May I offer my interpretation of the Universal Law of Attachment and Detachment?
This is the opinion of a novice student, seeking to get his Law Degree, way down the road. This is my first “college essay.”
We’re born into this physical world to develop discrimination, discernment. The Buddha in his article on the Law of Attachment and Detachment (1) describes the fluidity that a person can develop by knowing (discerning) when to attach and when to detach. The process of creation requires both. It becomes a dance.
In a sense he’s describing what we could think of as our soul motion, our soul stirring, our soul working or operating. That is a much senior version to the one I’ll be giving you here.
In my version, our return Home, as the Mother calls it, will involve us finally surrendering all that marks us as individuals back to the Father, the Transcendent Void.
St. Paul described this moment when he said: “Then shall the Son [the Self] also himself be subject unto him, that God may be all in all.” (2)
The Self surrenders individuation and merges back into the One.
All of life was created for this moment of reunion, the end of the journey from God to God.
As long as we remember that, then where the Law of Attachment and Detachment comes in is that it teaches us what to detach from and what to attach to in order to reach the end of our journey Home.
As we learn to discriminate, we find that even “we” – our egos and constructed selves – are unreal. Our ultimate surrender will be to surrender all that’s unreal to the only thing that’s Real, God. We’re faced with thoughts of utter extinction. Primal fears arise.
Nonetheless, whatever we really are is what will be left over from that final surrender to the One.
We are the default, the residuum, according to the maxim: Whatever is impermanent, whatever is changing is not Real.
To discern what or who to surrender to, we need discrimination. For me, the Law of Attachment and Detachment describes the development of that discrimination.
Can I put the matter another way?
For a long time, I’ve held that the basic spiritual movement is to turn from the world to God.
If I was asked to elaborate, I’d say that the basic spiritual movement is, as I believe Hindus would put it, to discriminate between the Real and the unreal, to detach from the unreal, and to attach to the Real.
In other words, to turn from the world to God.
Physical life gives us the lessons we need to learn how to discriminate between the Real and the unreal, so that when the moment of ultimate surrender comes, we know what to surrender to. We know what is Real amidst all the unreal, what Zen calls the Ten Thousand Things.
I came alive in the early Seventies. for many years after, my inner life remained a jumble of vasana-born messages, conclusions, and decisions, an elaborate mask, and a range of games I’d be playing and scripts I’d be living. I’d appear to myself now as Byzantine. I’d be embarrassed.
Through a long life of experiences, my discrimination has advanced a wee bit. I’ve advanced the purpose of physical life – to develop discrimination – a step or two.
But more important than that, I’ve learned to attach to the Divine – you could also say, to the Love. It turns out to be the same in everyone and everything.
I bow before the Divine Love that you are. That I am as well. That it turns out we both are.
(1) The Buddha, “Universal Law of Attachment and Detachment” in Linda Dillon, The New You: Emerging into then Brilliance of Humanity’s Heart Consciousness. Port St. Lucie: 2013.
(2) I Corinthians 15:24 and 28.