost always met by armies of cosmic bulldozers that smash through our defenses with ease.
The oldest trick in the book of fate and cosmic reality is this one: our attachments get smashed and suddenly a paralyzing fear sets in because life reveals to us that the thing we had become so attached to is not coming about after all. How many people’s fairy tale marriages end up in this soup of disillusionment? How many fantasies of the perfect new job that leads us finally to riches and universal approval fester way in these swamps of disappointment? And how long do people wallow in the fear, allowing their attachments to rule their decision-making processes? The biggest mistake is to descend into fear which is what happens when we can’t muster the wisdom to let go of attachments and open ourselves instead to what is actually on offer.
Whenever there is fear, there is also attachment. There can be no fear, no aggression without attachment. To be completely free, we have to be completely unattached and open. This doesn’t mean we don’t pursue any of our aspirations. It just means that as we go about our day, we watch closely to see where attachments to certain outcomes become roadblocks to the smooth travels of our peace of mind. Nothing is worth fighting for that destroys inner peace. Certainly not arguments, nor the kaleidoscope of mistakes and stupidities that we all display. We’re all stuck in a crazy and mysterious world, embodied, ensouled. We each have a share of joy and a share of sorrow. There is nothing for it but to live fully inside our own dimension of peculiarity and not spend the entire time rejecting our life by trying to change reality. Real magic is rooted in clear intention. Real power comes from inner freedom and this kind of freedom only comes when we relinquish all attachments and utterly transcend pettiness, greed, and selfishness.
It’s a tall order, but why else are we here?