Tag Archives: attachment

When you really don’t know…

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‘That what I want, basically, what I really want, is what you want. And I don’t know what you want.
Surprise me.
But that’s the kinship between “I” and “thou”. So when I ask, I go right down to the question, which we started with: “What do I want?”
The answer is “I don’t know”.
When Bodhidharma was asked, “Who are you?” which is another form of the same question, he said “I don’t know”.

‘ Planting flowers to which the butterflies come, Bodhidharma says “I know not” ‘

I don’t know what I want.
And when you don’t know what you want, you reach the state of desirelessness. When you *really* don’t know… you see, there’s a beginning stage of not knowing, and there’s an ending stage of not knowing.
In the beginning stage, you don’t know what you want because you haven’t thought about it, or you’ve only thought superficially.
Then when somebody forces you to think about it and go through it, you say, “Yeah, I think I’d like this, I think I’d like that, I think I’d like the other”. That’s the middle stage.
Then you get beyond that, and say “Is that what I really want?” In the end you say, “No, I don’t think that’s it… I might be satisfied with it for a while, and I wouldn’t turn my nose up at it, but it’s not really what I want”.
Why don’t you really know what you want?
Two reasons, that you don’t really know what you want.
Number 1: You have it.
Number 2: You don’t know yourself. Because you never can. The godhead is never the object of its own knowledge, just as a knife doesn’t cut itself, fire doesn’t burn itself, life doesn’t illumine itself. It’s always an endless mystery to itself. “I don’t know”.
And this “I don’t know”, uttered in the infinite interior of the spirit, this “I don’t know”, is the same thing as “I love”, “I let go”, “I don’t try to force or control”. It’s the same thing as humility.
And so the Upanishads say, “If you think that you understand Brahman, you do not understand. You have yet to be instructed further. If you know that you do not understand, then you truly understand, for the Brahman is unknown to those who know it, and known to those who know it not”.
And the principle is that any time you, as it were, voluntarily let up control, in other words, cease to cling to yourself, you have an access to power. Because you’re wasting energy all the time in self-defense, trying to manage things, trying to force things to conform to your will.
The moment you stop doing that, that wasted energy is available. And therefore you are, in that sense, having that energy available, you are one with the divine principle. You have the energy! When you’re trying, however, to act as if you are god, that is to say, you don’t trust anybody and you’re the dictator and you have to keep everybody in line, you lose the divine energy, because what you’re doing is simply defending yourself.
So then the principle is: the more you give it away, the more it comes back.
Now you say, “I don’t have the courage to give it away. I’m afraid”.
And you can only overcome that by realizing, you better give it away, because there’s no way of holding on to it. The meaning of the fact that everything is dissolving constantly, that we’re all falling apart, we’re all in the process of constant death, and that –
“The Worldly Hope men set their Hearts upon / Turns Ashes—or it prospers; and / Like Snow upon the Desert’s dusty Face / Lighting a little Hour or two—is gone” all that Omar Khayyam jazz. You know, “The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, the great globe itself, I, all which it inherit — shall dissolve, and like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind.”….
All falling apart. Everything is. That’s the great assistance to you. That fact that everything is in decay is your helper. That is allowing you that you don’t have to let go, because there’s nothing to hold on to.
It’s achieved for you, in other words, by the process of nature. So once you see that you just don’t have a prayer, and it’s all washed up, and that you will vanish and “leave not a rack behind”, and you really get with that, suddenly you find that you have the power, this enormous access of energy.
But it’s not power that came to you because you grabbed it; it came in entirely the opposite way. The power that comes to you in that opposite way is power with which you can be trusted.’

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Continuous attentiveness will only come with long practice. If you are truly watchful, each thought will dissolve at the moment that it appears. But to reach this level of disassociation you must have no attachments at all. If you have the slightest interest in any particular thought, it will evade your attentiveness, connect with other thoughts, and take over your mind for a few seconds. This will happen more easily if you are accustomed to reacting emotionally to a particular thought.

— Swami Annamalai – Living by the Words of Bhagavan (David Godman, p. 342–43)

Continuous attentiveness

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Outward beauty, loveliness of form, charm of personality, whether it is yours or possessed by another, is of no lasting worth. Be not allured by this false show. Be not deluded by these transitory qualities. Handsome or ugly, fair or dark, delicate or coarse, exquisite or plain in appearance, all the forms that you behold are born of dust. They are dolls of clay. They are fleeting forms that will soon vanish and be no more. They are exactly like garments that we have purchased at the vanity-fair of this world, but which have to be discarded before we depart. Your aim in life should be to transcend them.

— Baba Sawan Singh

Do not let false delights of a deceptive world deceive you

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It’s only when you become love — in other words, when you have dropped your illusions and attachments — that you will “know.” As you identify less and less with the “me,” you will be more at ease with everybody and with everything. Do you know why? Because you are no longer afraid of being hurt or not liked. You no longer desire to impress anyone. Can you imagine the relief when you don’t have to impress anybody anymore? Oh, what a relief. Happiness at last! You no longer feel the need or the compulsion to explain things anymore. It’s all right. What is there to be explained? And you don’t feel the need or compulsion to apologize anymore. I’d much rather hear you say, “I’ve come awake,” than hear you say, “I’m sorry.” I’d much rather hear you say to me, “I’ve come awake since we last met; what I did to you won’t happen again,” than to hear you say, “I’m so sorry for what I did to you.”

— Anthony de Mello – A Changed Person – Page 96

To become love

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Die! Die!
Die in this love!
If you die in this love
your soul will be renewed

Die! Die!
Don’t fear the death
of that which is known
If you die to the temporal
you will become timeless

Die! Die!
Cut off those chains
that hold you prisoner
to the world of attachment

Die! Die!
Die to the deathless
and you will be eternal

Die! Die!
and come out of this cloud
When you leave the cloud
you will be in the effulgent moon

Die! Die!
Die to the din and the noise
of mundane concerns
In the silence of love
you will find the spark of life

— Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Balkhī (Rumi) – Love Poems of Rumi (edited by Deepak Chopra)

Dying to Love

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Solitude is
When you do not need anyone around
And even if you are sick,
You are still happy.
Solitude is
To be wrapped in silence
By a mind unattached,
Sinking deep into a foundation of stability.

Solitude is
A clear understanding that
All of us, everything
Are just mental creations, conditioned.

Solitude is
To have abandoned the “I am” conceit,
And is free.

— Venerable Sujiva – Wind in the Forest – Solitude

Solitude

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“The craving to become causes fear; to be, to achieve, and so to depend engenders fear. The state of non-fear is not negation, it is not the opposite of fear nor is it courage. In understanding the cause of fear there is its cessation, not the becoming courageous, for in all becoming there is the seed of fear. Dependence on things, on people or on ideas breeds fear; dependence arises from ignorance, from the lack of self-knowledge, from inward poverty; fear causes uncertainty of mind-heart, preventing communication and understanding. Through self-awareness we begin to discover and so comprehend the cause of fear, not only the superficial but the deep causal and accumulative fears. Fear is both inborn and acquired; it is related to the past and to free thought-feeling from it the past must be comprehended through the present. The past is ever awaiting to give birth to the present which becomes the identifying memory of the ‘me’ and the ‘mine’, the ‘I’. The self is the root of all fear. To inhibit or suppress fear is not to transcend it; its cause must be self-discovered and so understood and dissolved. In becoming aware of craving and its dependence, in observing with kindly detachment its ways and actions, fear yields to understanding.”

— Jiddu Krishnamurti – The Mirror of Relationship (1944)

The Root of All Fear