Valoel wrote:I am nothing more than a novice at this too, but I agree that detachment does not mean a lack of feeling (joy or sorrow). Quite the opposite! We should feel these as much as possible.
Detachment to me is related to expectations. Expectations (and dependence) causes fear, that we might not get our desire at some point in the future. Detachment in the sense we are talking about is letting go of expectations. We do good for the experience of doing it, not so that we get something expected in return. We work on accepting things as they are, understanding things as they are, and experiencing what is truly real -- the now. The future does not exist. The past is a memory that fades and morphs over time.
Detachment does not indicate a lack of living. It is super-living!
Actually, to respond to Swimordie, this post by Valoel is about what I would have said (if I didn't get busy at work and had to cut it short!
) He said it well!
I was raised with the emphasis on that ole scripture "for obedience to each commandment, there is a corresponding reward (or "blessing"). (of course paraphrasing....). I took it quite literally and it became a game of mathematics. If I paid my tithing, I expected financial "blessings." If I fulfilled my callings, went to meetings, read my scriptures, etc., etc....I expected that life would generally go my way.
It didn't (at least how I expected
it too). So as I did the math, God was upside down with me. The paradigm was failing. So in my resentment, my life went to pot (from the world's view).
In my searching/recovery process I read and listened to gurus from all walks of life. I read books on the life of Ghandi, Buddha, many new thought teachers...all taught me much. Through all of it, I learned that what worked for me was to approach life with an attitude involving two simple principles:
1) I am responsible for everything in my life; and
2) I have no expectations of anybody else; anything I receive from others is a gift.
It changed my life. You can't be a victim of anything with this approach. God, the Church, my friends, my parents, my spouse...were all doing the best they could with what they'd been given. There was no fault anywhere...nor blame. My life turned around in every sense of the word from there. When all there is is gratitude, there is no stress or worry.
I also changed my take on "love." I don't believe in "loving" the way many do. I don't "love another" in the way where we would expect that if I give something, I get something back...or if I do something for "her," she should do something for me. That is a set up for disaster! The only person I can "love" is myself. When I do that perfectly, I can share my love with others, but I expect nothing in return. I can commit all my romantic love to my wife, but I expect nothing, nor do I need anything, from her. We simply enjoy sharing our life experience with each other.
I think that is consistent with detachment. At least that's what I try to live. I find that if I start to get upset about something...I have lost sight of one or both of the principles, and I replay it until I see it correctly. And I can honestly say my life is awesome today!
Überzeugungen sind oft die gefährlichsten Feinde der Wahrheit.
[Certainty (that one is correct) is often the most dangerous enemy of the
truth.] - Friedrich Nietzsche
God is a metaphor for that which transcends all levels of intellectual thought. It's as simple as that. -- Joseph Campbell